Hybrid event. In a first for the Middle East, GIBTM 2013 has given delegates a glimpse of how technology will shape events in the future, presenting the hybrid event initiative Event Camp Middle East 2013. This hybrid format included seminar sessions focused on technological advances impacting the meetings industry, broadcast from both the show floor and streamed online from destinations as far afield as the US and Australia. It extended GIBTM’s reach to an online global audience of 16,000 users across 10 countries in just two hours.
“By pioneering this hybrid format we have taken GIBTM out of the four walls of the show floor to a global audience,” said GIBTM Exhibition Manager Lois Hall. GIBTM kicked off at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre yesterday and runs until Wednesday (March 27). “We recognise the importance of technology and social media in shaping content and the way in which meetings’ professionals are connecting now and how they will do so in the future, which is why this year’s show has embraced these ground-breaking trends,” Hall continued.
The session took on added relevance when it was reiterated that the Middle East was the fastest growing region for twitter users with 2.1 million recorded in June 2012, while in November 2012 the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region had 45 million Facebook users, 50% of whom accessed the media via mobile.
Reinforcing the importance of utilising technology to engage delegates before and after an event, GIBTM’s day one educational programme also included an interactive seminar predicting how meetings and events planners would utilise social media in the future.