The global MICE industry gathered in full force at the recently
concluded IBTM World Virtual, which saw nearly 8,300 industry
professionals attending the three-day event.
These included exhibitors such as Singapore Tourism Board, Tokyo
Convention & Visitors Bureau, Adelaide Convention Bureau, Tourism
Vancouver, Destination DC, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, and Visit
On the buyer's side, "on ground" were associations the likes of
European Society of Urology, the Association of Development Financing
Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), World Confederation for
Physical Therapy, while major corporations included IBM, Michelin, Dell,
Boston Consulting Group, Real Madrid C.F., Deloitte, Leroy Merlin, BBVA
France, Mundipharma International Limited, Hyundai, and HORIBA Medical.
Over 8 to 10 December, delegates completed nearly 13,000 business
meetings with more than 700 exhibitors — who each carried out an average
of 19 meetings. Attendance came in at 92% for pre-scheduled meetings,
with both exhibitors and buyers indicating an average meeting quality of
4.6 out of 5.
For instance, buyer Emmanuelle Wurffel from European
Telecommunications Standards Institute made 38 appointments in three
days with hotels, conference centres and convention bureaus. "The
platform offered during IBTM World Virtual was excellent: easy to use,
and the idea of sending the business card was a plus. Thank you very
much for offering me the pleasure to e-travel so much during [this
Of these hosted buyers, 30% were new to the IBTM portfolio — a sign
perhaps, of not just pent-up desire to meet but also the influence the
global MICE industry has in restarting the travel sector. Singapore, is
one example of that.
"The London Convention Bureau has been delighted to exhibit at IBTM
Virtual 2020 and I must congratulate the team on their outstanding help
and support. They have responded quickly and efficiently to any
questions and have also provided us with a number of creative platforms
to promote London to the registered buyers," said Barbara Jamison,
tourism sector head, London & Partners.
With a mega event of this magnitude spanning multiple continents,
Jamison added that "the technology has been easy to use and enabled our
team looking after our markets in Asia Pacific, EMEA and North and South
America to engage with clients across various time zones".
Apart from scheduled appointments, the virtual event floor also
presented live and on-demand content programme over 87 sessions and four
keynotes. More than 95 speakers addressed topics designed to help
meetings professionals navigate the road to post-pandemic recovery, as
well as the inaugural IBTM TV — sponsored by MeetEngland and Monaco
Various streams were also created so delegates could quickly locate
their needs. New this year for instance was content catered to those
running experiential events at the Exceptional Experiences stream, while
buyers attended the IBTM Inspire Masterclass stream with corporates,
agencies and associations. The lattermost portion was sponsored by Korea
Tourism Organization — another forerunner in innovation during pandemic
These more than 1,400 hours worth of content will continue to be
available for two weeks after the event for registered attendees.
2020 marks the first year the global meet has not taken place as a
live one, where event director, David Thompson made the announcement to
pivot to virtual only as recently as September just months ago.
"This year has been a huge challenge for the meetings and events
industry, so it’s been fantastic to come together with IBTM World
Virtual...We’re delighted with the feedback from the buyers and
exhibitors, especially regarding the quality of meetings and the
business opportunities generated and I’m incredibly proud of the entire
IBTM World Virtual team for producing what has been an outstanding
event," said Thompson.
IBTM World 2021 will return to its conventional home at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, from 30 November to 2 December 2021.