Entrepreneurism in events was a highlighted theme at the 2019 IBTM World show in Barcelona, Spain, in mid-November.
This year’s event introduced a new zone to the show floor, called IBTM Accelerate. Designed to attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent, the zone incorporated exhibitors and education sessions to give attendees the opportunity to learn from successful MICE entrepreneurs and share ideas with peers. Further, the Event Business Accelerator program saw nine finalists conduct two days of live pitching in the zone with the aim of securing ongoing mentoring and winning the grand prize of 5,000 euros for business development. Nanna Ulsoe and Jane Holland Ulsoe, founders of Canvas Planner, an online task and collaboration tool, were crowned the winners.
IBTM World also named Silicon Valley-based startup Wordly as the winner of its Tech Watch Award. Wordly uses voice recognition and artificial intelligence to provide live translation services on an attendee’s device, eliminating the need to hire translation personnel. Using the Wordly app, attendees can access a translated version of a live speech in any of 15 languages, both in audio and text formats, using their mobile devices and headsets. It’s able to support 2,000 users simultaneously (next year’s goal is 20,000 users) and is compatible with most mobile devices.
“Wordly is a perfect example of how voice recognition and AI can assist our industry with both live and online events,” says Corbin Ball, chair of the judging committee. “Wordly differs from Google Translate, which provides a one-to-one translation experience between the software and the user. Wordly offers instant translation from one speaker to many listeners, in multiple languages.”
Other finalists this year were AllSeated, a space-diagramming software using virtual reality; G-SMATT America, an LED-wall display provider; and Zenus, a facial recognition technology that can streamline the check-in process, enhance security, and assist with data analytics.
For IBTM World’s People's Choice Award, Lineup Ninja received the highest number of online votes from members of the MICE industry ahead of the event. The abstract- and content-management software automates repetitive and error-prone tasks.
Overall, the event saw more than 74,000 pre-arranged meetings between nearly 2,800 hosted buyers and 2,600 exhibitors from around the world. Also, show management announced that the inaugural IBTM Asia Pacific event will take place April 6-8, 2020 at Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore.