Last year’s World Travel Market is expected to have generated £1.65 billion in travel and tourism industry deals – 16% up on the 2010 exhibition.
Independent research of exhibitors shows WTM 2011 will result in £1,653,729,318-worth of deals, either through contracts signed at the event or from negotiations with Meridian Club members which will lead to agreements before this year’s show.
WTM generated £1.43 billion the previous year in business deals, either on the exhibition floor or in the 12 months that followed, a 25% increase on WTM 2009’s £1.14 billion.
The study found that 94% of exhibitors are ‘extremely likely’ or ‘likely’ to exhibit at WTM 2012, which takes place on November 5-8.
Additionally, 96% exhibitors feel it is ‘very important’ or ‘important’ to exhibit at the show and 96% of exhibitors were ‘completely satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ about their most recent time at WTM.
Organisers attributed the increase in business partly due to the overhauled speed networking session which allowed exhibitors and buyers even more time to negotiate and conclude deals.
Speed networking took place as a one hour-long session before the exhibition opened on the first day. Previously, this was staged in five 45 minute sessions – based around the regions of the exhibition – throughout the first day.
The change increased the amount of time at the event for exhibitors and Meridian Club members could conclude negotiations on the exhibition floor, in turn helping to increase the amount of business generated.
An extra business opportunity was introduced on the final day in the shape of a networking breakfast, giving exhibitors and Meridian Club members a further event to meet up and discuss business deals.
Reed Travel Exhibitions WTM director Simon Press said: “World Travel Market 2011 has seen, and will lead to, a phenomenal amount of travel and tourism industry business being agreed.
“The expanded speed networking programme played an important role in the success of WTM 2011 for both exhibitors and Meridian Club members, offering both stakeholders increased opportunities to meet new contacts, sign contracts and conclude deals.
“The amount of business conducted and the findings from the exhibitor research shows WTM is delivering on its commitment to facilitate business in the travel and tourism industry.”
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