AIPC Annual Conference – Lessons from a City Reinventing Itself

August 20, 2017

AIPC Annual Conference – Lessons from a City Reinventing Itself

 

Taking part in a congress whose delegates are actually the very people you deal with when you associations organise yours is always eye-opening. And when that congress takes place in a destination that’s reinventing itself –  and whose congress centre is part of that reinvention – you clearly understand how associations, venues and destinations can better work together to make the most of a conference.

Words Rémi Dévé

AIPC, the international association of congress centres, represents a global network of over 185 centres in 59 countries with the active involvement of more than 900 management-level professionals worldwide. It encourages excellence in convention centre management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation. To do so, it is engaging in a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs. Its Annual Congress is part of those efforts to bring excellence in all areas of centre management: 2017 saw more than 150 delegates converge to Sydney and its international convention centre to tackle the very broad theme of Transformation!

Competition and adaptation are the two top challenges facing centres worldwide today, and for most venues that means applying new models and refreshing established ones in a transformation process that involves both the destination and the centre itself. At the same time, this must be linked to the broader strategies and approaches of the city and country in which centres operate, in order to ensure consistency with overall destination priorities.

In this regard, it made sense for the AIPC Annual Congress to kickstart with a session on how cities that want to play a role on the world scene – like Sydney does – must have all their stakeholders, including convention centres, work together to achieve the same unified vision and achieve growth. This way, association events can be regarded as partaking of this growth. Sydney, a recognized destination, indeed chose to reconfigure itself based on a new vision for its economic future, based on a range of perspectives that re-imagined the role of the new convention centre in the context of economic sector advancement, talent attraction and acquisition, academic leadership and an image consistent with all these goals.

As Michael Rose, Chairman of the Committee for Sydney, an independent think tank and champion for the whole of the city, pointed out: « Convention centres are a platform for success in the business events economy, has to play a role of a facilitator, and sometimes even of an accelerator, of knowledge and is hence a crucial partner in the way a city thinks about itself. »

Of course, I was particularly interested in a session called ‘Client Perspective’. After all, how associations and congress venues can work better together? What’s the overall experience of clients when it comes to convention centres around the world? Jan Tonkin, Managing Director of the Conference Company, which, among other things, offer convention services to associations, and Sven Bossu, Head of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), who organises Sibos, the only global conference on financial services out there, shared their perspectives on change and evolution in the industry.

Jan Tonkin explained how key client groups are re-shaping event formats, centre expectations and traditional business practices. She summarised her experience this way: « Clients – including associations – and centres alike must demonstrate their open-mindedness, flexibility and forward-thinkingness. The trend is to experiment with meeting environments, designing ‘nooks and crannies’ possibilities or better interactive learning experiences. Security concerns are also dramatically on the rise, and collaborative planning in the matter is absolutely key. »

Sven Bossu explained: « Our last conference, which took place in Geneva, was completely reshaped. After having around 13 forums the previous year, we restructured and reformed the programme into four streams. Sibos is all about financial compliance, all about anti-money laundering, and all about cybersecurity, amongst other things. The goal is to bring people together and make them think about how to solve common challenges and that is what we’ve always tried to do with an event like ours. If convention centres understand what we want to achieve and they can be part of it, then it’s win-win situation. »

The rest of this article will be featured in the September edition of Boardroom, available soon.

August 18, 2017

European eHealth Summit to be Held in Lausanne

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) will be holding its eHealth Summit at the SwissTech Convention Center in Lausanne, 21st-22nd September 2017.

HIMSS Europe is the European arm of HIMSS, the largest health IT membership organisation in the world. More than 300 healthcare providers, alongside representatives from science, politics and industry, will attend this year’s summit. The event’s theme of ‘innovation’ will include seminar and keynote topics such as e-medication, m-health, Big Data and cyber security.

Lausanne Tourism & Convention Bureau will support the event with a number of operational services, including excursion management and accommodation coordination, using Lausanne’s bespoke hotel booking platform which optimises value for purchasers of accommodation.

August 17, 2017

Indigenous Education in Adelaide

The 2020 World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) will be held in Adelaide, the Adelaide Convention Bureau recently announced.

WIPCE brings together Indigenous representatives from across the globe to share strategies and developments for culturally grounded Indigenous education and attracts the world’s most respected Indigenous education experts, practitioners, and scholars. Over the course of its 30 year history, the conference has become recognised as the largest and most diverse Indigenous education event in terms of leading discussion on contemporary movements in education that support Indigenous worldviews.

WIPCE was won for Adelaide following a bid by the Bureau working in collaboration with Professor Peter Buckskin, Dean: Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects, from the University of SA with support from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Hon. Kyam Maher.  The win is a fitting celebration in this, the 50 year anniversary of the 1967 referendum and 25 year anniversary of the Mabo decision.

WIPCE 2020 will give Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the opportunity to celebrate their place in the world as the oldest living culture of humanity, and to reaffirm the strength of its culture and knowledge systems that has sustained since time immemorial.

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

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 10, 2017

Insurance Specialists to Convene in Melbourne

The 2017 International Dragon Awards (IDA) Annual Meeting has arrived in Melbourne, Australia with 5,500 insurance specialists from 20 countries unpacking their bags for the five-day meeting based at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC). The international conference is starting today.

IDA will be attended by delegates from China Life, China’s largest insurance group, institutional investor and corporate pension manager, along with companies including Taiwan Life, Allianz, Prudential, Cathay Life and many more.

The Victorian Government has supported the conference which will generate a $24.7 million economic boost for the state. Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, said the Government is working hard to win an ever larger share of the China market. “China is our number one tourism market for spend, arrivals and growth – and we’re continuing to benefit from the expansion of key Chinese airlines across the business events sector,” he said.

IDA will incorporate an educational knowledge exchange and development program, esteemed awards ceremony attended by the who’s who of the insurance sector and a range of social activities within the city and regional Victoria.

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.