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    IBTM World 2019 meetings hit 74,000

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    IBTM World 2019 closed on November 21st with over 74,000 pre-scheduled business meetings having taken place and a 3% increase in the number of visitors attending the three-day event. 

    62% of Hosted Buyers participated in IBTM World for the first time this year and 51% of them were completely new to the entire IBTM portfolio.

    Over 2,600 exhibitors from 150 countries attended, including over double the number of first-time exhibitors compared to 2018, and a 450% increase in net space for exhibitors from China. 

    Over 2,700 Hosted Buyers were present representing 77 countries, with delegates from globally renowned businesses including: Google, Adobe, ICBC Bank, La Caja Seguras, BBVA France, Dell, Whirlpool and BMW. The number of Association buyers was up up 9% on 2018, with Corporate buyer numbers up 3% on 2018. The newly introduced Elite Corporate Programme was very well received and acted as a valuable opportunity for senior event planners, including from Hewlett Packard, Salesforce, Adobe, MetLife Insurance and lululemon, to share ideas and connect with peers.  

    This year’s event saw the introduction of a new zone, IBTM Accelerate. Designed to attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent, the zone incorporated exhibitors and education sessions that gave delegates the opportunity to learn from other successful MICE entrepreneurs and share ideas with their peers. 

    IBTM Accelerate also hosted the culmination of IBTM’s new event incubator, Event Business Accelerator (EBA), designed to nurture and inspire entrepreneurial talent. EBA’s nine finalists participated in two days of live pitching in the zone, with the aim of securing on-going mentoring and winning the grand prize. Nanna Ulsøe and Jane Houlind Ulsøe, founders of Canvas Planner – an online task and collaboration tool – were crowned overall winner of the scheme, taking home a cheque for €5,000.

    IBTM’s inaugural Global Policy & Practice Forum (GPPF) took place on the eve of IBTM World. Developed with the support of Barcelona Turisme Bureau, JMIC and PCMA, the Forum brought together a group of 30 of the industry’s leading destinations, meeting planners and associations to discuss how business events can both influence and impact wider policy, particularly in the field of healthcare, and drive economic development and social change. The discussions that took place during the forum will be used to deliver a research paper that can be shared across the entire industry. 

    The GPPF was followed on Monday evening by the event’s annual Meetings Leadership Summit where Isabel Bardinet, CEO, European Society of Cardiology was presented with IBTM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

    David Thompson, Exhibition Director, IBTM World, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the feedback we received during this year’s event, especially when it comes to the quality of meetings and the business opportunities generated. 

    “This year we delivered a total of nine new features at the event – including the Elite Corporate Programme, our IBTM Accelerate Zone and IBTM’s inaugural Global Planning and Policy Forum – all of which were very well received. One of my personal highlights was seeing and feeling the buzz at our new Accelerate zone. Most of the education sessions in the zone were standing room only and it was a truly inspiring experience to spend time with and learn from the finalists in our mentoring programme, EBA. Our team was worked incredibly hard to create another hugely successful event and we’re extremely happy with the results.”

    During the event, IBTM announced that it has signed a new three-year contract with Barcelona Convention Bureau and Fira de Barcelona that will see IBTM World take place in the city up to and including the 2022 edition.

    The new contract builds on the existing 15-year relationship between the three organisations, with the next edition confirmed at Fira Gran Via for 1st – 3rd December 2020.

    For more information, visit: http://www.ibtmworld.com

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien