nd the winner is: Canvas Planner!" The IBTM World declared this company to winner of the premiere edition of its start-up contest 'Event Business Accelerator', a competition staged by the organizer Reed Exhibitions to seek out innovative ideas and creative startups across the entire meeting industry. IBTM World's event director David Thompson, who for this trade fair feature took the British TV show 'Dragon's Den' as a model, was impressed with the professionalism of the participating startups and their business concepts. "We're delighted to be able to support these creative new businesses and are looking forward to seeing the positive impact their ideas and businesses will bring to our industry in the future. Many congratulations to Canvas Planner and thank you to everyone who took part in this program this year." The contest is part of the new IBTM Accelerate Zone, centered on innovations and junior industry professionals.
There were exhibitors presenting their company or new services and products, Deep Dive-Sessions, Best Practices and Use Cases on topics such as Influencer Marketing, E-Sports, Vlogging, the presentation of the Tech Watch Award – this year's prize went to the artificial-intelligence based live translation service 'wordly' –, a look ahead at the international Slimefest and a vast variety of options for communicating and interacting with talents.
David Thompson, IBTM World's event director, and start-up contest winner Canvas Planner.
PHOTO: IBTM WORLD
Before Nanna Ulsøe and Jane Houlind Ulsøe, the founders of Canvas Planner, were able to accept their award – a check for €5,000 and a pledge of support by mentor Jason Scott – the two founders had to live-pitch their concept to a panel of potential investors against nine other finalists. Jane Houlind Ulsøe: "The Event Business Accelerator has been an amazing experience from beginning to end. It has also given us a huge amount of exposure and the opportunity to showcase our product to the 15,000 plus attendees at IBTM World. Winning the €5,000 will definitely help us scale our product and extend our reach internationally."
David Thompson was not only delighted with the innovative attitude of industry talents, but also with an extremely robust IBTM World 2019 with more than 74,000 pre-scheduled business meetings and a three percent increase in visitor turnout as compared to the preceding year. The altogether 2,600 exhibitors were above all enthusiastic about the hosted buyers, almost 1,700 of which attended an IBTM World for the first time. "This year, the hosted buyers have all been high-quality senior decision-makers who are motivated to buy," commented Max Simpkins, Shangri- La Hotel London. "There’s been a very international vibe this year, with lots of buyers from Asia Pacific and America." And Birte Buchwald, Managing Director, B Italian confirmed that approximately 20% of her meetings had been with new clients. Reed Exhibitions from November 19 thru 21 of this year attracted 2,700 hosted buyers to Barcelona, with an attendance increase registered both in the corporate as well as association segments. "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 Program, our IBTM Accelerate Zone and IBTM's inaugural Global Planning and Policy Forum – all of which were very well received. Our team worked incredibly hard to achieve all this," said Thompson. The close of the event was marked by the announcement that IBTM World had signed a new three-year contract with the Barcelona Convention Bureau and the Fira de Barcelona, securing IBTM World's venue in that city up to and including 2022. The show's next edition is scheduled from December 1 to 3, 2020.