IBTM World 2021 brought the event industry together in Barcelona
As the first face-to-face IBTM portfolio event that will take place in two years, IBTM World once again succeeded in bringing the global industry of meetings, incentives, conferences and events together in Barcelona, Spain. Held from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 to Barcelona Fira, the industry’s annual event attracted over 7,000 attendees, who attended over 30,000 pre-scheduled one-on-one business meetings, as well as a host of networking opportunities and premium training.
“It has been an incredibly rewarding three days, and it has been amazing to see people reconnecting after such a long separation,” said David Thompson, IBTM World Event Director. “For many, this may be the first event they’ve attended in two years, and it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to play our part in bringing the industry together again. “
He continued, “The whole team worked exceptionally hard to make this event a success under some pretty difficult circumstances, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished. Getting away from our screens and enjoying face-to-face interactions, inspiring education sessions and one-on-one business meetings has been wonderful.
Over 1,200 exhibiting companies from 70 countries attended IBTM’s flagship trade fair and conference, including CVBs from Germany, Dubai, Istanbul, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Croatia and Norway, as well as Atout France, Meet in Ireland, Turespana Convention Bureau (Spain), Hilton, Titanic Hotels, Hyatt and GL Events. Many hailed the show as a positive experience.
“The fact that everyone was there just goes to show how much we wanted to get together for in-person events,” said Nick Tinker, Director of Sales at Event Solutions, Cvent. “In addition, the quality of the meetings this year has been fantastic. Attendance was lower than in previous editions which is expected, but it allowed us to have better quality meetings, more time to build relationships and make new connections. It also means that buyers have made an effort to engage with as many exhibitors as possible and make the most of their presence.
According to IBTM officials, of the more than 1,400 high-quality hosted buyers from 72 countries who attended the show, almost half were completely new to the IBTM portfolio, representing more opportunities for clients. exhibitors to find new prospects.
Delegates from renowned global agencies, companies and associations were also in attendance, including HelmsBriscoe, HPN Global, First Incentive Travel, HPN Global-World, Citigroup Inc, Pfizer, Michelin and General Motors, to name a few. only a few.
In line with past years, innovative and focused learning opportunities abounded at the show, including specially organized training streams for association and business buyers, as well as sessions under the IBTM Accelerate, which provided attendees with an interactive experience showcasing solutions, applications and technologies on specific challenges in the meeting and events industry.
Designed to provide tangible learning and innovative solutions to participants in a post-pandemic world, a program of inspiring educational sessions under the theme “New Business, New Tech, New World” was structured around four current themes (trends and technology; gamification and engagement; the future of event planning; and career and personal development) and were presented by expert speakers from the United Nations on climate change, LinkedIn, CrowdComms, VisitScotland, BBC Creative and Moreover.
New to IBTM’s educational programming this year was the Association Program, created with support from the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE); American Society of Association Executives (ASAE); African Society of Association Leaders (AfSAE) and Asia-Pacific Federation of Associative Organizations (APFAO), as well as the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Designed to spark new ideas, encourage peer-to-peer learning and the sharing of best practices, and help bring concrete solutions to real-life issues facing the association and events sector, the program followed three main themes: inspire, exchange and resolve.
Additionally, IBTM’s Elite Corporate program, supported by American Express Meetings & Events, explored key information specifically focused on the needs of corporate-hosted buyers, with themes such as the future of the meeting experience. , restarting events and measuring their success, and peer-to-peer learning and knowledge.
On the first day of the show, the IBTM World Trend watch report, one of the industry’s most comprehensive and in-depth studies on the future of meetings and events, was presented by Alistair Turner, Managing Director of EIGHT PR & Marketing, and addressed key trends affecting the industry, from micro to macro, examine the differences between regions of the world and study the role of vertical markets.
Inspirational keynotes were also a highlight of the event. In launching the program, Alba del Villa Olano, digital transformation expert and serial entrepreneur, encouraged participants to eliminate fear of digitalization and use it as a tool to increase the reach and impact of their events. On day two, Gian Power, Founder and CEO of TLC Lions, inspired attendees to use the power of storytelling to grow their businesses, while on day three, Strategy and Experience Specialist Dr Darren Coleman brand, explained how event planners can win. through the power of experiences.
The highly anticipated Stand Awards returned to IBTM World this year with Discover Moscow taking home the Best Large Stand award, Beon Worldwide taking the Best Small Stand award and Barcelona Convention Bureau receiving the Best Stand Staff award.
IBM’s technology equipment also exceeded expectations, with the IBTM World app celebrating its best year with over 3,600 downloads, over 142,000 pageviews and a 60% adoption rate among hosted buyers. Meanwhile, nearly 900 exhibitors representing 71% of all exhibitors took advantage of the Emperia IBTM digital business card exchange system, resulting in the exchange of 20,000 digital business cards.
All participants were required to complete a full range of health and safety guidelines and practices during the show, including proof of COVID-19 status to enter and wearing masks. As an added layer of security, hosted buyers received free medical insurance and all visitors were able to purchase PCR tests if needed.
As an improvement of the in-person show in Barcelona, IBTM World Online will take place on December 14th and 15th. Designed by Sector Global, the technology and event management agency that delivered IBTM World Virtual in 2020, the interactive platform will allow digital exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors the opportunity to network and do business with select from major suppliers, buyers and destinations around the world.
In addition to the pre-event matchmaking, one-to-one video buyers and suppliers meetings, enhanced exhibitor directories and an exhibitor area, the digital show offers a full program of on-demand educational content, including including the comprehensive IBTM World Barcelona knowledge program comprising over 65 sessions from leading industry experts.
Additionally, Hosted Buyers will benefit from dedicated content designed just for them with elements of the Association Program, Company Elite Program, and IBTM Accelerate available upon request.
“We believe the best way to experience IBTM World is to be there in person, to maximize the many opportunities available at the live event, and to meet and connect with exhibitors and colleagues,” said David Thompson, IBTM World Event Director. “However, we understand that some people may not be able to travel, especially those coming from longer-haul destinations, so we have evolved our offering according to the new business landscape to better meet the needs of all of our customers. The online combination as part of the mix allows our community to engage in new markets and provide additional flexibility and levels of engagement.
IBTM World will be back at Fira de Barcelona from November 29 to December 31. 1, 2022.
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