With the expectation of welcoming 3,000 exhibitors from 150 countries and receiving 15,000 professional visitors, the 2018 edition of Ibtm World, from 27 to 29 November at the Gran Via site of Fira de Barcelona, is the great international marketplace for business tourism, congresses and incentive travel and a special opportunity for Barcelona, Catalonia and the rest of Spain.
Travel agencies, tour operators, congress and convention centres, hotel chains, service companies and international event organizers, but also cities and countries, all show their best sides at this meeting, the most important in the world, with all kinds of deals and offers from a sector that generates a significant amount of economic activity. The World Tourism Organization has recognized the growing importance of this sector.
Top of the charts
EIt is worth reminding ourselves in this context that Spain receives more than five million business tourists every year and that it occupies fourth place in the ranking of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), just behind the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Barcelona, for its part, leaped to first place in 2017 after hosting 195 non-periodical events (so the score does not include an annual event as important as the Mobile World Congress) and moved ahead of its great rivals, which are Paris and Vienna. The annual impact of the business in Barcelona has been estimated at some 1,800 million euros.
Organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions, Ibtm World, which has been held in Barcelona without interruption since 2004, is reference for innovation and for services and solutions in a field that needs to be permanently up to date, and in which technological advances change very quickly. Yet despite all this, Ibtm is a classic: last year we celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The training programme includes over a hundred seminars and conferences with top flight experts that look hard at emerging trends. The Ibtm awards, the programme for guest buyers, the networking activities and technology-related initiatives complete a packed agenda.
Among the many experts attending Ibtm World 2018 is Duncan Wardle, ex vice-president of innovation and creativity at the Walt Disney Company, to tackle the vital issue of creative thinking as a tool for generating far-reaching commercial results.
There are more than 50 sessions in this edition that will be focusing on eight main topics. Besides those already mentioned – innovation, technology and creativity – there will be debates on industry trends; commitment and experience; protection and security; sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility; professional development; business and strategy and digital marketing.
The Montjuïc and Gran Via sites of Fira de Barcelona have a decisive role in the positioning of the city as one of the main international references in a highly competitive sector.
The combined array of urban, cultural and gastronomic offers, technology and services, backed up by linstitutional collaboration and a welcoming ambience are all factors when choosing a city for a major professional event.