Knowledge Hubs Without Boundaries

July 30, 2019

Knowledge Hubs Without Boundaries

New Zealand has become a synonym for authenticity. Authentic diverse environment, nurtured by the people’s sense of duty towards nature, alternates with unique ultramodern facilities powered by kiwi resourcefulness. This winning combination has brought the country an innovative edge across a number of key sectors, leaving associations no doubt as to why this is an ideal conference destination. The small nation promises and delivers big.

New Zealand offers event planners and international thought leaders the opportunity to tap into the creativity and knowledge the Māori culture has passed down through generations. The kiwi spirit of ingenuity is indisputably present in all the innovation the country lays out for the world. 3rd out of 139 nations for global creativity, 9th globally for Artificial Intelligence, 13th out of 136 nations for safety and security, 1st for the management of sustainable fisheries, the list goes on.

Market segments like Health Sciences, Agribusiness, Tourism, Advanced Manufacturing and Design, High Value Food and Wine, Information and Communications Technology and Earth Sciences are thriving. Collaboration between forward-thinking learning and research centres and a strong focus on education and progress on behalf of the government have led to breakthroughs in these sectors and have taken New Zealand centre stage globally.

A network of innovation

At the foundation of innovation lies New Zealand’s network of universities, research institutions, and Centres of Research Excellence (CoRE). In its biggest city, Auckland (pictured), research in various sectors makes headlines globally and innovative ideas reach the international market. The Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE), for starters, serves as a world-leading research platform in medical technologies.  The University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute is undertaking groundbreaking work in AI, as seen in the digital humans by spinoff Soul Machines.

In the field of manufacturing and design, harnessing the power of the waves abundant around the islands, the University’s Yacht Research Unit carries out more wind tunnel testing of yacht sails than any other laboratory in the world. Combined with innovative manufacturing and materials research and a leading marine industry, New Zealand has launched world-leading racing yacht and superyacht technology.

From the cloud to the ground, the Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland offers leading geothermal expertise along with New Zealand’s lead knowledge hub in earth sciences, the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS Science).

Knowledge Spread Out

Taking a closer look outside Auckland, the wealth of knowledge in New Zealand expands all over the nation. The Dodds-Wall Centre in Dunedin, in the South Island, is at the forefront of photonic and quantum technologies, while the Xerra Earth Observation Institute, located in Alexandra, is increasing New Zealand’s work in satellite, earth observation and remote sensing technologies.

Found also in the South Island, Christchurch is home to New Zealand’s Natural Hazard Research Centre, at the University of Canterbury’s Department of Geological Sciences. The city has absorbed all kinds of knowledge the 2011 earthquake left in the area in fields like earthquake engineering, low damage construction, building technology, resilient infrastructure and sustainability.

In the North Island, the University of Waikato in Hamilton is home to the Cyber Researchers of Waikato (CROW), leading proponents in Cloud security research, and tools.

In a land of just 4.9 million people, nature and agriculture have the upper hand and research at Palmerston North’s Massey University in agritech innovation, farming systems and cutting-edge genetics has helped bring New Zealand to the top of dairy, meat and wool production worldwide.

From producing raw materials to producing high-value food and wine, New Zealand excels in food technology through courses offered in most of its universities and research by Crown Research Institutes. Prominent examples with Palmerston North operations include AgResearch, Plant and Food Research, and the Fonterra Research and Development Centre with expertise in dairy.

Trevor Simpson, Deputy Executive Director of the Health Promotion Forum of New Zealand, sums up New Zealand’s business events mentality: “In terms of Aotearoa, New Zealand, I think we clearly have a lot to offer the world in terms of the way we are as a people. So multidimensional and multicultural.  at the same time having this indigenous Maori aspect to it. New Zealand’s really keen to demonstrate our leadership in health promotion, we’re doing a few things that are really unique at the moment. And that uniqueness revolves around indigenous health promotion and elements of that we think would be of interest to the rest of the world. We think there’s some secrets in there that would be good if we could unlock them and share with the rest of the world in terms of how we could make the planet earth a better place.”

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

July 30, 2019

New Global Recognition Award Programme by BestCities

The BestCities Global Alliance launched the Global Recognition Award programme, rewarding associations who help deliver positive change and leave a lasting impact in their partner destinations with a $500 USD grant to donate a charity or initiative of their choice.

The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) are the first recipients of the award. Each organisation has held numerous conferences in BestCities’ partner cities, with ISN holding their congress in five partner cities, and the YPO holding seven conferences in five BestCities destinations.

ISN used their Global Recognition Award grant to support their Continued Medical Education programme to cover travel costs for Professor Kriang Tungsanga, a nephrologist based in Thailand, to speak at the annual meeting of the Laos Society of Nephrology.

YPO donated their grant to Bridges for Music, an organisation who build creative schools. The money will go towards the purchase of music equipment for a music school being built in Langa near Cape Town. In addition, YPO are also donating furniture to the school.

July 29, 2019

New Indigenous Inspired Menu at Darwin Convention Centre

The Darwin Convention Centre launched a Seven Seasons menu, designed as a culinary journey inspired by the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) Seasons. The Larrakia people are the traditional owners of the region.  The menu provides guests the opportunity to experience the dramatic changes of the Gulumoerrgin seasons and the corresponding impact these changes have on the sights, sounds, landscape and natural habitat.

“When developing the menu, we didn’t just look at the ingredients. We looked at the history of the food, how it was gathered, how it was prepared and how it was cooked.” Toby Beaton, Executive Chef Darwin Convention Centre, said. “We have provided guests the opportunity to be part of a journey that has been evolving for over thousands of years. The menu is not only about the taste, smell and look of the food, it is about understanding the local land and how Aboriginal people have used the ingredients available to them.”

The Seven Seasons also includes a visual and sound experience, creating a full sensory culture immersion. Audio and visual packages accompany each course giving delegates a deeper experience and understanding of the Gulumoerrgin Seasons, the distinctive weather patterns, changes in plant and animal activity, each with their own special purpose.

July 26, 2019

Exposing Predatory Conferences

The rise of predatory conferences jeopardises the future of legitimate research events. But could conference IDs be the solution?

By now, predatory conferences should be on your radar. These “scholarly” events are organised on a strictly for-profit basis, pay lip service to peer review, and publish almost anything sent their way — for a fee, of course. (An associate professor submitted a nuclear physics paper written using iOS autocomplete to one such conference. It passed review with flying colours.)

For years, shady individuals have been exploiting early-career researchers’ eagerness to publish. But unless you were desperate  — or painfully naive — fake conferences were pretty easy to spot and avoid. Up till now.

Read the blogpost of Paul Killoran, who is extremely passionate about exposing predatory conferences. Paul is the founder of Ex Ordo, which specializes in conference software.


July 26, 2019

Introducing the Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA)

The Branded Content Marketing Association (BCMA) has launched BCMA Influence to represent the influencer marketing industry, promoting the value of influencer marketing to brands, as it has been acknowledged that influencer marketing is currently one of the fastest growing advertising sectors, with the industry is expected to be worth up to $10bn globally by 2020.

The BCMA is also extending its highly valued accreditation scheme to validate and ensure Influencers have genuine followers. Its aim is to create a standard of best practice and represent the best in class.

The BCMA is an established global member association representing leading brands, agencies, platforms and production companies such as, Red Bull, Mediacom, Twitch, EndemolShine Group and has partnerships with many leading exhibitions, summits and conference organisers in the marketing industry.

Andrew Canter, Global CEO of the BCMA said: “It’s our goal to give our members a collective voice and promote the value of influencer marketing. Using our experience and knowledge in working with members we will give additional confidence to brands that are planning to engage with Influencers as part of their marketing strategy.”

July 25, 2019

Manchester Central Continues to Meet ISO Standards

Manchester Central has successfully achieved continued certification to ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001.

The ISO management system standards set out the requirements for successful and consistent business performance, including product and service quality, operational efficiency, environmental performance and health and safety management.

The audit was undertaken over a 3-day period and encompassed all areas of the business. The report highlighted the venues’ ‘enthusiasm to improving the business and continually monitoring the client’s needs and expectations to ensure that they receive the best possible service’.

Shaun Hinds, CEO of Manchester Central, said: “Delivering high levels of customer service is everything to us at Manchester Central, so we’re delighted that the latest audit has recognised the work that we do to provide outstanding experiences for clients and visitors. We’re proud that we were the first major venue in the UK to receive triple ISO accreditation and we’ll continue to be guided by these standards to look at ways to improve further”.


July 24, 2019

New Online Event Service for Associations in Berlin

Names like ADAC, DFB and DRK will be well known to many in Germany – and the list of German associations is very long indeed. According to the German Association Forum, there are currently around 15,000 associations in Germany, of which 1,500 are based in Berlin – and the number is rising.

Gritt Kalkutschke-Herzberg, Senior Marketing Manager at visitBerlin’s Berlin Convention Office, knows that the capital is popular with associations. The reason: “Associations want to be where policies are made and where many members are based,” says the expert for association congresses.

And so it is not surprising that associations, with a share of 22 percent, are the absolute frontrunners in the Berlin meetings market. The fact that more and more modern and innovative conference formats are replacing tried and tested event procedures has now led to a new online service page for associations being set up. You can check it out here.

July 23, 2019

How a Venue Can Help Build the Capacity of Local Associations

With the continued focus on the relevance of engagement and value creation to enhance the association journey, both from the organiser and delegate’s side, the role of congress centres and their responsibility as advocates, connectors and advisors has clearly evolved over the years, as argues Angeline van den Broecke, Director of Global Business Development and Marketing, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

When a global association starts thinking of choosing a destination and more specifically a venue to host an upcoming international congress some of the most obvious factors that influence the decision are venue availability, location, space, technical capabilities and pricing. These technical and commercial considerations have historically driven the purchaser/supplier relationship between associations and venue providers.

Another key factor that global associations have to consider when choosing a destination is the capacity and capability of the local association or host partner, to contribute to the success of the proposed event, particularly their ability to assist with supporting the organization of the event, contributing to content, delivering participants, and providing cultural communication support and an ease of doing business from a local context or perspective.

Building capacity through partnership

Recognizing the importance of the role associations play in advancing social and economic value, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre)in partnership with the national bureau Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) are investing in building the professional capacities of local association executives. Using their connections, resources, experience and knowledge this collaboration has led to them playing an active role in secretariat support to the Malaysian Society of Association Executives (MSAE)

This support role by the Centre in Malaysia, has assisted to highlight the important role association’s play as a vital business segment of the meetings industry and just how importance it is to invest in understanding the needs of associations beyond their meeting and event requirements.

Most recently, the Centre hosted an educational visit for AMC (Association Management Companies) Institute. As part of the programme the Centre, in collaboration with MyCEB, organised an Association Education & Knowledge Exchange session. Over 200 Malaysian stakeholders, including many national association executives, attended the event where five AMC Institute board members shared their invaluable knowledge and experience on six association-related topics. These included ‘Disruptions facing associations, ‘Engage membership and volunteers to thrive and survive’ and ‘Challenges facing associations in today’s environment’, to name a few.

Commenting on this the Centre’s General Manager, Alan Pryor, explains, “Convention centres are ideally placed as advocates, connectors and advisors. Our entire existence is based around facilitating knowledge transfer, so it is a natural extension for us to use our resources to help build the capacity and capability of local associations.

Sharing her experience AMC Institute Chief Executive Officer, Tina Wehmeir, CAE, CMP, says, “The level of maturity of associations varies from market to market and even within markets. While Malaysian associations may not be at the same level of development as those in the US, for example, what I did see in Kuala Lumpur is the right environment, enthusiasm and tools for them to build their capacity. Initiatives such our knowledge sharing session, facilitated by the Centre and MyCEB, play an important role in enhancing the capabilities of local associations, as well as triggering excitement and opening up new horizons such as running for international boards or hosting their association’s global meeting in Malaysia.”

Long-term commitment

Pryor continues: “We view our investment in developing local associations as part of long-term strategic objective to grow their capabilities. We feel that this partnership approach helps differentiate us from our competitors. Even if local associations go on to bid and host meetings in Malaysia that end up going to other venues, we see this as a positive and part of our ongoing contribution to the development and growth of the local business events industry and the country more generally – which benefits us all.”

An important contributor to the success of their capacity building work with local associations has been a commitment to the programme’s sustainability. The Centre has been working closely with Malaysian associations since it first opened in 2005 and for Pryor this has been a key part of its success. “Our focus on viewing associations as partners rather than clients has been part of our organisation philosophy since day one. We have built on this using our unique position to attract national, regional and international partners to share their expertise with Malaysian associations,” he adds.

In 2018 the Centre partnered to host the PCMA-ICESAP Knowledge Exchange Kuala Lumpur, which provided an avenue for business event professionals to explore how changing digital, political and economic climates can be effectively responded to, turning possible threats into unique opportunities. They also partnered to host the UIA (Union of International Associations) Associations Round Table Asia Pacific. These events were designed to promote engagement, advance professional development and provide a knowledge exchange platform and were well attended by local associations.

Pryor concludes: “We see the capacity building of our local associations as a long-term commitment. As key players in business events, venues such as ours have a lot to offer associations beyond our facilities. Convention centres are well-connected and perfectly positioned to help associations develop their full potential if a partnership mind-set is adopted on both sides.”

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

July 23, 2019

Malaysia Empowers Women

Malaysia has just been at the focus of the world, on 19-21 July 2019, when it became the first Asian country to host the Soroptimist International (SI) Convention at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Supported by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), the three-day summit attracted some 1,500 participants, and was the organisation’s 21st international convention.

Soroptimist International (SI), headquartered in Cambridge, UK, has nearly a century history as a global volunteer movement working together in 132 countries through a network of more than 3,000 clubs and over 80,000 club members to transform the lives of women and girls. SI arrived at the Malaysian shores in December 1991 when Soroptimist International Kuala Lumpur was chartered. Today, SI Region of Malaysia (SIROM) has 15 clubs and a highly regarded committee of chair persons.

The theme for the 21st convention, “Soroptimist Enable A Sustainable World: Global Connections ,Empowered Women.”, was aimed at driving meaningful change amongst diverse stakeholders on a platform that demonstrates a continued commitment and engagement on issues ranging from water & food security, technology & innovation, violence, trafficking & exploitation, healthcare & lifetime wellness, youth social activism and climate action plan, which are aligned with the 17 UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs).


July 22, 2019

An invitation to Switzerland

The yearly networking workshops of the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau based in Brussels will take place in October 14thand 15th.

In this digital world, unplugging from technology and reconnecting with ourselves, community, nature and life have become a necessity. And this is precisely what Switzerland offers in abundance. Being one of the most environmentally sustainable countries in the world with mighty mountains, dark gorges, deep-green forests, picturesque lakes, rushing waterfalls, mystical moors, Switzerland is the place to be for teams to spend quality time, disconnect to connect, unplug to unwind, and tune-out to tune in. However, whether in robotics precision or artificial intelligence, drones, nanotechnology and biotechnology, virtual reality or cognitive science, Switzerland is also one of the world’s leading countries of innovation and cutting-edge technology.

 The keynote speaker and animator of the evening is Tom Meyers, an osteopath with more than 15 years of experience working with people suffering from psychosocial stress and technostress. This has led him to develop the innovative body-mind and educational Reaset Approach. During his talk, Tom will focus on the challenges that new technologies such as AI, AR, VR, robotics, IoT and space tourism represent for the body, mind and spirit. Through his Futurize Yourself concept, he will share relevant and purposeful insights on the future of the human race.

The event will take place at  the Tech. Lounge of Bluepoint, 80, Boulevard A. Reyers in Brussels, and be attended by 13 Swiss partners.

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