60 seconds with... Reed Exhibitions' Sallie Coventry

C&IT caught up with Sallie Coventry, IBTM portfolio director at Reed Exhibitions, at the 10th anniversary edition of IBTM China, held from 5-6 August at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing.

Sallie Coventry: Raising the bar at this year's IBTM China
Sallie Coventry: Raising the bar at this year's IBTM China

Has this year’s show met your expectations?
This is my second year experiencing IBTM China and we’ve really raised the bar this year. Cici Chen, the show’s senior project manager, joined just before the event this time last year, having previously worked for MCI in Beijing. The fact that she came from an events background gave the show a new perspective. In our tenth anniversary, we have a lot to celebrate. We had 400 hosted buyers attending this year with several from the UK, exhibitors who joined us for the first time, and a large number who returned from previous years. We’ve also implemented new features including our Community Hub. 
What has the feedback been like so far?
Attendees continue to be intrigued and enticed by the opportunities offered in China and CIBTM has given them a taste for this. We produced an exciting and packed format to give visitors the chance to make connections and do business. We had some amazing weather for the hosted buyer pre-tours around Beijing the day before the show started, which also helped!  

The format has changed this year with the show taking place over two days rather than three. What was the reason for this?
We shortened the show based on feedback from the previous year. People are time poor and need a more efficient way of doing business and we’ve done this in line with the other shows in our portfolio, with the exception of IBTM World, which is on a different scale. We find that that the two-day format works much better for shows on a regional level.
What’s on the agenda for IBTM World, taking place in November?
We’re looking forward to our flagship show. It is set to be our best year with exhibitors from more countries than ever before, including a number of new exhibitors, such as Sri Lanka, Paraguay and Luxembourg. We’re also implementing the mutual match at IBTM World for the first time. We’re hoping to deliver even more value through giving exhibitors more influence over their diaries and building on the success of last year’s 78,500 pre-scheduled appointments. 


IBTM China preview: focus on education and networking

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