IBTM World 2019 closed last week with over 74,000 pre-scheduled business meetings having taken place and a 3% increase in the number of visitors attending the three-day event compared with 2018. 62% of Hosted Buyers participated in IBTM World for the first time this year and 51% of them were completely new to the entire IBTM portfolio. Over 2,600 exhibitors from 150 countries attended, including over double the number of first-time exhibitors compared to 2018, and a 450% increase in net space for exhibitors from China.
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.
Commenting at the close of IBTM World 2019, David Thompson, Exhibition Director, IBTM World, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the feedback we received during this year’s event, especially when it comes to the quality of meetings and the business opportunities generated. This year we delivered a total of nine new features at the event – including the Elite Corporate Programme, our IBTM Accelerate Zone and IBTM’s inaugural Global Planning and Policy Forum – all of which were very well received. One of my personal highlights was seeing and feeling the buzz at our new Accelerate zone. Most of the education sessions in the zone were standing room only and it was a truly inspiring experience to spend time with and learn from the finalists in our mentoring programme, EBA. Our team was worked incredibly hard to create another hugely successful event and we’re extremely happy with the results.” www.ibtmevents.com