Athens Turns to Innovation

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 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

Glasgow’s Plans for Expansion

The Scottish Event Campus(SEC) has applied for planning permission in principle (PPIP) for a major expansion of its facilities with a vision to create a unique global event campus, building on its long standing success of attracting global conferences, exhibitions and events. The project focuses on developing the west end of the campus and includes a dedicated entrance, additional highly flexible meeting, exhibition and networking spaces, and panoramic views of the city and River Clyde.

Billy McFadyen, Finance & Development Director, SEC said: “The SEC currently offers Glasgow and Scotland a solution to stage events of varying sizes.  However, competition worldwide is robust and constantly evolving.  In order to maintain this level of success we need to invest in our product to ensure we have the best facilities. The plans for this expansion will fulfil this and create a truly unique UK Event Campus which will be world class.”

Photo : SEC Glasgow


November 23, 2018

Glasgow Receives Recognition for World Down Syndrome Congress

The World Down Syndrome Congress which was held in Glasgow in July 2018 has been recognised as a leading example of excellence within the global meetings industry thanks to the success of its Commissioner Programme which placed three local young people with Down syndrome at the forefront of the conference.

The associations responsible for the congress, Down Syndrome International (DSI) and Down Syndrome Scotland (DSS), were selected by an independent panel of industry experts as winners of this year’s ICCA Incredible Impacts Awards and have received a grant towards future work of this kind in subsequent World Down Syndrome Congresses.

In March 2018, to coincide with Down Syndrome Awareness Week, DSS in partnership with Glasgow Convention Bureau, VisitScotland and Glasgow Welcomes hosted People Make Glasgow Welcome workshops aiming to educate customer facing staff about Down syndrome, remove some of the stigma surrounding the condition and ensure that all delegates received a warm and appropriate welcome when the Congress took place.

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “This is a perfect example of how conferences have a much greater impact than just the economic benefit from delegate spend and we wish DSi the very best for the continued success of the commissioner programme as they take the Congress to new host cities around the world.”

November 22, 2018

Associations Benefit from Recent ExCel London Partnership

British Airways and ExCeL London have launched a year-long collaboration that will give exclusive airline partner status to the London City Airport based operation. The partnership will give British Airways the opportunity to use advertising space in and around ExCeL as well as an opportunity to offer deals and discounts to visitors, exhibitors and delegates attending exhibitions and conferences, from the both the UK and overseas.

The Docklands Airport is right next door to ExCeL, London’s international exhibition and convention centre which stages more than 300 different events year, including exhibitions and international association meetings.

Jeremy Rees, CEO, ExCeL London, said: “This partnership underpins how we are putting our customers’ needs at the heart of everything we do. We have aligned ourselves with the largest airline at London City Airport to provide our visitors, exhibitors and delegates with exclusive offers and discounted rates, enhancing our guest experience and making coming to events at ExCeL even easier.”

Photo : ExCeL London

November 21, 2018

Hilton Takes Association Matters Seriously

There is a general consensus that all industrial sectors are shaping up in order to remain relevant to the advancements of our times, may that be in the form of technological development, enhanced knowledge or wider market opportunities. Keeping up with the trends, associations meetings have evolved, requiring elite services from the venues they choose to host their conferences or put up their delegates. That’s where the Hilton hotels steal the spotlight.

Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its nearly 100 year history. The guest loyalty program, Hilton Honors, takes personalisation of the guest’s stay to a whole new level, members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key and Connect Room, have placed Hilton at the top when it comes to innovation.

Associations have the opportunity to benefit from all that the group has to offer as they are welcome in over 5,500+ hotels located in 109 countries. Starting from the variety of its locations showcasing city life, countryside, exotic resorts or even cultural and historical sites all the way to easy access and undeniable hospitality facilities, associations’ particular needs are fully covered.

Tailor-made service

With flexibility being an important demand by associations, Hilton offers the option to reduce the number of delegates by 20% cumulative from the time of booking until 45 days prior to arrival. A reduced deposit guarantee of 80% of the amount to be paid by the association is just as an attractive feature as the fact that no deposit guarantee from the association is required for rooms that are to be booked and paid for by each delegate.

On top of the financial benefits, technological innovation is present also in this context. A web-based tool allows delegates to book and modify their accommodation directly online, while this same tool can be personalised with the organiser’s text and image.

On an individual level, association members receive a 10% discount off the Best Available Rate by booking, and enjoy on-property benefits when staying at Hilton, including breakfast or access to gyms and spas. While there will also be zero blackout dates (book what you need any time!), booking online will be efficient, easy and transparent through the Hilton brand websites or via the Hilton Honors App.

Check out all the details on the Hilton page especially set up for associations write an email to



November 20, 2018

First ESAE-Cambre Workshop Is Open for Registration

In the framework of ESAE‘s recent partnership with Cambre, a series of events will be taking place on Digitalization and what it entails for associations. The first installment in this series focused on digital advocacy is set for 28 November at 08.30-10.30 with the topic ‘How to be the best Digital Lobbyist’. The event will give continuation to ESAE’s latest session on how to be the best lobbyist in Brussels and will look at how to make online communications and an essential part of your outreach efforts, the tools of the trade and how to maximize your chances for success.

Should I Tweet? Should I post videos online? What about Facebook? The right answer is not about whether you should or shouldn’t do it, but about how to do it properly and when. A 4-step strategy will be presented to guide your association into the online and social media jungle. The speakers will be Fernando Anton, PR Director at Cambre, and Gianmaria Sisti, Cambre’s Digital Coordinator.

The event is free to attend upon registration which is now open.

November 16, 2018

Renewed Partnership Brings ESAE and Interel Together

The European Society of Association Executives has announced the renewal of its partnership with Interel Association Management. ESAE and Interel share the same principles and dedication to the Association community. A wide range of activities is being planned that will help members gain experience and share best practices and knowledge.

Florence Bindelle, ESAE President, said : “Interel’s expertise and international presence will bring a broader scope to our activities and outreach along with institutional insights, innovation, and connections with key stakeholders to every assignment.”

Benita Lipps, Head of Association Management EU, commented : “We deeply believe in the importance of exchanging best practice across all areas of association management. ESAE is providing this much-needed platform for exchange between European association leaders and gives both visibility and a voice to the profession here in Europe.”

November 15, 2018

James Rees is the new ICCA President

James Rees, Executive Director at ExCeL London, has been elected as the new ICCA president at the 57th ICCA Congress, which came to a close yesterday in Dubai.

Rees was first elected to the ICCA Board in 2012 and became a Vice President in 2017. Before this he served in leadership positions in ICCA’s UK & Ireland Chapter.

Commenting on his win, James Rees said: “What we can do, with the right leadership, is to use ICCA’s strengths to drive that innovation, creativity, and incentive for improvement. And this is what I am going to deliver. As ICCA President, I will be a true advocate for our business, a champion of our sector and ensure that ICCA’s voice is heard by government, in a language they understand.”