Chaos at EIBTM sparks probe

Reed Travel Exhibitions is conducting an urgent investigation into how arrangements for last month’s travel and meetings show EIBTM descended into chaos.

Reed Travel Exhibitions is conducting an urgent investigation into how arrangements for last month’s travel and meetings show EIBTM descended into chaos. About 200 exhibitors and hosted buyers decided not to travel to Geneva while others suffered last minute travel rearrangements, no booked accommodation and poor communication. Organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions attempted to deflect the blame from appointed travel logistics firm Genesis Motivation, by blaming the aftermath of 11 September for disrupted travel and the knock-on effect for hotel bookings and meetings. But Reed Travel Exhibitions managing director Tom Nutley has promised a full investigation into every aspect of the arrangements. “We knew in advance that reduced flight schedules into Geneva, the collapse of Swissair, and lower capacity levels on other airlines would present problems, but other factors compounded these problems and these will be looked at in minute detail,” he said. Attendance figures for the three-day event at Palexpo Exhibition Centre in Geneva from 21-23 May were 5,560 – 7% fewer than last year. An unaudited 3,034 hosted buyers were at the show compared with 3,286 in 2001, and about 3,000 exhibitors from 110 countries made the trip compared with 3,286 last year. “We have offered our sincerest apologies but no team could have worked harder to minimise the inconveniences,” said Nutley. In May 2003 the event is set to return to Geneva when it will compete with rival meetings and incentive travel exhibition IMEX, which is being launched at Messe Frankfurt from 8-10 April by former EIBTM organisers Ray Bloom and Paul Flackett (Marketing Event, October 2001). A decision on where EIBTM will be based from 2004 is expected during the summer.

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