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IBTM World keeps show on the road in Barcelona with 30,000 pre-scheduled meetings and 7,000 attendees

9 Dec 20212m read


Organiser Reed Exhibitions delivered its 2021 edition of IBTM World in Barcelona, 30 November-2 December, the first face-to-face event in the IBTM portfolio in two years. The show brought 7,000 attendees together, with 30,000 pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings taking place.
Event professionals were also able to come together at networking and education sessions on and off the show floor at Gran Via and throughout the city.

Event director David Thompson told CN sister title CMW at the end of Day 2 of the show that 1,200 exhibiting companies from 70 countries around the world were attending the three-day event and said that over 1,300 buyers had arrived. Three exhibitors and 76 buyers had not been able to come, he said, adding that nearly half the hosted buyers this year were completely new to the IBTM portfolio

“The show is 70% of the size it was in 2019 in terms of stand metrage,” he added. “By 2022 we expect to be back to 2019 level.”
“This show is the proudest moment of my 17-year career,” he told CMW and acknowledged that the omicron variant wave had seen confidence drop in the final run up to the show but that momentum had been good before that and, Thompson noted, it had been clear the industry wanted to get back to live events.

Asked what had impressed him most at the show, he said: “Realising what it means to people and the optimism around the hall. Because we’ve faced a collective challenge, we’ve felt more connected.”
Organisers reported meetings satisfaction score reached 4.7 out of 5 during the three-day event with many attendees commenting on the quality of their meetings and their optimism for the future.
Marina Pegoraro, executive account, Regione Autonoma Della Sardegna, said of the show experience: “Our partners have been able to reconnect with buyers and trade contacts and tell the world about the region. It was invaluable for our stand sharers to attend the show to help gain exposure for their brands as we recover together from the pandemic. We would not have missed the opportunity.”

Nick Tinker, sales manager at Event Solutions, Cvent, said: “We’ve had a positive experience overall, for one, the fact that everyone’s here proves how much we’ve been longing to come back together for in-person events. Also, the quality of meetings this year has been fantastic; the footfall has been lower than previous editions, which is expected, but that’s allowed us to have higher quality meetings, have more time to build relationships and make new connections. This has also meant that buyers did make an effort to speak with as many exhibitors and make the most of their attendance.”

Delegates attended from globally agencies, corporations and associations including HelmsBriscoe, HPN Global, First Incentive Travel, HPN Global – World, Follow red Branding Experiences, Oriflame Cosmetics, Saudi Aramco, Citigroup Inc, BBVA France, Knauf, Pfizer, Michelin, General Motors; International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), China Electronics Chamber of Commerce, European Society of Cardiology.
This year for the first time the IBTM World Association Programme was created with the support of the four main global organisations for association professionals: European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE), and Asia-Pacific Federation of Association Organisations (APFAO), as well as the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The programme followed three core themes: inspire, exchange and solve, and was designed to spark fresh ideas, encourage peer to peer learning and sharing of best practice, and deliver tangible solutions to real issues facing the associations and events sector.

In addition, IBTM’s Elite Corporate Programme explored key insights specifically focused on the needs of corporate hosted buyers. Themes included: the future of the meetings experience, re-starting events and evaluating their success, and peer-to-peer learning and insights. This tailored programme of sessions was supported by American Express Meetings & Events.
Under the theme of ‘New Business, New Tech, New World’ there was a schedule of educational sessions around four topical themes: Trends and technology; gamification and engagement; the future of event planning; and career and personal development, delivered by expert speakers from the United Nations Climate Change, LinkedIn, CrowdComms, VisitScotland, BBC Creative and more.

Author: Paul Colston
Source: Conference News

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