Monaco and Grimaldi Forum Keep Rising

December 5, 2018

Monaco and Grimaldi Forum Keep Rising

In the context of this year’s ibtm World, Monaco Convention Bureau has announced its growing success over the years, reaching the 85th position in the ICCA ranking for conference destinations worldwide and the 40th in Europe. This is due to the turn the Principality is taking towards more diverse key sectors, with special focus on New Technologies, Finance, Automotive and Luxury Brands.

In an effort to establish itself as a ‘green’ destination, a new campaign has been launched focusing on Destination Sustainability. Furthermore, in cooperation with KLM, AirFrance and Monacair, the Monaco Convention Bureau provides special rates for delegates both for travelling and accommodation, as well as a number of transfer opportunities.

Grimaldi Forum, the Principality’s conference centre, works hand in hand with the convention bureau. This close relationship, the luminous setup and the Forum’s ‘green’ certification have resulted in a 4% increase since last year, bringing in events such as Cybersecurity and IPCC-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

December 4, 2018

Wales Sets the Stage for International Business Events

With the opening of the new International Conference Centre Wales in 2019, the Welsh Government’s Business Events team is drawing global attention to the country as part of Wales ‘Year of Discovery’, highlighting Wales as a centre of expertise and academic research, as well as its blend of natural landscapes, culture and heritage.

In October, the inaugural “The Business of Events Wales” conference was held at Celtic Manor Resort, Newport. The event brought together leading stakeholders and influencers from across the Welsh and international business events sector for the first time. With a focus on Wales’ key economic sectors including Life Sciences, Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, Creative Industries, Food and Drink, Energy and Environment, Financial and Professional Services and Technology the high-profile event highlighted Wales’ golden opportunity to earn a greater market share of business events from the UK and the rest of the world.

Heledd Williams, Head of Business Events for Visit Wales said: “Event planners are increasingly looking to countries like Wales with connectivity, expertise and wonderful places to explore. The “Year of Discovery” will be a great opportunity to highlight Wales’ pioneering history and innovation with a range of unique business events venues from Cardiff Castle to the Chateau Rhianfa just waiting to be discovered.”

December 3, 2018

Basel Gets Creative for DIA Europe 2018

A global association that mobilises life science professionals from across all areas of expertise to engage with patients, peers and thought leaders, the Drug Information Association brings its European meeting to a different location every year. For its 30th anniversary, it chose to stay close to its European headquarters and organised the event at Congress Center Basel (CCB). Some 2,000 participants from all over Europe convene to Basel from 17 to 19 April 2018, ‘at the crossroads of healthcare’, as branded in the theme of the meeting.

The DIA is the only organisation in the world with the aim of bringing together professionals in health-product development so that they can pool their findings and push ahead with measures for the development of health products and lifecycle management. Over the past 30 years, the association has been getting experts around a single table, with the objective of finding new, concrete methods and solutions for patients. Transparent cooperation is made possible by incorporating representatives from the life sciences landscape. In this regard, the industry, the cost bearers, the patients and the regulatory authorities all have an equal say. Whether politics and regulations, research and development, marketing or economic developments: all the different stakeholders of the value chain are represented and that’s what makes the DIA conference unique.

As written in the programme, DIA Europe 2018 is more than just a traditional meeting. It’s a chance to learn, engage, and grow as a healthcare professional. “At DIA Europe 2018, we provided our delegates with a neutral forum to discuss current issues, with the goal of uncovering new ways of working and new solutions for patients. We welcomed participants from across the entire drug development industry and we facilitated open collaboration,” said the committee in charge of the programme, which included more than 65 meetings with nine challenging and cross-functional topics, such as ‘Drugs of the future: What will innovation need and bring?’ and ‘How can we further promote clinical research in Europe?’

A new feature of the 2018 conference were the DIAlouge sessions – a dynamic and results-oriented format which brought together stakeholders in order to solve a specific problem. The three-day event came to a close with the rapid-fire meeting, which in the past has proven very successful, and during which the key contents and findings of the conference were presented.

The innovations that helped make the conference a genuine experience included some creative stage setups, as well as a large number of unique ideas in terms of material, signage, technology and furniture. For the branding, digital elements were combined with tangible features to form a convincing whole. In Hall 4U of the CCB, an exhibition featured state-of-the-art ePosters, which made a lasting impression on participants. “The Congress Center Basel is an excellent location. The infrastructure is ideal and the working relationship perfect. In future, DIA Europe will only be rotating between different locations, and one of these will be Basel”, said Magdalena Daccord, Head of operations EMEA. Cathy Persidis, Senior Conference Manager at DIA added: “My work was definitely made easier with the support and collaboration of the CCB team”.

This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé. More info on Congress Center Basel: sales@congress.ch / www.congress.ch ; and on Switzerland as a convention destination: myriam.winnepenninckx@switzerland.com / www.MySwitzerland.com/meetings

 

December 3, 2018

Gothenburg Receives Associations World Congress & Expo 2019

On 7 – 9 April 2019, Sweden’s second city, Gothenburg, welcomes the Associations World Congress & Expo (AWC) to the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre (SECC), for the first time in Scandinavia. The extensive programme was launched at IBTM World in Barcelona on Wednesday 28th November and it includes a number of different opportunities when it comes to following sessions. A richer educational program with six segments each with seven sessions to choose from will be offered under the theme ‘Knowledge and Enlightenment’.

“We are very excited to launch a new and progressive programme for the next congress and to have the opportunity to share an amazing venue and city with our delegates in Gothenburg next year.”,says Damien Hutt Director of Association of Associations Executives that organises AWC.

The city’s success is based on the ability to find new ways of providing services in strong relationship with planners. A fact that is greatly appreciated by visiting meeting associations. “Gothenburg is a rising star, but still less known than our competitors. That is why we must show ourselves to the meetings world and attracting Associations World Congress is a key step in that direction”, says Annika Hallman, Director of Gothenburg Convention Bureau at Göteborg & Co.

Recently the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, presented the third phase of its expansion plans in launching a competition to design its fourth hotel tower. The aim is to achieve a total hotel capacity of roughly 1,600 rooms by 2025.

 

Photo : From right: Eva Flyborg, City council of Gothenburg, Annika Hallman, Gothenburg Convention Bureau, Damian Hutt, Association of Association Executives, Malin Erlandsson, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre.

December 3, 2018

GAHP Members Surpass Universal Association Growth Rate

The Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP) was founded in October 2015, bringing together four major association hubs to represent their regions of America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As it marks its third anniversary, its members – Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC – are experiencing growth in the number of associations located in their cities at a significantly faster rate than global averages. More specifically, in 2018, the number of association headquarters and regional offices located in the four cities grew by 2.5% reaching 3,769, according to the Union of International Associations (UIA), a significantly higher number when compared to worldwide growth of 0.9%.

In this past year, the partnership has continued to get involved in industry meetings and events the world over. This included organising and powering sessions at the inaugural Dubai Association Conference, the European Association Summit in Brussels, the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago, and the ASAE Association Leadership Forum-Asia Pacific in Singapore. GAHP has also provided research to feed into studies by the likes of the Union of International Associations (UIA), International Conference and Convention Association (ICCA), Association Laboratory and AT Kearney.

Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President, Dubai Business Events, said: “Dubai remains committed to facilitating the growth of associations, recognising their importance to developing key industries and sectors and further diversifying the economy. The Dubai Association Centre (DAC) provides a powerful platform for international and regional associations to expand their reach, influence and membership, and at the same time contribute to and tap into Dubai’s growing knowledge economy. In December, DAC will host its first Association Leaders Getaway, offering a unique platform for networking, education and discussions.”

Melissa A. Riley, Vice President, Convention Sales and Services, Destination DC, points out the impact of new investment in the region: “The recent announcement that Amazon will establish HQ2 in the DC metro region exemplifies how the investment in technology, talent and innovation intersect in our region.”

Jeannie Lim, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings and Incentive Travel, Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau recognises the growth of her country as the regional Asian hub for international associations to anchor their events and offices. She says: “Singapore was again ranked as ICCA’s top international association meetings city in Asia-Pacific for the 16th year in a row. We believe we can continue to contribute meaningfully to the growth of associations both at the regional and global level.”

Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Director, Brussels Convention and Association Bureau, said: “In March, visit.brussels will organise the 7th edition of the European Association Summit, confirming its commitment to association professional development. The event gets into a new dimension by linking it closely to the sustainability activities undertaken by the Brussels Capital Region actors allowing to combine education for associations and promoting what the destination may offer them in this important field.”

November 30, 2018

Athens Turns to Innovation

Athens is the winner of this year’s European Capital of Innovation Awards. The contest, which is funded by the EU research and innovation program Horizon 2020, took place in Lisbon earlier this month. The City of Athens has placed a lot of importance to innovation and how it can help the local community bring about change and open up to the world. Some of the innovations promoted include projects for renovating old buildings, caring for refugees, creating the Digital Council and the ‘This is Athens’ campaign.

The award criteria, ‘experimenting, engaging, expanding, empowering’, analyse how cities use innovation and new technologies to respond to societal challenges, engage broad local communities in their decision-making processes and improve lives of their citizens.

Coalitions such as This is Athens & Partners, vast opening of brand new hotels and investments on hotels from international firms, confirm that Athens, based on the spirit of cooperation, not only has overcome the recent economic recession, but it has also developed and expanded, taking advantage of innovation. With the backdrop of a unique heritage, the city is now a contemporary hub and a quality destination for congress tourism.

November 29, 2018

Copenhagen Wins Innovation Award for Sustainability

Copenhagen improved to a second place on the GDS-Index and received the innovation award at this year’s ICCA Awards as a recognition for the city’s efforts in making Copenhagen the world’s most sustainable capital in terms of tourism.

The innovation award was given to Copenhagen for Wonderful Copenhagen’s work with the soon to be released sustainability strategy, Tourism for Good. A strategy that will focus on making tourism a driver both locally and globally for sustainable development, just as it will focus on making the Copenhagen CVB more sustainable.

“This is a great appreciation of the efforts being made in Copenhagen, as we continuously look for new ways to become more sustainable. Sustainability is always work-in-progress and we invite all good forces to join us on the journey forward,” says Kit Lykketoft, Director at Conventions and Wonderful Copenhagen.

November 28, 2018

Successful Year for Kuala Lumpur with European-based Associations

11 European-based international association events attracted 11,960 delegates to Malaysia in 2018  and were all held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), Malaysia’s purpose-built venue. These events were amongst the Centre’s 1,189 held this year to-date (until 31 October 2018), which have been attended by over 1.85 million participants.

Events hosted in 2018 included the World Congress of SIVA-TCI (World Society of Intravenous Anaesthesia Onlus -Target Controlled Infusion) 2018, World Cancer Congress 2018, ISQua (International Society for Quality in Health Care) International Conference 2018, ISWA (International Solid Waste Association) World Congress 2018, International Diabetes Federation Western Pacific Region Congress (IDF-WPR) 2018, International Rubber Conference 2018, and UIA (Union of International Associations) Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific 2018.

Recent feedback from an event held at the venue highlighting this compelling value proposition was the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) World Library and Information Congress 2018. Elaborating on what made it such a success, Organiser – Roberta Odebrecht, Account Director at K.I.T Group shared, “Due to its strategic location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Centre provides a great delegate experience because of its proximity to hotels of all categories, shopping malls and numerous entertainment options. We are most impressed by the team’s professionalism, enthusiasm and proactivity. The venue perfectly understood our client’s requirements and the importance of aligning each other’s business perspectives and objectives.”

November 27, 2018

Lausanne Climbs the Rankings

Lausanne Montreux Congress (LMC), the recently formed partnership on the shores of Lake Geneva, aimed at attracting and supporting the congress market, has announced it has been ranked among the top 20 destinations worldwide in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

The announcement, which took place at the ICCA conference in Dubai, is an annual index recognising the responsible practices and sustainable growth of international meeting destinations in the business tourism and events industry. Destinations are measured in four key areas: performance, industry supplier-support from entities such as hotels and convention centres, social and environmental sustainability strategies and by sharing the best practices from around the world.

When announcing their partnership last year, LMC set out clear goals to integrate the GDS-Index into their strategy, focusing largely on sustainable development to limit their impact on their exceptional surroundings. The partnership was designed with a vision to transcend political boarders in order to bring together two strong business regions and increase the destinations ability to cater for large associations and congresses with a more diverse venue portfolio and combined MICE expertise.

November 26, 2018

The Changing Meeting Landscape

As more and more associations create event departments some appear to see less and less value in the work of professional congress organizers (PCOs). Why should associations hire professional organizers if, as they grow, they have the staff and the resources to do things themselves? Are the event departments of associations taking over what a PCO or a destination management company (DMC) can bring to the table, and if so, what does that mean? Aigars Smiltans, director of MEET RĪGA, shares his view.

 With the abundance of information out there, available everywhere and all the time, some association event planners find it easy — or think it’s easy — to get what they need to stage a meeting. Industry experts say they see planners going directly to suppliers, whether a hotel, a technology company, or an off-site venue, to book conference space or audio-visual services for their next event. “This is an obvious trend at the moment,” says Aigars Smiltans, director of convention bureau MEET RĪGA. “What used to be organized thanks to the expertise of PCOs or DMCs is now handled in-house, without the assistance of third parties. Planners, like anybody else, are looking to save money: Everyone now has a good understanding of the supply chain from client to end service and is trying to cut someone out.”

Convention bureaus can still add value, experts say, especially if a destination is totally new to a planer. He/she may need people who can give input on, say, unusual venues and new, exciting activities. “But, as convention bureaus, we can’t add value over the whole supply chain either,” Smiltans says.“Hotels, just like Radisson Blu Latvija for instance, now offer a full range of in-house AV solutions to planners, shortcutting intermediaries. That was typically the work done by a PCO not so long ago. And there is also that big buzz about hotels cutting (or at least reducing) commissions now and going the extra mile for their clients. All this stimulates direct collaboration between conference organizers and suppliers.”

Does this change the situation for destinations? “It doesn’t really,” Smiltans argues. “The workload is pretty much just shifting. What used to be done by a PCO is now done by a hotel; whatever advice could come from a DMC is now coming from a convention bureau. I really think DMCs and PCOs should change their mindset and maybe rethink their business models so that associations see where their added values lie.”  That value, experts say, includes extensive local knowledge and connections.

“More and more associations choose Riga without the support of a local branch — and even without the possibility of getting a subvention — because our stakeholders over the whole supply chain do a good job showcasing what they’re good at,” Smiltans says.

Events in Riga that are testament to this include conferences organized by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), the International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP), or the European Association of Adhesives & Sealants Industry and its FEICA event.

This article, whose unedited version is available in the November issue of Boardroom, was written by Rémi Dévé.