by Ben Gershman | September 19, 2016

A sunny Beijing welcomed more than 5,000 industry professionals to the 12th annual IBTM exhibition at the China National Convention Center, Sept. 7-8. Organized by Reed Travel Exhibitions, the event featured 400 hosted buyers from more than 49 international destinations looking to connect with 360 exhibitors spanning the globe. Originating in 2005, IBTM has worked with China to create an immersive exhibition, offering a forum for networking and learning for the international MICE community. 

The past 11 years have helped the IBTM team evolve in their mission to connect buyers and exhibitors through innovative pairing techniques. One such technique introduced this year was called Mutual Match: IBTM event director Mandy Torrens said it works by giving exhibitors the first opportunity to review hosted buyer profiles and make a pitch based on meeting preferences. The hosted buyers then get to review the pitches and can choose who they want to meet with. Another new development was a system called Matchmaking, where hosted buyers were given recommendations for suppliers based on information the buyers provided during registration. Torrens said this process "improves the chances of a productive meeting for both buyers and exhibitors."

Convention and tourism bureaus from countries such as Thailand and Kazakhstan underscored the two-day convention's globalist aspirations. Ultimately, the event offered a bright forecast for the industry's future and an intimate environment for brokering new cross-continental collaboration.