IBTM World: Reunited, and it feels so good

After two years on virtual mode, the in-person show clocks 30,000 meetings and more than 7,000 attendees in three days.

All across LinkedIn, event planners, venue operators and MICE industry professionals uploaded photos of their time at the showfloor using the #ibtmworld hashtag.
All across LinkedIn, event planners, venue operators and MICE industry professionals uploaded photos of their time at the showfloor using the #ibtmworld hashtag. Photo Credit:IBTM

IBTM World Barcelona, the first face-to-face event in the IBTM portfolio in two years, has wrapped up to the tune of more than 30,000 pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings, more than 1,400 buyers and some 1,200 exhibitors from 72 countries over three days.

According to organiser Reed Exhibitions, the show had in fact matched the same average number of appointments per hosted buyer and exhibitor as in 2019 — with more than 42% of the buyers additionally joining as first timers, and 95% indicating to stay throughout 30 November to 2 December at Fira Barcelona.

Under the theme of ‘New Business, New Tech, New World’ there was a schedule of educational sessions around four topical themes: Trends and technology; gamification and engagement; the future of event planning; and career and personal development, delivered by expert speakers from the United Nations Climate Change, LinkedIn, CrowdComms, VisitScotland, BBC Creative and more.

All across LinkedIn, event planners, venue operators and MICE industry professionals uploaded photos of their time at the showfloor using the #ibtmworld hashtag.

Anna-Maria Chatzidaki, Marketing Manager at the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau, described the "thrill to be where the future of international events is shaped, an inspiration to watch physical presentations again and — most importantly — a precious feeling to finally meet with amazing colleagues, partners and collaborators".

While footfall has been lower than previous editions "as expected", Nick Tinker, Sales Manager at Event Solutions, Cvent attested to an overall positive experience, and a fantastic quality of meetings.

"We’ve had a positive experience overall, for one, the fact that everyone’s here proves how much we’ve been longing to come back together for in-person events. The footfall has been lower...but that’s allowed us to have higher quality meetings, have more time to build relationships and make new connections. This has also meant that buyers did make an effort to speak with as many exhibitors and make the most of their attendance," said
Tinker.

Ben Myatt Trenholm, Director Speakers and Conferences at Thinking Heads who clocked 36 meetings in three days said: “Three years ago I didn’t have time to speak to all the people I wanted to speak to in the timeframe I was given, so this year it has been much more meaningful to have full 20-minute conversations explaining to my prospective clients exactly what we do, and they also had the opportunity to explain what exactly they need.”

Up next is the post-event virtual component, slated to run from 14-15 December, catering to event professionals unable to meet face-to-face in Barcelona.



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