Business Events:
The Power of Associations

June 21, 2018

Business Events:
The Power of Associations

In the second of three insights on the value of business and professional events, GainingEdge CEO Gary Grimmer and Gregg Talley, President and CEO of the Talley Management Group, analyse the crucial role professional associations and the broader “civil society” deliver across all the whole of scientific and industrial development.

“Civil society organisations do work that government can’t necessarily do and do work that business can’t necessarily do. Yet if we can create a space where we actually pull together the professionals in a given field, and then invite business to the table, invite government to the table, invite your stakeholders to the table, we have much richer conversation” says Talley.

Watch the video on the website of Boardroom’s partner The Iceberg.

June 13, 2018

Consider Your Impact at Every Stage of Event Planning

Events have the potential to provide a lasting impact for the organisations that plan and own them, the participants who attend them, and the communities that host them. This potential is realised when events are intentionally designed to drive business value, to enhance the participant experience, and to engage the community economically, socially, and environmentally. A focus on this “legacy” helps us to make sure this impact is a responsible one.

In an interesting piece from Boardroom’s partner, PCMA, Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP, CEO of the Events Industry Council, says there is a growing awareness about the effect events have on communities.

You can read all about it here.

June 6, 2018

GainingEdge’s Educating Early Meeting on Legacy during IMEX

On the last day of IMEX in Frankfurt, GainingEdge organised an early meeting on the premises aiming to educate its attendees further on the important topic of ‘Legacy’. In this framework, three speakers were invited to present their views and stories around the issue at hand. We, at Boardroom, hold Legacy in our heart, it’s a topic we deal with on a regular base with a special section on our website and once a year in print; so we were also there to hear all the experts had to say.

Representing Rehabilitation International World Congress, Venus Ilagan emphasised the need for the empowerment and inclusion of people with disabilities, which was also the congress’s main theme. Held in Edinburgh in 2016, the challenge was to prepare the city for the hundreds of attendees with disabilities. RI’s vision is to ensure that when it holds its world congresses, it should leave a legacy behind; this time, in close collaboration with Convention Edinburgh, it went far beyond having an economic impact and a global prestige for the city, it fundamentally changed Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s approach to accessibility and inclusion and in shaping a better future for all. As a legacy from the RI World Congress, there has been a destination-wide working group that was created, focusing on accessible and inclusive tourism, called Everyone’s Edinburgh.

The second story shared in the room came from Colombia and Linda Garzón, who explained how the vision of leaving a legacy should start already from the bidding process. In Bogotá’s case, bidding for One Young World Summit (OYW) engaged young citizens to participate in different movements around the world; they are now measuring the impact of the projects regarding their contribution to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In the same way, the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates raised the level of dialogue around peace and contributed to the peace building process of the country by live streaming the event in seven countries and involving the vulnerable population affected by conflicts. You can read all about Bogotá and its legacy on our website.

Finally, Genevieve Leclerc, founder of Caravelle Strategies, described how convention bureaux can add value to their association clients and emphasized the difference between legacy versus impact. She explained how legacy is something left or handed down by a predecessor; a notion hard to measure, it implies changing the lives of the attendees and the community, but it might not be what an association set out to do in the first place. On the other hand, impact makes a significant change by addressing an existing challenge, social, economic or other type. It is durable and deliberate.

Written by Boardroom’s digital editor Vicky Koffa

 

May 31, 2018

Copenhagen Wanders Beyond Legacy

During IMEX, Copenhagen presented us with the interesting notion of the image problem academic events are facing; the endless conference invitations and the talk around carbon footprint paired with the strained budgets at public research institutions result in the loss of academics as key meeting attendees. The meeting industry should be able to document value creation, to make an impact, and in Copenhagen they are trying to do just that; help academics evaluate their events.

The campaign for legacy is meant to highlight how the meeting industry contributes to a better world, however, according to Industrial PhD student, Thomas Trøst Hansen, this concept is not clear and the real challenge lies in developing evaluations of the existing value creation at academic events, e.g. inspiration, network development, community building and exchange of recognition. These are the reasons for having academic events and we have failed to demonstrate their importance.

Always according to Mr Hansen’s research, academics work and receive recognition through a value chain which is used as a basis for evaluating academic events. He has found remarkable differences in the outcomes between different types of events, including congresses, specialty conferences, symposia and practitioners’ meetings. By focusing on the academic sector and addressing the academic outcomes, the evaluation framework will be more engaging for the academic sector, including universities, funding bodies and scientific associations. The involvement of such actors in the evaluations of their own events is key to promoting the broader outcomes of the meetings industry.

 

May 22, 2018

Malaysia Leads Legacy Efforts in Southeast Asia

Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has rolled out several programmes and initiatives to spur legacy planning among its local associations that will be hosting international conferences this year and beyond. With a focus on six main pillars, namely knowledge sharing, networking, educational outcomes, fundraising and future research capacity, raising awareness and profiling, and showcasing and destination reputation, MyCEB has commissioned the development of case studies with high-impact legacies to accentuate the importance and the benefits beyond tourism of hosting meetings and conferences in Malaysia to the country.

Ho Yoke Ping, General Manager, Business Events, MyCEB, explains: “We have identified several high-profile business events like the 25hWorld Gas Conference 2014, the ICCA World Congress 2016, and the recently held 9thWorld Urban Forum 2018, as well as upcoming conferences such as the World Chefs Congress and Expo 2018, the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2018, the World Cancer Congress 2018 and the International Solid Waste Association World Congress 2018. We will be disseminating these case studies to all our stakeholders for them to better understand that these events are more than just number of delegates and hotel rooms, but also touch the lives of the professional and local communities in Malaysia.”

Following earlier efforts like the formation of Malaysian Society of Association Executives (MSAE) in 2017, as well as the Kesatria programme, also known as the conference ambassador programme, MyCEB also conducted a legacy clinic in March 2018, with the objective to explore and measure the beyond tourism benefits in Malaysia from the perspective of event organisers, employers, delegates, exhibitors and sponsors. A total of 12 associations attended the clinic, which is the first in a series of more clinics in the future. Part of this overall initiative is also pushing the government by strengthening multi-sectorial and inter-ministerial cooperation with the appointment of one focal point contact from all ministries.

May 11, 2018

Cape Town Turns
Water Crisis Into Legacy

Cape Town is fighting the worst drought in recorded history, but leveraged the opportunity to position itself as a leader in innovation and resilience in the field of water management to attract new conferences.

Cape Town’s worst drought in recorded history was feared to spell disaster for the city’s tourism economy as photos of water lines and doomsday headlines started appearing on news broadcasts around the world.

As the top ranked city in Africa for business tourism events by the International Congress and Convention Association, Cape Town relies on conferences not only for the visitor boost but to attract investors. Rather than scare conferences away, however, the crisis became an opportunity to become a knowledge leader and global champion in an under-recognized but growing field.

In addition to the Young Water Professionals Conference held in December 2017, Cape Town will host three water-related conferences in 2018 including the International Water Association’s 2018 Water Loss Conference held in early May. It was the first IWA conference to be held in Africa and seen as an opportunity to highlight best practices from across the continent.

“One of the criteria for selection is how appealing and relevant a destination is for water professionals from a professional development and learning perspective,” explains Kirsten de Vette, Learning and Capacity Development officer, IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition. “In Cape Town’s case, the drought provided attendees an opportunity to learn first hand about the response of the city to such a severe crisis.” 

Proactive Approach

The Cape Town International Convention Centre proactively prepared for the worsening drought conditions, reducing its annual water consumption by 8 million liters over the last 6 years, and recording a 42-percent savings in water consumption between the first quarter of 2017 and 2018.  CTICC chief executive Julie-May Ellingson wrote all clients in early 2018 alerting them of the center’s efforts to reduce water usage and the learning opportunity at hand.

Water professionals are aligning themselves with Cape Town to spark further opportunities for the sector as a whole.

“Cape Town’s drought crisis has provided an opportunity to elevate the relevance and importance of an event such as the WISA biennial conference, given the organization is the largest professional membership body for representatives within the water sector”, explains Jason Mingo, Chief Scientific committee member at Water Institute of Southern Africa.

WISA has been instrumental in driving the International Water Association – Water Loss Conference 2018 and their own Biennial Conference and Exhibition 2018 to Cape Town. The biennial event aims to be water neutral, offsetting the water footprint of almost 1,000 expected delegates. 

“‘Never waste a good crisis’, remains an apt motto within the water sector,” says Mingo.

Building a Legacy

Information sharing is at the crux of Cape Town’s growing knowledge hub, explains Corne Koch, Head of the Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, who takes a holistic approach to hub building.

“Even before the water crisis became a huge challenge, conferences identified opportunities to build a legacy in the destination. The bureau drives discussion about knowledge sharing and building legacy with conference planners,” said Koch. “Conferences promote and support other business sectors, providing direct and indirect opportunities, to spread knowledge. This creates additional opportunities to attract other meetings and conferences.”

The water adjacent International Conference on Sanitation,Waste and Water will be hosted in Cape Town in November, and is not likely to be the last of Cape Town’s growing water-related lineup.

This article was written by Boardroom editor, Samantha Shankman (samantha@boardroom.global).

May 7, 2018

International Research Conferences: The Academic Impact

The study explores the benefits and barriers for individual researchers and universities when hosting research conferences. It has been commissioned by the Danish Council for Research and Innovation Policy – an advisory body to the Danish Minister of Higher Education and Science, and situates the hosting of research conferences as a potential tool for enhancing the national science system.

The study concludes that the individual researchers benefit mainly in terms of increased visibility and networking. The host institution and wider research environment benefit by easier access to recruitment, involvement of PhD students and younger researchers, as well as increased visibility. There are a number of barriers related to hosting international conferences of which the most prominent are lack of time and resources.

From Boardroom’s partner, The Iceberg.

April 26, 2018

Leaving a Space Legacy in Jerusalem

In the Old City of Jerusalem, there’s a saying that each stone holds a piece of history. Perhaps that’s because the city has a history spanning back thousands of years, from the time of the Judean kings and the Roman Empire through to the Islamic period and modern State of Israel. But while Jerusalem’s past is one draw, the city is looking to its dynamic institutions and research centres to build its future. Highly esteemed conferences in sectors like space are leaving a legacy that extend far beyond Jerusalem’s famed Western Wall, impacting the city and influencing others around the globe with groundbreaking new developments. 

Strengthening Space Ties

Sitting at the centre of the world, connecting the East and West and making it an easy destination for delegates to descend upon, Jerusalem has earned a reputation of being a place worth visiting for more than its holy history. But looking beyond and to the future, the city is also seen as one of the top emerging technological hubs, while Israel as a whole has rightfully earned the nickname The Startup Nation since it boasts the largest number of per-capita startups and venture capital investments in the world.

Not only is Jerusalem buzzing in terms of business, the city is also home to one of the top academic institutions, The Hebrew University, which ranks among the 100 most outstanding in the world. Along with its affiliate Hadassah Medical Center, the university conducts over one-third of Israel’s academic research and 43% of the country’s biotechnology research. The city acts as an academic powerhouse and leader in life sciences, with revolutionary research in the realm of regenerative medicine and stem cell experimentation, drawing the likes of scientists and physicians from around the country—and world—to showcase their findings in the same fields.

But one sector that’s really gaining momentum is space, with a legacy that can still be felt after the 66thannual International Astronautical Congress (IAC)—the world’s leadingspace conference—was held in Jerusalem in 2015.

IAC 2015

Hosted by the Israel Space Agency at the Jerusalem Israel Convention Center (ICC), the IAC brought together over 2,000 participants from 60 different countries, with more than 100 exhibitions and presenters, including American aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin; the Italian Space Agency; the South African National Space Agency; Korea Aerospace Research Institute; the Romanian Space Agency; Israel Aerospace Industries;and the UK Space Agency. “This annual event serves as a backdrop for the global space sector allowing governmental, academia and private industry leaders to envision, implement and complete collaborative projects for the betterment of science and humanity,” explained former Minister of Science, Technology and Space Danny Danon.

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has a history stemming back more than 60 years, before the first satellite was even sent into space, and the IAC is its largest annual conference. In similar style to the Olympic Games, the federation, which includes founding members like France’s Groupement Astronautique Français (French Astronautic Group) and the United Kingdom’s British Interplanetary Society, selects the next destination for the IAC threeyears in advance. Israel first played host to the IAC in 1994, but a lot has changed in the past two decades as the country has expanded its research and development in space sciences. “The fact that this space convention was chosen to take place in Israel is a tribute to Israeli sciences leading and advancing in the field. Israel may only be 68 years of age but the country is in the front row for entrepreneurship and new developments internationally,” Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Space Ofir Akunis said in a statement regarding IAC 2015.

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset,  is available in the April/May issue of the magazine available here. This is part of Boardroom’s 
legacy series, where we take a deeper journalistic dive into how congresses can leave a lasting legacy in the cities or regions where they’re held… and beyond.

April 19, 2018

Legacies of the Decoupling of Chinese Associations

A special contributor to Boardroom, Olivia Jia, Senior Manager of IME Consulting Co., Ltd. and publisher of the ‘China Social Organisation’ magazine, reflects on the specificities of working with associations in China.

 The first international conference held in China was the Peking Scientific Symposium in 1964 with 367 delegates, which had more of a political aspect. After the reform in 1978, China moved to join many international associations and set up several national trade associations. As a result, several international association congresses were organised with the support of the state government, such as the World Conference on Women in 1995 and the International Postal Congress in 1996. However, 1996 saw the end of this opening towards the world for the country as the State Council enforced a notice according to which there was a hold over international conferences in China.

The reason for this was twofold; firstly, it was financially challenging since most of the international congresses held in China as well as the expenses of local attendees were both sponsored by the local government. Secondly, for the duration of a conference there was not enough time for the heads of the Chinese associations, who normally also served as ministers or other kind of government officials at the time, to perform their official duties.

Finding the right local partner is key

Fifteen years later, in 2011, and with the approval of the State Council, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly issued the notice on the strict control of international conferences in China, emphasizing again that all of the international conferences held there would fall under the jurisdiction of Foreign Affairs, hence requiring approval from the government in advance. The notice went further to ensure that no foreign organisation could hold a conference in China without collaborating with a local partner, namely state organs, people’s organisations, institutions or social organisations. A smart move as local partners could help benefit the industry of China.

Taking into account this recent restriction, it became important to choose the right local partner in order to get the permit to hold an international conference. Several umbrella associations, such as China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) & Chinese Medical Association (CMA) ,cooperated quite actively with their international counterparts securing their congress in China. In fact, by the end of June 2017, there were over 725,000 social organisations in China including 344,000 trade associations and chambers of commerce, 375,000 private non-enterprise organisations and 5,900 foundations who could serve as your local partner.

The new face of associations

In July 2015, the Central Party of China Committee and the State Council issued the “Overall Plan for Decoupling the Trade Association Chamber of Commerce from the Administration” declaring that the former should be separated from their executive branch by the end of 2018. This separation included 5 different aspects: separation of organisations, functions, assets from finance, personnel management and also separation of party building and foreign affairs. This new plan resulted in more market-oriented associations. Through a process of self-improvement, they managed to get closer to their members’ interests in an effort to be more active in the market economy. Adjusting to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the decoupled associations became more active and open for communication when facing the international market.

As the international department of the ‘China Social Organisation’ magazine, we are supported by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of China and organised by the China Association for Non-Profit Organisation (CANPO). Our main readers are over 100,000 Chinese social organisations, including trade associations & the Chamber of Commerce, as well as private non-enterprise units and foundations. That is why, since the beginning of last year, more and more national associations come to us with various questions concerning their international business on, for instance, how to organise international sessions during congresses, how to invite international speakers or even how to bid for an international conference.

Tricky business

With most of Chinese associations built from the top down – with few exceptions which are built spontaneously – the majority of their headquarters, especially within national associations, are based in Beijing. This is mainly due to the fact that most of the country’s administration offices are located in the area.

As a case study proves, we now have three national liquor industry associations originating from the former Ministry of Light Industry, the former Ministry of Trade and the liquor specialised committee of China Food Industry association. This phenomenon of recurring associations also exists in other industries due to lack of communication between them. It is the result of China’s long-term implementation of departmentalised management, meaning that, in the past, an industry had a number of government departments to handle, which in turn built up industry associations for their own purposes during the process of reform. It is then crucial to be clear which government department an association belongs to.

Further reading: Filing for NGO temporary activities

  • Application conditions: If an overseas NGO has not established a representative office in China, but intends to carry out temporary activities, the NGO needs to have been legally established abroad; and will cooperate with the state organs, people’s organization, institutions and social organisations of China.
  • Application materials: Overseas NGO Representative Office Registration Form/ Provisional Activities Filing Registration Form; documents and materials proving that the NGO has been legally established overseas; “Articles of Association” of the overseas NGO; materials proving its existence for more than two years and its activities abroad; the name, purpose, geographical area and duration of the specific provisional activity.
  • Timeline: Filing the application 5 months in advance: for a conference of over 100 international delegates or for a total delegate number of over 400; for a science and technology conference, with over 300 international delegates or for a total delegate number of over 800; for a conference where ministers or higher level foreign officials or former heads of state attend the event (for any other international events, the application should be filed 3 months in advance).

April 13, 2018

The Virtue of Patients

Medical associations that invite patients onto their stages and into their conference-planning committees are finding that patients are a virtue.

At the European Lung Foundation (ELF), a patient-centered organization founded by the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and based in Sheffield, U.K., the shift toward patient involvement was gradual, for instance.

The patient-involvement initiative is linked to the joint effort of ELF and ERC to leave a legacy behind in the cities where conferences are organised.

Read all about it on the website of our partner Convene, the PCMA magazine.