ast year's IBTM World set new records for both the number of pre-arranged meetings and the number of hosted buyer meetings. Over 77,650 prescheduled meetings were held during the three-day event from 27 to 29 November 2018. David Thompson, who started his job as Exhibition Director of IBTM World only eight weeks before the fair, was particularly pleased about this: “We set the bar high ahead of this year’s event, breaking our previous record for pre-matched appointments, so it was extremely exciting to hear first-hand how happy our customers are with the quality, as well as the volume of the meetings they have had. Having joined IBTM just eight weeks ago, it was fantastic to feel such palpable excitement in the room and to hear so many positive stories as a direct result of the fantastic business opportunities created here at IBTM World“, he says.
The IBTM World 2018 in Barcelona recorded 4,473 visitors and 3,237 buyers. PHOTO: IBTM WORLD
Igor Kovacevic praises the online directory system: "The first two days were extremely busy with a lot of great meetings and confirmations. I really like the on-line diary system and the opportunity to plan and target to whom you want to meet, which allowed us to have a very focused approach," says the CEO of the Serbia Convention Bureau. Exhibitors from 150 countries took part this year. 54 percent of hosted buyers took part in the programme for the first time this year – an increase of 20 percent compared to 2017. This year's education programme comprised a total of 54 hours. One highlight was the keynote speech by Duncan Wardle, who introduced visitors to the design thinking method with many examples from his time as Vice President of Innovation and Creativity at Disney. His credo: "You should not underestimate the impact of what you can create."
The launch of the Exploratory Zone also went well for the organisers. There, the delegates had the opportunity to get acquainted with the latest technologies, tools and solutions and to try them out right away. The technologies on display ranged from virtual reality, artificial intelligence and face recognition to 3D printing. There were robot dance performances as well as a 3D chocolate model of the IBTM World logo. IBTM World 2019 even plans to expand this area. Thompson: „We’re looking at how we can expand this feature to further elevate the interactivity and inspiration brought by the exciting range of exhibitors in that area.” IBTM World will again take place on the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona from 19 to 21 November 2019. CHRISTIAN FUNK
David Thompson, the new Exhibition Director IBTM World, about this year’s show.
tw: How was your first IBTM World as Exhibition Director? David Thompson: My first IBTM World was brilliant. I was very excited to see the results of the team’s hard work come to fruition and to experience the event myself for the first time. There was a real buzz on the event floor, and it left me feeling very motivated to begin work on this year’s event. It was also a fantastic opportunity to meet so many of our customers and partners and to hear their feedback first-hand.
What went well 2018 and where do you see room for improvement? It goes without saying that we were especially pleased with the record number of pre-arranged business meetings this year – 77,650 in total – but just as important is the very positive feedback we have received on the quality of these meetings. As always, we are looking at how we can further enhance the Hosted Buyer programme to deliver even better value both for exhibitors and for event planners.
What can expect from this year’s show? 2018 we introduced our new Exploratory Zone, which was very well received. We’re looking at how we can expand this feature to further elevate the interactivity and inspiration brought by the exciting range of exhibitors in that area. We’ll also be continuing to provide fresh content each year for our Knowledge Programme. As always, there’ll be various new and enhanced elements to the event, all aimed at providing an exciting and inspiring backdrop against which to learn, do great business and make valuable connections. It’s early days and we’re looking forward to announcing more details in coming months. CHRISTIAN FUNK
“We’re looking at how we can expand our new Exploratory Zone.”