Australia Rockets to Success
with IAC 2017

October 17, 2017

Australia Rockets to Success
with IAC 2017

Australia rocketed firmly into the space industry with the hosting of the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide in September 2017 – the largest conference to be held in Adelaide to date and the first to be held at the newly expanded Adelaide Convention Centre.

The Paris-based International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is the world’s leading space advocacy body whose members include all key space agencies, companies, societies, associations and institutes across 66 countries.

The annual conference of the world’s ‘space family’ is the largest gathering of the space industry in the world. Each year, the IAC changes country, theme and local organiser. The Adelaide Convention Bureau, in conjunction with the Space Industry Association of Australia, commenced researching and pursuing this congress almost ten years ago.

COMPLEX PROGRAM

The program for IAC2017 was extremely complex, and used every part of the new East Wing of the Adelaide Convention Centre. In addition to meals and networking sessions, there were eight plenary sessions, several highlight lectures, and more than 250 technical sessions. There was also an exhibition where 80 exhibitors from the space sector showcased their latest offerings and developments.

FAST FACTS

Event: International Astronautical Congress 2017 (IAC2017)

Location: Adelaide, Australia

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre

When: September 2017

Who: Adelaide Convention Bureau; International Astronautical Federation; Space Industry Association of Australia; All Occasions Management (PCO)

Attendees: 5,000 from more than 60 countries

Theme: Unlocking Imagination, Fostering Innovation and Strengthening Security

“As the first major event since completing our redevelopment, IAC was always going to be a great test to our team. Utilising every inch of area we had, in various configurations, it was a great demonstration of the flexible nature of our venue,” said Alec Gilbert, CEO of the Adelaide Convention Centre.

The program featured many highlights including a presentation by SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, on ‘Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species’. Lockheed Martin unveiled an update to their plans for human exploration of Mars in the 2020s; and many new business opportunities and relationships forged during the week-long event, such as Italy’s largest privately-owned space company SITAEL signing a letter of intent with local start up Inovar to jointly establish a multi-million-dollar company in South Australia.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & LASTING LEGACIES

As the host city, the event brought greater visibility to Adelaide’s expertise in the space sector, complemented by community outreach programs. More than 700 school children attended the large interactive exhibition in a dedicated event space; while 3,500 members of the public attended the ‘open’ session of the exhibition on Friday morning. The State Library of South Australia staged an exhibition titled ‘From Outback to Outer Space: Woomera 1955-1980’ and the South Australian Museum hosted a ‘Spectacular Space’ exhibition.

“This event is the epitome of what hosting conferences is all about. The IAC absolutely captivated the city and in addition to the large economic benefit for tourism operators, it is the value of the incredible legacies that come into play well after the last delegate has returned home that truly highlight the importance of winning these large-scale industry events for South Australia,” said Damien Kitto, CEO of the Adelaide Convention Bureau.

Technical site visits to some of South Australia’s key locations were also arranged including the Woomera Test Range; the Institute for Telecommunications Research at the University of South Australia; Adelaide Planetarium; and an excursion to Stockport Observatory.

Perhaps more importantly than the immediate benefits bought about by hosting a conference are the legacies they leave. The Australian Federal Government, buoyed by the build up to the event, chose its opening day to announce that Australia will launch its own Space Agency. The South Australian Government also announced that a space industry centre would be established in the state.

In summarising the event, Brett Biddington, CEO of IAC 2017 said: “Adelaide has been a splendid host city for IAC 2017, and its  collaborative approach has simply been exemplary. Our delegate numbers have by far exceeded our expectations proving that delegates will travel from long distances if the content and the destination of the conference are right. Australia should be justifiably proud of the legacies the event will leave.”

This article was sponsored by Business Events Australia. Contact them today and find out for yourself why there’s nothing like Australia for business events. Simon Gidman / Business Events Manager, UK/ Europe / T: +44 207 438 4633 / sgidman@tourism.australia.com / www.australia.com/businessevents
Photo: IAC Opening Ceremony ©Simon Casson Photographer III

September 29, 2017

Sarawak Help Associations Make an Impact

Amelia Roziman is the COO of the Sarawak Convention Bureau. She explains to Rémi Dévé all about the organization’s efforts to attract associations to Kuching, on the island of Borneo and how it partakes of an overall strategy to make the region grow, while leaving a long-lasting impact.

Can you elaborate on the alignment of the conference you attract to Sarawak and the key industries there?

We primarily target association businesses, conferences, in addition to other areas of business events. Special emphasis is given to agriculture, renewable energy, public health, education, security, development of women and children, and most recently, digital economy.

Hence our strategy is geared towards these pillars. They are the priority for marketing endeavours, focused overall on Asia Pacific with an emphasis on Singapore, West Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and USA.

Geographically, we target international association clients in efforts to expand global branding. A good practice we can divulge is we think out of the box when hosting FAM trips for potential clients.

Can you explain the positioning of Sarawak as an association destination?

Riding on the wave of the accumulative success over the last decade and with the recent ICCA Congress 2016 cementing Sarawak as a formidable meetings destination, we have gained traction over the art of conducting purposeful and sustainable business events.

Beyond the destination appeal, Sarawak is known for its level of service, government support, and the recognition of impact that an association can have on the greater society.

We see associations as our tribal ally; integral to the global tribes of business events. We explore many possibilities when we align ourselves with various associations. In addition to bring out the best in each association’s internal goals, we connect and facilitate associations with government agencies and local partners in an effort to create sustainable impact beyond the immediate economic one.

We also emphasize that meetings are the answer to almost everything from problem solving to nation-building. For example, the sudden rise from infant business event industries with the growth of New Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) sectors primarily creates a need for specialisation and eads to the establishment of professional associations – equating to more conferences in the country.

In what way(s) do you cater to international associations?

Firstly, to participate in the global context and commanding a presence in the business of business events, Sarawak affiliates itself with international bodies such as ICCA and the Union of International Associations (UIA). This alliance is also evident by the recent success of the 55th ICCA Congress 2016, Sarawak is the one of the few “second tier” locations in Asia to win and successfully host this event.

To better prepare the destination for international events, we are keeping up with advancements which complement the industry – such as embracing technology and how it can aid and propel efforts as well as active soft development: education and training via our dedicated partnership ‘BESarawak’ initiative; a 3-prong programme (Communicating, Educating and Awarding) for local associations, corporate organisations, government agencies, media, and industry partners.

Last but not least, the Bureau is opening its doors to local and foreign associations related to key sectors the state government had identified for further development to locate their Asia Pacific based offices to Kuching by providing two year assistance for office rental and taking care of utility bills such as electricity, Internet and telephone. It will also allow associations to use the meeting spaces within the bureau’s office.

The Bureau welcomes all sectors but strongly encourage sectors which are of the state’s special focus, which includes, renewable energy, agriculture, infrastructure development, urban planning, medical, education, IT, and women and children, as well as digital economy.

By having the Asia Pacific offices in Sarawak, we hope to position Sarawak as a business events friendly destination and attract more regional meetings. It will also help to strengthen the branding and marketing of Sarawak as a business events destination.

April 6, 2017

Three Legacy Opportunities for Associations

International professional associations that convene congresses in destinations around the world mustn’t miss out on the opportunity to leave a legacy that reflects the values of the association, whether tangible or intangible, social, or economic or environmental. Three legacy opportunities present themselves to the rotating congresses that are hosted by international professional associations around the world. Words Keith Burton and Kristen Tremeer

Community-engagement

The first type is a community-engagement legacy in which congress participants make a time donation and take part in an outreach activity which generates a tangible and long-lasting outcome. Examples might be planting a vegetable garden for a seniors’ centre, building a playground for a preschool, or constructing a library at a community centre. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute planning and problem-solving as well as elbow grease as they work together toward a result. Engagement with the beneficiaries of the outreach activity is another positive outcome.

This type of engagement can be very inspiring for the participants, and can leave long-lasting positive memories of the congress and destination. It’s a “volun-tourism” approach that gives visitors to a destination a chance to interact with local residents that they might not have otherwise been able to meet. The timeframe for planning is short and the budget can be almost entirely dedicated to materials and supplies as the labour will be supplied by the participants. And, most beneficial to the association executive, the activity can be arranged by a congress management service provider in the destination.

Content driven

The next type is wider reaching, and more content driven, and depends on the nature of the profession that the association represents. Convening a congress in a global destination presents opportunities for expanding the base of congress participation, promoting association membership growth in the host country or region, and strategic linkages with other countries in the region.

The funding model may be based on congress participants being asked to make a voluntary monetary donation during registration, or a portion of the congress budget can be set aside for the intended legacy. Because this legacy is more linked to the nature of the profession that the association represents, the time burden on the association executive will be greater as it is not something that can be outsourced to a congress management company.

Examples range from the establishment of an endowment in a relevant university department to a scholarship for participants from developing economies to attend future congresses. Something as simple as abstract support in which established academics or well-seasoned congress goers assist first-time abstract submitters to craft an abstract to the congress standards can leave a long-lasting legacy: getting an international congress under his or her belt can significantly impact the career of a young professional.

Making bursaries available to local or regional participants will demonstrate intent to grow the profession as well as create the vehicle for participants who may not have previously had the means to attend an international conference in their field. Using the host association’s members as congress volunteers is another way to share access to content and the association’s professionalism.

Skills transfer

Finally, a skills transfer or skills development legacy opportunity is available when a congress brings to any destination world experts on a specific topic or skill, whether medical, academic or professional. A mobile clinic in an under-developed facility staffed by leading physicians who treat and train is a possible example, as are special training sessions for students in a particular field.

The type of legacy chosen will depend on many factors, including the objectives and values of the association, the nature of the profession it represents, the location of the congress, and the enthusiasm of members but no matter the choice, both the association and the destination will benefit.

Authors Keith Burton (IAPCO Council Member), Managing Director, African Agenda, and Kristen Tremeer, Owner and Director, African Agenda, are based in Cape Town. IAPCO has members in 40 countries; they are professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events.

March 29, 2017

Legacy: Feeding the Hungry in Host Meeting Destinations

In January of last year, Jeannie Power, CMP, co-founder of Power Event Group, was on site in Miami, Florida, preparing for a financial-sector meeting. Outside of Power’s hotel room, it was sunny and warm. Meanwhile, in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the U.S. — where all the attendees were traveling from — a major blizzard was gathering strength. Their flights were canceled; the meeting followed suit. – Words Michelle Russell, editor in chief of PCMA Convene

Among the loose ends that Power — contracted for this event by Strategic Meetings & Events — had to tie up was what to do with all of the food that had been ordered for the two-and-a-half-day event. Fortunately, Power was in a unique position to put those meals to good use. In her former role at event-technology company EventMobi, Power had worked with hunger think tank Rock and Wrap It Up! to develop the Whole Earth Calculator mobile app.

On the RWU website, she used the Hungerpedia search tool, a resource that matches food donors with agencies in need, and then she reached out to RWU’s founder, Syd Mandelbaum, and Meeting U. President James Spellos, CMP, RWU’s volunteer IT director and board member. “I wanted to make sure they didn’t have any recommendations beyond what I saw on Hungerpedia,” Power said.

Mandelbaum and Spellos connected her with the Miami Rescue Mission, which arranged to pick up the approximately 540 pounds of food to serve at its homeless shelter. According to the Whole Earth Calculator, the food equaled 415 meals.

Power is quick to point out that the entire process was easy, and not because she’s in the know. Unfortunately, she’s found that many of her colleagues in North America don’t make the effort to donate leftover food because they think it’s too complicated — or that it would make their organizations liable to lawsuits.

Indeed, Spellos said many in the industry remain unaware of the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, signed into U.S. law in 1996, which removes any legal liability for organizations and their food suppliers “if they donate food that is prepared but not served, and connect with an organization that is charitable,” he said.

RWU evaluates charities to ensure that they “have the necessary equipment to take the donations and serve them safely,” Power said, and many of charities can pick up the food as well. “Event planners and hotels — individuals, venues, and caterers,” she said, “need to know that this is not something that’s going to require a lot of effort on their part.”

March 7, 2017

Accessible Playgrounds in Urban Neighborhoods: A Legacy Story

Nearly two decades ago, Sandra Gordon, former Director of Public Relations for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), was looking for ways to educate the public about AAOS members. Research showed that people knew very little about orthopedic surgeons — and when they did think of them, it was as high-tech practitioners. But actually, Gordon said, orthopedic surgeons are high-touch, caring doctors. She said: “They’re the ones who take care of children who break their legs on playgrounds.”

Words Barbara Palmer, senior editor and director of digital content for PCMA Convene

AAOS already was working on a public-education campaign about playground safety. So, Gordon thought, why not invite attendees at the AAOS Annual Meeting — the largest in the world for orthopedic medical professionals — to build a model playground that is safe and wheelchair-accessible in the meeting destination? The association then would leave the playground behind as a permanent gift to the host city, as well as a lasting illustration of what AAOS members care about.

Since 2000, AAOS has built 17 playgrounds in cities ranging from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. The association’s latest creation — constructed, like all the others, in one day — was at Central Avenue Elementary School in Kissimmee, Florida, near Orlando. (The project was designed with the help of local children, who drew crayon pictures of their ideas of a dream playground.) The AAOS 2016 Annual Meeting was held at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center.

The “Safe and Accessible Playground Build” program has been a success from the start, Gordon said, in large part because it tracks so closely with AAOS members’ interests. Many of the medical professionals’ patients are wheelchair-bound or have other disabilities that make the average playground they encounter unusable, so each project emphasizes accessibility as well as safety. “Our members went crazy over it,” Gordon said. “Everybody wants to be involved.” And in fact, every year the event draws more willing volunteers than AAOS can handle — more than 200 surgeons, nurses, industry partners, exhibitors, and local community members came together during the six-hour-long project in Kissimmee.

Read the rest of Barbara’s story in Boardroom Launch Issue.

January 20, 2017

Sydney: The long-term impact of international conferences

International conferences and symposia do more than boost tourism and fuel immediate economic gain for the destination cities, they are drivers for long term-rewards in global innovation, collaboration and sector development. Business Events Sydney (BESydney) is leading industry research into how conferences are a catalyst for thriving economies and an enabler for social change.

Words Fiona Pearce

Since 2010, one of Australia’s leading convention bureaus, BESydney has partnered with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to produce a series of leading reports that identify the social legacies of business events. Their findings reveal a strong correlation between face-to-face collaboration and the growth of the global ‘knowledge economy’ – vital to government, associations and communities alike.

The first industry study released by BESydney in 2011, Beyond Tourism Benefits: measuring the social legacies of business events documented the broad and long-lasting legacies of five international congresses held in Sydney, Australia between 2009 and 2011.

The study surveyed 1,090 attendees including delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and members of the organising committee. Over 90 per cent of respondents reported the congresses facilitated the sharing of new knowledge, ideas, techniques, materials, and technologies by providing local educators, practitioners and researchers with access to a network of international colleagues. This networking gave delegates an avenue for new business and research collaborations, which in turn generate innovation, ideas and research agendas for many years to come.

“Our aim is not only to ensure business tourism, but also to ensure significant value is delivered to the State, and the Nation, in areas such as attraction of global talent, opportunities for international trade and investment, and international collaboration,” says BESydney CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith.

New research by BESydney further demonstrates that business events, including international conferences and symposia, offer delegates unrestricted exposure to innovative ideas and opportunities to develop new knowledge and skills. Part of the Beyond Tourism Benefits series, this recent study with UTS – Conferences: catalysts for thriving economies – also supported that these face-to-face networking opportunities can spark global collaboration, which in turn can progress into new products and services.

“Our research released in September, Conferences: Catalysts for thriving economies, tells us the impact of holding business events in a city; for example we know that 76 per cent of attendees have stated that conferences have supported the development of global research and collaboration; while 83 per cent have said that conferences have enabled the local sector to showcase its expertise to a global audience,” says Ms Lewis-Smith.

“Conferences: catalysts for thriving economies evaluates the longer-term impacts that are enjoyed by industries, governments and communities when a business event is held,” adds Ms Lewis-Smith. “Our series of studies confirms the immense value that is generated from multiple face-to-face interactions – interactions in which delegates co-create value together.

“Business events mobilise exchanges and collaborations that form the foundation of innovation, economic development and societal change – all catalysts for a thriving economy and prosperous community,” she says.

The report concludes that there are four main dimensions to the legacy of business events, and each dimension comprises specific elements that contribute the real value of business events to communities: innovation, collaboration, sector development and the attraction of global talent.

More info on www.businesseventssydney.com.au

Read the rest of Sydney’s story in Boardroom Launch Issue – out in March.