There is no shortage of information for planners creating an international program. Every hotel brand with international coverage is eager to sell the virtues of specific destinations—destinations where they have properties.
Tourist boards large and small have dedicated meetings and incentives operations. Look for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions), the industry acronym most often used outside North America.
Domestic DMC representation companies can draw on their affiliated DMCs around the world to help planners select program elements based on the sponsor’s needs and objectives and build RFPs.
Trade shows can be a gold mine. In Europe, take in EIBTM, the Global Meetings & Events Exhibition, held in Barcelona in late November; MPI’s European Meetings & Events Conference; and IMEX, in Frankfurt, Germany.
Good choices in Asia include CIBTM, the China Incentive; Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, held in Beijing in September; and IT&CMA (Incentive Travel & Convention Meetings Asia), held in Bangkok in October.
For Gulf destinations, try GIBTM, the Gulf Incentive, and Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition, held in Abu Dhabi in March.
In North America, consider IMEX America, held in October in Las Vegas, and AIBTM, held in Baltimore in June.
And for continuing education, check out Site (www.siteglobal.com), the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives, which is a key source of incentive and planning information independent of vendors and destinations.