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I have been attending IBTM World since 2004, since they changed Geneva for Barcelona. The best decision they have made! I have witnessed IBTM´s growth year by year.
Even if 2021 represented the return to the physical events, all masked, all taking precautions, in 2022 was the return to the normality, no masks compulsory and we all hugged and shaked hands. Of course we missed some of the big players such as China and Russia for obvious reasons and Qatar due the the coincidence with the Football World Cup.

The figures of IBTM World 2022:
– 100,000 business meetings having taken place
– 10,000 attendees
– 2,200 exhibiting companies
– From 150 countries
Over 3,500 high quality buyers were present
During IBTM World, several sessions revealed the latest market trends and insights, including the Global Meetings & Events Trends report presented by AMEX. In addition, the annual IBTM World Trends Watch report, presented by its author, Alistair Turner, MD of Eight PR, explored how current world events are shaping culture, influencing both the events we create, and the people that attend them. A preview of the 2023 Trends Report is  available for download on the IBTM World website.
There were many beautiful stands and the award to the Best Large Stand was for Abu Dhabi Conventions & Exhibition Bureau  which actually was a spectacular booth.
I chatted with David Thompson, Event Director for IBTM after signing the new contract with Fira Barcelona for 3 more years and he shared that the figures in 2022 are like they have foreseen for 2024, even without some important exhibitors. So let’s work for even more exciting times for IBTM World in Barcelona.
IACC is the global association representing the top 1% of small to midsize conference and meeting venues and its CEO is Mark Cooper whom I chatted with. He aims to elevate the meeting experience by creating a unique point of entry that is inclusive for the best-in-class meeting venues internationally. So important for more detailed-customised conferences.

In the beautiful Wales booth I met Gemma Savage from the International Convention Centre and she updated me with the latest news: they have produced several educational resources including its Protect Duty Report, which provides an in-depth analysis of the Protect Duty and its potential impact on the events sector and increased safety for UK venues. She explained that they also won the ICCA Best Marketing Award for 2022 for its work in educating the global events sector on the incoming Protect Duty (Martyn’s Law), Cannot wait to visit ICC and write about MICE proposals in Wales.

I also learnt that the stunning Celtic Manor is in the premises, walking distance actually of ICC Wales and this is a great combination. It offers 140 rooms and lodges which are a great idea for a family or friends escape.
The hotel also has a huge banquet room for even 700 people in theatre style and around 25 breakout rooms.
They have a huge and fabulous spa and a golf course. The perfect Welsh bleisure.
New discoveries as well is the brand Graduate hotels, most of them in the US and a couple in UK: a collection of hand-crafted hotels reside in the most dynamic university towns. And they won the award for the Best Stand, together with Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts, a new collection of 5 bespoke properties nestled along some of the most coveted courses across Scotland, located in the most distinguished golfing destinations. Totally impressed and cannot wait to travel and write about them.

The Italian island of Sardinia was selected by IBTM as the Culture Roadshow for its unique cultural offer being a motor for events and MICE tourism, which is very important to attract visitors for the winter period: October to May. Sardinia showcased the 5 most important local DMC and the 6 best hotels and resorts of the island.
And it is the perfect bleisure destination, where businesses can become holidays as it is one of the nicest places in Europe.

For me IBTM is the occasion to get the latest updates on MICE destinations and as well the moment to see some friends, like Singapore, one of my favorite places in the world:
As well Japan who is back à la grande. And according to Virtuoso the nippon country will be one of the top Asian destinations for 2023, around 25% of the global travelers plan to visit Asia with 53% intending to visit Japan. To me it represents a great incentives and business destination.
And I saw new ideas for my events by EventWell, loved their the quiet room and wellbeing space:
Read here all my articles about MICE and get great ideas for your events.