IBTM World Stays in Barcelona – Graeme Barnett Senior Exhibition Director

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ibtm world 2015 closed with strong indications of a global Meetings industry showing a consistently positive outlook. Reed Travel Exhibitions has extended its partnership with Barcelona city and Fira de Barcelona. ibtm world (then EIBTM) moved to Barcelona in 2004 and has since attracted some 15,000 meeting professionals to the city each year. Apart from the many initiatives by RTE, Barcelona and regional stakeholders are also key to the success of the show.

From the busy exhibition floor, MICExchange took the opportunity to ask Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibition Director, ibtm world how IBTM World 2015 “shaped up”.  “ We have had a really, really busy week – we’ve had a great turnout  –  3,000 exhibitors 4,000 hosted buyers and 15,500 industry business professionals coming for a week of business and networking.”

Commenting on the future of Barcelona as the home to IBTM World, “We are keeping the show in Barcelona – we announced that we will be staying in Barcelona until 2020 – it’s great news for us[IBTM World] and for the city and we are delighted with the partnership and collaboration with the city stakeholders.”

When asked about Event Highlights Graeme enthusiastically responded, “It would be the way we have transfered our education program from the upstairs conference center to down onto the exhibition floor – that has made a massive impact on the number of people that have attended the education sessions.  But also the feedback has been – ‘It’s more comfortable’… ”

He continued – “ One of the by-products has been that it does’t take attendees and hosted buyers off the exhibition floor.  Exhibitors have said that visitors have been there longer [on the floor] because they can ‘pop in and out’ – so there is more of a flow of visitors and hosted buyers.”

Mr Barnett further pointed out that with European regional growth and especially with the Spanish economy on the rise,  statistics point to an event industry continuing to create a solid base for future growth.

Christoph Tessmar, Director, Barcelona Convention Bureau also commented on the news, “As the host city of ibtm world since 2004, we have maintained a close relationship with Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) and always appreciated the strides that the organisation makes towards increasing business and new partnerships. ibtm world allows Barcelona to showcase its amazing facilities and provide potential clients with a view of how we can add value to their events.”

The Director of External Business for the Fira de Barcelona, Pere Camprubí, added: “The renewal of the agreement to host the world’s leading business tourism event in Barcelona proves the outstanding work done together over the years and endorses the ability of the city, its facilities and services provided by Fira to attract and retain top level events such as ibtm world.”
From across the chanel, London & Partners had their biggest stand in recent years. “This year the show has been busy and we have received a lot of enquiries. There seems to be a buzz about the show floor which is great.”

Representatives from the Spanish MICE industry were upbeat and spoke of increased incoming requests and local suppliers confirmed that local corporates were increasingly making requests for local meetings and incentive programs.   Spanish buyer Raul de Gregorio of T&C confirmed the increase in interest, within his own company there was such clear growth that he sends some 50% of their staff to the show.”

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