IBTM’s TechWatch Awards Will Feature a New Live Format for 2020

September 14, 2020

The annual TechWatch Awards at this year’s IBTM World, set for Dec.1-3 at Fira Barcelona in Spain, will have a new concept for 2020. Aptly named TechWatch Live, the new format will feature live pitching on-site as well as a new judging panel chair.

Designed to showcase the best event technology, TechWatch Live will provide five technology business owners with the opportunity to pitch their product or service to a live audience and judging panel for the chance to become the 2020 TechWatch Live Award Winner. Held on Day 2 of IBTM World, the TechWatch Live Awards enable event tech start-ups to potentially gain future financial investment and/or mentorship from the industry. 

According to Dahlia El Gazzar, founder of the DAHLIA+Agency and the new chair of the judging panel this year (succeeding event industry expert Corbin Ball, who remains on the panel), TechWatch Live provides an important stage for companies to showcase technology enabling event organizers to deliver exceptional experiences.

“Now more than ever, we are being asked to be innovative,” Gazzar said. “That can’t be done without ‘innovatively’ implementing technology solutions that are essential to the intentional experience design we seek for our stakeholders. With everything going on, we want to properly celebrate those tech companies that have gone above and beyond to help eventprofs in this time of need.”

The TechWatch judges are looking for entries that demonstrate innovation, a sound concept/business model and value to the MICE industry, she added. 

Also new and led by Gazzar this year is the Technology Advisory Group, which supports IBTM World and has been influential in the development of IBTM Accelerate, featuring a roster of programs showcasing the future of the MICE industry. Members of the group include Dave Lorenzini, founder and CEO of EventFX; Anh Nguyen, founder and principal of award-winning event management firm Spark Event Management; Keith Johnston, managing partner of i3 Events and publisher of event industry blog Plannerwire; and entrepreneur, podcaster and bestselling author Jason Allan Scott. 

“There are myriad opportunities for event planners to integrate technology and digital into their events to create smarter and more engaging experiences, and we want to reflect this by making TechWatch Live a central feature of IBTM World,” said David Thompson, event director of IBTM World. “Our new format awards will bring the best event technology companies in front of a motivated global audience of events professionals to inspire them with the latest exciting technologies that could really make a difference to their business.”

Entries are now open until Sept. 30. Finalists must be based in Europe and available to attend on-site at IBTM World for all three days of the show. All five finalists will receive flights and accommodation for up to two people to travel to Barcelona. To enter, go here.


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