Last year, Reed Travel Exhibitions transitioned its meetings-industry expo IBTM World from Barcelona to cyberspace under the strain of Covid-19 gathering restrictions. This year, though, the company’s going back online under its own free will. The company has launched IBTM Wired, a virtual meetings expo that will be a permanent addition to its IBTM portfolio.
The new four-day virtual event launches June 28. It does not replace any IBTM events—IBTM World is scheduled as face-to-face event November 30 to December 2 at Fira Barcelona—but does hope to attract a similar audience.
As IBTM Event Manager Michael Jones explained during a press conference announcing the new event, IBTM Wired grew out of the success of IBTM Global Virtual. “That event was a huge team effort. We all learned new skills, pulled together, and ultimately our eyes were opened to the opportunities afforded by online events,” he said. “While we know there’s a huge demand for face-to-face events and we very much look forward to that to return, it's clear there is a long-term place for high-quality online meetings that allow professionals from across the globe to connect more frequently.”
The new event will feature one-to-one business meetings and a program of live and on-demand educational sessions focused on a different global region each day. Day one will center on Asia-Pacific, and this year will operate as a hybrid event in conjunction with the Singapore MICE Forum and SACEOS, a Singapore-based association for meeting and exhibition professionals. The educational sessions will look at “new ways of community engagement, design thinking, and innovation,” Jones said.
The regional and educational focus for the remaining days of the online show are:
Day two: Americas/quality experience and premium service
Day three: Africa and the Middle East/networking, data, and analysis
Day four: Europe/power and success within learning and development
The show hopes to see 600 exhibitors, 600 hosted buyers, and 3,000 trade visitors over the course of the event.
For IBTM Wired, Reed plans to host it on the same Sector Global virtual-event platform it used for IBTM Global Virtual.
In addition to IBTM Global and IBTM Wired, Reed holds IBTM Asia-Pacific each spring and IBTM Americas each autumn. Jones confirmed that IBTM Asia-Pacific has been postponed until April 2022, when it will take place as a live event at the Marina Bay Sands.