IBTM World Virtual Sends MICE Industry Toward a Positive 2021

December 14, 2020
IBTM World Virtual Sends MICE Industry Toward a Positive 2021

If the goal of the IBTM World Virtual 2020 was to provide momentum going into next year, it’s mission was accomplished.

About 8,300 event professionals convened online to hold nearly 13,000 business meetings during the three-day event. Thirty percent of hosted buyers were new to IBTM’s slate of events.

Most impressively, early indications are that the experience was seamless despite challenges of uniting attendees from across the globe in different time zones.

“The platform offered during IBTM World Virtual was excellent: easy to use, and the idea of sending the business card was a plus,” said Emmanuelle Wurffel, a hosted buyer representing ETSI. “Sharing the screen to display my slides was easy and quick.” 

Hosted buyers and the 700 exhibitors gave the virtual event a 4.6 out of 5 rating.

Part of Reed Travel Exhibitions’ portfolio, IBTM World Virtual 2020 was heavy on education, featuring 1,400 minutes of recorded and live presentations. To maintain attendee engagement strong in the digital sphere, IBMT TV was introduced to deliver information from speakers directly to attendees’ screens. In total, there were 87 sessions and four keynote addresses. The content will remain available for two weeks after the show to registered attendees.

International associations and corporations, including Nike, IBM, Michelin, Dell, Boston Consulting Group and more, were among the hosted buyers. Exhibitors included convention and visitors bureaus from North America, Europe and Asia. Eager to make up for lost in-person gatherings, the groups were anxious to book future business. They say the event marked the first step in that process.

The virtual event “provided us with a number of creative platforms to promote London to the registered buyers,” said Barbara Jamison, tourism sector head of London & Partners.

Impressively, IBMT World Virtual 2020 also demonstrated to event professionals ways to maintain relationships with sponsors. Korea Tourism Organization, for instance, sponsored an education track geared specifically toward associations, while MeetEngland and Visit Monaco sponsored IBTM TV.

That said, IBTM is eager to return to an in-person conference next year. Fira Gran Via in Barcelona will host the 2021 conference, set for Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

“This year has been a huge challenge for the meetings and events industry, so it’s been fantastic to come together with IBTM World Virtual, to share our experiences of the year, our learnings, make valuable connections, hear from industry experts and of course, continue to do business,” said IBTM Event Director David Thompson.

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