IBTM World 2018 set to inspire
A new immersive Exploratory Zone will offer a lively and interactive experience for attendees as exhibitors display the latest technologies and event solutions including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, facial recognition and 3D printing. Companies confirmed to showcase include 3DFoodlab, Skullmapping, Amondo, Mach 3 Management, Robots of London and Surround Vision.
From a 3D chocolate model of the IBTM World logo, a synchronised robot dance routine and an immersive culinary experience to a demonstration of combat and virtual reality in team building, the Exploratory Zone will offer new ideas for enhancing customer experience.
IBTM has also introduced Tech Bar, run by Dahlia+ Agency, as part of the new zone. Tech Bar is a genius-bar style question and answer area staffed by technology experts who will run tech-focused and expert-led sessions to enhance technology skills; recommend apps designed to help busy professionals; review delegates’ social media and websites and check their LinkedIn profile to ensure they are being used to best effect.
Shane Hannam, portfolio director, IBTM, comments: “A key driver behind meetings and events success is the ability to deliver meaningful and enriching experiences wherever possible. Our primary aim is to continue to ensure our event caters for the needs of our industry and that it continues to deliver content that allows our audience take away tangible learnings that will have a positive impact on their business.”
This year’s Knowledge Programme has been extended to include three keynote speakers from outside the industry who lead a schedule of 54 sessions designed to enhance events expertise and keep attendees on the cutting-edge of industry trends, including a stream of sessions focused on innovation, up and coming technology and creativity.
Technology and innovation, safety and security, the millennial influence on meetings, health and wellness and creativity are very much at the forefront for IBTM’s customers and are critical to their own personal development and the wider industry. These themes are therefore woven through every aspect of the event, from the Knowledge Programme to the opportunity to meet and interact with exhibitors and installations on the event floor to the technology and solutions IBTM uses to create the event itself.
The Knowledge Programme will also feature several sessions on the future of the meetings industry, including new research presented by Matthias Schultze, managing director, German Convention Bureau on what meeting spaces of the future might look like; Kevin Jackson, author and business growth specialist speaker, will teach attendees how to successfully respond to a client brief and acquire new business, as well as how to achieve business growth by doing less and working smarter.
As always, the much anticipated IBTM World Industry Trends Watch will make its predictions on the meetings and events industry in the upcoming year, with sessions such as ‘How VR and AR will impact the future of events and exhibitions’ presented by Corbin Ball, founder, Corbin Ball & Co., and ‘Practical anti-terror strategies for conferences and events?’ presented by Steff Berger, managing director, VOBE.
MIDEAST MICE OUTLOOK
Over the past few years, the United Arab Emirates has enjoyed a rapid ascent to become a well-known player in the Mice market, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi both well-established and highly regarded destinations for the industry at present, attracting an increasing number and scale of events year-on-year. As well as this, the changing geo-political climate and a lightening of security concerns might mean that organisations around the globe are becoming increasingly comfortable with bringing their meetings and events to the region.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are taking significant steps forward as they promote their offer and raise their profile as viable destinations with international appeal. Experts are predicting that Saudi Arabia will fast become a major player in the market following an investment of £1.9 billion in Mice tourism by 2019, with Makkah set to become one of the region’s biggest players.
With the spotlight shining on the region and attracted by the region’s accessibility, infrastructure, new sectors and industries are moving into the Middle East, from pharma and medical tourism to engineering and finance.They aim to capitalise on its strategic location, easy accessibility from West and East and its modern and, in many cases, world-beating infrastructure and facilities. With new airline routes and increased frequency continue to open up the region, hotel groups are still investing heavily in the region, including in the mid-market range where historically there has been something of a gap, and new convention centres and bureaus are opening, or they are under construction across the region.
This year IBTM will see a strong presence from the MENA region, with 47 exhibitors so far confirmed to attend, including Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and the Morocco National Tourism Office and Hosted Buyers from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Procter & Gamble (P&G) and State Oil Company of Azerbaijan.