IBTM World, a leading global event for the meetings and events industry, taking place in Barcelona, from November 28 to 30, 2023, will line up high-profile buyers for the exhibitors through its ‘World Hosted Buyer Programme’ – its celebrated matchmaking platform.
“Recruitment of ‘Hosted Buyers’ has been gathering pace, and we are in a very strong position for this year’s event, with over half of IBTM World’s approved buyers hailing from global corporations, around a third are from prominent associations, and with the rest from agency side, Neslihan Gundes, Senior Manager of the IBTM World Hosted Buyer Programme,” said in an interview.
She said, IBTM’s emphasis as always is on finding and approving top-quality hosted buyers, around 3,000 of whom will be attending this year’s event.
The High-Profile Hosted Buyers Line-up
High-profile hosted buyers will be from leading organizations such as American Express, BBC, BMW Group, Bosch, Coach, Charlotte Tilbury, Coca Cola, The Economist, Oriflame, UEFA, Dnata, as well as associations including The European Association of Nuclear Medicine, International Association for the Study of Pain, National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM).
Gundes said her role as Hosted Buyer manager is to ensure the UK and overseas Hosted Buyer team is recruiting the best quality buyers for IBTM World. “Our Hosted Buyer program remains a benchmark in the meetings and events industry, and we have a team dedicated year-round to finding the most impactful buyers.
“Hosted Buyers are only approved once they have provided three references from suppliers, proving they have budget and spending power. Once buyers are approved, they can start making their preferences and identifying the exhibitors they would like to meet, she said.
WalkME – a New Guidance Tool
IBTM World’s Hosted Buyer matchmaking system has evolved from last year through the development of a new guidance tool, WalkMe, which improves the platform’s ability for exhibitors to search for and request appointments with key buyers.
Designed to be a ‘how to’ companion, the new tool walks exhibitors through every step of the preference selection process.
This year, the highest-quality visitor buyers will also have access to the matchmaking platform for the first time, which means they too can schedule meetings with exhibitors before the show.
“We have enhanced the appointment request process by adding additional information boxes so that buyers can search by size of venue and region, and exhibitors can search by type of event the buyers are organizing,” Gundes said.
Effective Face-to-face Meetings
IBTM World will facilitate the most effective face-to-face business meetings between the buyers and exhibitors.
“We believe that success is in the detail, and that’s why we continue to optimize our matchmaking platform to facilitate only the most valuable business connections between Hosted Buyers and exhibitors,” Gundes said.
Association Leaders’ Forum
A new IBTM World feature that the Hosted Buyers would be excited about this year, according to Gundes, is the Association Leaders’ Forum on day one which will be sponsored by the Amsterdam Convention Bureau.
“This is a program of insightful content focusing on how the associations community can contribute to the ongoing debate around sustainability and the challenges that come with it,” she said.
“There is a new-look knowledge program of purpose-driven content on all three days, delivered through a mix of new formats designed to increase impact and audience engagement.”
On top of this, Hosted Buyers will have access to exclusive networking opportunities both at the show and in the city of Barcelona. The Hosted Buyer lounge will this year be sponsored by Morocco and will feature food inspired by the country in a relaxing buyer-only space.