IBTM World 2018 closed having broken records both for the number of pre-scheduled meetings and across its Hosted Buyer programme. Over 77,650 pre-scheduled business meetings took place over the three-day event, with exhibitors and event planners reporting extremely positively on both the quantity and quality of meetings taking place.
This year exhibitors from 150 countries attended, including some major names taking stands for the first time. 54 per cent of Hosted Buyers were participating in the programme for the first time this year – up 20 per cent on 2017. 50 per cent of Hosted Buyers were completely new to the IBTM portfolio, an increase of 16 per cent year-on-year.
Nelly Mukazayire, Chief Executive Officer, Rwanda Convention Bureau, said: “IBTM World has been really successful. This is our fourth year here; we started four years ago with a booth of 9sqm and with two partners, but now we have 56sqm, with 10 partners. This year we’ve had brilliant meetings and appointments and have got several tangible leads for meetings, incentives, conventions and events in Rwanda.”
Kyle Gittens, Business Development Officer, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., said: “This is our first year at IBTM World and it has been an amazing success so far. We’ve had a series of great meetings over the last three days and some really good leads, so we’re looking forward to the business that is going to come as a result of IBTM World. I definitely recommend taking part in 2019.”
Igor Kovacevic, CEO, Serbia Convention Bureau, said: “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.”
Hosted Buyers were equally positive: Grace Ng, Executive Director, of Powell Consultants, said: “IBTM World is a one stop shop – the place to do business with a great mix of exhibitors from across the globe. I can do here in three days what would usually take me three months.”
David Thompson, Exhibition Director, IBTM World, said: “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.”
As well as welcoming back many long-standing exhibitors, new exhibitors this year included Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, Macau Trade and Investment Institute, Rosewood Hong Kong, Plus DMC, Regal Hotels International, San Francisco Travel Association, SIXT GmbH & Co, Global Passenger Network, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism, Development Hong Kong Tourism, Alternative Athens, Tourism New Zealand, Standard Hotels and creative technology company Codemodeon.
A high-quality group of Hosted Buyers attended from 78 countries, with delegatesfrom globally renowned businesses including SONY, Samsung Electronics, Química Montpellier, SC Johnson and Grant Thornton, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Metlife, Netflix, Provident Global Capital Group, Tech Data Corporation, The Wall Street Journal, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.
This year three keynote speakers headlined the 54-session strong Knowledge Programme, designed to enhance events expertise and keep attendees on the cutting-edge of industry trends.
Zenus and Fielddrive were joint winners of the prestigious IBTM World Tech Watch Award and Kubify were crowned winner of ‘Tech Watch People’s Choice Award’ a new category this year.
Eric Bakermans, Director Marketing, Meetings and Convention at NBTC was awarded the IBTM World Lifetime Achievement Award at the Meetings Leadership Summit, which took place in the eve of the event at the Fàbrica Moritz beer factory.
IBTM World 2019 takes places from 19 – 21 November 2019 at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.