The first ever IBTM World Virtual has closed with nearly 13,000 business meetings having taken place and almost 8300 meetings and events professionals attending over three days.

Of the Hosted Buyers that attended, 30 per cent were new to the IBTM portfolio. More than 700 exhibitors attended from all over the globe, each carrying out an average of +19 meetings with hosted buyers over the course of the show.

The organisers reported an impressive 92 per cent attendance at pre-scheduled meetings, and an average meeting quality rating from both exhibitors and hosted buyers of 4.6 out of five.

Commenting on the experience at IBTM World Virtual 2020, Barbara Jamison, tourism sector head, London & Partners said: “The London Convention Bureau has been delighted to exhibit at IBTM Virtual 2020 and I must congratulate the team on their outstanding help and support. They have responded quickly and efficiently to any questions and have also provided us with a number of creative platforms to promote London to the registered buyers.”

Barbara continued: “The technology has been easy to use and enabled our team looking after our markets in Asia Pacific, EMEA and North and South America to engage with clients across various time zones.”

Hosted buyer Emmanuelle Wurffel from ETSI said: “As a hosted buyer, I really enjoyed this very special IBTM online session.

“I made 38 appointments in three days with hotels, conference centres and convention bureaus. The platform offered during IBTM World Virtual was excellent: easy to use, and the idea of sending the business card was a plus. Sharing the screen to display my slides was easy and quick.”

Emmanuelle continued: “It was very productive since the person you were talking to was checking instantly the availability of the meeting space and guest rooms. Thank you very much for offering me the pleasure to e-travel so much during these three days.”

IBTM World Virtual featured a live and on-demand content programme with 87 sessions, four keynotes and more than 95 speakers covering a variety of topics designed to help meetings professionals look towards a brighter future as our industry rebuilds and recovers post pandemic.

More than 1400 hours of live and on-demand content was viewed over the course of the show, and content will be available to view for two weeks after the event, for those who registered to attend. In addition, this year’s event saw the introduction of IBTM TV, sponsored by MeetEngland and Monaco Convention Bureau, a live and on-demand platform which streamed content from expert speakers direct to attendees’ screens. This included a variety of panel sessions, keynotes, trend reports and awards ceremonies.

The online event brought together some of the world’s largest and best-known destinations and suppliers with top calibre hosted buyers from some of the biggest global corporations, associations and agencies. Exhibitors included Singapore Tourism Board, Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, Adelaide Convention Bureau, Tourism Vancouver, Destination DC, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, Visit Portugal CVB, Rhodes Bay Hotel & Spa and Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre.

Buyers attended from across the globe, including associations such as: European Society of Urology, the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), World Confederation for Physical Therapy, The International Ecotourism Society.

Major corporations attended including IBM, Michelin, Dell, Boston Consulting Group, Real Madrid C.F., Deloitte, Cook Medical, NIKE, Leroy Merlin, BBVA France, Puma Brazil, Mundipharma International Limited, Hyundai, HORIBA Medical, and Schlumberger.

Commenting at the close of IBTM World Virtual 2020, David Thompson, event director, IBTM World Virtual, said: “This year has been a huge challenge for the meetings and events industry, so it’s been fantastic to come together with IBTM World Virtual, to share our experiences of the year, our learnings, make valuable connections, hear from industry experts and of course, continue to do business.

“We’re delighted with the feedback from the buyers and exhibitors, especially regarding the quality of meetings and the business opportunities generated and I’m incredibly proud of the entire IBTM World Virtual team for producing what has been an outstanding event.”

IBTM World 2021 will take place at Fira Gran Via in Barcelona Between November 30 and December 2, 2021.