UFI to Take its Annual Congress to Oman

July 17, 2018

UFI to Take its Annual Congress to Oman

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has selected Oman and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre for the 2020 UFI Global Congress. The event is organized in November of each year and brings together more than 500 industry professionals from more than 50 countries. It has previously been hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa (2017), Shanghai, China (2016) and Milan, Italy (2015). This year, it will be hosted in St.  Petersburg, Russia, followed by Bangkok, Thailand in 2019.

Ideallly situated on the Arabian Peninsula and only seven hours away from half of the world’s population, Oman is a country that merits to be discovered. Oman is a diverse nation rich in both history and culture, blessed with a breath-taking natural beauty.

Chairman of Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, H.E. Mohsin Al Balushi, said: “It is an honour to have been selected to host the 2020 UFI Global Congress and bringing such prestigious delegates to Oman would showcase the wonderful exhibition facilities and services that the country had to offer and reflected the growing confidence in the local market place. I am sure that the delegates will have a memorable experience in this land of enormous diversity and natural beauty. Our new convention and exhibition centre is the ideal venue for facilitating the exchange of ideas amongst the UFI members”.

July 16, 2018

London Welcomes Experts in Data

Coming for the very first time in the UK, KDD, the world’s oldest and most important Data Science conference will be held at ExCeL London in August 2018. London has been chosen as the host city as it represents the heart of global data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning research, with the capital topping the European investment charts for funding into fast growing sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, cyber security and Fintech.

Aldo Faisal, publicity chair for KDD and Associate Professor in Data Science at Imperial College London commented: “KDD coming to the London ExCeL is both a reflection of the explosive growth in Data Science and AI and a testimony to the city’s global leadership in it.”

KDD is a leading interdisciplinary conference bringing together researchers and practitioners from data science, data mining & large-scale data analytics.  Taking place over five days, the conference brings together thousands of professionals to listen to the top data scientists share their knowledge to advance the application of data science, expand their expertise and discuss novel ideas with industry peers. Delegates can learn from leading experts in the world of applied data mining and knowledge discovery with a series of invited talks, half day workshops and tutorial sessions.

July 16, 2018

The Often-Feared Issues
of Compliance & Regulation

With global trends showing an increase in world population at 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 by 2050, according to the newest UN figures, such developments offer some real opportunities as well as challenges to the association market.

Rising living standards and fewer people living in absolute poverty offer unique opportunities for associations to innovate and work to educate these emerging markets with bespoke programmes, benefits, international professional standards and engage in knowledge transfer, certifications, networking to name but a few possibilities. In particular, associations will be faced with the challenge to a) identify growth markets, b) determine which business models will be best suited for maximum engagement, and c) how to fit these models to an appropriate growth strategy to foster this engagement.

Stringent rules

For a few years now, medical associations have felt the stress of diminished income through, among others, sponsorship contributions or even direct operating budget support from industry partners. Where in the first decade of the 2000s industry may have supported medical associations’ budgets with up to 60%, and sometimes more, through sponsorships, advertising and patient education, this support has come under increased scrutiny from the public eye in recent years. Most notably, abuse of anti-fraud regulations, exorbitant consultancy fees paid to practitioners and surgeons, and ‘kick backs’ from big pharma have caused more stringent rules and regulations to be applied to the healthcare industry all over the world.

What is it that modern medical associations can do to navigate the complex world of compliance rules, maintain an appropriate relationship with governments on the one side and industry on the other?

Medical practitioners list a variety of benefits they enjoy and find useful and thus attach value to continuing membership with professional bodies, such as associations nationally and internationally. These lists usually start from simply benefitting from educational and knowledge exchange programmes, continuous education credits (CME) and the opportunity to network with peers and relevant industry partners. In addition, many associations offer opportunities to publish scientific articles of high academic value in their journals, develop clinical databases for the use of their members, and engage in dialogues with governments and industry alike to represent and uphold the values of the medical profession. Some associations have even ventured into financial markets offering insurance and other products to their members. While this may read like a laundry list it shows the resilience and creativity of some professional bodies to remain at the forefront of relevance in the global association market.

Recent surveys have shown that, although a diverse range of benefits is certainly advantageous, it is but a fraction of the benefits experienced during a global summit or world congress. Practitioners feel more than ever that there is nothing as useful as meeting in person and having the chance to engage in discussions, debates and other learning activities, while having access to the newest trends in the healthcare industry. The impact of such gatherings is clearly not to be underestimated and their attractiveness to new markets still has room for deeper exploration.

Industry relations are important in this scenario of venturing out into the great wide world and industry supports large parts of congresses and activities of medical societies. Whether it is through support of patient-education (a prominent case being the relationship between the American Association of Family Practitioners AAFP and The Coca Cola Corporation on the research into obesity), advertising in medical journals, product endorsements, and/or financial support of (graduate) education programmes and awards.

Ethical engagement

While it is safe to say that industry provides large support overall to the benefit of medical associations, making significant financial contributions, criticism arises as to the potential pitfalls and trade-offs when not-for-profit organisations are being supported by for-profit entities. Even more questions arise around established norms as well as the responsibility of medical societies towards their members, patients and societies at large. Ethical concerns are at the forefront here and maintaining a neutral stance can often be a challenging balancing act.

As societies therefore look to the future and explore new ways of engaging with their environments, public affairs move to the core of a society’s life. Ethical engagement is the buzzword of future generations and in order to differentiate and free self-governance and independence from conflict of interest it is worth spending a thought or two on the creation of a set of ethics rules and/or an ethics policy. A clear outline on which activities, relationships and engagements are indeed to the benefit of a society’s stakeholders and how to address potential risks of conflict are vital to determine a society’s position vis-à-vis its interest groups. This is certainly an easier approach than trying to evaluate and handle each relationship and potential risk on a case-by-case basis.

Having a set of rules and guidelines at the ready also facilitates engaging in newly developed markets. Past mistakes can be avoided from the beginning and a society can prove its maturity and value the more developed and grounded its ethics and policy basis is in relation to the work it carries out. In fact, it opens itself to becoming a learning organisation itself and becoming a strong partner for local authorities to develop appropriate and modern standards. This, in turn, may assist industry in accessing new markets as well and adjusting their efforts towards ethical and environmentally compliant behaviour to the benefit of society.

Organisationally responsible behaviour has never been more in fashion as today and current trends show that responsible engagement needs to be deeply anchored in the values of any organisation if it is to survive. The challenges of greater interconnectedness, AI and further automation require new standards also in transparency rules. Being prepared by means of appropriate ethics rules that address the handling of conflicts of interest openly strengthens and stabilises not only continuous community engagement but also the bottom line.

This article was provided by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, author Christoph Raudonat, Director of Associations, International Conference Services Ltd, on behalf of IAPCO President, Mathias Posch.  IAPCO represents today 117 companies comprised of over 7500 professional congress organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 41 countries.  info@iapco.org / www.iapco.org      




July 13, 2018

Adelaide to Host Medical Physicians and Biomedical Engineers in 2024

Led by Professor James Goh, the International Union for Physical and Engineering Science in Medicine (IUPSEM) has chosen Adelaide as the host city for their 2024 congress, it was announced last week. Held every three years, the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering is one of the largest international gatherings of medical physicists, biomedical engineers and specialists from related fields.

The win, secured just after the Adelaide Convention Bureau’s recent BioMed showcase is further testament that the focus by the Bureau on Health Sciences and Medical events seems to be paying dividends. Investment in infrastructure with the development of the largest Biomed City in the Southern and its collaboration with the Tonsley Innovation District which incorporates the Flinders University – just 15 minute drive from the city (or via a soon to be opened rail link) is the primary driver of this focus. The congress will attract the most innovative companies and world leaders within the field to Adelaide. Hosting the global delegates and companies is fundamental to South Australia remaining at the global forefront of the industry and in turn, assist the Bureau to continue to attract events of this calibre.

2,400 delegates from 89 countries are expected to attend the Congress.

(Picture: Adelaide Convention Centre)

July 12, 2018

New Sustainability Strategy in Copenhagen

It’s been some years now that Copenhagen has been recognized as the world’s most sustainable tourism destinations. As part of its aim to ensure the city’s position as a frontrunner in this field, Wonderful Copenhagen, the official tourism organization working to promote and develop both business and leisure tourism in the capital region of Denmark, has appointed a Project Manager for sustainable tourism development to help shape the sustainable direction of the organisation and the destination.

In the newly created role, Project Manager Mikkel Sander will be responsible for developing and launching Wonderful Copenhagen’s new sustainability strategy for 2018-2021, which will be closely aligned with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). The new sustainability strategy will be launched later in the year.

Copenhagen has made significant investments in sustainable city solutions, attracting worldwide attention when it announced its ambition to become the first carbon neutral capital by 2025. Copenhagen’s meeting industry also takes sustainability seriously with almost 70 % of the city’s hotel rooms being eco certified while many suppliers in the city’s meeting industry have adopted green and sustainable initiatives.

July 11, 2018

Avant-Garde Chefs to Cook for Malaysia

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), together with Professional Culinaire Association (PCA) will be serving up the best Malaysia has to offer to delegates attending the Worldchefs Congress & Expo (WACS) 2018. The biennial event is expected to welcome around 1,000 delegates with 70 percent representing arrivals from 105 countries in Kuala Lumpur from 11th to 14th July 2018.

As MyCEB comes close to its 10th year in service for the business events industry, Datuk Zulkefli, My CEB CEO, who has been there from the start says that events such as WACS 2018 often enable Malaysia to be a magnet for professional expertise and talents in culinary industry.

“We are looking beyond the benefits of having just this one business event for Malaysia. I am confident that after WACS 2018, Malaysia will not only be a destination that is known for our own culinary experience, but will also be catapulted as a hub. The country has what it takes to be the centre of culinary excellence as it is an ideal platform to network with like-minded industry players, gain insights and ideas on the latest food technology and trends, as well as share best practices with their counterparts from all over the world. As an affordable destination, culinary apprentices can be assured a good stay together with exposure of the industry from Malaysia and beyond the Asian region,” Datuk Zulkefli Hj. Sharif said.

The Congress is organised internationally by The World Association of Chefs’ Societies or Worldchefs. The association is a dynamic global network of more than 100 chefs’ association representing culinary experts at all levels and across specialities.

July 10, 2018

New Venture Between SingEx and Unbound for Innovative Events

SingEx together and Unbound signed a joint venture agreement last week to incorporate a new business entity called SingEx Unbound Innovations International Pte Ltd, to be helmed by CEO-designate. Daniel Seal, the current Founder & CEO of Unbound Innovations Ltd.

SingEx, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore investment company, Temasek Holdings, is a leading events management company in Asia, organising and managing a series of trade exhibitions and conferences in various industries, whileUnbound is the market-leading and award-winning events platform that connects corporates and governments with grassroots innovation and startups.

Through this joint venture, the partners will leverage on their core strengths, tapping into new market opportunities while introducing cutting edge event design and fresh themes, and actively engaging the communities so as to create new Unbound Innovation Festivals in global growth markets. “Together, we will strengthen our role as an enabler for the Future Economy by enhancing our access to capabilities and networks to key technology hubs and ecosystems globally. This will in turn foster greater connections with government and private organisations as well as digital communities,” commented Aloysius Arlando, Chief Executive Officer, SingEx Holdings.

July 10, 2018

Supportive Care in Cancer in Adelaide

A few years ago, Adelaide may have seemed like another Australian city with no clear-cut identity, but it has since transformed itself into a destination attracting attention from associations all over the globe. It helps, of course, that urban revitalization projects are everywhere to be seen, with some exciting architectural rejuvenation among the city’s art venues, museums, and downtown residential and office buildings. This attention also stems from another source: the city’s ambition to being a medical and life science leader on the world stage.

The 2016 MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer was held at Adelaide Convention Centre in June 2016. According to MASCC President Ian Olver “innovation was a particular aim of the meeting,” which attracted over 1,070 delegates from more than 50 countries, with a sizable turnout from Australia and Asia. At the time, MASCC had traditionally met either in North America or Europe, but momentum had been building to host the MASCC symposium in Australia for several years, and there was a growing desire to be more global, since the forum gathers world-leading experts to discuss the latest scientific developments and cutting-edge research in supportive care in cancer.

Adelaide was selected based on a number of criteria. Scientific Program Co-Chair Dorothy Keefe explains: “Supportive care is ultimately about improvements in care, management of the side effects of cancer treatment–both physical and psychological—prevention of secondary cancer, prolong survivorship, and maximization of quality of life. The work we are undertaking at Adelaide’s BioMed City and in our universities within this field are ground-breaking and gaining worldwide recognition; it just made sense to hold the meeting in the South Australian capital. At the time it took place, the city had also just completed its new Riverbank precinct with a new hospital, research institute, convention centre and university buildings. The revamped infrastructure and easiness of use was impressive.”

According to Dorothy, Adelaide is a perfectly sized city for a conference, since it is compact, close to the airport, and offers hotels and facilities within walking distance. Now that the Royal Adelaide Hospital and medical school are open, it will be even better. The hotels are also very good, and the choice of restaurants is fantastic—the best sitting within a stone’s throw from the Centre. Safety is also increasingly important, and Adelaide is one of the safest cities. And, of course, we boast such wonderful wineries and natural beauty within a very short travel distance,she adds.

The Symposium definitely enhanced Adelaide’s reputation as a wonderful conference destination, as well as an emerging arts venue (a much-appreciated art exhibition was held during the conference) and place where patients are at the heart of supportive care in cancer. The legacy components of the meeting were threefold. We were able to engage the Asia-Pacific region like never before and increased the presence of MASCC and its membership in the region. South Australia became better known to the participants as a wonderful destination. We had many visitors from the USA, Europe, and Asia, and a large number of them would have known of Melbourne or Sydney before but were delighted with Adelaide. The focus on the region also led to an increase in the knowledge of supportive care and long-term patient benefits. It showed how well the city works for visitors and for conferences. It also changed MASCC; there had never been dancing at a MASCC President’s dinner before!” Dorothy said.

This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé (editor@boardroom.global). The full version of this article can be read in the latest issue of Boardroom available here.

July 9, 2018

ETHA: How Partnerships
Can Increase Impact

Officially launched at the end of last year, the European Thrombosis and Haemostasis Alliance (ETHA) was formed to advocate for better awareness and prioritisation of thrombosis and haemostasis in European Union patient safety and research programmes. Initiated by the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), it’s a revealing example on how international organisations can expand their European –and even global– footprint by being more present formally in an association hub like Brussels. In our second instalment with the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP), Thomas Reiser, ISTH Executive Director, explains why there couldn’t be a better place—or time—for the birth of ETHA.

How did the European Thrombosis and Haemostasis Alliance initially come about?

The European Thrombosis and Haemostasis Alliance is currently comprised of 21 European national, regional and speciality societies representing the field of thrombotic and bleeding disorders. ETHA was formed out of the need for a united voice of the EU thrombosis and haemostasis community in order to represent the field, make recommendations on EU research programme funding and encourage sharing and adoption of best practices in the treatment and prevention of thrombotic and bleeding disorders across EU member states.

The impetus for it came out of a recent ISTH strategic planning exercise. This identified the need for ISTH to seek closer collaborations with—and support the efforts of—national and regional organisations around the world in not only scientific matters, but also in the areas of raising awareness about bleeding and clotting disorders and their impact on public health among the general public and policy makers.

As an international society, you initiated the Alliance. Do you consider this a growth strategy?

Unlike many other medical and scientific fields, in the field of thrombosis and haemostasis, a European organisation does not exist. This is probably due to ISTH’s strong overall ‘presence’ in Europe through our activities, members and leaders from Europe, even if we do not (yet) have a permanent physical presence in the EU.

In addition, we at ISTH are very focused on seeking partnerships. We have built, over decades, strong collaborations with over 100 national thrombosis and haemostasis societies around the world. So, it was a natural step for us to initiate the Alliance after consultation with our European sister societies. What was very important for us in this is that while ISTH plays a leading role in the Alliance as a convener, we are not dictating the course of action; we are working alongside the other member organisations to determine the strategy, objectives and tactics.

While the Alliance in itself is not in support of a growth strategy for ISTH per se, it has the benefit of further strengthening ISTH’s position in Europe and provides additional value to the partnerships with our sister organisations.

Do you find this kind of regional federation of sister societies is a business model that ‘fits’ international associations like yours?

Collaborations among organisations with aligned objectives are (almost) always better than when a single organisation tries to do something. Particularly if it is about having more significant impact on public policy, public health, etc. I think how this specifically can and should look like for any given organisation or field may vary and what the exact governance model is also needs to determined. For ETHA, we specifically chose a more informal alliance model, but in essence it is about several organisations aligning themselves to pursue the same objectives—and this is where its power lies.

Did it help that you know both Brussels, where you lived and worked, and DC, where you now live and work, as they are both association hubs?

It has certainly helped greatly to have a fundamental understanding of how the EU and ‘Brussels’ work. But it’s also helped to have a cultural understanding (as a European myself) to charter a clear(er) course on how to best approach this project from a policy aspect, as well as how to best collaborate.

We started with the classic approach of conducting a policy audit and stakeholder mapping to identify what the situation is and opportunities may be before going too far into this project. We wanted to make sure there is a real need and opportunity for such an Alliance. Once that was identified, we engaged our European sister organisations to understand their interest. It helped greatly that we were able to tap into all our existing relationships and find common ground, which was actually quite easy and straight forward.

The European Union and the US, respectively, are two of the largest single markets where associations are welcome and encouraged to be part of the public dialogue and contribute to best solutions for society and business. This allows associations to have substantial influence and the respective capitals, Brussels and Washington DC, naturally represent hubs where organisations could and should be active and – if necessary – be present.

Achieving impact requires diligent work, patience and persistence and a local presence allows for better insight and access, as well as the ability to build relationships and act quickly when opportunities arise. Cities like Brussels and Washington DC can provide a framework for organisations to do business easily and effectively (by providing association hub infrastructure and access to networks of other organisations, facilitating registration processes, etc.) that lower the barriers of entry and operations. This definitely makes it more attractive for organisations to consider a presence there and allows them to focus more of their efforts on doing their important and good work rather than wrestling with bureaucracy.

Were there any challenges along the way?

The greatest challenge was and continues to be that this is a long play that may only yield clear results in several years. Investing financial and human resources, as well as a lot of time from our very dedicated ETHA member leaders, in such a process can be challenging, particularly when you want to measure progress and justify those significant investments. But the end goal is worth it if we can achieve what we set out to achieve—and we believe we can. It will have significant impact on our field, as well as on Europe, in both an economic and social sense, as well as on the health and well-being of its citizens.

This interview was conducted by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé (editor@boardroom.global)


July 9, 2018

Registration for Asia Pacific Incentives & Meeting Event (AIME) Now Open

Taking place in Melbourne 18-20 February 2019, AIME, the Asia Pacific Incentives & Meeting Event, connects global exhibitors with a diverse pool of buyers from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia Pacific, as well as buyers from the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. Running the show for the first time, Talk2 Media & Events has reviewed multiple facets of buyer needs, exhibitor requirements and registration procedures, and has new initiatives to ensure a smooth, robust process, which has just opened.

All buyer expressions of interest are vetted for professional suitability before being invited to register for the Hosted Buyer Program. Registration details cover experience, annual event budgets, purchasing authority, and their event portfolio over the next five years. With up to four reference checks this comprehensive assessment of applicants ensures the right buyers will be at AIME in 2019.

For more details and to submit your interest to attend AIME in 2019 visit aime.com.au.