By Bernadet Bijsterbosch.
It was a crazy week, with deadlines, meetings and business trips. I flew to Madrid and spent my days running from meeting to meeting, talking to the best event owners and had a meet-up with my colleagues working in the city.
The days of too many activities, too many wrong meals and too little sleep tired me out, but as a good entrepreneur, I did not want to miss out on any great networking opportunities, so I visited IBTM this week.
IBTM World is the leading global event for the meetings, incentives, conferences, events and business travel industry. Set in Barcelona, the event gathers professionals in the meetings industry for three days of focused business opportunities.
There is nothing better than walking around the many stands of countries and cultures, where people sit around talking with great interest about all their opportunities to work together. All stands offer local snacks and proudly present their country and their culture. It is amazing how peaceful it is, with all these people enjoying hearing their stories and exchanging their products.
So I visit the Mysterious India stand, where a very patient man from India listens to me and we are both so eager to work together. Or the bubbling girls from Russia, giving me snacks and bringing new ideas for showing Russia to Europe. Or the director of the convention centre in Abu Dhabi who is happy to be in Barcelona but misses her family that day.
I talked to a very enthusiastic woman from the Netherlands presenting Dubai and its extremely luxurious leisure possibilities for all ages. In the press centre, I talked to the always lovely marketing crew from the IBTM organization to see if IBTM could work with EuropeanLife magazine in any way. We were both convinced that we can make IBTM even better by telling all these international stories to the world.
While wandering around this event floor, I realize that I made new friends today, and there is nothing better than talking to the whole world in a day and getting so many business opportunities at the same time. It makes my entrepreneur’s heart warm up and gives me new energy. My bag is filled with brochures and presentations and it kills my shoulder, but at the end I realised that it is the personal contact that made me feel close to the countries and the brands.
Again, I realised that you have to know the story behind the brand to engage with the product. This is exactly what we like to accomplish with our events magazine. Let the clients read about the story, let them get the smell of the culture and let them engage with the brand by seeing the face behind it. A magazine should give the readers the feeling that they are there, visiting these countries themselves, being part of this event and enjoying these cultural pleasures, as I did that day.
My tiredness is gone, and with new energy I drove home, ready to start my new magazine!