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“Get under the skin of what our industry needs”

Shane Hannam, who took over the role of Portfolio Director IBTM from Kerry Prince, about immersion in the industry, the new “Exploratory Zone” and festivalisation, the much needed breath of fresh air.

tw: You have been appointed as Portfolio Director of IBTM effective 1 June 2018. What are you aiming for in your new position?
Shane Hannam:
Having worked in this industry for several years I already have a good understanding of the shows and the fantastic team who work on them. Our business is only ever going to be a representation of the industry we’re in, but I feel it’s our job to develop our events to serve the industry as well as possible, so, my focus will be very much about immersion in the industry and improving the customer experience. Therefore, I will be meeting as many of our customers as possible to really get under the skin of what our industry needs, as well as making a thorough evaluation of the requirements for the delivery of events.

Senior Exhibitions Director Graeme Barnett left Reed Travel Exhibitions in May, who will be the new face of IBTM World?
For the last year or so, Graeme had taken on a different role within the portfolio and we are very lucky to have a very long-standing, experienced and knowledgeable team working on IBTM World. In my new role as Portfolio Director I will be working closely with that team to deliver all the shows in the portfolio, including IBTM World in Barcelona and we are in the process of appointing an Event Director specifically for that show which we’ll announce in due course.

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... is the new portfolio director of IBTM. Shane began his career at Reed Exhibitions as International Sales Executive before moving into the Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) Meetings portfolio. After one year at Gartner Worldwide Events he re-joined RTE as Key Account Manager, responsible for the creation and rollout of the Global Key Account Programme. 

You want to deliver “events that are at the forefront of innovation in the industry”. What can we expect at IBTM World 2018 in Barcelona?
While the focus remains on building business connections, this year you can expect technology to take centre stage at the event, both in terms of its physical location, and by helping delegates stay at the forefront of industry innovations through the engaging Knowledge Programme. This year we have launched a new ‘Exploratory Zone’ located at the centre of the event, where delegates will be encouraged to try out and engage with the exciting technology on offer at this year’s show, with a wide range of the latest innovations, from wearable technology and teambuilding virtual reality simulator experiences, to facial recognition and 3D printing and new Apps that allow more creative and engaging content creation. There’ll also be bite-sized tech showcases dotted around the event floor and a comprehensive ‘Innovation’ stream in the Knowledge Programme.

All over the world we see the rise of B2B festivals like SXSW or London Tech Week. Does this trend of festivalisation have an impact on IBTM World?
We always try to keep on top of industry trends and there is no doubt that the line between individuals and businesses is becoming increasingly blurred. At the end of the day, businesses are made up of people who want to have meaningful and enriching experiences wherever possible, including in a business setting. This was a key driver behind our decision to launch the new Exploratory Zone this year, to help attendees learn, make connections and feel inspired and excited about event creation. We also live in an era of digitalisation filled with technological innovation and tools to generate the highest levels of connectivity. In this context, the trend of ‘festivalisation’ of B2B events seems to be the industry’s much needed breath of fresh air to help us push boundaries, connect further and step up our game with regards to networking opportunities, entertainment and the fun experiences we provide for our customers.  KERSTIN WÜNSCH
„We always try to keep on top of industry trends.“
Shane Hannam, Portfolio Director IBTM