IBTM World logo in header
30th Nov-2nd Dec 2021

IBTM Event Business Accelerator

Do you have an idea or start-up related to the events industry?

Then this is the scheme for you. We’re looking for any agency or service related to the events industry. Whether you have an idea for a festival or conference you want to launch or an event catering business you want to grow - we want to hear from you.

This unique programme will give our finalists the opportunity to pitch onsite at IBTM World - providing a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to launch or scale their business ideas, and be seen by the global events community!

And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, each finalist will receive pre-event training in partnership with MPI, flights and accommodation for up to two people, mentorship with one of our judges post-event, and the chance to win a cheque for €5000.

Ideas or start-ups could include Events, Conferences, Exhibitions, Festivals, Catering, Stand Designers, Marketing, Florists, Venue Finders, Staff Hire, Security, Ticketing, Products, Facilities – the sky’s the limit!

See here for the Terms and Conditions.

All submissions must be based in Europe so as to benefit from the free flights offered, and finalists must be available to attend onsite at IBTM World for all 3 days of the show.

FREE Flights and 4* Hotel

Join us in Barcelona to attend the leading global event for the meetings and events industry, IBTM World, where you'll meet the industry elite across the 3 days.

FREE Mentoring Programme

All finalists will join a 6-week personalised programme of online workshops led by the largest meeting and event industry association, MPI - on Entrepreneurship, Go-to-Market strategy, Marketing & Branding, and Sales Pitching. 

FREE Showcase Pod

Finalists will be offered a complimentary showcase pod (worth €5000) within the new IBTM Accelerate feature area at the heart of the showfloor at IBTM World.

Live Pitch for more prizes

Our judging panel will be awarding more prizes onsite to the chosen winners - including access to further investment, the opportunity to launch your event with Reed Exhibitions, ongoing mentorship pairing, and possible cash prizes!

Brand Marketing with IBTM

With over 30 years in the industry, IBTM World is the perfect platform to showcase your business and professional profile, with international press and digital marketing coverage as standard for our finalists.

Build Your Professional Network

You'll join a like-minded community of other aspiring entrepreneurs from across Europe; helping you grow your network, find potential business opportunities, and exchange knowledge to grow your business.

The Power of Mentoring

To be confimed.

2021 Finalists

To be confimed.

Meet the Judges & Mentors

Event Business Accelerator Judges

Our Event Business Accelerator finalists will be pitching their business ideas to a live panel of judges.

Here are the industry experts who will be assessing our EBA entries this year.

Lori Pugh Marcum

Co-Creator of the IBTM EBA

Lori Pugh Marcum has 16 years of experience in the meetings and events industry on both the planner and supplier side of the business.

As Head of Meeting Innovation, with Meeting Professionals International, she manages meetings and event production for their global event portfolio, delivers and promotes MPI Academy education, and provides education at events like MPI Smart Monday, MPI World Education Congress, and MPI European Meetings and Event Conference.

David Preston

CEO of Realise

David has 25 years of international marketing experience, both client and event agency side. He’s an experienced Blue Chip manager, mentor and coach to individuals and small businesses.

David is passionate about talent development and he delivers conference speeches and workshops across the event industry, raising awareness of the need to build talent and nurture leaders of the future. As an avid coach and mentor, he is never happier than when encouraging others be the best form of themselves.

Mark Riches

Industry investor and advisor

Mark was the co-founder of global events agency FIRST until 2019, when he took up the roles of mentor to future business leaders, NED/advisor, and investor into boutique projects.

He is an experienced business leader, strategic thinker, developer of talent, and specialist in event marketing.  With extensive creative, commercial and international experience, Mark has worked for some of the world's top brands, resulting in growing the market-leading multi-destination agency FIRST. 

Jason Allan Scott

Entrepreneur and event professional

Jason Allan Scott is a successful serial entrepreneur, professional keynote speaker, best-selling author, award-winning event professional, mentor, podcaster and a part of Tim Ferris's NR set who overcome MS to bring value to the world.

Jason was voted Top 100 Movers and Shakers in Events by Eventbrite 2016, voted no.1 on Double Dutch’s 250 People in Events, and was twice nominated in one year for Haymarket Media’s most influential person in events award. He is also in the top 10% of social media accounts in events in the world and one of the Small Business Top 100 Companies in 2016.

Event Business Accelerator Mentors

Our EBA gives all our finalists the opportunity to access exclusive mentorship and training in partnership with MPI.

Here are the mentors from 2020.

Richard John


Richard John is a management and meetings consultant, industry trainer and speaker and event journalist, as well as the COO of Realise. He has been a Course Director for the Chartered Institute of Marketing since 1996. He is recognised as a leading authority in the field of event management, training and consultancy and is a sough-after coach and mentor for start-ups within the industry.

Giorgia Sanfiori

Executive and Team Coach

Giorgia started her career in events as a Medical Conferences Organiser in Italy in 1987, before moving to France and becoming the EMEA Director of Events and Communication for IT Companies for many years. Now an Executive and Team Coach, she works with CEOs, CXO’s, top managers and top talent to help them leave a memorable mark on their professional and human presence.

Viona Terleth

Business & Personal Development Expert

Viona is an authentic Business and Personal Development expert in the international MICE Industry. She has an extensive background in commercial leadership and recently graduated with a Master in Transformational Change for individuals, teams and organisations.

Having guided many hotel and event teams and professionals in their growth, she wants to create a movement in our industry that raises awareness of our own well-being and personal development. That’s why she launched DSCVRME, a personal development and networking programme for event professionals.

Majbritt Sandberg

Co-Founder of Pankaik Experience

Majbritt helps event professionals adapt to the ever-changing world of meetings, through strategic meeting and event experience design.  Facilitating and activating people and knowledge, to enhance participation, engagement and state of mind is a true passion. 

Majbritt is the founder of several start-ups since 1994, always ready to learn and share knowledge.

Sign up to our programme today