The 30th anniversary edition of the international MICE event will take place from 28 to 30 November. There will be a series of new initiatives and elements in Barcelona, also for hosted buyers.
How time flies! One could almost call IBTM World an "old lady" now, having been on the market for almost three decades. Geneva, western Switzerland, was where the successful event - known until recently as EIBTM – was launched back in 1988. Reed Exhibitions bought the show in 2000. And it moved to its present location in Barcelona in 2004, where it has remained ever since. Around 9,000 visitors from all over the world flock to the Catalan metropolis for the event each year. The professionals immerse themselves in the exhibiting destinations, venues and hotels. After almost three decades, the trade show is one of the two leading industry events in Europe. But it also constantly needs to reinvent itself in order to stay relevant both now and in future.
The focus of the upcoming 30th IBTM World is therefore on “the next 30 years and beyond”. IBTM World wants to use its legacy as a springboard to support the future of the industry - for example, with educational offerings in its tie-in programme. The Knowledge Programme in Barcelona will include two globally renowned keynote speakers. The former Director General of MI5 Stella Rimington will illuminate the intensively discussed topic of security, having worked in counter-terrorism, among other fields, for decades. The second keynote speaker is Yancey Strickler, co-founder and CEO of the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. He will talk about how new ways of thinking “can beat the status quo”. Moreover, there will be topical panel sessions, a “Young Professionals Forum” and engaging networking events.
Personal encounters and business take centre stage at the booths of IBTM’s exhibitors: Last year’s IBTM World saw over 67,000 pre-scheduled meetings arranged over the three-day event, point out the organisers. This great response is not least due to the Hosted Buyers, whose visit to the fair is funded. This year the selection process for the Hosted Buyers is to become even more fast-tracked and targeted. In addition, organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions wants to ensure that the “highest-calibre” buyers are invited to attend the event. A select group of “elite” Hosted Buyers will benefit from a new VIP service including limousine transfers to and from the airport, access to an exclusive VIP lounge, 5-star accommodation and a more flexible diary of appointments.
Of course, the organisers will be celebrating this 30th anniversary in style. The motto of this year’s welcome party shows that IBTM World is a child of the 80s. The party theme will be the decade of pop, big hair, shoulder pads, peg-top trousers, and other fashion crimes. So exhibitors and visitors can travel back to the beginnings of IBTM in Barcelona – to the days when the fair was still small and its name started with an “e” (www.ibtmworld.com).
Author: Peter Borstel
This article was published in TFI issue 4/2017
Visitors to IBTM World 2017 in Barcelona can travel virtually all around the world in one place. According to the organising Reed Travel Exhibitions the show’s exhibitors are from over 150 countries including major well-known destinations and highly dynamic markets with a huge potential. Before the event kicks off, here are three exhibitors promoting events and services in their home regions: Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, is the most up-and-coming destination. Nowhere else in the world will you find so many cranes turning, so much construction material being shifted. The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) will be promoting tourism and MICE activities at stand J 60 in Barcelona. Malaysia is also making great headway, as evidenced by the opening and expansion of event venues. It aims to increase its available exhibition space by a factor of two and a half until 2021 according to Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), exhibiting at booth H 60. Russia, the world’s largest country by surface area, offers great opportunities. The Russian pavilion at IBTM World has the number G 45. The Russian presence also features “Meet Russia” - a destination management project intended to support prospective organisers with advice, information, organisation and services.
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