Modern technology, such as virtual reality, is changing the meetings and events industry in ways that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago. The team at Reed Travel Exhibitions and IBTM is embracing it wholeheartedly, introducing a new, interactive Exploratory Zone in the center of the IBTM World 2018 conference, set for Nov. 27–29 in Barcelona, Spain.

Combat flight simulators, dancing robots and 3D printed food are just some of what the meetings and conference industry event has in store. Pierre-Henri Chuet, founder of Mach 3 Management, a company specializing in using virtual combat simulations as corporate training, says it was an easy decision to bring his flight simulators to IBTM World. “The activity supports team building, stress and workload management and decision-making, plus it’s a great experience flying a jet at supersonic speed in formation with your team,” he says. “So, it was a no-brainer for us to be part of the 2018 edition.”

Bringing together more than 3,000 global companies and destinations with more than 15,000 meetings industry professionals, IBTM hopes the high-tech exhibits will be a source of inspiration for the attendees. Along with Mach 3 Management, the headliners of the Exploratory Zone include the following.

  • Robots of London: Designers who hire out their robotic creations as everything from receptionists to car sales staff and facial recognition-enabled “socibots”
  • Skullmapping: Artists in Belgium working in VR, projection mapping, and holograms
  • Fielddrive: An events technology company offering facial recognition and tracking for attendee check-in and registration
  • Surround Vision: A full VR and 360-degree video production studio
  • 3DFoodlab: An Estonian company offering custom and intricate food designs, 3D printed in real time. It will be producing a 3D chocolate model of the IBTM World logo.
  • Amondo: A platform that curates and assembles all the shared content around any given event

“We believe in the power of new technology in taking people to the heart of the action through fun and innovative experiences, and what better place to experience it than at events,” says Surround Vision Creative Director Richard Nockles.

In addition to the Exploratory Zone, IBTM World 2018 will feature a genius-bar style Tech Bar where attendees can ask experts questions about technology and even get advice for their individual LinkedIn pages.