Over 2,700 Hosted Buyers were present representing 77 countries, with delegates from globally renowned businesses including: Google, Adobe, ICBC Bank, La Caja Seguras, BBVA France, Dell, Whirlpool and BMW. The number of Association buyers was up 9% on 2018, with Corporate buyer numbers up 3% on 2018. The newly introduced Elite Corporate Programme was very well received and acted as an opportunity for senior event planners, including from Hewlett Packard, Salesforce, Adobe, MetLife Insurance and lululemon, to share ideas and connect with peers.
This year’s event saw the introduction of a new zone, IBTM Accelerate. Designed to attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent, the zone incorporated exhibitors and education sessions that gave delegates the opportunity to learn from other successful MICE entrepreneurs and share ideas with their peers.
IBTM Accelerate also hosted the culmination of IBTM’s new event incubator, Event Business Accelerator (EBA), designed to nurture and inspire entrepreneurial talent. EBA’s nine finalists participated in two days of live pitching in the zone, with the aim of securing on-going mentoring and winning the grand prize. Nanna Ulsøe and Jane Houlind Ulsøe, founders of Canvas Planner – an online task and collaboration tool – were crowned overall winner of the scheme, taking home a cheque for €5,000.
IBTM’s inaugural Global Policy & Practice Forum (GPPF) took place on the eve of IBTM World. Developed with the support of Barcelona Turisme Bureau, JMIC and PCMA, the Forum brought together a group of 30 of the industry’s leading destinations, meeting planners and associations to discuss how business events can both influence and impact wider policy, particularly in the field of healthcare, and drive economic development and social change. The discussions that took place during the forum will be used to deliver a research paper that can be shared across the entire industry.
The GPPF was followed on Monday evening by the event’s annual Meetings Leadership Summit where Isabel Bardinet, CEO, European Society of Cardiology was presented with IBTM’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
During the event, IBTM announced that it has signed a new three-year contract with Barcelona Convention Bureau and Fira de Barcelona that will see IBTM World take place in the city up to and including the 2022 edition. The new contract builds on the existing 15-year relationship between the three organisations, with the next edition confirmed at Fira Gran Via for 1st – 3rd December 2020.