Mohamed Mezghani Elected Secretary General of UITP

October 25, 2017

Mohamed Mezghani Elected Secretary General of UITP

Mohamed Mezghani will be UITP’s new Secretary General as of January 2018. After serving as Deputy Secretary General for four years, Mr. Mezghani will replace Mr. Alain Flausch who will retire in December after six years.

Bringing more than 25 years of experience in the public transport sector with him, as well as his extensive knowledge of the organization, Mr. Mezghani will further expand UITP`s activities.

Currently a member of Boardroom Advisory Board, Mohamed has held many positions at UITP, from senior manager and director of the Knowledge and Membership department to Adviser to the Secretary General and more recently Deputy Secretary General.

The whole Boardroom team congratulates him on the new, well-deserved position.

October 24, 2017

New Campaign Puts Edinburgh in the Centre of Associations’ Attention

‘Make it Edinburgh’ is the name of the new campaign, officially launched on October 19, promoting the city’s strongest sectors of industry, while providing compelling reasons to choose Edinburgh for future events.

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh said: “The message we aim to promote is that Edinburgh is synonymous with innovation, discovery and thinking, a rich history of heritage, full of inspiring locations, buildings and people. Hence conference organisers should ‘Make it Edinburgh’.”

 Convention Edinburgh, Edinburgh Hotel Association, Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Tourism Action Group, both private and public organisations have collaborated to make this campaign possible.

Progress and innovation across Technology, Life Sciences, Creative Industries, Food and Drink, Renewable Energy and Financial Services will all be showcased throughout the 12-month integrated media and marketing campaign, making it easy to align with VisitScotland’s Business Events’ soon to launch national business events campaign, Legends.

A full digital media campaign will roll out from January 2018.

October 12, 2017

Campaign for Scotland’s Innovative Ideas

VisitScotland Business Events announced the global launch of a digital campaign, focusing on the country’s position as the home of pioneering innovation. Under the banner of ‘Scotland. Where ideas become legend’, this campaign will try to attract association organisers by promoting the country’s academic credentials, pioneering spirit and history of innovation.

It focuses on the fact that events create ideas that have the potential to change the world and innovation and invention are the tangible results from business events. Scotland is home to industries such as Engineering and Robotics to Computer Gaming and Medicine, and conferences that are organized there are usually aligned to those.

Starting on 6 November, the online campaign will create and share content online from experts, influencers and industry leaders from across the country showing Scotland’s connections with a variety of growth sectors. The campaign will be promoted on social media, through LinkedIn and Twitter (#ideasbecomelegend).

October 11, 2017

Belfast Rising to the Challenge

Belfast is growing fast among international associations as a choice for important conferences. The city’s facilities have recently been upgraded to attract business travellers from around the world.

Over the next 12 months, Belfast Waterfront, Northern Ireland’s 75,350ft2 (7,000m2) state-of-the-art conference facility, will welcome 9 international conferences, generating around 29,000 delegate nights. Routes Europe 2017, the 15th International Pragmatics Conference and the 44th European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics are some of the international events to be hosted by the city, while others – such as Radar 2017, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit, the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine Congress and the 16th Euro Fed Lipid Congress – are expected to follow.

Dr Frank Amoneit, Managing Director of Euro Fed Lipid explains why Belfast is the destination of choice for their conference: “The city’s overall package of facilities, a good spread of hotels nearby the venue and an extensive network of flights made Belfast an attractive destination for our annual conference.”

October 10, 2017

WorldPride to March through Copenhagen in 2021

2021 will be the year that WorldPride will take place in Copenhagen. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come out to the streets and celebrate tolerance, diversity and inclusion.

The Danish capital, known for its long history of promoting gay rights and acceptance, won the bid with a decision made by the international association InterPride during its Annual General Meeting held in Indianapolis, US. Organised by Happy Copenhagen, the event has enjoyed strong support from local and national governments in both Denmark and Sweden.

In addition to WorldPride, the city is also a candidate to host EuroGames in 2021, with the aim to combine the two events into a bigger one named Copenhagen 2021, featuring an extensive pride parade, a large human rights conference and hundreds of inclusive sporting events.

October 2, 2017

How Surgeons Operated in Basel

Basel was the host city for the 47th World Congress of Surgery – staged by the International Society of Surgery – which took place between 13 and 17 August 2017 at the Congress Center Basel (CCB). About 2000 participants from all over the world – including an estimated 200 students – came to the city in order to attend the central events held in the CCB as well as additional events held in attractive venues in the vicinity.

The event was organized on a short notice as it had originally been planned for Argentina and the decision to go to Basel was only taken about a year beforehand, on safety and security grounds. Basel’s geographical location offers political and economic stability and is easily accessible thanks to a highly developed public transport system.

September 29, 2017

Challenges for Associations up for Discussion

Members of ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) had the opportunity to participate in a round table at the KIA Oval in London exploring the challenges faced by their organisations.

Held under Chatham House Rules and titled “What Keeps You Awake at Night?”, the event highlighted – amongst other issues – how GDPR relates to membership organisations and their relationships with agencies and how no shows at free to attend events make it impossible to select the right sized venues. It also dealt with assessing risks and managing crisis in a blame and liability focused culture as well as the understanding of ‘Compliance’ and how to work with it.

The discussion even touched the issue of conflicting priorities and commitment amongst stakeholders and volunteers who don’t always value the importance of events or their role. Finally, it examined the management of engagement and retention, and workloads when key members of the team leave, particularly with the growth of transient staff.

After the end of the round table, a short EGM was held passing a motion to move the AGM and Conference from a set January time-slot to create a better balance of member events throughout the year, whilst fitting more closely with the association’s financial calendar.

Rose Padmore, joint chair of ABPCO, said: “The event highlighted the truth of the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved. Every challenge was greeted by a host of thoughts and ideas from other people in the room who had either experienced the same or similar problems.”

September 27, 2017

Oncologists Select Madrid for a Second Time

Following the excellent rate of participation in 2014, ESMO chose to bring its congress, a meeting organised by the European Society for Medical Oncology in partnership with the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), back to Madrid. The congress took place at Ifema from the 8th to 12th September.

With almost 24,000 delegates – 85% of which were from abroad – the congress broke its own record for participation, the previous one being 20,000. Spanish participation in sessions and speeches accounted for 5% of all the works presented, which made Spain the second most prolific contributor in terms of the number of studies disseminated, after the United States.

The Madrid Convention Bureau focuses on attracting such large-scale events  from the scientific sector and universities. This year alone Madrid has hosted six congresses with more than 7,000 participants each, always in the field of medicine.

September 26, 2017

UN World Tourism Organization to Travel to St. Petersburg

After a decision made earlier this month by participants of the current United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Chengdu, the 23rd session of the Assembly will be held in St. Petersburg in 2019.

Holding the ‘Oscar’ for «World’s Leading Cultural City Destination 2016» and «Europe’s Leading Destination 2016» and with more than 7 million tourists per year, almost half of which are foreigners, the city actively develops cultural and MICE tourism as well as congress tourism, hence becoming more and more interesting for association conferences.

September 25, 2017

Education is Our Legacy for the Future

In a rapidly changing world with an increasingly uncertain future, education is probably the most important single thing any organization does, and that importance just keeps growing. There are three reasons for this, Rod Cameron, Executive Director AIPC and JMIC writes.

The first is that knowledge and the benefit of experience are probably the most valuable legacies we can pass on to those who will be following us into any discipline – and critical to delivering the kinds of specialized products and services that increasingly characterize a future workplace that may require skills not directly transferrable from other areas of employment. With a tight market for talent in many parts of the world today, employers often have to recruit from other specialties and then provide the additional required knowledge on-site. And while “on the job” experience will eventually provide a lot of what’s required, specialized training is a way to get new recruits up to speed more quickly.

But in times when almost everything about the product is changing so quickly, education is not just an investment in the future – it’s also about right now, and being able to put the very latest information, insights and strategies into immediate action. Even those with lots of experience in a particular business regularly find themselves facing new challenges, as everything from client needs and business methods to new technology and customer expectations change on what seems to be a daily basis. Invariably, the best ideas for how to address these come from others in the industry who are having similar challenges, and educational programs are an effective way of facilitating an exchange of such information and insights.

Finally, it’s about reputation – and an ability to create a comfort level amongst clients who need the confidence that things are being done properly and professionally. Education is primarily about building the kinds of competencies needed to demonstrate capability – and the more visible this capability is, the more likely it is to support being taken seriously by other disciplines. In a world where “second best” gains little respect, an investment in good education can not only produce better results, but more visibly better results – and that is perhaps the most valuable commodity in the market today.

What is changing is delivery. This is a product of technology and a matter of what is possible today that might not have been a few years ago – but it’s also about changing expectations around how information can and should be communicated by those on the receiving end. Online and remote learning, for example are very attractive in that they let students set their own pace and don’t require actual attendance in a central setting. At the same time, they enable participants to access speakers and resources that would be difficult if not impossible to bring together for a smaller group.

On the other hand, in a way, the method of delivery is in itself a part of the lesson, since it reflects on what we know about how to convey information most effectively and demonstrate the additional values – network development, for example – that reinforce the value of face to face encounters in validating both content and relationships. In the end – as with remote meetings generally – the most effective approach will likely be a combination of both, depending on the kinds of materials to be covered and the need for direct interaction as a component of the learning process.

The bottom line: training and education are both critical and evolving quickly. The challenge for everyone is not just to keep pace with current norms but to also prepare new arrivals for dealing with what may be a range of possibilities in the future. That is a more creative exercise than simply passing on existing information – but the only realistic approach to a world that is evolving as quickly as ours is today.

AIPC, the International Association of Convention Centres, represents a global network of over 180 leading centres in 57 countries with the active involvement of more than 900 management-level professionals worldwide. marianne.de.raay@aipc.org / www.aipc.org