CN speaks to Erica Keogan, associations and education manager, ibtm events.
Why have you chosen to implement new themes for ibtm knowledge?
As the world’s leading organiser of meetings industry events, education is a core element of our brand values. We know that every country is at a different stage of its development in the sector so we are strategically working to deliver meaningful content across the ibtm events to 30,000 attendees, all looking for something that helps their business and career.
Although every event professional is different, many of their challenges remain the same, which is why we have created a number of themes which will run across all of the shows. We respect the fact that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to education content.
Why bring the education onto the show floor?
This year will see the ibtm knowledge programme delivered on the show floor, located within the new ACS Knowledge Village, consisting of four purpose-built and themed theatres. The concept is to make the village more accessible to visitors, hosted buyers and exhibitors. This reflects our desire to implement principles of meeting design to ensure both the content and environment is world-class.
The ibtm knowledge programme will feature keynote sessions from industry thought leaders and will address evolving educational demands through sessions including:
What Can We Learn From Immersive Events?
In this session, Deborah Armstrong, MD of Strong & Co, will discuss what exactly ‘Immersive Events’ mean in practice and why they are so important. She will share key learnings around achieving meaningful and longer lasting engagement. Through careful analysis of good and bad practice this talk aims to show you how to do it right.
Engagement at Events will be held in partnership with the International Special Events Society (ISES). Engagement has long been a go-to phrase for event professionals, but there’s little consensus on what it really means. This session, delivered by Kevin Jackson, vice-president EMEA, George P. Johnson and president of ISES UK, will unpack what engagement at events is and how you get audiences leaning forward instead of leaning back.
Appetite For Change, presented by Ivo Franschitz, owner and MD of ENITED Business Events, and Vanessa Schmoranzer, brand leadership consultant, will address the shifting needs of professional business events and review them from the perspective of the host and of the participant.
What are your top sessions this year?
I am looking forward to the overall enhancement in the learning environment of the ACS Knowledge Village as well as the sessions focusing on meetings design.
One sessions which will be great will be James Ward – the organiser of the world renowned Boring Conference. He will deliver a fascinating case study on organising a conference focusing on the mundane while making it interesting and funny. I also love Caira Feely Cahalane’s sheer enthusiasm in delivering content on sales and marketing strategies in a fun and engaging way.
Have there been changes in the type of content delegates look to learn about?
One of the key changes I have seen over the years has been the condensing of information, the need to have shorter more interactive sessions where there is a greater requirement from the audience to be involved. In terms of the content, there has been a shift from the practical to more experiential learning.
ibtm knowledge sessions are designed to help the community with their businesses and career paths. This year seven new themes will underpin our programme: Connections Mean Everything, Putting Meeting Design into Practice, Tools for Planner Productivity, Industry Engagement, Inspiration from Outside, and Innovative Events and Leading Lights for Leading Events.
ibtm world takes place in Barcelona, 17-19 November 2015