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Between 8 - 10 December 2020, the Ljubljana Convention Bureau attended the IBTM World trade show, one of the biggest meetings industry events every year. This year - for the very first time - it was hosted online.


© Bobo

The Ljubljana team has participated at the IBTM trade show for over 20 years. In 2020, the event was hosted online for the first time: the official figures show that it was attended by more than 8,300 meetings industry professionals, and as many as 13,000 online meetings were held during the 3-day event. Among the hosted buyers, as many as 30 % were completely new to the IBTM portfolio, which means they never attended the show before. More than 700 exhibitors from all over the world were present and they had an average of 19 meetings with clients.

Corporate clients, bigger focus on regional markets

The Ljubljana Convention Bureau carried out in total 25 meetings with clients from all over the world, including France, England, Germany and the USA. These were mostly corporate clients with particular interest in the incentive travel offer.

This year Ljubljana team focused also on the regional markets, especially Poland and Hungary. They noticed that the regional clients were very interested in Ljubljana and Slovenia, mainly due to the geographical proximity of the country, high-quality accommodation oportunities and experiences offered, and the fact that Ljubljana is still considered a fresh destination in these countries. Therefore, they believe that the presence of Ljubljana on these markets should be strengthened in the coming months. In October a networking workshop was held for the first time in Budapest (face-to -face) in cooperation with the Slovenian Convention Bureau, which proved to be very successful and yielded a number of new potential business partners. 

Educational programme

This year's trade show IBTM 2020 offered also a rich content with over 90 lectures in various formats, in which 95 speakers participated. The programme included a variety of topics that focused on restart of the meetings industry and its changing characteristics in the post-pandemic world.

In the three days, a great desire for the industry's restart was felt in every single meeting held, especially the European clients and colleagues from other CVB's across Europe pointed out how eager they were to start doing business again as soon as possible.

For the Ljubljana CVB the IBTM 2020 was very successful and exceeded their expectations. Nevertheless, they acknowledge that live meetings are different, more authentic, and possibly of higher quality, therefore they are looking forward to this trade show taking place in Barcelona again next year.