IBTM Events has announced that IBTM World 2020 will be a digital event this year, with IBTM World Virtual taking place Dec. 8-10. The conference had been scheduled to take place in Barcelona, Spain, but the organization said the unpredictable travel restrictions that continue to be in place across the globe because of Covid-19 forced the decision.
"Whilst we have been planning positively for a live event in December, and we know that people want to get back to meeting face-to-face, the situation across Europe and the wider world remains very changeable," said event director David Thompson. "Therefore, even though the show is still some months away, we believe we have a responsibility to provide clarity to enable our partners, exhibitors, buyers and visitors to plan for the future."
This is the first year since 1988 that IBTM World will not take place as a live event, said Thompson, adding, "Our team and our partners in Barcelona have worked incredibly hard on IBTM World, and while we are very sorry that the face-to-face event will not take place, we are confident that moving to virtual allows us to still provide a place for the global business-events industry to gather and to do business."
Christoph Tessmar, director of Barcelona Convention Bureau, said in a statement, "We all wanted, and indeed hoped that we would be able to get back to meeting face-to-face this year, and I know this has been an incredibly difficult decision for everyone involved. We remain committed and supportive partners of IBTM World, and together we very much look forward to hosting the global events industry in Barcelona next year."
IBTM World Virtual will incorporate one-on-one meetings between exhibitors and buyers, as well as a range of targeted education sessions. Further information on IBTM World Virtual will be released soon.