David Thompson, event director of IBTM World, fills The Incentivist in on what’s happening at the 32nd edition of Reed Exhibitions’ leading global MICE event.
Q. What’s new for this year’s event? What elements are being brought back?
David Thompson: The IBTM World Elite Corporate Programme will be introduced at this year’s IBTM World on Wednesday, November 20th, in association with AMEX and supported by Event Marketing Association (EMA). During this new half-day inspirational and interactive program, senior corporate event and meeting planners will have the opportunity to network with peers in an intimate setting, as well as book appointment with exhibitors if they wish. This is an invite-only program for C-suite and senior industry planners, providing additional benefits such as a tailored, peer-led conference addressing the issues facing corporate planners and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Barcelona.
Also new this year is Event Business Accelerator, created in partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB), an investment and mentoring programme that will see young entrepreneurs with an idea, product or service relevant to the events industry participate in an intensive programme of workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions. Selected finalists will be mentored by a team of industry experts, who will also be guiding them through the preparation process for a live pitch for funding, aiming to bring their business idea to life. Mentees will then present their idea in front of a panel of investors and the Reed Global Innovation team on the IBTM Accelerate stage, also a new feature area for 2019, located at the heart of the event. We’re inviting entrepreneurs aged up to 35 with a bright idea for an events business, product or service, or who have up to three years’ experience in running their own business related to the events industry, to apply for the programme via our IBTM World website.
IBTM World 2019 is expected to welcome over 2,800 exhibitors from over 150 countries, as well as over 3,000 buyers and thousands of visitors.
Designed to attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent, IBTM Accelerate will incorporate exhibitors and education sessions that will give delegates the opportunity to learn from other successful MICE entrepreneurs and share ideas with their peers. The immersive zone will feature several interactive discussions for the next generation of event planners; an “Influencers of MICE” series led by ex-MPI president and founder of Word of MICE, Mariska Kesteloo; Future Focus – a series of sessions focusing on the future of the MICE industry, curated by Alistair Turner; and the hotly anticipated IBTM World Tech Watch Awards presented in the zone. Supporters of the new feature zone include Barcelona Convention Bureau, MPI, Word of MICE, Reed Exhibitions, La Salle Ramon Llull University, CETT-UB, Eight PR & Marketing and Reed Exhibitions UK.
As part IBTM World’s industry-acclaimed Knowledge Programme, we are excited to announce John Volanthen as keynote speaker, the world-record holding British cave diver who played a major role in the astonishing 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue. John’s talk will focus on managing risk and keeping calm in a crisis, using gripping anecdotes from the hazardous rescue mission to illustrate his thoughts. We hope his uplifting story will inspire our attendees as John will share his belief that anyone can rise to the occasion and achieve extraordinary goals in the face of insurmountable odds.
IBTM World’s Association Programme is set to return this year. Run in partnership with AAE (Association of Association Executives) and ICCA, it will take place on day two of the event and will deliver expert tailored insights and knowledge on the key challenges faced by association event organisers.
Q. Who comes to IBTM World? Who qualifies for IBTM World’s hosted buyer programme? How do they qualify?
IBTM World 2019 is expected to welcome over 2,800 exhibitors from over 150 countries, as well as over 3,000 buyers and thousands of visitors. At IBTM World 2018, over 77,650 pre-scheduled business meetings took place over the three-day event.
Registrations for this year’s Hosted Buyer programme are now open and our 15-strong team of experts are hard at work pre-qualifying and securing attendance. For qualifying purposes, we look at a range of criteria for Hosted Buyers, including their reason for attending the show, their decision-making authority, budget and the number of international meetings organised per year.
Event Business Accelerator is an investment and mentoring programme that will see young entrepreneurs with an idea, product or service relevant to the events industry participate in an intensive programme of workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions.
Our market leading Hosted Buyer programme benefits buyers and exhibitors as our best-in-class appointment scheduling system matches exhibitors’ and Hosted Buyers’ meeting preferences to ensure that they only meet people with whom they are highly likely to do business. We then provide attendees with a personalised diary of pre-planned one-to-one business meetings.
Q. Each year, IBTM World releases its Trends Watch Report at the show. Can you give us a sneak peek at any of the findings?
Launching at IBTM World 2019, the IBTM Global Trends Watch Report 2020 will explore the “virtual experience” era. We have all heard of the experience economy, which has dominated global consumer behaviour over the last decade, but we’re now seeing a different, yet related, trend emerge. In a world where technological integration dominates every aspect of life, we look at how technology is making its way into the experience economy and creating an entirely new industry where digital and experience merge.
Our annual IBTM Global Trends Watch Report brings together over 25 key sources of industry data and interviews with industry luminaries looking at business, geography and technology and relates them back to business events. It is designed to provide a snapshot of the current state of the industry, as well as look into the future at the upcoming trends.