|August 01, 2014|
Vienna Convention Bureau & Barcelona Convention Bureau "Runner-Up Award" At AIBTM
|Every year since 2011, the American Incentive Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM) has been bringing national and international exhibitors together with customers, and has become one of the major trade fairs in North America, with some two thousand trade visitors. The convention bureaus of Vienna and Barcelona adopted an unconventional approach in promoting their destinations on a joint stand: Trade fair stand, information materials and flyers all stamped with the word "Coopetition". This was a reference to the cooperation between two cities which, though actually competitors, join forces overseas to win conference organizers for both European destinations. Stickers printed with the slogan "Barcelona & Vienna. Coopetition at its best" carried their joint message to all corners of the exhibition center - and at the same time also attracted the attention of the jury of the "Innovation Award" awarded every year at AIBTM.|
Their appearance in tandem was so well received that it garnered them second place - as the so-called "Runner Up". "This success was not just a matter of course," commented Christian Mutschlechner, Director of the Vienna Convention Bureau. "The jury of this award generally evaluates mainly technical achievements. However, the jury liked the 'outside the box' approach of our combined presence so much that our idea was taken into consideration for this rather technology-biased prize." Christoph Tessmar, Director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, explains: "We are very pleased that our innovative joint approach has been singled out for this award. The creative and successful cooperation between our two teams has also been rewarded by this achievement, giving us tremendous encouragement for the future." First place in the Innovation Award was taken by "Eventfarm", an IT company.
The joint venture between the convention bureaus in Vienna and Barcelona was established in 1995. Their first joint trade fair stand was at the 2006 CIBTM (China Incentive Business Travel and Meetings) in Beijing. The first time the two bureaus joined forces in the USA was at AIBTM in 2013. Back in 1999 the two convention bureaus together set up the AC Forum, the only exclusively customer-oriented association in the international convention business. The members of this forum are leading European and international conference organizers, whose congresses attract a total of over 260,000 participants every year.