IBTM World 2023 has enjoyed its most successful show yet. With more than 132,000 connections made and significantly increased adoption of the show's sophisticated lead scanning technology, the 2023 edition has cemented the show's credentials as the leading smart event in the meetings and events industry.
The fair opened its doors to 2,250 exhibitors from more than 150 countries, as well as almost 4,000 buyers.
Using the power of new technology to enhance the attendee experience, IBTM World's smartest event yet elevated its ability to deliver targeted, insightful and profitable connections. This included the introduction of a new wayfinding tool, WalkMe, to its market-leading matchmaking platform, opening the platform to first-time visiting buyers and launching the innovative Exhibitor Dashboard which enabled exhibitors to assess tangible impact. of your connections in real time. .
Yugashnee Naicker, Group Director (Sales) at Peermont, said: “IBTM has always been a very successful show for us – here we meet serious buyers and can really see the return on our investment. The buyers 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 have already signed two contracts and have four excellent additional contacts. It was especially good to see many corporate buyers because it shows that the industry is really back in full swing. “It has been a great show and wonderful to see that all markets are present around the world.”
The world's leading trade show has been a celebration of the role event professionals play in shaping culture and driving the future of business. Recognizing these agents of change and their imaginative, dynamic and forward-thinking ideas has been at the heart of this year's #CultureCreators campaign.
With inspiring and impactful speakers taking to the stage, the 2023 edition has shown how embracing diversity and inclusion (D&I), cultivating community and championing the power of innovation can lead the events industry towards a bright, prosperous future and generate better business results for everything.
Yassine Belamine, guest buyer and founder of Quantum Corporate, comments: “This year is my fifth year at IBTM World and the event has been extraordinary. It has become an annual tradition to connect with industry professionals, many of whom have become part of the family over the years. Every year we meet here to exchange valuable knowledge and ideas about the events industry in general. The connections and suppliers we have met at this event have always generated important business opportunities. “I have no doubt that this year’s event will generate similar fruitful collaborations.”
This year saw a revitalization of the show's educational program with new rooms 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 the ultimate showcase of the exciting work destinations, hotels and technology providers are doing in areas including sustainability, D&I, experience and design. Attendees made the most of Workplace Revolution, a cozy campfire-style space where delegates continued conversations with inspiring figures in a relaxed atmosphere. A wellness hub, 'Refuel', in collaboration with EventWell, also provided attendees with a zen space to relax and recharge their physical and mental batteries.
Clyde Cassar, MICE Director at Grand Hotel Excelsior, said: “IBTM World has been absolutely fantastic this year. I have attended many before, but this was by far the best. I have had approximately 40 meetings and they have been very productive. I've met a lot of wonderful people and I think we'll be getting some great applications in the near future. I have met people from many different corners of the world and it has been a real pleasure to be here under the same roof. “It’s very much a networking environment.”
The release 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 Culture Report 2023, which explores the increasing pressure event professionals feel in today's work-from-home culture and the impact of this on the events industry.
IBTM's annual Global Industry Trends Report, written and presented by Alistair Turner, Managing Director of Eight PR & Marketing, delved into the changing demographics of the events landscape, the growing impact of AI and personalized technology on the industry , and the importance of diversity and inclusion to help creativity and attract talent, among many other things.
The Business of Events, a global think tank and policy platform for the business events industry, also released its annual Global Destinations Report. Its highlights, among other key ideas, included the economic importance of business events, a collective need for greater government promotion and understanding of the value of the sector, and the need to foster the legacy of business events. This, in addition to 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-awaited launch of IBTM World Asia-Pacific. With its inaugural edition scheduled for spring 2025 in Hong Kong, the show will bring together some of the region's best-known suppliers and event organizers for two exciting days of pre-arranged one-on-one business meetings.
Claudia Hall, IBTM World Events Director, said: “Experiencing my first IBTM World as Events Director during such a successful edition has been incredibly exciting. The event plays a vital role in bringing together the business and professional events community to network, do business, share the successes of the past year and plan for the future. The wonderful delegates, exhibitors and buyers I have had the privilege of interacting with over the last three days have been inspiring with their ideas, energy and positivity for the events industry. Our pioneering speakers have challenged, stimulated and inspired us with contagious passion and commitment.
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Barcelona Convention Bureau and Fira, Barcelona, who have been excellent partners for the last 19 years and, without whom, IBTM World would not be what it is today. “I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”