EIBTM Live: Graeme Barnett Talks Technology and Connection
EIBTM kicked off this morning in Barcelona, and IMR’s James Latham was on hand to talk with Show Director Graeme Barnett about the conference and how it has changed since last year.
Perhaps the biggest difference is in pure numbers: EIBTM organized an estimated 65,000 meetings last year; this year, the number has jumped to 78,000.
New and notable speakers are also indicating a change in tone for the show. The evening before the event’s formal kickoff, a pre-show gathering included a talk from speaker Rasmus Ankersen that looked at new ways of driving the market.
“We like to talk to leaders about leadership,” he said. “Fundamentally, that’s one thing we’re all developing and learning as we grow. Rasmus came with a very strong pedigree, and he absolutely delivered.” Anguson spoke about talent--identifying it, mining it and nurturing it for the benefit of all businesses involved. “He had everyone in the palm of his hand,” Barnett said of the speaker.
One of Ankersen’s major points was an equation: “Performance=Potential-Interference.” Barnett agreed with the theory, noting that interference—in a range of formats—was sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome.
In terms of EIBTM, he agreed, the show organizers used to interfere with who meets with whom on the trade show floor, but now the appointment system is much more open. “We allow it to happen,” Barnett said. “We facilitate it, if you like.” Over the past several years, the team has developed a technology platform that allows the organizers to better match buyers and sellers “more appropriately and more relevantly.” The results of this new technology, he continued, have been very positive. “We matched 78,000 appointments this year before the show,” he said. When hosted buyers are accepted into the show, they can use the platform to tell the organizers who they want to meet specifically and what types of exhibitors they want to learn more about. The exhibitors, in turn, do the same thing, sharing their product profile, and the technology matches them together.
For the first time, the show is also offering self-selected appointments, letting exhibitors request meetings with specific buyers—and vice versa. The matching, Barnett noted, has made a “massive difference,” and 25,000 of these meetings are expected to take place throughout the show.