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David Thompson, event director of IBTM World

Content takes shape for December’s IBTM World Virtual

Following Reed Travel Exhibitions announcement, 18 September, that its IBTM World live event would not take place in Barcelona this year (1-3 December), its IBTM Events team has announced the first details of IBTM World Virtual, an online event that will take place 8–10 December 2020.

Organisers say the online event will incorporate three days of one-to-one business meetings, a comprehensive programme of content and many of the key features of the live event, tailored to take place online. ‘Virtually’ hosted buyers will digitally meet suppliers via an online appointment system, designed to match the buyers’ business needs with suppliers’ services.

Trade visitors will be able to register for the online event and, as well as accessing education sessions and event features. They will be able to request ‘walk-up’ meetings with exhibitors via a chat function, with the option to convert directly into a video call if required.

David Thompson (pictured), event director, commented: “While we’d all hoped we would be able to meet face-to-face in Barcelona, we’re very excited about what we have created with IBTM World Virtual. The online event will deliver not only the high-quality business opportunities for which IBTM is renowned, but also a programme of content that will provide attendees with tangible learnings that they can apply to their business as we evolve and rebuild our industry.

“As well as business meetings, we are adapting many of our regular event features to take place online, including exhibitor destination presentations, live online pitches and the graduation ceremony for our mentoring programme Event Business Accelerator, the Tech Watch Awards and targeted content streams for event planners. We’re looking forward to sharing more detail in due course.”

A selection of gated and live content will be available on all three days of the event. The third and final day of the event will include a full schedule of live and pre-recorded education sessions taking place on ‘IBTM TV’, available to all registered attendees.

Speakers will include: keynote Pancho Campo, who will speak about The future of events: Lessons learned from working with Barack Obama; Isabel Bardinet, CEO, European Society of Cardiology, who will deliver her thoughts on going digital: lessons learnt and going forward; Mikael Ek, managing director EMEA, BCD M&E whose session will cover the state of the industry: unexpected trends for the future of meetings and events, and Patrick Rush, senior regional director, head of Asia Pacific, American Express Meetings & Events who will run a session on 2021 Global Meetings & Events Trends.

IBTM World Virtual replaces the live edition which organisers called off for 2020 because of unpredictable travel restrictions that continue to be in place across the globe.

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