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 17, 2017

Thailand Campaigns at IMEX America to Attract Associations

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) launched a new marketing campaign at IMEX America last week, aiming to raise the industry’s profile draw more international events and increase visits. With the US MICE remaining a major target for Thailand – 26,735 MICE delegates from the US during the first three quarters of TCEB’s current fiscal year, the country is promoting the message that hosting business events in Thailand can be fun.

Through the recent marketing communication campaign, “THAILAND CONNECT Your Vibrant Journey to Business Success”, TCEB has been introducing key fundamental pillars of MICE industry which include a diversity of destination, business opportunities, and people of Thailand. Under the title “THAILAND CONNECT Your Vibrant Journey to Business Success, decoded with chapters of possibilities”, the three pillars of the country’s MICE industry remain the key focus in the 2018 campaign.

Moreover, Thailand is developing and promoting secondary destinations that have MICE facilities by upgrading airports and expanding railways and ports in order to link the capital with these cities.

This year’s IMEX America is also the launch pad for a new joint collaboration by four of Asia’s leading MICE destinations, the MICE bureaus of Malaysia, Seoul, Singapore and Thailand showcasing connectivity between Asian destinations and linking destinations with post event tours. The 2018 MDRT Experience and Global Conference and the 31st Congress of Asia-Pacific Association of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (APACRS 2018) are to name but a couple of international conferences headed to Thailand.

October 16, 2017

Oman Marks Its Place in the Convention Indusrty

The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) celebrated its first anniversary earlier this October. Having welcomed more than 750,000 visitors to its 22,000sqm of exhibition space, the Centre has helped the local economy.

OCEC’s 101st event on its first anniversary will be the 7th International Exhibition for Infrastructure & Industrial Projects, organised by Al Nimr Expo who re returning to the venue after a year. Trevor McCartney, General Manager of OCEC, says: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Salim Al Hashmi, General Manager and the team at Al Nimr International Exhibition Organisers back to OCEC and wish them a successful event and we look forward to many more years of collaboration ahead.”

Many more congresses are to follow, like the ACI Airport Exchange 2017 (Conference and Exhibition) and the second UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture with 65 ministers from around the globe attending the event. With the support of the local authorities and organisations, Oman has won 11 other bids for regional and international conferences in the coming years.

A second phase of the OCEC’s development will soon start and will include a tiered theatre with 3,200 seats, a 450-seat auditorium, two ballrooms for banquets for up to 1,200 guests, 20 meeting rooms with a capacity of up to 360 delegates, hospitality suites and a VIP pavilion.

October 13, 2017

For Adelaide the Sky Is the Limit

Adelaide in Australia just held the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC). With attendance rising to 4470 delegates from 71 nations plus visits by 700 school children and several thousand members of the public (who attended the public exhibition day), this was the largest ever event for the city.

The congress was organized in the newly expanded 20,000 sqm Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC), using the centre’s flexible floor. The IAC comprised a detailed program including eight plenary sessions, three highlight lectures, two breaking news, 200 technical sessions and a custom exhibition. Beyond the official program at the Convention Centre, IAC associated exhibitions at the State Library and Museum as well as the closing gala dinner at the Adelaide Oval’s Magarey Room.

The congress left lasting legacies behind, including investment opportunities between space companies as well as the establishment of a space industry centre.

Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of International Astronautical Federation (IAF) said: The city of Adelaide itself is a perfect location for congresses with easily reachable locations, beautiful sceneries, friendly people and fantastic food. This year’s IAC has been a tremendous success having reached 5,000 attendees and the ACC has proven perfectly capable of facing all sorts of requests from the IAF Community.”

October 11, 2017

Belfast Rising to the Challenge

Belfast is growing fast among international associations as a choice for important conferences. The city’s facilities have recently been upgraded to attract business travellers from around the world.

Over the next 12 months, Belfast Waterfront, Northern Ireland’s 75,350ft2 (7,000m2) state-of-the-art conference facility, will welcome 9 international conferences, generating around 29,000 delegate nights. Routes Europe 2017, the 15th International Pragmatics Conference and the 44th European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics are some of the international events to be hosted by the city, while others – such as Radar 2017, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine Congress and the 16th Euro Fed Lipid Congress – are expected to follow.

Dr Frank Amoneit, Managing Director of Euro Fed Lipid explains why Belfast is the destination of choice for their conference: “The city’s overall package of facilities, a good spread of hotels nearby the venue and an extensive network of flights made Belfast an attractive destination for our annual conference.”

October 10, 2017

WorldPride to March through Copenhagen in 2021

2021 will be the year that WorldPride will take place in Copenhagen. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come out to the streets and celebrate tolerance, diversity and inclusion.

The Danish capital, known for its long history of promoting gay rights and acceptance, won the bid with a decision made by the international association InterPride during its Annual General Meeting held in Indianapolis, US. Organised by Happy Copenhagen, the event has enjoyed strong support from local and national governments in both Denmark and Sweden.

In addition to WorldPride, the city is also a candidate to host EuroGames in 2021, with the aim to combine the two events into a bigger one named Copenhagen 2021, featuring an extensive pride parade, a large human rights conference and hundreds of inclusive sporting events.

October 9, 2017

Final Call to Associations for BestCities in Tokyo

Just over two months away, this is the last chance for all senior international association executives interested in participating in the annual BestCities Global Forum, to be held in Tokyo from 4-7 December.

Themed ‘Building Global Connections Across Cultures’, BestCities Global Alliance is offering to champion inclusivity and multi-culturalism within the meeting tourism industry in 2018 and beyond. During this four-day programme, delegates will take part in workshops and informative sessions learning about cultural management and intelligence, while looking at ways of establishing purposeful meetings, and acquiring practical skills they can apply to their day to day work back home and future events.

In partnership with the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TCVB), the Forum also offers attendees cultural activities in order to explore Japan’s unique and intriguing heritage. Finally, the annual Ambassador Dinner will provide delegates with the opportunity to establish relationships with peers and grow global networks.

October 6, 2017

Worldwide Association Professionals Virtually Connected

Organised by ASSOCIATIONSUCCESS.ORG, SURGE 2017 is a free virtual summit bringing together thousands of association professionals around the world with the aim to collectively innovate and push the industry forward.

While the actual event will take place between 7 and 9 November, attendees may start interacting with fellow association professionals as soon as they register, sharing ideas in the virtual idea box, participating by answering speakers’ questions, and absorbing the broader conversations taking place amongst and beyond the SURGE community.

The conversations will occur in the platform leading up to the final event, which will expand over three days. Each session is an hour long and is pre-recorded, allowing the speakers to spend the entire session period running a Q&A that corresponds to their content. At the same time, a chat box will also be available offering the opportunity to join in on whichever conversation is most interesting to the attendee.

October 5, 2017

Singapore Keeps Going Strong with International Congresses

2017 sees Singapore maintain its international standing as the leading business events destination in Asia Pacific once again. 20,000 visitors are expected to come to the city thanks to large congresses, regional exhibitions and conferences, most of which will be taking place for the first time in Southeast Asia or Asia.

Over the past year, Singapore has won bids to host five major world congresses from the medical and industrial solutions sectors.

It was recently confirmed as the host city for the International Urogynecological Association (IUGA) Annual Meeting in 2021, which will attract 1,200 visiting physicians and healthcare professionals. 2018 will find the 20th International Congress of Endocrinology (ICE) in Singapore gathering more than 4,000 endocrinologists from over 70 countries and further down the road, the World Congress of Anaesthesiologists (WCA) in 2024 will welcome 8,000 anaesthesiologists from around the world.

In the industrial sector, the 46th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (IECON) on industrial and manufacturing theory and applications is expected to receive around 1,300 overseas attendees in 2020, while the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) is expected to host around 2,000 international industry professionals in 2022.

October 4, 2017

Agriculture Scholars Cultivate New Ideas in Darwin

The Darwin Convention Centre had the opportunity to host the 2017 Nuffield Australia National Conference, bringing together over 300 primary producers, investors and industry experts from a wide cross section of sectors and regions from Australia and overseas. In addition to the two days of sharing knowledge, conference delegates spent time on regional tours seeing first hand primary production in Northern Australia.

Jodie Dean, CEO of Nuffield Australia, said: “Nuffield scholarships provide unique opportunities to the new pioneers of agriculture to investigate technological advances around the world. The scholarship in itself is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but the benefits continue beyond the tour with a shift in the approach to learning, sharing and leading for the broader development of the industry”.

Themed ‘New Horizons’, the conference set the scene for discussions and presentations on the need for new research and integration of new technologies to the industry to continually improve efficiencies, safety and cost competitiveness.

2017 was the first time the Nuffield Australia National Conference has been held in the Northern Territory. The significance of the Territory in leading Australia’s agriculture exports into Asia is being recognised by businesses, investors and government but there is long way to go to realise the potential of the north.

Picture: Darwin Convention Centre