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Meetings International Joins Industry Supersite

Ten leading meeting and business events industry publishers, including Meetings International, have announced that they will collaborate alongside event and association partners to deliver the industry’s first online supersite.

International Meetings Review (IMR) will provide a global news hub with up to 20 separate satellite editions showcasing countries or regions, each delivered by the leading local publisher.

The members of the network have been selected by IMR executive producer and MEETINGS:review founder James Latham, and his industry association and event partners. These include: the Professional Convention Managers Association (PCMA); the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA); the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives (Site); the International Association of Professional Conference Organisers (IAPCO); UFI, the global exhibition industry association; AIPC, the international association of congress centres; and the European Federation of the Associations of Professional Congress Organisers (EFAPCO).

The publishers, which have all signed Memoranda of Understandings to complete the development and launch of IMR, include CAT Publications, which services the UK meeting and business events community through its flagship title M&IT and its website www.meetpie.com. The US edition of the site, serving the largest meetings market worldwide, will be managed by the Questex Travel and Hospitality Group – the leading US travel-related publisher, which acquired MEETINGS:review last month.

Meanwhile, TW Germany and its international site www.tw-media.com/en, in partnership with the German Convention Bureau, will showcase the German offer, itself the second largest international market for outbound as well as inbound meetings after the US. Meetings International and its web offer at www.meetingsinternational.com will represent Scandinavia and the Baltic States, BBT Online at www.bbtonline.eu will showcase Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux), while Kongres magazine will represent South East Europe.

TTG Asia Media, the leading media group across the region, will represent Asia, including a dedicated edition within the site for China, while CIM Australia will represent Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands with its combined edition. Meet Middle East and its web offer www.meetmiddleeast.com, published by NPI Media out of Dubai, will showcase the Middle East and North Africa.

“This launch is a direct response to industry demand,” commented Latham. “More and more meetings activity is centred on an international stage as the global supply chains converge.

"Planners are reaching out to international destinations to service their business meetings and events, and there is a void in the converged provision of such an information resource. Because corporate, government, association and institutional meeting planners are increasingly operating beyond national or regional boundaries, we are collaborating to deliver a single platform that aggregates their content and information demands.”

Latham expects additional publishers to join the International Meetings Review Network (IMRN) before the site goes live, and aims to complete a total of 20 publishing partnerships by the close of 2012.

IMRN will deliver a weekly news email service, which will be distributed by all partners featuring the local, regional, and global news for the industry.

“Combined with our industry partners, including international event partners IMEX, EIBTM and IT&CMA, IMR will reach out to over 300,000 meeting and business event professionals every week,” confirmed Latham. “This is in addition to a further 400,000 untrained meeting buyers delivered through the Questex Travel and Hospitality databases.” MEETINGS:review will be absorbed into the new super-site and will continue to deliver the rich media and video support that has become its hallmark.

Commenting on the launch of IMR, Martin Lewis, managing editor at CAT Publications in the UK, and the 2012 chairman of the IMRN Editorial Advisory Board, said: “Our organisation will be delivering content, alongside our fellow publishing partners, to the site’s joint editors-in-chief, Pete Roythorne and Ian Whiteling, who will moderate the RSS and other content feeds supplied by each of the partners. We will also oversee a dedicated Association News section within the global hub through our international association brand, Association Meetings International.”

Roger Kellerman, publisher at Meetings International in Scandinavia, added: “At Meetings International we can already offer local knowledge and insight to domestic buyers, but by collaborating with our partners elsewhere in the world we open up the region’s offer to the international market – something we have never been able to do as an isolated force.

"International Meetings Review strengthens our position in the local market because it enables us to deliver a shop window on Scandinavia to the world market. We, therefore, expect Scandinavian destinations and venue providers to be using the Scandinavian edition of International Meetings Review as their window to this vital international audience.”

IMR is also supported by a request-for-proposal generator offered through MeetingsIn (www.meetingsin.com), which is a call-to-action tool for small and professional meeting planners to search and book hotels, as well as secure venue services.

“In the International Meetings Review Network platform, the publishers provide the insight and independent commentary, while we provide the call-to-action, enabling a swift conversion of interest from the planners into discernable business for the industry,” commented MeetingsIn founder and chief executive Ian Quartermaine.

International Meetings Review goes live on 30 January 2012.

To find out more about IMR, visit stand G265 at the upcoming EIBTM in Barcelona.