5 take-home messages from this year’s ibtm world

ibtm world is held each November in Barcelona and attracts an exceedingly large crowd of destination or venue representatives, PCOs, event tech specialists, and a great bunch of people from various backgrounds overall. You can participate either as an exhibitor or a buyer. As a buyer, you make appointments with exhibitors to chat about their services. So much for the structure, which remains pretty much the same each year. This year, Mondial’s Jeannine and Lisa participated as buyers hosted by Accor Hotels. These are their top take-home messages.


1.    The world is large

We’ve all heard of congress capitals like Paris, Vienna or Barcelona, but when you’re at ibtm, you start to realize how many exciting destinations there are that deserve a visit just as much as those big hubs. Destinations off the beaten track often have great venues, plenty of hotel beds and super dedicated staff looking to show you what their destination is worth. So next time you select a venue, take the underdogs into account.

2.    Apps can be life savers

As hosted buyers, we only have 20 minutes with each seller and then have to find our next appointment within only five minutes. Having a reliable event app with an interactive floor plan at hand can save a lot of valuable time better spent on closing deals and making connections.

3.    We’re all in the same boat

ibtm offers plenty of opportunities to network and exchange information with colleagues, suppliers, partners or friendly competitors. At the office, it can sometimes feel like your own challenges only exist in isolation, but once you have the chance to talk to more people from your own industry, you realize you’re not alone. This is what makes tradeshows so valuable for event professionals as a community.

4.    Digital is here

You can pick up your badge at a self-print terminal, you navigate via an app and exhibitors let you experience their destinations, venues or hotels using VR glasses. ibtm is a state of the art example of how digitalized conferences and tradeshows are becoming. Don’t miss the bandwagon.

5.    Food matters

Gone are the days when event catering was just a necessary evil. We live in the age of foodies. As hosted buyers, we were delighted to always find refreshments at the Hosted Buyer’s Lounge. From our exhibitor friends at the Austria booth, we learned that the Austrian specialties on offer went down really well with delegates, leading to a rise in visitors to the booth. Food can make or break a meeting, so invest in quality and make sure you take allergies, vegetarians and vegans into account.