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How IBTM straddles the world

Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibitions Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions

Graeme Barnett, Senior Exhibitions Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, talks to Sydney Paulden

EIBTM is now known as IBTM World. One of the most notable exhibitions in the MICE sector, it has been not only going but growing since 1988. ITCM asked Graeme Barnett to clarify the reasons behind the change of name. Graeme, who was one of the founders of the exhibition, is now Senior Exhibition Director at Reed Travel Exhibitions.

‘IBTM’, explains Graeme, ‘stands for Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings. The ‘E’ in the original name of the show stood for European. However, although held in Barcelona, it is no longer specifically European in nature, but has developed into a truly global gathering of exhibitors and visitors. It is now one of our IBTM Events group of MICE shows taking place in different regions. Almost all the others are more region-specific as identifiable by their titles, such as IBTM America, IBTM Africa, IBTM China and so on.’

It is likely, Graeme went on, that the Barcelona show, as the flagship, will be the pioneer for innovations that will, as befitting, spin off into the others.

‘Education will be a major focus for development into the future’, says Graeme, ‘and it will be organised under six main categories or themes. These will be: Connections, Inspiration from Outside, Learning from the Sandpit, Putting Meeting Design into Practice, Tools for Planner Productivity and Industry Engagement.’

These themes will provide notable speakers to expound on the latest thinking to assist meetings planners and they will be shaped so as to be most relevant to each region.’

Some of the less obvious categories might need some explanation. Under the heading of ‘Inspirations from Outside’, for example, IBTM will assist in cross-fertilising ideas from different sectors of industry. The experience and knowhow of successful entrepreneurs in businesses outside the MICE sector will be called upon to suggest improved techniques to move the organisation of events further forward. ‘Learning from the Sandpit’ will put the spotlight on how notable business people have started from low beginnings and been able to achieve great success. The aim is to inspire similar results within the MICE sector.

Talking of inspiration, Graeme mentioned that IBTM Events has launched a new website at . Its introduction reads: ‘Welcome to inspire by IBTM Events - content, opinion, news and inspiration from the global meetings and events community’. It comprises news extracts on every aspect of MICE business so that visitors to the site can easily identify and select those items of most immediate interest. They can choose from short pieces with titles such as ‘Take inspiration from sustainable catering’ or ‘Planet of the Apps’. It is obviously not intended to be laborious reading.

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