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IBTM is Dragon’s Den

This year's edition of the IBTM World will for the first time adopt the Event Business Accelerator to its programme, a startup-competition providing substantial support to winners.

hen David Thompson this past year was introduced as the IBTM World's new Event Director, he had only six weeks to prepare for the show. He went through this baptism of fire with honors, and the second round is scheduled in Barcelona from 19 to 21 November of this year. As he did indeed have a little more time for this edition of the show, he came up with an entirely new setup.
The IBTM World took the TV format 'Dragon’s Den' as a model and this year will integrate the Event Business Accelerator into its programme. In that feature, the organizer Reed Exhibitions is on the lookout for exciting ideas and creative startups from throughout the entire meeting industry. That might be a young enterprise, a new technology or also an innovative event concept. “We are delighted to announce the launch of Event Business Accelerator. IBTM is committed to paving the way for future industry talent and this initiative, and indeed the entire Accelerate zone, are platforms to do this in a comprehensive and sustained way. The zone will allow us to combine elements from our year-round content, our mentoring scheme, as well as providing opportunities for on-site learning”, explained Thompson.

This Event Business Accelerator is a financing and mentoring programme for startups. The winners have the opportunity to participate in an intensive multi-week mentoring programme which will culminate in a live financing pitch to a panel of potential investors. Businesses had until the end of August to submit their candidacy. Startups from Germany are also in the starter field, among these affiliates to the Zeus Innovator Club and participants in Captain MICE Future. Those ultimately making it to Barcelona will compete for the 5,000 euros award to bolster their war chest.
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IBTM World is launching the Event Business Accelerator, a financing and mentoring program for startups.

A new feature at this year's IBTM is a Corporate Buyers Programme featuring among other things an exclusive one-day conference designed specifically to meet the requirements of corporate planners. The association programme in cooperation with the AAE (Association of Association Executives) will be revived. It will be staged on the second expo day and will provide professional insight and expertise on the major challenges the organizers of association meetings are facing.

“On the back of last year’s record-breaking show, we’ve continued our quest to provide additional value for our exhibitors and buyers and are excited to announce the first of several new initiatives we have planned for this year”, Thompson announced. “We are taking a highly targeted approach to engaging senior corporate event planners with our new Corporate Buyers programme, as well as building on the new Association Programme to cater for the different needs of our audience. As ever the show will include a packed programme of expert speakers, meetings and networking opportunities, and we’re looking forward to announcing more details in due course.”


David Thompson, Event Director IBTM WorldPHOTO: REED EXHIBITIONS
David Thompson, Event Director IBTM World
IBTM World, Reed Travel Exhibitions’ industry tradeshow that returns to Barcelona 19 to 21 November 2019, has launched an investment and mentoring programme for young entrepreneurs, ‘Event Business Accelerator’. David Thompson, Event Director IBTM World, explains the concept.

tw: What happens at the premiere of the Event Business Accelerator at IBTM World 2019?
David Thompson: The Event Business Accelerator actually begins eight weeks before IBTM World with a series of exclusive training and mentoring sessions to help educate and inspire our successful applicants as well as getting them ready for the live pitch presentations which takes place at IBTM World. When we get to IBTM World our finalists will pitch from the Accelerate Stage to a live audience, to press and most importantly to the judges who are able to offer future mentorship or investment to any candidates that they chose. The pitching will take place on 19 and 20 November with the final ceremony and announcements to be made in the afternoon of the 20 November.

What can visitors expect from that format?
Visitors will have the opportunity to not only see our entrepreneurs pitch their new ideas but also participate in a post presentation Q&A. In addition to the EBA presentations there are a series of talks taking place in the IBTM Accelerate zone that will inspire innovation, future thinking and networking with other entrepreneurs.

Why do you focus on startups and give them a stage?
First and foremost this industry does have a significant number of small businesses and from speaking with our partners on this project, MPI and Barcelona Convention Bureau, they are very interested in supporting this community as well. In addition to this we recognise that startups and small businesses are key sources of innovation and for the Meetings and Events industry to continue to evolve we need to learn from them. What we hope from producing this event is that it will bring together a strong and powerful community of entrepreneurs, help raise the standards of businesses across the industry as well as inspire the next generation to create new events and build out truly unique experiences. IBTM World is in a position to lead this process bringing entrepreneurs together on a global level for the first time.

Are there already some applications that did surprise you?
We have had a high response of applications and some truly inspiring businesses have already applied, however we want more because we are keen to have a good diversity of applicants from event launch ideas to event contractors as well as event tech.

More than 2,800 exhibitors from over 150 countries are expected to show at the IBTM World in Barcelona, where they will meet with at least 3,500 buyers and several thousand other visitors. At last year's edition, no less than 77,650 pre-scheduled meetings were held. Hosted Buyer Registration is already online.
“Startups and small businesses are key sources of innovation.”
David Thompson,
Event Director IBTM World