eTechSuite’s European representative, Robert Masana, Digital Product and Business Development Manager was onsite for one of the World’s first at-scale face-to-face events post COVID; IBTMWorld2021 was held in Barcelona, Spain from November 30 to December 2, 2021, attracting 7,000 attendees.

Q & A with Robert Masana

What were the specific COVID measures of attending face to face?

On arrival at the venue, you collected a lanyard and put your pre-printed badge inside before heading to the entry gate for checking, along with verification of your COVID passport either via your phone or on paper. It was mandatory to bring your own printed name badge.

Whilst this registration process worked, we know that technology such as contactless COVID-safe registration kiosks would have greatly improved the delegate registration experience and helped the organiser with collection of valuable data.

Masks were required at all times and for all meetings inside the venue. There was still some trepidation among some exhibitors and people, in general, wanting to remain at a distance and keep safe, but all in all, most were quite relaxed and thrilled to be meeting face to face again.

It was wonderful to see high levels of constant cleaning and certainly, this has set a new precedent of hygiene in the future. 

Why did you attend?

IBTM extended a hosted buyer pass to me which offered a wonderful way to reconnect in person with the global conference and exhibitions sector and to build new relationships.

The exhibition area is where I spent my time and there was an enormous amount to see, including the big-name global agencies, corporations and associations such as: Helms Briscoe, HPN Global, First Incentive Travel, HPN Global-World, Citigroup Inc, Pfizer, Michelin and General Motors.

The technology exhibition side of things was quite small but wonderful to look at ways we could be involved as an exhibitor in the future.

What did you learn at IBTM2021?

Participating as an attendee to keep up with what is being presented in the market is extremely valuable. The event offered us an opportunity to roam freely, touch base with key contacts and groups, share information and expertise and be part of this very large and important global event.

There was an Elite Corporate Program that explored key insights specifically on their needs. The Trends Watch Report was comprehensive and included the future of meetings and events touching on key trends affecting the industry from the micro to the macro. The digital transformation of events over the past two years has been magnificent and there are so many more exciting advancements just around the corner.

IBTM 2021 also confirmed to me that a lot of PCOs across Europe have diversified in the last two years and many of them have developed technology solutions or are constantly looking at the best technology options to provide for their clients. This is something eTechSuite wants to support as we know our products provide exactly what Associations and PCO’s need for in-person, hybrid as well as virtual events.

IBTM World Exhibition