IBTM World 2019 closed on 21 November 2019, where it saw a three per cent increase in the on attendee numbers compared with 2018 and over 74,000 pre-scheduled business meetings having taken place.
Over 2,600 exhibitors from 150 countries attended, including over two times the number of first-time exhibitors compared to 2018, in addition to a 450 per cent increase in net space for exhibitors from China. 62 per cent of Hosted Buyers participated in IBTM World for the first time this year, and 51 per cent of them were completely new to the IBTM portfolio.
The 2019 event saw the introduction of a new area, IBTM Accelerate. The zone incorporated exhibitors and education sessions in order to ‘attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent’ through giving attendees the opportunity to learn from other MICE entrepreneurs and share ideas with their peers.
IBTM Accelerate also hosted the final of IBTM’s Event Business Accelerator (EBA), designed to ‘nurture and inspire entrepreneurial talent’. EBA’s nine finalists competed across two days of live pitching in the zone, with the aim of securing on-going mentoring and winning the grand prize of €5,000. The overall winners were Nanna Ulsøe and Jane Houlind Ulsøe, founders of Canvas Planner, an online task and collaboration tool.
IBTM’s debut of the Global Policy & Practice Forum (GPPF) took place on the eve of IBTM World. Developed in conjunction with Barcelona Turisme Bureau, JMIC and PCMA, the Forum brought together a group of 30 destinations, meeting planners and associations within the industry to discuss how business events can both influence and impact wider policy, particularly healthcare, and drive social change and economic development. The discussions had during the forum will be used to inform a research paper that can be shared across the industry.
The GPPF was followed by the event’s annual Meetings Leadership Summit where the CEO of European Society of Cardiology, Isabel Bardinet, was presented with IBTM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Exhibition Director of IBTM World, David Thompson, 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, also IBTM announced that it has signed a new three-year contract with Barcelona Convention Bureau and Fira de Barcelona.