Qatar’s Plan to Go International

October 20, 2017

Qatar’s Plan to Go International

As announced last week at the UNWTO’s celebration of World Tourism Day in Doha, Qatar has launched a new step as part of its National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030. Called the Next Chapter, this step lines out the strategy for the development of products, services and experiences and for the promotion of the destination on an international scale for the next 5 years.

With the reorganisation of its tourism sector’s governance, Qatar is placing the focus on a strong integration of all stakeholders in the business events sub-sector and on bringing international business events to the destination by establishing unique expertise and knowledge in the country. Developments in infrastructure facilitating associations in organising such international conferences are soon to be announced.

Cultural authenticity plays a big role in the nation’s efforts to attract international associations. Programs to facilitate interactions and shared experiences between Qatar’s residents and its guests will keep in mind the human scale in the congress product.

October 19, 2017

Brisbane Treats WHO’s Members

After hosting the 2014 G20 Summit, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) recently welcomed the 68th session of the World Health Organisation’s Regional Committee for the Western Pacific Region. The conference was held in Australia for the first time in 20 years.

WHO members from the Western Pacific Region gathered in Brisbane to discuss future priorities for the health and well-being of the region’s nearly 1.9 billion people. More than 30 countries and areas in the region, including the world’s most populous country China and small Pacific island states were present, represented by ministers for health and senior officials, who were among the 300 delegates.

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 Industry

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 12, 2017

Campaign for Scotland’s Innovative Ideas

VisitScotland Business Events announced the global launch of a digital campaign, focusing on the country’s position as the home of pioneering innovation. Under the banner of ‘Scotland. Where ideas become legend’, this campaign will try to attract association organisers by promoting the country’s academic credentials, pioneering spirit and history of innovation.

It focuses on the fact that events create ideas that have the potential to change the world and innovation and invention are the tangible results from business events. Scotland is home to industries such as Engineering and Robotics to Computer Gaming and Medicine, and conferences that are organized there are usually aligned to those.

Starting on 6 November, the online campaign will create and share content online from experts, influencers and industry leaders from across the country showing Scotland’s connections with a variety of growth sectors. The campaign will be promoted on social media, through LinkedIn and Twitter (#ideasbecomelegend).

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.