Reed Travel Exhibitions has a long tradition of using online meeting tools to pre-arrange physical meetings. So when International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) went virtual, becoming IGTM Links, it was able to quickly adapt its live meeting software to a digital environment.

Over three days in October, 653 golf courses, golf resorts and destinations met with a record 402 qualified international tour operators and media representatives. 10,356 online meetings were arranged of which 9,671 were attended, a conversion rate of 93%. Participants gave the meetings an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

Commenting on her participation at IGTM Links, Matina Mpouga from Costa Navarino in Greece said: “I think, we all have missed the physical IGTM, but we need to adapt ourselves to the new reality. It’s always great pleasure to get in contact with our partners through any channel. Looking forward to the next IGTM!”

Petra Darmstädter from Hotel Peralada Wine Spa & Golf said the event had exceeded his expectations: “It has been a very intense and productive few days of meeting with loyal and new buyers. The buyer participation and quality has been excellent, and the live chat system was outstanding. It was very important to reconnect to develop new experience ideas together for the near future, and be ready for golfers when they can travel safely again. The online event format shouldn’t replace the physical, face-to-face IGTM meetings as I missed the networking and unscheduled chats. I look forward to this next year in Wales.”

David Ashington from Monte Rei Golf & Country Club was also impressed with the meetings platform: “Incredibly busy IGTM for us with many meetings hosted by all three staff. Excellent system allowing so many resorts and tour operators to network effectively. Well done IGTM.”

Reflecting on the success of IGTM Links, Event Manager David Todd said: “We’re delighted to see the industry come together, demonstrating the desire and demand is still very much there for golf tourism despite a very challenging year. IGTM Links hasn’t been a direct replacement for IGTM. We could never replicate the energy and the passion of the live event. It has been a free networking platform for the industry to come together and share ideas. I look forward to reconnecting with everyone face to face in Wales in 2021.”

IGTM 2021 will take place from 18-21 October 2021 held at the ICC Wales and Celtic Manor Resort. It will be first time the event will take place in the UK.