COVID-19: IBTM World 2020 announces shift to virtual

News /  / 
Meetings industry trade show IBTM Events has announced that IBTM World 2020, previously due to take place in Barcelona, will be a fully virtual event this year.
The group stated the decision was a result of the unpredictable travel restrictions that continue to be in place across the globe because of Covid-19.
“Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world remains very changeable,” said David Thompson, IBTM World event director.
“Therefore, even though the show is still some months away, we believe we have a responsibility to provide clarity to enable our partners, exhibitors, buyers and visitors to plan for the future.”

David Thompson

Thompson added that is was a “difficult decision to take” and that the IBTM Events team are “very disappointed” that they will not be able to host the live event this year. 2020 will mark the first year since 1988 that IBTM World will not take place as a live event.
“Our team and our partners in Barcelona have worked incredibly hard on IBTM World and while we are very sorry that the face-to-face event will not take place, we are confident that moving to virtual allows us to still provide a place for the global business events industry to gather and to do business.”
Commenting on the news, Christoph Tessmar, director of the Barcelona Convention Bureau, said: “We are very sad that IBTM World will not take place live in Barcelona this year. We all wanted, and indeed hoped that we would be able to get back to meeting face-to-face this year, and I know this has been an incredibly difficult decision for everyone involved. We remain committed and supportive partners of IBTM World and together we very much look forward to hosting the global events industry in Barcelona next year.”
IBTM World Virtual will take place from 8-10 December 2020 and will incorporate one-to-one meetings between exhibitors and buyers, as well as a knowledge programme, with a range of targeted education sessions. Exhibitors and buyers will benefit from IBTM’s bespoke appointment system, matchmaking buyer’s business needs with supplier’s services to conduct efficient meetings.
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James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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