Brussels is All About Osteoarthritis

August 21, 2019

Brussels is All About Osteoarthritis

For the first time in Europe, on the event of World Osteoarthritis Day, the Osteoarthritis Foundation and the agency MCI Brussels, with the support of, will be organising intergenerational events against osteoarthritis on 14 and 15 September 2019 at SQUARE. The organisers will be able to count on the support of the President of the French League Against Rheumatism (AFLAR).

For two – and free- of-charge! – days, specialists and researchers will give conferences that are opened to all. There will be veterinarians available to domestic pets and their owners, while introductory sessions to disciplines such as Tai Chi, Nordic walking and yoga will be organised. Dogs and their owners will also be invited to go jogging together in order to demonstrate that their health is interconnected.

Meanwhile, event patrons, table tennis champion Jean-Michel Saive and his brother, will put on a breath- taking show and will participate in a debate on sport and osteoarthritis led by Philippe Antoine, RTBF sports journalist.

August 20, 2019

ASSOCIATIONWORLD Offers Comms Education

ASSOCIATIONWORLD, partners of Boardroom, are organising one more interesting workshop at The Hotel in Brussels on 2 September. The event, whose morning will be moderated and facilitated by Boardroom founders Cécile Koch and Rémi Dévé, will be all about communications.

Associations must, indeed, find the right balance in catering information and communications towards their stakeholders. They must also be able to reach them through the right media channels. But in today’ss world of social media versus traditional communication methods, how exactly do you do that? What is the best strategy to use to get the most out of your limited time and budget? What is good business communication in today’s ever-changing world?

In AW’s Media Workshop participants will get to answer some of these issues by looking in-depth at the differences between traditional print media versus new media approaches. Both elements are invaluable in building a comprehensive communication strategy that targets your messages to your many and varied audiences.

You can find more information and register here.

August 19, 2019

NewcastleGateshead Gets Cardiac

NewcastleGateshead will host the annual conference of a leading cardiac association in the UK from 19th to 20th November 2019.

Working alongside Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals (NUTH), the British Congenital Cardiac Association (BCCA) will hold its annual conference at Sage Gateshead, the music venue designed by  Norman Foster. The event expects to attract around 450 delegates with an interest in adult and paediatric congenital cardiology from across the UK, as well as an increasing number of international delegates.

As well as the main conference taking place at Sage Gateshead, the association has chosen the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, to host a gala dinner that will feature an immersive art exhibition. Created by artist Sofie Layton and bioengineer Giovanni Biglino, the exhibition entitled ‘The Heart of the Matter’ brings art and medicine together and invites attendees to discover the extraordinary nature and complexity of the heart through 3D printing, digital animation, printed textiles and sculpture.


August 19, 2019

Zeroing in on ICT in Zurich

Thanks to an attractive meetings infrastructure and one of the most innovative networks in ICT, Zurich continues to lure association events. The Swiss city is known as a global leader in many fields—especially information technology and sustainability—in addition to being one of the top in terms of life quality, which has helped attract the attention of international associations for some time now – and rightfully so.

One of the best examples of innovation in Zurich? The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, one of the world’s leading universities in science and technology. Known for cutting-edge research and innovation, it was established in 1855 as the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School, and, more than a century and a half later, the university counts over 20 Nobel Prize laureates as alumni, including the great physicist Albert Einstein.

IBM, Google, and Disney are just three of the many corporations that chose to locate important research centres in the city, which is also home to 450 spin-offs and startups. As if this figure isn’t impressive enough, over 5,000 companies employ around 50,000 ICT specialists in Canton Zurich alone.


Zurich is Google’s largest research and development centre outside the U.S., employing almost 2,500 staff. The company has rented new offices in the city and, according to Patrick Warnking, who has been at the head of Google Switzerland’s business operations since 2011, Google intends to expand further in the coming years. When asked about Zurich’s position as a centre of knowledge, Warnking responds: “Switzerland stands for diversity, innovation, and quality. The great administration and infrastructure here are further success factors. Google’s Swiss centre has maintained its international competitiveness for years.”

A few of the key services he’s referring to: Google Search, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and YouTube. In addition,Google’s “made in Switzerland” services are being developed for the whole world. For these operations to be successful, an in-depth knowledge of languages and cultures is crucial. “With some 85 different nationalities, our workforce in Zurich encompasses this diversity,” Warnking says.“In addition, numerous employees come from Zurich’s outstanding technological colleges and universities, which we collaborate very closely with in the field of research. For Google, this is also an important argument in favour of Zurich.”

Google Switzerland sees itself as part of the Swiss society and the Swiss economy. “For this reason, we are actively involved in a wide variety of projects at a local level, such as start-ups. We are also a founder member of the ‘digitalswitzerland’ initiative and part of the framework of the partnership between Google for Entrepreneurs and the Impact Hub Zurich,”says Warnking. Thanks to these partnerships, Swiss start-ups have global access to the Google for Entrepreneurs programmes and events, such as Silicon Valley boot camps or the investor pitches, “Google Demo Days.” Start-up company Kenzen, which is affiliated with the Impact Hub, is just one of the many success stories.

As for top picks for places to visit in the city, Warnking recommends ICT convention delegates add these three to their Google Maps before visiting: the ETH main building, a symbol of centuries-old tradition, innovation, and fascination for the sciences; Zurich Airport (in which other metropolis in Europe can you reach the city centre in just 10 minutes by train?); and the top of Üetliberg, where you can admire panoramic views over the city, lake, the Glarus and Graubünden Alps. “It’s just beautiful!” Warnking exclaims.

Contact: – This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi DeveThe right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

August 14, 2019

7th PCAAE Associations Summit to be Held in Manila

The Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), the “association of associations” in the country, will hold its annual flagship event, the 7th PCAAE Associations Summit (AS7), at the Philippine International Convention Center on November 27-28, 2019. The Summit, which will also feature an ASAE Edu-Day to be led by the American Society of Association Executives, is expected to draw more than 200 association professionals locally and from overseas.

The two-day learning and networking event, themed ‘Fast to the Future’, will present local and international thought leaders who will share best practices in association governance, leadership and management as well as showcase outstanding association initiatives in “future proofing” their organizations.

AS7 is supported by the Philippine Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), PICC, and ASAE. See or e-mail

August 13, 2019

ExCeL London to Host Flagship Robotics & AI Conference

ExCeL London has been selected to host the world leading International Conference on Robotics and Automations (ICRA) in 2023. The UK capital will welcome over 4,000 of the world’s top experts and researchers in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics for an exciting four-day conference between 29th May to 2nd June 2023. 

ICRA is IEEE Robotics and Automation Society’s flagship event and will be the first major international robotics and automation congress to be hosted in the UK. The programme will see delegates take part in interactive workshops, tutorials and networking events hosted at some of the city’s most iconic venues such as the Science Museum, Westminster Abbey and the Shard.  The conference will also place a strong emphasis on developing the next generation of talent with a number of activities aimed at children aged 7 and 12 years old to raise enthusiasm for STEM subjects. These activities will include robot competitions between schools in the UK.

London has emerged as leader in hosting some of the world’s biggest tech events and conferences with the recent London Tech Week attracting over 55,000 delegates and 300 events across the city, and the news that the UK capital will host the financial services and fintech conference SIBOS in September 2019.

“This will be a massive boost for UK Robotics, considering that this is the first time ever that a major international robotics conference will come to the country,” Professor Kaspar Althoefer from Queen Mary University and project lead for London’s bid said.


August 12, 2019

The Hague Gets Together to Fight Cybercrime

In The Netherlands, October 2019 will be all about cyber security. As part of the European Cyber Security Month, many conferences, competitions and trainings will take place providing the opportunity to exchange knowledge, ideas and innovations for a more secure future.

The Cyber Security Month will be kicked off in The Hague on the first of October with the 3-day International One Conference. It is an international renowned conference in the field of cyber security and it is organised by the Dutch government. Amongst the other events are the Europol-INTERPOL cybercrime conference, the Unleashing Cyber Security Summit, a congress about the Future of Quantum Computing, Quantum Cryptography and Quantum Sensors and Security Conference & Training as a pre-event.

The upcoming edition of the One Conference is extended with an extra day: Thursday 3 October, which is made possible in cooperation with the city of The Hague. In alignment with the One Conference, the city aims to stimulate the exchange of cyber security knowledge, ideas and innovations for a more secure future. During the three days, leading speakers from all over the world will share insights and developments in cyber security.

On the eve of EU Cyber Security Month, the municipality of The Hague sets the tone by testing its own digital security. In cooperation with the Dutch cyber security company Cybersprint, the city organises the hacking competition ‘Hâck The Hague’. The 2019 edition of this competition takes place in the City Hall on 30 September, when the Atrium of The Hague City Hall will be transformed into ‘The Hague Hackers Dome’. The best national and international ethical hackers – from students to professional hackers – are invited to detect digital vulnerabilities in the digital infrastructure of the municipality and its suppliers.

August 12, 2019

Solutions for Staffing Associations

After rounds of team interviews for the role of Director of Education and Events at the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), chief operating officer Colleen Eubanks thought they found their match. They did the background check, called references, and made an offer. The candidate accepted, and the start date was set.

But the Friday before starting the position, the new hire was swayed back by their current employer with a counter offer. We had to start the search process all over,” Eubanks says. While they ended up hiring a leader who is “more of a team player than the individual who did not join the team,”this sort of scenario is quite a common one.

“In terms of finding talent, I think it’s getting harder and harder to find great talent who are also going to be a cultural fit for the organization,” explains Debra BenAvram, CEO of AABB, the leading organization representing the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy communities. “There is so much competition for good talent that dollars don’t go as far. We’re doing more for less and juggling a lot of factors as making decisions on how to design staff and culture in a way that’s going to deliver results for our members.”

Attracting Talent

In a 2019 “Association Salaries & Staffing Trends Report” conducted by PNP Staffing Group, 28 percent of associations reported candidates declining their best offer, and 57 percent of those surveyed said that senior executive positions are the most difficult to fill. In 2019, the majority of competition will be in this area, since baby boomers are retiring and a large portion of staff replacements are for leadership positions.

According to Alexander Mohr, executive director for the European Flavour Association (EFFA), part of the challenge when it comes to hiring is explaining the role and tasks of trade industry associations, especially if you’re looking outside of major cities like Brussels, London, and Washington, DC. Associations are often not on the radar of young people, which is one of the struggles when it comes to positioning associations and attracting fresh talent. Companies should highlight the work that’s done on a national, European and maybe global level,” Mohr advises. “Demystify the industry and give the people who work with us, the volunteers, more visibility. I think it’s the association’s task and work to give those volunteers the chance to shine a bit.”

EFFA, for example, created a community called the Flavour Ambassadors, a multimedia project that highlights the roles and expertise of professionals from different departments through video interviews. “Engage beyond just giving once a year report about activities, and maybe try and make volunteers ambassadors for the industry with visibility on social media,” Mohr adds.

Creating a Culture

The “Googleplex” campus in California may boast swimming pools, volleyball courts, and 18 cafeterias, but associations can create just as strong of a company culture without all the bells and whistles. One of my colleagues always says culture happens by design or default, and one of those two things is going to happen, so you better design it well,” says BenAvram. “When I think about designing culture, any time we have a person coming into or leaving a team, it’s a brand-new team—and we can never forget that.”

To combat budget constraints and rotating work forces, BenAvram advises developing a strong and ongoing set of values to create a team that trusts each other, challenges each other, and holds one another accountable to accomplish great things. “Culture development and team development is something you’re never done doing,” she says.“When I’m working on building culture, I’m working on building a connection for everyone in the organization to the results for the whole organization, not just the results for their own team.”

Eubanks agrees, which is why the hiring process at IASP is a team effort. When a spot opens up, this is a chance to look across the organization and make a group decision on how—and where—to allocate those resources, instead of rushing to replace a member. “When we set up the interview process, I purposely include team members from other departments and from different levels so the candidates can get a good perspective of how our organization works and what the culture is like,” Eubanks explains.“We also discuss the open position in our leadership team meetings and agree on expectations for the new person to work with different teams, so everyone understands the role and expectations before we even make the hire.”

Having a methodology in place helps to build trust with teams and show that leaders are looking to make the best decision for the organization as a whole, ensuring that every member’s voice is heard. This way, one team doesn’t feel prioritized over another—a challenge in today’s resource- (and budget-) strained world.Culture change takes three to five years—these are building blocks that take a long time to get people to see and trust and value as you’re building a team and figuring out how to use your dollar,” BenAvram says.“At the end of the day, people want a connection to the altruistic mission we’re all here for. Where I work, if we do a good job, patients who need a blood transfusion will have safe blood. That’s a pretty powerful tool for me to use to motivate employees.”

This article was written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset.  The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

August 9, 2019

Cairns Convention Centre to be Expanded

Cairns Convention Centre, which has been operated by AEG Ogden since it opened in 1996 and twice named winner of the World’s Best Congress Centre (2004 and 2014), will undergo a refurbishment of existing facilities and an expansion providing an additional 3,000 square metres of meeting, banquet  and exhibition space.

Work is due to commence in June 2020 with the refurbishment to be completed by November 2020 and expansion by 2021/22.

AEG Ogden Chairman and CEO, Harvey Lister said: “One of the main selling points going forward will be the ability of the Cairns Convention Centre to host multiple events at the same time, ie a basketball game and a convention or two conventions. Conference growth in Tropical North Queensland has been constrained as a result of the Centre not being able to accommodate two large conventions simultaneously during the convention season. This expansion by Government will largely resolve those constraints, opening up additional economic benefits and tourism opportunities for Cairns and Tropical North Queensland.”

August 8, 2019

ICCA and eSpeakers to Collaborate for Quality Content

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has partnered with eSpeakers, the leading online source of professional speakers for international meeting organisers.

Made up of a number of initiatives, this new collaboration will allow the International Congress and Convention Association to diversify and expand the educational possibilities available to its members at annual ICCA events and online via the ICCA Knowledge Hub, through access to eSpeakers’ expansive and diverse community of thought leaders and subject matter experts.

eSpeakers will use their community’s resources to sponsor speakers for ICCA’s annual Congress and Association Meetings Programme, and in addition create a branded directory of ICCA faculty members within their Marketplace, the largest directory of professional speakers available on the web. Designed to help meetings professionals to hire speakers directly through the eSpeakers platform, event planners can use the directory to find and filter appropriate speakers by subject, budget, language and other customisable criteria.