By: Thierry Beaurepère | From: Voyages & Strategie (France)

Business tourism is one of the priorities of this year's event, which will take place in the Texan city from May 20 to 24. MICE agencies are invited to register before the end of March.

After three years penalized by the health crisis, the American tourism trade show IPW is preparing for a "normal" 54th edition. This year, it will be held in San Antonio, Texas, from May 20 to 24. And to encourage French MICE agencies to attend, the organizers have pulled out all the stops. At the initiative of Dominique Plaissetty, head of Micefinder, the organizers - headed by Malcom Smith, Managing Director of the IPW and Senior Vice President of the United States Travel Association - came to Paris on February 2 to meet with French business tourism professionals and present the advantages of the show and the destination. The IPW is an exclusively BtoB event that brings together 1,200 American service providers (states, regions, cities, carriers, hoteliers, DMCs, etc.) with several thousand buyers (tour operators, agencies, etc.) from all over the world, through a schedule of meetings programmed via an interactive platform (up to 42 possible). These meetings, lasting fifteen minutes each, provide an opportunity to exchange ideas, find new ideas for accommodation or activities to offer as part of a seminar or incentive, and possibly conclude a contract.

This year, to convince MICE agencies to return to the United States, IPW has come up with a gift: a heavily discounted or even free registration.
The offer includes five nights' accommodation from Saturday May 20 to Wednesday May 24 at the Marriott San Antonio Riverwalk Hotel, access to the show (with a minimum of 30 appointments), transfers, lunches and the always spectacular evening events. This year, the opening night will take place at La Villita, an arts and entertainment venue in downtown San Antonio, and the closing night at the historic Alamo. There will also be a cocktail party for the French delegation, organized by the Visit USA Committee, and themed excursions on Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21, to discover the city, the surrounding countryside, the world of cowboys and local gastronomy. Participants are responsible for their own return flight to San Antonio. The IPW takes place at a very busy time in France, between the Ascension and Pentecost weekends. The organizers therefore advise you not to delay in booking a flight...       

Beyond the professional exchanges, the IPW (which changes city every year) is also an opportunity to discover new American regions beyond the ever-present New York/California/Florida triptych, and to make different proposals.
San Antonio is America's seventh-largest city, with a population of 1.4 million. Here, a few small skyscrapers rise up in the Downtown area, but the metropolis surprises first and foremost by its network of canals, earning it the nickname "Little Venice of Texas", and by its trendy atmosphere that blends American and Mexican influences, right down to the gastronomy.       
Founded at the end of the 17th century, it is also a historical landmark, with Fort Alamo, scene of epic battles when Texas belonged to Mexico, during which Davy Crockett was killed in 1836.Last but not least, it is known in France for its Spurs basketball team, where Tony Parker played. More broadly, the show is also an opportunity to explore Texas, represented in France by Unique Consulting since September. A pre-tour is planned for the French MICE delegation to discover the charms of the state, the second largest in the United States. Dominique Plaissetty will act as "intermediary" between interested MICE agencies and the show organizers. Registration before the end of March.