Marketplace 2012



Thanks for a successful Marketplace.  With more than 3,300 delegates attending, Marketplace was the best experience to begin 2012!  Delegates were able to take advantage of the open Business Floor with more than 136,000 quality appointments.  The exciting evening events and networking opportunities made certain that business continued off the of the Business Floor.  Marketplace education sessions provided delegates with information and tools that they can implement immediately back at their offices. 

All delegates will be sent a final Directory of Participants by the end of January for follow up and will have access to their Marketplace Passport until the end of February.  To keep Marketplace delegate-driven, delegates are encouraged to complete their Marketplace evaluation available in their Passport.  Also, those delegates interested in getting involved with ABA should contact Vicki Osman at or complete the 2012 Leadership Survey by January 25.

More than:
3300 people attended the show
750 motorcoach and tour operators were in attendance
226 motorcoach and tour operator companies took appointments all week
130,000+ appointments were conducted
300+ sponsors

229 Associate service & product suppliers attended
72 associate product and service suppliers exhibited at MKPL
Networking Floor offered 13 motorcoaches and 79 exhibitors
$33,000 raised for GRACE
$7200 in volunteer time donated to GRACE during the Volunteer Day

Click here for the final 2012 Directory of Participants

Click here to view pictures from the show.

Click here to view the Marketplace Show Dailies.

Click here to view the official Marketplace 2012 Wrap Up


Grapevine, TX
January 6-10, 2012

The American Bus Marketplace

The American Bus Marketplace is the premier business event for the group travel industry. The appointments are the core of the show; which allow Buyers and Sellers to meet face-to-face in pre-scheduled seven-minute appointments. In addition to the quality appointments, Marketplace offers professional education seminars and numerous networking opportunities.

Additionally, the Product Pavilion, offers operators the opportunity to view the industry’s latest products and services. Associate members can now showcase their products and services on the exhibit floor to the more than 320 operator companies who attend Marketplace. With the addition of the Product Pavilion, Marketplace is a one-stop shop for the group travel and motorcoach industry to build business relationships, conduct one-to-one business appointments, view the newest products and services, learn about the latest trends and industry information, and network - all resulting in providing our members with a greater return on investment.

Are You A Buyer or A Seller?

Buyers who are bus owners and tour operators, come to meet with Sellers who are travel industry representatives from destination marketing organizations (cities, areas, states), attractions, restaurants, receptive operators, hotels and associate service suppliers. These business sessions allow Buyers and Sellers to plan trip itineraries for motorcoach group travel throughout the US and Canada.

Sellers attend Marketplace to sell their destination, attraction, restaurant etc to motorcoach and tour operators. Sellers also network with their peers in the group travel industry.

Buyers attend Marketplace to learn more about new destinations, to meet personally with people with whom they conduct business, and to socialize with other Buyers.  More info

Business & Appointment Sessions

Marketplace week runs from Friday through Tuesday evening. The show is held annually, usually in January, in a different North American city each year.

The Business Sessions or Appointment Sessions, are conducted and are the core of Marketplace. The appointment sessions are held on the Marketplace Business Floor, which is a secured area. Only delegates belonging to the group that are taking appointments during that particular session are allowed on the Business Floor.  Delegates are assigned different colored badges depending on their business type grouping. These colors determine access to the Business Floor where appointments are conducted. The color and design change every year. All Buyers have access to the Business Floor at any time. Associates who are not registered as appointment-taking delegates do not have access to the Business Floor.

There are 6 appointment sessions for a total of 174 appointments. Buyers have a maximum of 174 appointments, as they take appointments throughout the week with each of the Seller groups. Sellers have a maximum of 58 appointments. These 58 appointments are scheduled in 2 out of the 6 sessions. The primary group (DMO, Lodging, Attraction, Receptive Operator/Tour Planner) the company belongs to determines which of the 2 sessions are assigned.  More info

The Business Floor

The Marketplace Business Floor consists of 8x8 booths where Buyers sit. Each booth contains a 6' table and 2 chairs inside the booth, an outside chair for the Seller to sit in and an ID sign giving the Buyer company name, location and attendee number.

Appointment-taking Sellers move from Buyer to Buyer every seven minutes. There is an announcer who announces the time and the number of the appointment so the Sellers know when to move to the next Buyer. The announcer also gives the delegates a one-minute warning so they know to start wrapping up. Sellers are divided into groups, broken down by business type, that meet with Buyers at specific times. These groups are:

    * Destinations Marketing Organizations Session - Sunday AM/Sunday PM
          o DMOs
          o CVBs
          o Receptive Operators/Tour Planners

    * Lodging/Attraction Session - Monday AM/Tuesday PM or Monday PM/Tuesday AM
          o Hoteliers
          o Attractions
          o Receptive Operators/Tour Planners
          o Associates (appointment-taking only)

ABA carefully monitors the number of Seller Appointment-Taking delegates allowed based on the number of Buyer Appointment-Taking delegates registereed. By maintaining a near one-to-one ratio in each session, ABA offers quality appointments for all delegates.  More info


Important dates and deadlines for the upcoming Marketplace 2012 are available.  More info

In Addition

There are education seminars, luncheons, city tours, opening and closing celebrations and evening events on-going throughout Marketplace week and are open to all registered delegates and a valuable part of the Marketplace experience.

P: 800-283-2877
F: 202-898-1575