This Just In

Many Successes at IBTM World 2021

Frances Ferrante, Senior Editor

IBTM 2021BARCELONA — IBTM World 2021 drew more than 1,400 hosted buyers and 1,200 exhibitors to Barcelona last week, and shared several successes with the industry over its three days. The show, organized by Reed Exhibitions, was the first in the IBTM portfolio — with six shows in the meeting, convention, incentive and trade show industry — to take place in two years.

For starters, IBTM World’s appointment matching process achieved the same average number of appointments per hosted buyer and exhibitor as in 2019, with 30,000 one-on-one appointments taking place over three days. Surprisingly, 42% of the buyers were new to the IBTM portfolio. The organizers reported a meetings satisfaction score of 4.7 out of 5, with many attendees commenting on the quality of their meetings and appearing optimistic about the future.

The IBTM World app had its best ever year, with an adoption rate of greater than 60% among hosted buyers. On the exhibitor side, 71% of all exhibitors used IBTM’s digital business-card exchange system, with more than 20,000 digital business cards exchanged.

Related. IBTM Research Breaks Down the Pandemic’s Far-Reaching Impact on the Industry

Educational sessions featured speakers from the United Nations Climate Change, LinkedIn and BBC Creative, among others. For the first time, the educational programming for associations was created with the support of four major organizations: the European Society of Association Executives, American Society of Association Executives, African Society of Association Executives and Asia-Pacific Federation of Association Organizations, as well as the International Congress and Convention Association. On the corporate side, IBTM’s Elite Corporate Program, supported by American Express Meetings & Events, focused on topics including restarting events and evaluating their success.

In addition, the IBTM World Industry Trends Report was presented by Alistair Turner on the first day of the show and touched on key trends affecting the industry, from the micro to the macro.

Related. Fall Trade Shows Are Roaring Back

“This has been an incredibly rewarding three days and it has been amazing to see people reconnect after so long apart,” David Thompson, IBTM World Event Director, said. “For many, this may have been the first event they’ve attended in two years, and it’s fantastic that we were able to play our part in bringing the industry together again. Stepping away from our screens and enjoying some face-to-face interaction, inspirational education sessions and one-to-one business meetings has been wonderful.”

Reach David Thompson at







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