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Tourist Office of Spain (TURESPAÑA) launches virtual “face to face” trade show for MICE market

LIGHTNING RELEASES (5/30/2014) – Meet in Spain 2014 is an online platform which provides virtual meetings between U.S.-based MICE professionals  (meeting planners, incentive houses, conference planners, associations, and event planners) and providers from Spain: Convention bureaux, hotel chains, destination management companies (DMCs) and venues. The virtual trade show www.meetinspain2014.com  opens Monday, June 2nd.

Given the geographical distance, time and numerous costs involved to participate in “real” trade shows and workshops, Meet in Spain 2014, which was created as a new, online environment focused solely on the MICE segment, allows equally effective meetings but with an infinitely smaller budget.

The format is as follows: each exhibitor will have his or her own stand, from which the U.S, buyers as well as the Spanish providers can request virtual, face-to-face meetings through the application manager. Once the appointment is generated, it is carried out via Skype.

More than 20 Spain-based providers have confirmed their participation in Meet in Spain 2014: Basquetour, Málaga Convention Bureau,  Turismo de Andalucía, Pamplona City Tourist Board, Palladium Hotel Group, Meliá Hotels, Viavinum, AC Hotels, Insider’s Madrid, Hotel Hilton Madrid Airport, Abba Hotels, Factor 3 Events, Stop Incentives & Events, GISTC, Murcia Convention Bureau,  Barceló  Hotels & Resorts,  Madrid Destino,  Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts, El Batel  Auditorium and Conference Center- Cartagena (Murcia), Silken Hotels, and Cititravel DMC.

Jorge Rubio, Consul for Tourism Affairs & Director of the Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago, points out that “Meet in Spain is the ideal venue for establishing contacts with companies and institutions in the U.S. prior to carrying out commercial interactions. It’s a very significant step for Turespaña to be able to facilitate promotion of  MICE tourism products from Spain in this important market, and this show complement s perfectly the various online marketing projects the TOS Chicago  has done in recent years.”

TURESPAÑA, together with the platform designer, Madrid-based IMASTE, are pursuing a strong marketing campaign in the U.S. in order to draw a professional audience . Promotional activities include online marketing campaigns geared toward the 9,000 MICE professionals belonging to “The Events Network,” and toward the 100,000 MICE professionals on the i-Meet.com social network.

To encourage participation, each MICE professional  in the United States to hold a virtual meeting with a Spanish provider will be treated to a café beverage in the form of a Starbucks voucher redeemable at any location in the chain.

For more information, visit www.meetinspain2014.com  or contact Sara Garrido: sgarrido@imaste-ips.com

About MICE tourism in Spain

Global rankings by the ICCA released earlier this month once again rank Spain as the 3rd destination hosting the most international meetings in 2013, just behind the USA and Germany. Of the ICCA´s 2013 rankings for the top ten cities worldwide where international association meetings take place, Spain remains the only country with two cities on that list: Madrid which has climbed to #2, and Barcelona at #4.

About the Tourist Office of Spain in Chicago

The TOS  Chicago is one of 33 worldwide offices of TURESPAÑA, Spain´s government tourism promotion authority based in Madrid, responsible for promoting Spain as a tourism destination to travel trade, press and consumers in the Midwest USA market.

Additionally, it is the branch office in the USA responsible for marketing the business, incentive and meeting tourism product. To that end, the TOS Chicago acts as a liaison between suppliers and DMCs in Spain and the buyer/planner in the USA. A full array of marketing activities are carried out throughout the year, including workshops, familiarization trips, participation in trade shows such as IMEX Las Vegas and AIBTM Chicago, networking events in cooperation with MICE industry associations and CVBs in Spain, organization of webcasts and e-learning workshops,  publishing of the MICE sector digital magazine, Meet in Spain www.meetinspainmagazine.com and active presence in their Spain Meeting & Events Community portal at i-meet.com/spain