by Michael J. Shapiro | August 07, 2017
Reed Travel Exhibitions' IBTM Events division has elected to integrate the IBTM America meetings industry event into its IBTM Latin America show. The combined event, to be called, simply, IBTM Americas, will take place in Mexico City, Sept. 5-6, 2018, the same location and timeframe in which the IBTM Latin America show has been held.
 
"It's no secret that the potential for growth in Latin America is huge and that the region is increasingly being recognized as a major player in the industry," said Kerry Prince, left, portfolio director of IBTM Events. "We believe that our event in Mexico, already highly successful, has real scope to further support the market to become a prime date in the global events industry calendar; therefore, combining the event to incorporate the North American market and create IBTM Americas feels like a very natural evolution of the portfolio."
 
The move simultaneously would appear to indicate a perceived lack of growth opportunity in the IBTM America event, the most recent of which was held in Fort Lauderdale in June. IBTM America debuted in Baltimore in June 2011, shifting both its location and focus in the intervening years. The hosted-buyer gathering began with an accompanying trade show, but in 2015 in Chicago, the event was scaled down to eliminate the show and focus on one-on-one meetings between suppliers and hosted buyers. By contrast, IMEX America, a competing event that also debuted in 2011, has grown each year since.
 
The Mexico-based IBTM Latin America, meanwhile, has grown exponentially since Reed acquired the ICOMEX event in 2014 and rebranded it for the 2016 show. The number of international exhibitors jumped by 100 percent in 2016, with an expected additional growth of 40 percent for this year's show, to be held Sept. 6-7 in Mexico City.
 
Based on plans for the new combined event, IBTM Americas will have 800 percent more hosted buyers than the current IBTM Latin America, while continuing to attract senior-level buyers from the Latin America region. Currently, about 12 percent of the exhibitors at IBTM Latin America are from North America, a number Reed expects will grow significantly.
 
"We are looking forward to combining the experience of our Mexico team, our IBTM America team and the wider Reed Travel Exhibitions team, and bringing that to IBTM Americas," said Herve Sedky, president of Reed Exhibitions Americas. "Ultimately, by merging the two events we can offer bigger opportunities and a richer experience to our exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors."
 
The schedule for the remaining IBTM shows won't be affected by the merger.