Final Call for BestCities Global Forum

October 28, 2019

Final Call for BestCities Global Forum

BestCities Global Alliance is making its final call to all senior international association executives interested in enhancing their personal expertise and maximising positive impact of their events, by applying for one of the remaining places at the annual BestCities Global Forum, to be held in Copenhagen this December. The programme, centred on the theme of Exploring the Congress of the Future – Fortifying Impact, will run from the 8-11 December.

Set to explore the future of the business tourism industry, attendees will attend an Impact Workshop, discover innovative case studies, hear from inspiring speakers and grow relationships with like-minded peers from around the world. Organisations already confirmed for the Global Forum include the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the Young Presidents’ Organization, and many more.

Copenhagen Convention Bureau (CCB) and BestCities will also launch an ambitious initiative to explore the future of congresses, in partnership with the Danish Design Centre and futurists from Public Futures. Delegates will be asked to take part in the building of these scenarios for associations for the future.

October 25, 2019

Trailblazers Receive Grants for Conferences in Brisbane

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has invited Brisbane’s brightest minds to apply for a grant program to help attract lucrative international conferences to Brisbane. The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant offers a share of $30,000 to emerging professionals and researchers to attend an international conference in their field and help Brisbane bid to host the conference in future.

“We want local trailblazers to benefit from attending an international conference where they can build valuable global networks, broaden their knowledge and skills and gain recognition of their work in Brisbane. At the same time, the recipients will work with the city’s economic development board Brisbane Marketing and partners to bid for the conferences to be held in Brisbane”, Cr Schrinner said.

Former recipients, University of Queensland scientists Dr Christina Schroeder and Dr Johan Rosengren, used the grant to attend the 2018 International Peptide Symposium in Tokyo. They then spearheaded a successful bid for Brisbane to host the event for 2021. Backed by the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Marketing and Tourism and Events Queensland, the symposium will see about 650 global researchers and experts in peptide science visit Brisbane.

Another recipient, Clinical Director of not-for-profit Hear and Say, Emma Rushbrooke, worked with Brisbane Marketing to secure the AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Symposium for Brisbane in 2021, after using the grant to attend the 2018 event in the United States. Due to Ms Rushbrooke’s advocacy for Brisbane, the city will welcome about 500 global experts in paediatric hearing and healthcare.

October 24, 2019

‘Digital Campaigning’ Workshop by ESAE

The European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), partners of Boardroom, is organizing the final in its series of workshops on Digitalization for Associations, launched on October 2018 and co-produced with Cambre Associates. The workshop, under the topic “Digital Campaigning for Impact”, will explore the effectiveness of digital campaigns and how to engage with stakeholders.

During an interactive session, specialists from Cambre Associates will share tips and facilitate discussions on how to improve your associations’ digital campaigning capabilities that deliver results. The workshop, which is set to take place on October 29 between 9.00 and 10.30, is hosted at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) in Brussels.

You can find out more and register here.

October 23, 2019

International Associations Gather for the European Association Summit

The European Association Summit will take place on 10 and 11 March 2020 at SQUARE – Brussels Convention Centre. The event brings together everyone in the world of associations for a series of workshops and talks every year, in order to exchange and benefit from the experience of their peers. Participants can meet secretary generals, managers and project managers, as well as external actors orbiting the association sector.

Amongst the expected participants is Anna Koj of the association Professional Women International Brussels (PWI), whose mission it is to help women make progress in their professional careers and private lives. Thomas Goodwin of the Project Management Institute (PMI) will help to formulate a defence against the challenges posed by current international events (Brexit, new European authorities). Representatives from the International Association of Firefighters and the European beer sector will also be amongst the speakers.

Over the course of two days, conferences and workshops will be led by association representatives and internationally renowned experts. Exchanges will be fuelled by most of the areas of concern in the world of associations: digital transformation, communication, funding, the revolution in ways of governance, as well as many other topics. With its focus on hands-on learning, the EAS is centred around workshops and dynamic exchanges between participants.

Organised by the Association Bureau, EAS 2020 is one of the tools being made available to facilitate the establishment, growth and professional lives of association representatives in Brussels.

As a reader of Boardroom, you can get a 15% discount on your registration fee with the code: EAS2020BR

October 22, 2019

Association Meetings as Part of the Circular Economy

The Iceberg’s James Latham met up with Pier Paolo Mariotti while he was Faculty Director of the ECM Summer School in London this year. Pier Paolo shares interesting views on the circular economy and how it can rejuvenate convention bureaus as a result of wider industry seeing events as critical to their objectives. Bolzano, Italy, is testament, indeed, to the shift to the strategic role of research institutions and how they connect communities in science and such using ambassadors from these institutions to attract association meetings and the talent and funding they support for the region…

Capacity building in Bolzano from Fred Productions Ltd. on Vimeo.


October 22, 2019

AIM Explains Patient Involvement in Scientific Congresses

AIM Group International has recently published a new White Paper by Francesca Manzani, head of the Florence Office of AIM Group. The paper provides perspectives on why you should consider the integration of patients in your next congress and how to do it with success. Patient involvement in clinical care and research has gained momentum in recent years, firstly because the patient community itself is asking for a more active role. But also, because patient participation in health care systems has been proven to improve treatment outcomes.

The White Paper explains that, once a decision has been made to strategically involve patients in the congress, they can be entrusted to play different roles, such as event co-designers (patients can contribute to developing the scientific programme), they can offer an additional point of view (engaged as active audience participants or intervene as speakers) and logistics counsellors (to take care of the physical and medical needs of patients at the congress venue).

Ms. Manzani uses the real life example of the World Systemic Sclerosis Congress, which AIM Group organised since its first edition in 2010, to demonstrate patients fundamental role in improving the impact of a congress. «The connection between physicians and patients makes the congress really original and particularly rich in building human empathy. The presence of patients over the years has contributed to maintaining a greater attention to their needs and helping make improvements to their daily lives» concludes Manzani.

The full white paper can be downloaded from the AIM Group website.

October 21, 2019

Lyon Steps Up on a Greener Level

The Lyon Convention Centre and Eurexpo Lyon, two of the GL events group’s venues in Lyon united under the name the Lyon for events, fully integrate the principles of sustainable development in their activities and have earned ISO 20121 certification. This standard sets the guidelines for responsible management systems applied to event-related activities.

The recent certification demonstrates the implementation of sustainable development practices in Lyon Convention Centre and Eurexpo Lyon management, along with efforts to minimize the social, economic, and environmental impact of its events. The project fits in with a unifiying overall social and societal approach that considers a variety of stakeholders, including clients, employees, local government bodies, suppliers, and more. The CSR criteria now present in nearly all major calls-for-tender have also been adopted by the group’s current providers.

Sustainable actions carried out by the two venues include the recreation by staff of employee eating and informal areas, distribution of unconsumed food and beverage products to associations, partnerships for better waste management, optimization of the buildings’ consumption of energy and water and a charity event planned for the end of the year.

October 18, 2019

Sustainable Investments Discussed in The Hague

For the 6th time, Pensions & Investments organises its annual World Pension Summit in The Hague. On 22 – 24 October, the summit gathers pension professionals from across the globe at the Louwman Museum to discuss a more sustainable future for pensions in Europe and the world.

The WorldPensionsSummit (WPS) is a platform for and by pension professionals, which aims at providing a truly global learning and networking experience. This year, the programme evolves around the theme ‘Shifting Powers + Sustainable Investment: Separating the signal from the noise’. During plenary sessions
and dedicated tracks of choice delegates will discuss the long-term components of vital ‘pension cross roads’, meaning the programme covers all aspects of pensions, integrated at a senior in depth level.

Nikki Pirrello, Associate Group Publisher, P&I Marketing & Conference says: “The Netherlands is known as a place for pension innovation. That is why we ended up in The Hague, the international centre for justice, which aligns very nicely with the mission of most of the large pension funds”. Due to The Netherlands’ reputation of good pension systems, with many pension fund organisations located in The Hague, WPS 2019 invites a selected group of pension fund executives on a discussion tour, visiting Dutch pension funds and meeting global leaders in pension fund management and investment.

Photo : Louwman Museum 

October 17, 2019

Facilitating Interactions Between International Associations & Local Hosts

Can venues play a valuable role in bridging the divide that sometimes lies between the international associations and local hosts/chapters? This is what argues Angeline van den Broecke, Director of Global Business Development and Marketing, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

Local hosts/chapters are often an integral factor in elevating the success of a major international congress. While international associations often take responsibility for providing the global perspective and organising the bulk of the programme, local associations have important input in terms of providing destination insights and flavour.

However, the capabilities and experience of local associations can vary wildly. In an ideal world the local host and global association will already be aligned in terms of vision and mission. But there is often a long delivery timeframe between when a bid is won by a destination host and when the congress execution takes place. Another dynamic that influences this relationship is when an intermediary such as an appointed PCO or Core PCO or AMC is involved.

Often the global association organisers, who are often full-time professionals may have different perspectives and expectations than their local counterparts. Host associations, often run by enthusiastic volunteers, may lack regular exposure to the organisation of events of this nature and scale. Communication issues (i.e. cultural and language differences) can also contribute to varied expectations, which can hinder the organisation and ultimate success of the congress.

Building Engagement

In our experience, venues can play a meaningful and valuable role in bridging the divide between the international associations and local hosts/chapters. Venues are often dealing with the local associations/hosts on their national or regional events and have a fairly good understanding of the status of the local association and the primary influences and local players. In addition, interpretation with respect to cultural nuances and local business practice are often an area where the Centre is used as a connector.

In destinations where a city bureau may not exist, such being the case in Kuala Lumpur, the venue is required to often provide a myriad of destination information and a support interface beyond the norm and to work as a partner, not a supplier. This is one of the reasons the Centre set up the Kuala Lumpur Business Events Alliance (KLCCBEA) with a primary focus on providing a one stop solution to support Meeting and Event Planners.

In this respect, the Centre ultimately provides social value; as a partner that maintains a cumulative history, and business intelligence after many years of engagement and execution and client relationship management.

Venues can assist by sharing key learnings and best practices from previous successful events and really get to understand the different complexities and success factors across different demographics, geographies and sector specific demand drivers and to share this knowledge both ways can truly influence the success of the working relationships between all parties.

Case in point: the 29th. International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) 2019, held at the Centre in July. As the Society of Conservation Biology’s (SCB) Executive Director, Dr Debborah Luke, comments: “ICCB is quite a challenging congress to manage because you have the international organisation trying to guide from their global perspective; the steering committee handling the scientific content; and the local chapter, who are generally the organising committee taking care of the on-ground management and ensuring there is a Malaysian flavour included in the event. Trying to integrate and make sure all three parties are on the same page at the same time can be quite tricky. What we learnt from our experience is making sure you define very clear roles, manage expectations and set realistic outcomes for everybody involved.”

By sharing these kind of insights venues can help ensure global associations and local chapters are aligned and better prepared to plan their own international events. “We relied heavily on the venue to provide ideas when we needed input and a business perspective beyond the scope of the local host association,” says Dr Luke.“This related to how we could connect to local business chambers, what innovative ways a previous congress of a similar nature used to boost local participation, and to look at a western vs. a local perspective of the role F&B plays throughout the event. These were just a few examples that helped us to adjust and adopt flexibility once we were on the ground.”

The World Federation of Hemophilia’s (WFH) Director, Congress & Meetings, Jeremias Rodriguez, CMP, who is currently in the process of organising the WFH World Congress 2020 at the Centre, also shares his perspective: “Firstly, use technology to collaborate and share documents to help you communicate in real-time and more effectively. Increasing the number of face-to-face meetings will also help you tremendously to create stronger bonds between parties. Lastly, greater collaboration between the local convention bureau and the chapter is crucial, so they are aware of all the resources available to them.”

In this instance the Centre has really become a marketing and promotions partner of the event and a resource to connect the federation to several local entities and to facilitate and guide some of the engagement when it has been difficult to gain access to the decision maker.

Cultural Nuances

There are a variety of unique characteristics and cultural factors to take into account when organising events in different regions around the world.

As Dr Luke adds, “Local chapters may not have the time and resources to fully analyse the audience and, as a result, cultural norms can be overlooked. For example, in Malaysia we noticed that the variety and amount of food on offer was larger than expected, which caused concerns for some international participants. In Asia, the offering would not be considered out of place, but due to the profile of our attendees it was something we could have altered, or better communicated. In these kinds of scenarios, the venue has the opportunity to play a larger role in offering advice to ensure nothing is missed.”

Of course, knowledge transfer is a two-way street. Insights also have to be passed from local chapters to international associations, and venues can help facilitate this. As the National Cancer Society of Malaysia’s (NCSM) Vice President, Clare Ratnasingham, who was a key member of the national organising committee for the World Cancer Congress 2018, shares: “One of the biggest factors that needs to be addressed by international and national associations alike is cultural differences. Every country or region moves at their own pace. For example, some countries face additional challenges in terms of government or bureaucratic regulations and others deal with the tendency of event registrations being very last minute, amongst many others. As such, there needs to be greater understanding and flexibility towards these differences. In the end, it is all about trust and communication.”

A Sustainable Legacy

By collecting and sharing these golden nuggets of feedback and experience, venues can help educate and guide international associations in developing their communications and relations with local chapters.

The Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, concludes: Like any relationship, communication is key and venues are often the central lynchpin between all parties. As such, we have an ability to open up dialogue to ensure everyone is well informed. Relationships are our most important asset and by utilising this and our experience, built up over many years, we can help facilitate and foster better bonds between international associations and local chapters, which will in turn result in more successful events.”


October 17, 2019

ExCel London Welcomes Clinical Cosmetic Expo

With the growing demand for exhibition space and to cater for the ever-increasing amount of visitor traffic, Clinical Cosmetic Regenerative (CCR) has announced that the 2020 exhibition will move to ExCeL London.

The event is expected to bring together over 4,000 aesthetic medical practitioners and members of the medical aesthetic community.  Along with a busy exhibition space, CCR provides an opportunity for both surgical and non-surgical communities to meet and review the latest technologies and advances in medical devices for the profession, with access to hours of educational content from industry all-stars.  In its 7th year, CCR is held in partnership with BAAPA S (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons).

Alison Willis, Divisional Director, CCR says: “The move is in response to customer demand for continual growth and development of the scientific meeting and ExCeL London is best place to support our ambitious educational plans. We are committed to providing the greatest possible customer and delegate experience. ExCeL London’s location and facilities enable us to better cater for attendees coming from outside London and all over the UK and to organically grow our international audience with the proximity to London City Airport.”