Up-and-Coming Panama

October 18, 2017

Up-and-Coming Panama

Panama is expanding and claiming a position in the international meetings industry. Present at IMEX America, the Central American nation presented its three new convention centres, expansion of its international airport, the region’s first light rail system, and unique cultural and eco-friendly attractions aiming to get associations interested.

Scheduled to open at the end of 2018, the new Amador Convention Centre in Panama City will offer 58,000 sqm of exhibition space for groups of up to 25,000 people. What is more, an entertainment district is under construction adjacent to the centre, with more than 20,000 hotel rooms available in Panama’s nearby central city.

The country is also investing in the expansion of Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, as well as in the Panama Metro which will soon connect to the airport and other major attractions in the city, making them easily accessible for association delegates.

In addition to the Amador Convention Centre, Panama is building the Verde Convention Centre in Boquete, the first in Central America with an environmentally friendly infrastructure, offering 4,000 sqm of meeting space to accommodate groups of up to 2,000 people, and the Herrera Convention Centre in Chitre, featuring 5,000 sqm, a 1,500 sqm amphitheatre and an auditorium that will seat 750.

October 3, 2017

Focus on Innovation & Technology – A Canadian Vision

Winnipeg-based Chantal Sturk-Nadeau is the new head of Business Events Canada, the official organisation responsible for the promotion of the meetings industry in the country. Last week, during a road trip to Europe, she conversed with Cécile Koch and shared her vision. “The stars are aligned for Canada at the moment, and our Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reflects exactly what Canada is: progressive, open and welcoming differences.” she said.

Back in 2013 Business Events Canada (BEC) realised that meetings and events can create a lasting legacy. They indeed can be the first spark that ignites interest in doing business that leads to investment in the country as well as the exploration of the unique experiences that Canada offers international travellers. Over the last five years, Canada has invested in some major infrastructure development all over the country, attracting mega sports events such as the Olympics. This year, Canada also hosted INVICTUS and large congresses such as SIBOS and that of the International Union for Public Transport, to name just a few.

Business Events Canada has identified seven priority business sectors where Canada holds a competitive advantage. These priorities are in line with the areas in which Canada is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence. Special emphasis has thus been given to aerospace, agriculture and food, clean technology, infrastructure/engineering, ICT, life sciences, and natural resources.

But BEC has in fact already gone further than that. If they have set up strategic partnerships within the industry, with organisations such as ASAE and PCMA, they are now looking outside of their own box to establish relations with associations that have a global impact within their own field, with a particular focus on innovation and technology.

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organisation for the advancement of technology, and CESSE, the Counsel of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, are two organisations with whom BEC have started to collaborate. The idea here is to have, for instance, Canadians participate in educational panels or be speakers at the many events those associations organize. In doing so, BEC hopes to get Canada even more recognized as a centre of excellence and, in turn, attract conferences in these sectors. To emphasize this, BEC will host a yearly event in these fields, similar to the C2Event (more on this in Boardroom September 2017, out now).

“Innovate Canada is the new BEC signature event which will be held every year and built around different vertical market segments. Next year, it will be held around Innovation/Technology and therefore we are aligning it with the C2 Conference in Montreal to take part of some of the conference there. We are looking at building it around Lifesciences in the following year (2019) and will be in another Canadian city with a centre of excellence in that particular sector.” Chantal Sturk-Nadeau says.

… It seems destination marketing has become so much more subtle and intelligent nowadays!

(Picture: Montreal)

September 19, 2017

High-Level Learning for Associations at IMEX America 2017

Association professionals are invited to set aside their daily to-do lists and focus on strategic development and sharing knowledge with their peers at IMEX America this year.

Designed exclusively for association leaders and aspiring association leaders from all corners of the world, the new IMEX Association Leadership Forum takes place the day before IMEX America in Las Vegas on Monday October 9.

“In a rapidly evolving business environment, strong leadership and effective strategic planning has never been more important. Senior industry professionals within associations obviously occupy unique and powerful positions within the meetings industry, and we know they value high quality opportunities to spend dedicated, focused time together, explains Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group.

The education and networking program at the new Association Leadership Forum is open to those working at senior leadership level within associations and covers multiple challenges of association management and development. The free program is being created in association with ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. Through a mix of presentations, peer to peer discussions and an executive level panel, the Association Leadership Forum will address the high level strategic issues that currently challenge leadership teams.

There will also be a series of dedicated education sessions for association meeting buyers and planners, curated by ICCA. Open to all, these will take place as part of Smart Monday – the renowned day of complimentary, cutting-edge professional development powered by MPI. Association professionals will also be able to take part in Smart Monday’s wider education program which includes sessions on purposeful meetings, latest industry trends and personal development.

All association professionals can end their day and toast the start of IMEX America at Association Evening, taking place at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® Congress Center. “It’s always a lovely chance to unwind with peers, reconnect with old friends and forge new connections. Our Association Evening is a great networking opportunity that really ‘starts the week strong’”, adds Carina.

In addition to this customised learning opportunity, Association professionals will also enjoy further business opportunities and education sessions during IMEX America which takes place October 10-12.

There will be new exhibitors from across the US and around the world including Memorable Costa Rica, Boston Convention Marketing Center, COMO Hotels – New York, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Global Incentive Management DMC, Viking Cruises, Live Nation Special Events and Hotel Xcaret Mexico.  In the Tech Pavilion EventsCase and CadmiumCD will also be at the show for the first time.

Exhibitors represent all areas of the industry and those with expanded booths this year include the Bahamas, Hungary, Ireland, Accor, IHG, Sonesta Collection, Marriott International, Evenium, 3D Cruise Partners, Allied PRA, multiple exhibitors from California (Long Beach, Anaheim, LA, Monterey County & Santa Barbara), Nashville and Memphis, the Czech Tourist Authority and Visit England.

The new IMEX Association Leadership Forum takes place the day before IMEX America in Las Vegas on Monday October 9 / www.imexamerica.com


September 14, 2017

Sustainability at Its Best in San Diego

San Diego Convention Center is boosting the local agricultural economy by sourcing key products and services from across the community. A result of its collaboration with food and beverage supplier Centerplate, the initiative “100 Mile Harvest” aims to source as many locally grown, manufactured and processed products as possible, thus increasing sales for local producers, reducing the SDCC’s overall carbon footprint and improving sustainability.

Read all about this initiative on the Iceberg website, a partner of Boardroom.

September 5, 2017

Canada to Meet European Associations

This September Business Events Canada (BEC) and their partners will return to Europe for their annual European Canada week promoting the country’s meeting and conventions offerings to local agencies. During this week associations looking to hold an event in Canada will be able to learn all about the country’s facilities and expertise in all kinds of fields.

Two events will be held in France and the UK on 18th and 21st September respectively providing attendees with networking opportunities and practical advice on holding business events in Canada whilst helping them get up to speed with all the latest news and developments, from technological advances to new hotels, venues and travel options.

Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Executive Director of BEC, commented: “The European Annual Canada Week is set up to create a platform for our Canadian partners to meet with new prospective and qualified buyers and showcase their product or destination to generate new opportunities and ultimately confirmed business.”

Picture: Montréal