Ukraine Aims to Put Itself on International Associations’ Maps

December 12, 2017

Ukraine Aims to Put Itself on International Associations’ Maps

Ukrainian leaders are working hard to establish the country as a top destination for international association conferences and shift outsiders’ perception of its cultural and intellectual value. Representatives from several Ukrainian cities spoke at itbm Barcelona about their offerings and developments for associations.

For example, Lviv Convention Bureau deputy director Andriy Pavliv emphasized the city’s strong scientific heritage supported today by 40 research institutions and its recognition as one of the top emerging IT BPO (business processes outsourcing) destinations in Europe. Human resources and infrastructure are other knowledge sectors poised to grow greatly in coming years, according to a Deloitte study.

Pavliv also shared more logistical insights such as Lviv’s range of venues from the Opera and Ballet Theater, built in 1900 in a Neo-Renaissance style, to its academic venues located in grand historical buildings. Lviv’s airport also reaches 24 destinations with 17 airlines and 35 incoming/outgoing flights daily. 

The head of Kyiv City Tourism Anton Taranenko was also eager to share what the Ukrainian capital had to offer associations. A combination of affordability and quality underlined much of the conversation.


December 11, 2017

Expansion of the Global Associations Hub Partnership

The Global Associations Hub Partnership is driving international expansion for global associations and member markets are reaping the benefits. GAHP member-cities are home to 9.6 percent of association headquarters and regional offices, according to the 2017 report of the Union of International Associations (UIA) shared by GAHP International Advisor Herve Bosquet.

The UIA also found that association offices were growing at three times the rate of the global average in GAHP member-cities, which include Brussels, Dubai, Singapore, and Washington, DC.  In the past year, 35 associations have opened offices in GAHP cities, representing 30 percent of all new headquarters and regional offices. During that same period, a total of 119 offices opened up worldwide.

Much GAHP member-cities’ association growth is due to their commitment to building knowledge economies, cultivating local innovation and driving regional economic activity. Representatives from each of the cities also emphasize their unique sectors from life sciences to technology and the potential of the association market to grow within each.


December 8, 2017

South Africa’s Strategy to Attract Association Conferences

The South African National Convention Bureau (SANCB) has big ambitions for its meetings business and is particularly interested in attracting international association conferences as part of its growth strategy.

South Africa is already a popular destination among associations and hosted 125 conferences accredited with the International Congress and Conventions Association in 2016, an addition of 17 more conferences than 2015.

South Africa Tourism recently issued a study that found the business events industry contributes €7.2 billion to the economy each year, but SANCB’s ambitions are not solely financially driven. South African leadership is eager to raise the country’s status as an active participant in the global knowledge economy.

To do so, the South African government has pledged to support the business events industry with a €5.6 million grant that allows SANCB to more aggressively bid for international association conferences and meetings over the next three years, SANCB will also target members of the association conferences that are already confirmed to take place in South Africa over the next five years.

SANCB is particularly interested in growing its influence in the medical and scientific fiel​d ​to build upon previous conferences such as the 21st International Aids Conference and the International Diabetes Federation Conference, which were hosted in South Africa last year.

December 7, 2017

Sendai’s International Centre

Japan’s Sendai International Centre aims to attract international conferences by offering a wide range of facilities.

With a number of universities and research halls in the nearby area, the Centre can be of interest to many international associations. The cultural aspect also plays an important role to all conventions organised in Sendai.

With a subway stop just beside the Centre, access is easy. Next to the Sendai International Center there is an exhibition building with a 3000sqm exhibition room. It is equipped with sliding walls so that it can be divided in two. The building consists of twelve conference rooms and two halls. Both the conference and exhibition building can be used in conjunction with one another and can host up to 800 participants.

Sendai has already organised the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015 with several thousand participants including those attending related events linked to the World Conference under the umbrella of building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. In May 2016 the finance ministers and central bank governors of the seven leading industrialised economies (G7) also met in Sendai.


December 6, 2017

Basel Wins HIV Experts Congress

The Congress Center Basel will play host for the eminent EACS Congress 2019, after years of personal networking and the preparation of a successful bid.

With around 3000 international participants expected, the European AIDS Clinical Society (EACS) will organise its annual congress, which is held in high regard throughout the world, promoting care, research and training in conjunction with HIV and similar infections and actively contributing to health policy.

The Congress Board that was taking the decision to opt for Basel as a venue was convinced due to strong support by the parties involved and a the successful presentation provided. Letizia Elia, deputy manager of the CCB, says: “This success demonstrates just how important it is within the industry to engage in forward planning and to make personal contact with the organisers – and also with the previous congress locations.”


December 5, 2017

Slovenia Wants to Make Conventions More Human

Slovenia might not be the first destination that associations think of when searching for innovative and progressive conventions, but that’s starting to change. The Slovenian Convention Bureau has spent the past decade proving that a more personal approach to conventions is not only possible but more productive and profitable for participants.

Next month marks the 10th annivesary of Coventa​, the New Europe meetings industry trade show​,​ whose founders Miha Kovacic of SCB and Gorazd Cad of Toleranca Marketing​, marked the occasion by sharing what they’ve learned at ibtm Barcelona last week.

“We believe in human connection done in a more intimate, relaxed way,” explained Kovacic who is eager to disrupt the boring conference structure and test new marketing ideas.

The event has also raised awareness of Slovenia and neighboring destinations. The show has hosted 2,285 hosted buyers from 48 countries and 1,192 exhibitors from 17 countries — of which 30 percent come back as tourists.

SCB’s team is committed to expanding its association business and will bring on a new team member dedicated to associations in 2018.

Maintaining its personal approach to innovation, the Slovenia Convention Bureau went directly to the source when recently thinking about how to best do marketing in the association world. The Slovenian mayor hosted a professional conference organizer and took him on a tour of Ljubljana followed by lunch with 22 conference stakeholders from the city. They asked him and then took note of what makes the perfect destination for association congresses and how they can best evolve.

December 4, 2017

Thailand’s Promotional Campaign for Associations

Thailand Convention Exhibition Bureau believes association’ conventions can — and should be — both educational and enjoyable.

Speaking at ibtm World in Barcelona last week Mrs. Nichapa Yoswee, Senior Vice President of the TCEB, emphasized the quality business venues, unique leisure activities, and importance of integrating both during association conventions in Thailand. She also highlighted the breadth of pre- and post-trip options available to association delegates in her presentation.

Thailand’s MICE market attracted more than 1.2 million visitors in 2017, generating earnings of €2.61 billion. Of those, 109,000 travelers came from Europe representing a 20 percent increase over 2016. The largest markets of MICE visitors to Thailand are the UK, France, and Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

TCEB is eager to build its European market and unveiled new strategic marketing initiatives at ibtm to encourage MICE business.

The ‘Convene in Paradise’ campaign in particular encourages associations to choose Thailand for their next event by offering up to €25,000 in financial support for convention events with either (1) at least 1,000 international delegates or (2) at least 500 international delegates within one of its five “focus industries.”

These five key sectors, which include Health & Wellness, Energy, Food & Agribusiness, Infrastructure & Logistics, and Automotive & Electronics, are part of TCEB’s “Thailand 4.0 policy,’ which aims to transform Thailand into an innovation-driven industry.

Although TCEB is diligently educating associations on its offerings, it also has exciting events planned for the coming year. Thailand will host the Sport Accord Convention in April 2018 and the 31st Congress of Asia-Pacific Association of Cataract & Refractive Surgeon in July 2018.

December 1, 2017

Gothenburg Signs Agreement for Associations World Congress

In April 2019 Gothenburg will welcome the Associations World Congress to the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre (SECC) for the first time. The Association of Association Executives (AAE) and the three counterparts from Sweden signed the agreement at the Swedish stand at ibtm world in Barcelona.

Gothenburg has become known for its ability to partner and collaborate with clients, industry and the academic world, which is greatly appreciated by visiting meeting associations. It brings together the innovative business community, a knowledge-intensive academy, and a sustainability focus.

Recently the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre presented the third phase of its expansion plans. The programme includes larger entrances, flexible meeting and event facilities and increased hotel capacity. The aim is to achieve a total hotel capacity of roughly 2,000 rooms by 2030.

November 30, 2017

Associations Line up for Copenhagen

Associations seem to have a soft spot for Copenhagen, as 2017 was a busy year for Bella Center Copenhagen. 2018 is expected to keep up the pace with an estimated 73.000 delegates from across the globe attending conferences and congresses at the venue.

The European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) has decided to return to the city and Bella Center Copenhagen with their EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2018. Ricardo Vivas van Leeuwen, Business Liaison Officer at EAGE says: “The communities that we serve want to see us bringing the annual Conference and Exhibition to major industry cities and regions, and here Copenhagen delivers on several parameters: It is centrally located in Scandinavia, easily accessible from abroad and offers a high level of safety and political stability. On top, we receive great local support from our industry, and at the same time the city offers high quality suppliers for all event activities; conference & exhibition suppliers, social programs, etc.”

Ranking 4th in total number of participants according to ICCA’s most recent    Statistics Report, the city has a number of conferences lined up for next year. The 33rd Annual EAU (European Association of Urology) Congress, 16-20 March with an expected 15,000 delegates from over 100, the ESA 2018 (European Anaesthesiology Congress), 2-4 June expected to attract some 6,000 delegates from across the world, the EAGE Annual 2018, 11-14 with more than 6,000 people from almost 100 different countries, the ITS World Congress, 17-21 September with an estimated 10,000 delegates and the BIO-Europe 2018, 5-7 November with 4,000 delegates.

November 29, 2017

Parasitologists to Tend to Animals in Dublin

The 28th International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology will take place at the Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) in 2021.

With 1,000 international participants expected to attend, the conference is themed ‘Parasitologists Without Borders’ encouraging scientific collaboration across the globe to deliver one health, sustainable livestock production, animal welfare and control of parasitic diseases in animals, humans, and ecosystems. It will provide an excellent opportunity for education and engagement among the international research community.

The CCD worked closely with conference ambassador Professor Grace Mulcahy to initiate the bid for Dublin which was put together by the Local Committee in partnership with Keynote PCO, and supported by Fáilte Ireland, Meet in Ireland and Dublin Convention Bureau through the Conference Ambassador Programme. The WAAVP2021 committee includes several organisations: University College Dublin (UCD), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dublin City University (DCU), Queens University Belfast (QUB), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Teagasc.

Professor Grace Mulcahy, WAAVP2021 Conference Chair and Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin commented: “This biennial Conference brings together the largest number of veterinary parasitologists globally, and has a strong tradition in showcasing both basic research and innovation in the discipline. We are determined that WAAVP Dublin 2021, building on previous conferences, will present a cutting-edge scientific programme spanning parasitology relating to companion animals, farm animals, one health, wildlife and ecosystems”.