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The IBTM World in Barcelona in 2022- A Successful Fair with Melanie and Paco following the COVID19 Pandemic
Summary of the blog post
Melanie and Paco, the specialists for the Spanish market of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office team, recently attended IBTM World 2022 in Barcelona. This three-day event was an opportunity for MICE businesses and events professionals to explore how experiences and technology in Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings can create events with extraordinary potential. With more than 2,200 exhibitors from 150 nations, the event was an unmissable opportunity to network with some of the best minds in the MICE industry.
Let’s take a closer look at what Paco and Melanie learned while visiting Spain.
IBTM World has been revolutionizing the meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE) industry for over 30 years. Through their annual event in Barcelona, hosted by Reed Exhibition and featuring exhibitors from around the world, they are dedicated to creating business connections. Now more than ever before IBTM is paving a new path towards transformation with cutting-edge developments designed to enhance buyer and seller experience alike!
At the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office, Paco and Melanie are passionate to promoting Berlin in the Spanish market. They have strengthened links between Spain and Berlin through their facilitation of an unforgettable customer experience.
Both their work, and their post-pandemic experiences were discussed during our IBTM recap interview.
“2022 marked an important milestone for our industry “– “we are back! Our clients don't want just digital interactions anymore: they're hungry for face-to-face engagement with their business partners, allies, mentors, and friends.“
What were your initial impressions upon arriving at IBTM?
"After two years of feeling trapped in an unchanging cycle", narrated Paco “the return to IBTM was a breath of fresh air.” “It's a relief to finally be able to come together in person. When IBTM 2021 took place, it was overshadowed by the incursion of the variant omicron and it did cause a great deal of concern. Yet 2022 marked an important milestone for our industry “– “we are back! Our clients don't want just digital interactions anymore: they're hungry for face-to-face engagement with their business partners, allies, mentors, and friends.”
Melanie shares her insight with “Online life has finally faded into the background. Joy, eagerness, and a need for human interaction were in the air”. "You could sense how the industry, which has only survived due to its innovative thinking, genuinely believed that interpersonal interactions, trade shows, and internal communication were important."
How did the business travel industry influence their work at visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office?
Through this collaborative effort, a unique journey is created where each client can enjoy meaningful interactions with visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office while exploring all its vibrant attractions. With almost 27 years of experience in the business travel industry across Spain, the US, the UK, and Germany, Paco has focused his efforts on “Inspirational Travel”, becoming an expert in helping businesses unlock new levels of success through unique experiences that foster creativity, collaboration, and productivity. During his time at IBTM World, he was able to network with professionals in the meetings industry who have similar interests, giving him invaluable insights into trends and technologies that are shaping the future of business travel.
Melanie, with 20 years of experience in national and international tourism, brings a deep understanding of Barcelona and Berlin. She has had formative experiences working at esteemed locations including Estrel Berlin, Caesar Hotel (Derby Collection) London, and Hotel Casa Fuster - The Leading Hotels of the World - where she was able to grow professionally as Guest Public Relations & Marketing Assistant, developing product for Woody Allen Jazz Club amongst other roles. This knowledge provides Melanie invaluable insight into many aspects of this dynamic sector.
What is it about Berlin that attracts Spanish event organizers and business travelers?
“Berlin feels like one of those cities that is constantly changing, permanently becoming the next big thing. It is a VERY livable and laid-back city !”
From original 19th century Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf buildings, to vibrant street life in Neukölln & Kreuzberg, there is an unparalleled wealth of cultural experiences that can be found here. In Paco’s opinion, “Berlin feels like one of those cities that is constantly changing, permanently becoming the next big thing. It is a VERY livable and laid-back city !”. For those looking for something special, options, include savoring delicious food at KaDeWe or stocking up on beer from Getraenke Hoffmann!”
Melanie, a native Berliner and a Barcelonan at heart mentioned that the history, industrial ambiance, and cultural vibrancy of Berlin is what the typical Spanish event organizer loves about Berlin. “Especially as you wander through the unique glance of Christmas markets to find creative inspiration and start-ups and the world cuisine around every corner!”
Melanie's experience was filled with successful highlights. Between collecting over 40 ideas and suggestions for a more sustainable event industry from business travel experts through the Wish Tree from Sustainable Meeting Berlin, to organizing an engaging customer event in L'Olivé restaurant alongside EMA Spain (Event Managers Association) and four other Berlin partners - it was certainly a fruitful trip. This served not only as a great conversation starters at the fair itself but also provided inspiration for Melanie’s expert team, striving towards making Berlin one of the world’s most sustainable cities.
At IBTM, Paco believes that the MICE industry is essential in driving tourism destination development and creating economic benefits. It also provides opportunities for knowledge sharing and regional collaboration. To this end, he set a goal of supporting the industry - a target which has thankfully been exceeded with travel trade shows that have made their long-awaited return bringing along immense potential.
The visitBerlin team discussed topics such as access to new technologies and understanding customer behavior which are fundamental when designing experiences that stand out from competitors. They also showcased different products from visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office such as BESTIVAL, Sustainable Meeting Berlin, Berlin Meeting Campus, and the MICE campaign to attract potential clients interested in hosting events. The use of digital channels was highlighted throughout IBTM World 2022 as a way for attendees to engage with each other before and during the event through social media campaigns or virtual presentations between buyers and exhibitors. This is just one example of how technology is being used by event professionals to maximize efficiency while achieving desired results with fewer resources compared to traditional methods.
Paco sums up his encounter with “finally having these opportunities makes us pause and appreciate how special real human connection is compared to ‘Zoom happy hours’ or any other virtual equivalent. Let's celebrate being present again!
Paco and Melanie both gained invaluable knowledge during their time at IBTM World 2022 in Barcelona. From networking with other professionals in the industry to exploring different activities available in Spain, they were able to gain a wealth of knowledge that will help them provide even better service when it comes to planning trips or events for customers visiting Berlin. visitBerlin will be proud to have such knowledgeable professionals representing Berlin again at ITBM 2023!
Would you like to get to know Melanie & Paco?
Please don’t hesitate to contact them – they will be happy to introduce you to Berlin and prepare the way for your next successful event in the German capital city.
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