Christchurch is Designed for Association Meetings

August 16, 2017

Christchurch is Designed for Association Meetings

More than $40 billion is being ploughed into Christchurch, transforming New Zealand’s oldest city into its newest. ChristchurchNZ Convention Bureau Bid Manager Claire Hector-Taylor says this compact, attractive city is an ideal meeting destination: “Christchurch is a future-focused city boasting major infrastructure developments, including a new convention centre due to be completed in late 2019. We are the gateway to New Zealand’s South Island with a top international airport just 15 minutes from the city.”

Famed as the Garden City, the CBD is now home to new green spaces with the Ōtākaro/Avon River precinct as its centrepiece, creating a beautiful walking environment.

New Zealand’s second largest city is home to world-class universities, Crown research facilities, start-up accelerators, and specialist innovation and health precincts. “Here we are bringing together people from all over the world with interests in Christchurch’s specialist areas of expertise, including earth sciences, health sciences, agriculture, food science, international education, building and environmental technology.” Claire adds.

Picture: Christchurch Convention Centre.

August 15, 2017

How Associations Can Raise their International Profiles

As the world’s information networks grow more saturated, associations can boost their national and international profiles and expand their world influence through aggressive membership drives and strategic public relations experts.

“The Sarawak Convention Bureau believes that strategic communications and public relations is a crucial growth force and a real return on investment for all types of national and international associations who are trying to expand their reach in the world, grow their membership, or achieve a wider audience for their products,” said Amelia Roziman, Chief Operating Officer of SCB. “Public relations firms specialize in mindful strategic planning, media management tools and extensive networks for the benefit of associations everywhere.”

To walk the talk, Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) recently named Intelectasia – an award-winning public relations firm who has represented numerous organizations across various sector – as another tribal ally for its latest and boldest marketing endeavor, the Redefining Global Tribes campaign.

“Integrated PR strategies can raise the visibility of not just associations and conference organisers, but also the destinations that such associations choose to hold their Business Events, which ultimately grows membership and participation,” said Manminder Kaur Dhillon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Intelectasia. When associations choose Sarawak as their congress destination, they can benefit from Intelectasia’s expertise in all kinds of PR areas.

August 14, 2017

An ISTH Experience at Messe Berlin

You know what it’s like: as an association planner, you get invited to famtrips and all you see is hotels, meeting venues and food. This is done with no spirit more often than not unfortunately. Well, that was not the case at all in Berlin in July when Messe Berlin got representatives of 17 international congress industry associations to come and take a look behind the scenes at the World Congress of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH). Words Rémi Dévé

Messe Berlin Site Experience. That was the name of it and it says it all. Dr. Ralf Kleinhenz, senior vice president at Messe Berlin, explains it this way: “Site visits are the old thinking. We wanted to offer a genuine site experience. By making convention organisers, our potential customers of the future, experience a behind-the-scene tour of a major international event held in the many rooms of the CityCube Berlin and the infrastructure on the grounds, they were able to gain a direct impression of the venue and what makes Messe Berlin and the city so attractive.

This was the very first ISTH congress to be held in Germany after 63 years. According to Thomas Reiser, executive director of the ISTH, the CityCube Berlin is a beautiful and well-designed building and ideally met the special requirements of the event. “The CityCube Berlin and neighbouring exhibition grounds represented a modern and attractive venue and the team was highly professional, which enabled us to perfectly realise our plans and ideas.” he said.

He also praised the work done by Berlin-based PCO KIT Group: “They belong to Messe Berlin, so they know both the city and the venue inside out. They took care of the registration, housing, social events, the whole exhibition execution and finanicial management, under our guidance and control and that worked very well. The clearly understood the needs and challenges of a Society like ISTH.

But what about the legacy that a congress like that wants to achieve? “The legacy that we want to leave behind is maybe less defined than others. We bring many physicians and scientists together so that they can exchange knowledge and best practice and take those back where they come from. We try to make the Congress very accessible. Germany is such an important scientific medical community and it was very smooth to achieve this. ” Reiser explained.

August 14, 2017

Centre and Association Partnerships in Washington DC

Both centres and association organizers have a shared stake in a successful outcome for any given event since whatever satisfies attendees is the best guarantee for future participation. Working together – using a centre’s unique knowledge of what works best in their facilities combined with the organizers in-depth understanding of what their delegates most want and need – is the best way to achieve this, but requires a commitment by both parties to cooperation and keeping an open mind to a range of possibilities.

Words Greg O’Dell, President and CEO, Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Events DC

I can best illustrate this via a specific example drawn from our own experiences at Events DC, which hosts hundreds of events annually in its venues, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Over the years, the Center has established itself as a strong partner and resource for associations looking to increase attendance and enhance the overall event experience in Washington, DC – all while building innovative revenue opportunities.

Enhancing the Attendee Experience in DC

The Center has partnered with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) since 2012. RAMW uses our annual investment to enhance its local marketing spending and to develop select national promotions showcasing District restaurants and the District’s growing culinary experiences to national media, entrepreneurs and event organizers.

RAMW creates customized marketing campaigns for citywide and major Center events and promotes these events to its member restaurants, encouraging them to offer event-related discounts, incentive and welcoming opportunities. This gives event patrons a wider selection of restaurant options. This is a member benefit for RAMW members, driving thousands of new patrons looking for memorable dining experiences to restaurants throughout the city each week. The promotions particularly benefit newer, smaller restaurants with limited promotional budgets.

RAMW also provides the Center with enhanced client hospitality opportunities during quarterly Chef’s Table food showcase events.

The Center hosts RAMW’s annual awards gala to showcase our venue and food offerings to the restaurant community; Events DC is designated as the gala’s primary sponsor.

RAMW’s promotion of the District as a significant culinary destination creates a unique value proposition for leisure, business and convention travelers, as well as increasing the city’s appeal to tour operators, business developers and event organizers. It also significantly expands its member restaurants’ customer base at no additional marketing cost to its members through advance alerts of the convention business opportunities, creating a significant and valuable member benefit.

Read the rest of the article in the third issue of Boardroom available here.

August 11, 2017

What to Expect from ibtm world

This year is a major milestone for ibtm events, as it is the 30th anniversary of ibtm world, taking place in Barcelona from 28 – 30 November 2017. Kerry Prince, Portfolio Director, ibtm events, explains what’s in it for association professionals.

Can you give an overview of what to expect from the event this year?

Complementing the meetings programme at ibtm world, once again we have a full itinerary of networking events, some of them personalized to the sector including ‘Associations Connect’, specifically created for peer-to-peer engagement. We know that our Knowledge Programme is very well received by association buyers and that they place great importance on attending the sessions.

We have another exciting programme planned this year, headlined by two globally renowned keynote speakers who will be announced imminently, with association specific as well as generic education sessions, all aimed at delivering tangible learnings that the audience can apply in their business going forward. Select elite buyers will be invited to share their knowledge on hot topics including maintaining funding, adding value for members and recruiting chapter leaders.

Alongside this, our Innovation Zone, Technology and Services Zone and, new for this year, our Start-up Pavilion, will give association buyers access to a whole host of suppliers of emerging technologies and the opportunity to network and meet with potential new suppliers.

Ultimately our aim is to ensure that our buyers have the best possible experience at our event and that they get real value from attending. We are confident that this year’s enhancements mean we continue to offer a market leading programme.

What support do you offer for younger entrants to the industry?

ibtm events has, for the eleventh consecutive year, partnered with ICCA for the ICCA Forum for Young Professionals which this year has the theme of ‘The future is here, the future is you!’. Opening in Barcelona on the eve of ibtm world 2017, 26 November and closing on 28 November, the forum gathers 35 young events industry professionals from a range of organisations and associations for a three-day long programme of educational sessions, networking, social activities and guidance from some of the industry’s most influential professionals.

Delegates benefit from gaining a deeper understanding of the different industry sectors, strengthen their connections and networks with peers and industry leaders from across the globe and gain experience of working on multi-cultural and buyer-supplier teams. Attendees then have access to the show floor and can take advantage of the inspirational education sessions and networking.

Any new exhibitors this year ?

As always, a huge part of the appeal of the event is the amazing breadth of exhibitors in attendance. This year, some 3,000 exhibiting companies representing over 150 countries will attend, ensuring a comprehensive offering for meetings and events planners. Exhibitors range from destinations and conference centres to technology companies and suppliers from across the industry, New exhibitors confirmed to attend this year include Visit Wales, Synergy International Italy, Fiesta Hotel Group, Meet Puerto Rico, Visit Almaty, Titanic Hotels, Ceara, Designer Incentives and Conferences India.

Those and all the others will gladly meet up with associations that have already said they would be there, including the Optical Society, European Health Management Association, European Society of Ophthalmology, Association of International Seafood Professionals, European Cystic Fibrosis Europe, International Financial Cryptography Association, World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, and UEFA.

To register go here.

August 10, 2017

The ‘Absorp­­­­tive Capacity’ Theory

Professor Rhodri Thomas of Leeds Beckett University recently led a roundtable for the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) on the theory of absorptive capacity. Heather Lishman, Association Director of ABPCO explains some of the key outcomes below.

The term ‘absorptive capacity’ is used to identify an organisation’s ability to assimilate, transform, and apply valuable external knowledge. The theory has steadily grown in popularity and the term has been used widely at the organisational level to analyse innovation processes and the effect of organisational learning on the creation of sustainable competitive advantage. Absorptive capacity goes far beyond knowing the obvious things about the micro climate in which a company operates. Instead it takes a macro look at a business and its competitive position. It appreciates all the factors that can affect change both for better or worse and allows an organisation to truly understand its market position.

An organisation with high absorptive capacity is one with an outward-looking business strategy where staff, and especially managers, are encouraged to be ‘boundary spanners’ i.e. they gather knowledge from many different types of sources and not just the obvious. It has a pulse on what is happening in the market-place, and is able to utilise this broader insight to keep ahead of the competition. Ultimately, it puts a business on the front-foot and equips them with the knowledge that will help them to understand their place in the competitive landscape, and to see opportunities in the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors that affect their business environment.

For professional conference organisers and associations, it is imperative that they keep bang up to date with innovations and engagement strategies. Not only will they be able to utilise this knowledge within their own organisations, but they can apply it when they are organising conferences. It is vital in the world of meetings that the event attendees acquire relevant knowledge and take this learning back to utilise effectively within their own environments, thus ensuring that they generate a return on investment for their time spent at meetings.

Research has shown that the ability to establish relevant networks and gather and use information is closely tied with an organisation’s ability to innovate and to remain competitive. The more familiar you are with your network, the more trust you will have and the more useful your data will be. Through shared information and trust, individuals stay ahead of the curve rather than simply reacting, which when combined with a strong sense and understanding of absorptive capacity creates a truly innovative way of thinking.

Staying up to date is critical for long-term survival as it can reinforce, complement or refocus the knowledge base. As professional leaders in their field, all professional conference organisers have an active role to play in bridging connections between acquired knowledge and generating innovation and competitive advantage – absorptive capacity is just one of many tools to help achieve this.

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) is a dedicated industry association representing professional conference organisers. Its mission is to develop and enhance the status of conference and event organisers and increase the recognition given to its members. www.abpco.org / hello@abpco.org

July 13, 2017

Rwanda, a Newcomer as a Convention Destination

Rwanda is shaping up as one of East Africa’s premier business tourism destinations, following efforts by the government and its partners to help strengthen and grow the private sector in the meetings market, a recent article in The Independent argues.

Having climbed from 7th to 3rd in the International Congress and Convention Associations’ (ICCA’s) 2016 latest ranking of business tourism in Africa, Rwanda is obviously becoming a destination of choice for association planners.

The east African country invested in a brand new state of the art convention centre adjoining the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kigali, Marriott Hotel Kigali with major meeting spaces available in the hotel plus added new hotels. as does the investment in the national airline RwandAir, which is now serving 21 destinations in Africa, the Middle East and India while adding London at the end of May to their network too.

Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, boasts an international events under its belt, including high-level forums such as the World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2016, 27th African Union Summit in July 2016, the Global African Investment Summit in September 2016, Africa Hotel Investment Forum in October 2016 and the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in October 2016.

According to the latest biennial Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), Rwanda is ranked the ninth safest country globally for tourists.

July 12, 2017

Academy for Eating Disorders – All About the Members

Elissa Matulis Myers, Executive Director of the Academy for Eating Disorders, took contact with us when she got the second issue of Boardroom. With all the nice things she had to say about the content and the look of the magazine, which we will humbly not express here, we could not but ask her how she relates to the topics we deal with in Boardroom. Elissa tells Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé how the Academy operates and what her life as an association executive is like.

How did the Academy come about?

The Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) began in 1993 with a meeting organized by Craig Johnson, PhD, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thirty-three clinicians and researchers met to discuss concerns about the deleterious effects of managed care and other insurance practices on providing quality treatment for patients with eating disorders.

This group saw the need for an organization of eating disorders professionals that embodied excellence in education, treatment and research that could advocate for patients with eating disorders, provide professional training and development and, in general, represent the field of eating disorders. The AED was formed to meet these goals and today, the AED includes over 1,600 professionals – physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and academic researchers from 42 countries around the world.

Our vision is truly global access to knowledge, research and best treatment practice for those suffering from eating disorders. Our mission is to raise awareness of this serious disease, and to facilitate the sharing of empirically based experience and research on how to diagnose and treat eating disorders. A major focus of our work remains to provide platforms for the exchange of scientific information between members, but over the years we have recognized the need to share that insight and knowledge with all front line health professionals – nutritionists, dieticians, obstetricians, school nurses, and more!

It’s an academy – any special meaning to that?

By definition, an academy is “a society or institution of distinguished scholars, artists, or scientists, that aims to promote and maintain standards in its particular field.” That describes AED perfectly. There are quite a few associations around the world that represent local groups of ED professionals; patients; patient’s families; related disciplines. AED uniquely stands as the global home of the distinguished scholars and practitioners in this field.

Can you tell us about the events you organize?

We have an annual conference, the International Conference on Eating Disorders. This year – our 24th anniversary  – we meet in Prague from June 7-10 for an intensive week of meetings, 73 workshops, and seminars and poster presentations, a major keynote address, and four general plenary sessions. We began last year to do simultaneous translation throughout the conference, and are exploring ways to create satellite conferences around the content offered.

The AED headquarters staff does most the management of the meeting – from promotion, staging and registration to on-site management. But when we are in a city – like Prague – where there isn’t a lot of local expertise on the staff, we hire a local PCO to help us offer the delegates the best that the city has to offer in between the hard work of the educational programming. For example, on the final night we are hosting our closing event at St. Agnes Convent, the oldest Gothic building in Bohemia. That exciting opportunity was suggested by our PCO.

The full interview of Elissa can be read in the third issue of Boardroom to be downloaded here.

July 11, 2017

AIPC 2017 Annual Conference Tackles Global Issues

A combination of member expertise and global insights addressed an overall theme of “Transformation” at the 2017 Annual Conference of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC) this past week in Sydney Australia. Enhanced by a destination and a new host facility – the ICC Sydney – with a lot of very recent experience in the re-invention process, the theme embraced a series of topics ranging from potential impact of current geopolitical challenges to more immediately practical issues such as cyber-security, evolving client expectations and emerging competition in the industry.

Of particular interest to associations – some of the clients of the members of AIPC – was the fact that the conference drew on the recent experiences of the host city Sydney with a series of presenters who described and illustrated the dynamic of a city renewal process that relied heavily on a convention centre component as a catalyst for new business events activity. At the same time, global thought leaders such as Prof. Greg Clark, Chairman of the Business of Cities Ltd, an intelligence and strategy group based in London UK that observes/reports on global trends and changes in cities and Dr. Razeen Sally, an international economist, Co-Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy and Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore provided research-based insights into how areas as diverse as city relationships and emerging geo-political disruptions could impact centres along with suggestions for strategies to address them.

Other sessions explored areas of immediate centre concern including the growing spectre of cyber-security, the opportunities associated with the rise of a powerful Asian industry, and how key client groups are re-shaping event formats, centre expectations and traditional business practices. At the same time, a range of new AIPC programs and research results was unveiled that directly addressed some of the most important challenges and provided members with both insights and tools to respond to these.

An important vehicle for information and creative exchange – the AIPC Innovation Award – generated a competition amongst 15 AIPC members and a wealth of new ideas for delegates as a whole. Winners of the Award were the Palais des congrès de Montréal for the “Urban Agriculture Lab”, a green rooftop development created by the centre to explore green inner-city opportunities and the Cairns Convention Centre for their highly innovative response to the question “What to do with an old roof”.

Picture: ICC Sydney

July 10, 2017

Digital Healthcare to be Discussed in Jerusalem

Jerusalem and Israel as a whole are confirming they are shaping the future of digital healthcare, as will host the Mhealth conferences all the way until 2019.

With a keen eye on disrupting the entire industry, mHealth Israel Founder Levi Shapiro stated “we’re excited to hold the Mhealth conference in Jerusalem through 2019. Based on the comprehensive mHealth Israel database, it is clear that Jerusalem is experiencing a boom in life science and medtech investment and startups. Jerusalem offers the perfect setting for global C-level decision makers to meet innovative startups from across Israel, Europe and the US.”

The mHealth industry success is based on the key ingredients: highly educated professionals, an entrepreneurial spirit, a risk taking culture, tremendous technology innovation and continuous support by government and private investors. Mobile health is all about the apps – enabling people to interact while on the move with websites and online databases that help both with the maintenance of health, such as fitness apps that guide users to proper exercise and diet, as well as apps that help individuals with health problems, including diabetics.

With more than 4,200 members, mHealth Israel is the largest connected health community in the Middle East. The mHealth Israel WEEK, annual conference, global roadshows, Startups Database and other activities help connect Israeli digital health startups with global healthcare leaders. mHealth Israel 2016 doubled its attendees, indicating a clear benefit of the positive trajectory. The conference also brought the world’s leading health tech experts from over a dozen countries, including Fortune 1000 global health and technology company representatives attended.