Last Friday, I opened my LinkedIn page and saw a post from Andy Hammond, Director at Elite Event Connections and founder of the Events Industry Elite group on Facebook (currently with 260 members), concerning what happened at IBTM in Barcelona this year. Since the show, which took place from 27–29 November 2018, several event professionals who attended have been reporting about their negative experience and stories of the rife crime this year at key event locations: FIRA Barcelona (event venue), Opium Club (where the evening networking took place) and hotels, where a traveller was robbed while checking-in. IBTM is organised by Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The Events Industry Elite group on Facebook, which Andy founded and moderates, was the first media outlet that picked up on this event, and group members were sharing their stories and cautioning other members to be careful, to leave valuables at the hotel and be vigilant. It was not a case of only one theft but seemed rather to be an organised group of criminals targeting IBTM participants.