by Meetings & Conventions Asia | December 04, 2018
More than half the buyers at the 2018 edition of IBTM World were first-time participants.
Records were broken for the number of business meetings and buyers at the recently concluded IBTM World in Barcelona, which saw over 77,650 scheduled appointments taking place over the three-day event. 

The showcase for the meetings and events industry attracted exhibitors from 150 countries. More than half of the show's hosted buyers (54%) were first-time participants at the show, a 20% increase from the 2017 edition. 

Hosted buyer Grace Ng, executive director of Powell Consultants, commented that the show is a "one-stop shop - the place to do business with a great mix of exhibitors from across the globe. I can do here in three days what would usually take me three months."

Kyle Gittens, business development officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., a first time exhibitor, commented: "We've had a series of great meetings over the last three days and some really good leads, so we're looking forward to the business that is going to come as a result of IBTM World."

The show welcomed back many long-standing exhibitors, with a larger participation from Asia Pacific. 

They include: Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Macau Trade and Investment Institute, Rosewood Hong Kong, Plus DMC, Regal Hotels International, San Francisco Travel Association, SIXT GmbH & Co, Global Passenger Network, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism, Development Hong Kong Tourism, Alternative Athens, Tourism New Zealand, Standard Hotels and creative technology company Codemodeon

The show's Hosted Buyers programme included delegates from 78 countries from globally renowned companies such as SONY, Samsung Electronics, SC Johnson, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Metlife, Netflix, The Wall Street Journal, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.

David Thompson, exhibition director, IBTM World, said: "We set the bar high ahead of this year's event, breaking our previous record for pre-matched appointments, so it was extremely exciting to hear first-hand how happy our customers are with the quality, as well as the volume of the meetings they have had.

The next edition of IBTM World will take place from November 19-21, 2019 at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.