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IBTM World's 30th anniversary show sets appointments record

More than 74,000 appointments took place at this year’s IBTM World in Barcelona, up 23 per cent compared with 2016

Pictured: IBTM World 2017 was a record-breaker

More than 74,000 appointments took place at this year’s IBTM World in Barcelona, up 23 per cent compared with 2016 and setting a new record for the show.

Some 3,000 exhibiting companies from more than 150 countries were joined by 3,463 buyers and thousands of visitors for the packed schedule of meetings, networking and educational sessions.

IBTM’s portfolio director, Kerry Prince, said: “In the 12 months preceding this year’s event, we spent a huge amount of time analysing and sourcing data and speaking to our customers to truly understand how we can best service their needs. On the back of this we made several changes and innovations, including introducing an enhanced hosted buyer programme, adding two renowned keynote speakers to the education programme and introducing the Start-Up Pavilion for new and emerging tech companies. 

“It has been fantastic to see first-hand the positive impact of the changes we’ve made. Ahead of the event we broke our record for the number of appointments made and not only have we received very positive feedback on the quality of those meetings – and seen deals done on the show floor - but also, we’ve been able to manage and reduce the number of ‘no-show’ appointments – all of which makes a real difference to our attendees.

“Of course, we’re always looking to the future and we’re committed to remaining on the cutting edge of the industry. There will be more innovations to come next year, including the introduction of a third keynote speaker session, following the success of this year’s programme. We’re already looking forward to coming back to Barcelona for IBTM World 2018.”

Sciensio was judged the overall winner of the IBTM World Tech Watch Award, for its Concierge Eventbot, which also won the Audience Engagement category. Concierge EventBot is a chatbot that has been specifically developed for events, enabling event organisers to easily share information and logistics with their attendees in a valuable and accessible way.

At the Meetings Leadership Summit, which took place on the eve of the show opening, Dr Rob Davidson was awarded the IBTM Lifetime Achievement Award. Rob was presented with the award in recognition of his dedication to educating and inspiring young people entering the meetings and events industry.

Attendees also had the opportunity to discover and interact with exciting new and emerging technologies and services in IBTM’s market-leading Innovation Zone, Technology and Services Zone and the Start Up Pavilion.

Reaction from the show floor was positive.

Steen Jakobsen, director of Dubai Business Events, said: “IBTM this year has been really good for us. We’ve had an amazing number of appointments - close to 1,000 have taken place over the three days.

Shyla Gardiner, from Hyatt Mexico, said: “This is my fourth year at the show and 60 per cent of my appointments have requested proposals already. This is the first time that, in addition to groups, I have closed proposals with travel managers. In short there is more business.”

Hosted buyer Ricardo Gomes of Dynamize Experiences & Events said: “It is my first time as a hosted buyer, but I have been coming to the show since it was in Geneva. The show is different this year and has been re-imagined well.”

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