Business is back at IBTM World in Barcelona


IBTM World 2023 has enjoyed its most successful show yet. With over 132,000 connections made and a significantly higher adoption of the show’s sophisticated lead scanning technology, the 2023 edition has cemented the show’s credentials as the meetings and events industry’s leading smart event.

The show opened its doors to 2,250 exhibitors from over 150 countries, as well as almost 4,000 buyers.

Utilising the power of new technology to enhance the experience of attendees, IBTM World’s smartest event yet elevated its ability to deliver targeted, insightful, and profitable connections. This included introducing a new guidance tool, WalkMe, to its market-leading matchmaking platform, opening up the platform to visitor buyers for the first time, and launching the innovative Exhibitor Dashboard which enabled exhibitors to evaluate the tangible impact of their connections in real time.

Yugashnee Naicker, Group Manager (Sales) at Peermont said: “IBTM has always been a very successful show for us – we meet with serious buyers here and can really see the return on our investment. The buyers who we’ve met with know what they want, they know what they’re looking for, and they come with specific requests. In the first two days of the event, I’ve already issued two contracts and have four further excellent leads. It was especially good to see a lot of corporate buyers because it shows the industry really is in full swing again. It’s been a great show and wonderful to see that all markets are present from around the world.”

Unparalleled opportunities
The leading global trade show has been a celebration of the role event professionals play in shaping culture and driving the future of business. Recognising these changemakers, and their imaginative, dynamic and forward-thinking ideas, has been the essence of this year’s #CultureCreators campaign.

With inspiring and impactful speakers taking to the stage, the 2023 edition has showcased how embracing diversity and inclusion (D&I), cultivating community, and championing the power of innovation can steer the events industry into a bright and prosperous future and bring better business results for all.

Yassine Belamine, a Hosted Buyer and Founder of Quantum Corporate, comments: “This year marks my fifth year at IBTM World and the event has been remarkable. It’s become an annual tradition to connect with industry professionals, many of whom have become like family over the years. Each year we gather here to exchange valuable knowledge and ideas about the wider events industry. The connections and suppliers we’ve met at this event have consistently led to significant business opportunities. I have no doubt that this year’s event will yield similar fruitful collaborations.”

Market-leading content
This year saw a reinvigoration of the show’s education programme with new theatres and features included to better address the different needs of attendees. The Impact Stage, in partnership with The Business of Events, made its debut as a best-in-class showcase of the exciting work that destinations, hotels and tech suppliers are doing in areas including sustainability, D&I, experience, and design. Attendees made the most of Workplace Revolution, a welcoming, campfire-style space where delegates continued conversations with inspirational figures in a relaxed atmosphere. A hub for wellbeing, ‘Refuel’, in partnership with EventWell, also provided attendees with a zen-like space to relax and recharge their physical and mental batteries.

Clyde Cassar, MICE Manager at Grand Hotel Excelsior, said: “IBTM World has been absolutely fantastic this year. I have attended many before, but this has been the best one by far. I’ve had approximately 40 meetings and they have been very productive. I’ve met a bunch of wonderful people and I think we’re going to get some fabulous requests for the near future. I’ve met people from lots of different corners of the world and it’s been an absolute pleasure to be here under one roof. It’s very much a networking environment.”

The launch of multiple reports revealed a fascinating insight into the future of the industry, as well as its latest market trends. This included the IBTM World 2023 Culture Report, which explores the increasing pressure event professionals feel in todays’ work-from-home culture, and the impact of this on the events industry.

The annual IBTM World Industry Trends Report, authored and presented by Alistair Turner, Managing Director of Eight PR & Marketing, took a deep dive into the shifting demographics of the events landscape, the growing impact of AI and personalised technology on the industry, and the importance of diversity and inclusion in aiding creativity and attracting talent, amongst much else.

The Business of Events, a global think tank and policy platform for the business events industry, also launched its annual Global Destination Report. Its highlights, amongst other key insights, included the economic importance of business events, a collective need for increased advocacy and government understanding of the value of the sector, and the necessity of nurturing business event legacy. This is as well as identifying common threats to the sector such as climate and sustainability, economic factors, political unrest, and geographical accessibility.

Looking to the future
During the show, IBTM announced the long-anticipated launch of IBTM World Asia-Pacific. With its inaugural edition due to take place in Hong Kong in spring 2025, the show will bring together some of the region’s best-known suppliers and event planners for two exhilarating days of pre-arranged, one-to-one business meetings.

Claudia Hall, IBTM World Event Director, said: “Experiencing my first IBTM World as Event Director during such a successful edition has been incredibly exciting. The event plays a pivotal role in bringing together the business and professional events community to network, do business, share successes from the past year and plan for the future. The wonderful delegates, exhibitors and buyers I’ve had the privilege of engaging with over the last three days have been inspiring in their ideas, energy and positivity for the events industry. Our pioneering speakers have challenged, stimulated and inspired us with a passion and commitment that is infectious.

“I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Barcelona Convention Bureau and Fira, Barcelona, who have been outstanding venue partners over the last 19 years and, without whom, IBTM World wouldn’t be what it is today. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”


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