New Ambassadors Appointed for Brussels

February 1, 2019

New Ambassadors Appointed for Brussels

visit.brussels recently awarded the title of destination ambassador to 18 partners who greatly contributed to publicising Brussels in 2018 and confirming its status as an international MICE destination. The 18 new ambassadors received their awards before academics, doctors, European commissioners, university rectors, chairs and directors of international associations established in Brussels, scientists, hospital directors and other partners.

Launched two years ago by visit.brussels, the aim behind this event was to bring new international events to Brussels by activating a network of professionals. In fact, local talents and experts are actively participating in projecting the Belgian capital internationally. In 2017, 757 meetings took place in the Belgian capital, which meant that Brussels was once again the first-placed city in Europe and placed second in the world for organising conferences (according to the annual report of the Union of International Associations).

January 30, 2019

Copenhagen Scores Another Win in Sustainability

Copenhagen sets a new international standard for sustainable tourism as Wonderful Copenhagen, becomes the world’s first certified Green Tourism Organisation. The new Green Tourism Organizations certification has been established by HORESTA together with the NGO Danish Outdoor Council to support the destinations and organisations, that make an extra effort for sustainability. HORESTA was also part of creating the Green Key certificate 25 years ago, that has now spread to 55 countries and 2.900 tourism organisations.

To become certified, organisation will be assessed from around 140 different criteria including management, environmental considerations, requirements to the organisations’ use of utilities, but also in relation to the efforts of the organisation putting focus on sustainable tourism.

”We are really proud to be the first certified Green Tourism Organization. It’s close to our hearts for tourism in Copenhagen to contribute to sustainable development both locally and globally and contribute to UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals. Copenhagen is already amongst the most sustainable congress cities in the world and with this certification Wonderful Copenhagen makes good on our pledge to be leading by example,” says Kit Lykketoft, Director of Conventions at Wonderful Copenhagen.

January 28, 2019

Vienna Brings AC Forum Back to its Roots

From January 17-19, 2019 Vienna played host to the European Associations & Conference Forum (AC Forum). The organisation’s General Assembly and Annual Meeting chose to celebrate its 20th anniversary in the Austrian capital, where it was founded in 1999, at the initiative of Vienna Tourist Board’s Vienna Convention Bureau in cooperation with various partners in the city.

The AC Forum now represents 32 scientific associations from nine countries. Its General Assembly and Annual Meeting are held in a different major European city each year. The 20th anniversary event set a new attendance record, attracting 138 representatives from its member associations.

Inspired by Fit for Future, the gathering gave participants a chance to compare notes on all the latest developments in the congress industry, talk about the use of new technology at large-scale conferences and discuss the association’s future direction. Events took place at Messe Wien, the Austria Center Vienna and Hotel Kempinski, with support from Austrian Airlines.

January 25, 2019

London Campaigns Against Plastic

ExCeL London is taking positive steps to reduce waste and is launching a ‘No Plastic’ campaign to outline the venue’s commitment to this global issue. “Waste from single-use plastic is a critical issue for our industry,” says Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL London. “We need to take a position on this to significantly reduce the amount of waste that we generate.”

The campaign has initially focused on the role of the 27 retailers along the venue’s central boulevard. All plastic straws have been removed from point of sale and suppliers have committed to offering discounts to customers who have a reusable coffee cup. To reduce the disposal of hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles, permanent water fountains have been installed to provide free chilled water to visitors, exhibitors and organisers who bring a reusable container.

Moreover, a new bin infrastructure with clearer waste streams is being installed, enabling visitors to sort their waste more easily which will reduce environmental impact, whilst allowing guests to make more sustainable choices.

January 24, 2019

Register for New Year’s Gala by ESAE

The European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), partners of Boardroom, is organising their first New Year’s Cocktail networking gala for its members and partners. Held at the Hilton Hotel in Brussels on 31 January, this year’s theme will be “Associations Community and the E.U. : Shaping the Future Together”.

The program will begin at 18.00 with registration and will continue until 21.oo with presentations and keynote speeches from distinguished personalities on topics such as how associations can prepare their future engagement with EU Institutions and how they influence the decision-making process and the rules’ implementation at the E.U. level.

January 23, 2019

Cape Town: MBA World Summit 2018

Conferences and exhibitions drive industries, propel business and contribute significantly to global GDP. In South Africa, they contribute over R115 billion to national GDP. They are a transformative strategy for countries looking to boost their knowledge and creative economies.

In March 2018, the MBA World Summit was held in Philippi, the largest township in Cape Town, South Africa, where local entrepreneurs were partnered with international MBA students to help them grow their businesses through skills transfer and knowledge sharing. The MBA World Summit is a perfect example of how business events are the catalyst for large-scale socio-economic impacts, not only on tourism, but also on deal making, business transactions, training, research, development and education.

Read The Iceberg’s case study here.

January 23, 2019

Estonia Is Organising its Next Fam Trip

The Estonian Convention Bureau and the Estonian Tourist Board are inviting international meeting and event planners to an exclusive MEET ESTONIA fam trip, taking place from Tuesday, April 2nd to Thursday, April 4th (with optional post-tours extending to April 5th).

During the trip meeting planners will discover some of the country’s meeting venues and hotels, learn about all the social programmes and activities on offer and get to know key people in the Estonian MICE industry. Optional post-tours will take the planners to Tartu, which is Estonia’s university town and IT hub as well as the oldest city in Baltic states, among others.

Registration is open until January 27th 2019.

January 22, 2019

New Workshop Coming Up by ESAE

The European Society of Association Executives (ESAE), partners of Boardroom, is organising its next event on 19 February. In the framework of a series of workshops announced by the Society since its launch, this second workshop will deal with Digitalisation for Associations.

Co-organised with Cambre Associates, ESAE members will have the opportunity to get unique insights on how to make sense of all the rapid changes that digitalisation brings to association members’ work. The event will explore how to use the changes to create more added value for ESAE members and to make day-to-day management easier.

The next workshop revolves around Crisis management. Stay tuned for program and location.

January 16, 2019

ICC Sydney’s Geoff Donaghy on CSR and Legacy

Boardroom receives some insights from ICC Sydney CEO and Director Convention Centres, AEG Ogden, Geoff Donaghy, as ICC Sydney prepares for its busiest year ever after a successful run of events of all kinds and formats in 2018.

In what ways is CSR embedded in your business model? How do your clients relate to that?

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is deeply embedded in ICC Sydney’s philosophy, culture and business model. We consider CSR as both an obligation and opportunity. As we are managing a major piece of city infrastructure that involves very significant amounts of public and private investment, the obligation is to manage the venue as successfully as possible and create the maximum economic impact. The opportunity on the other hand, is to create a new paradigm in the way that venues, like ICC Sydney, operate and to deliver the maximum community impact by ensuring the flow of benefits from events reaches a broad cross section of the community.

You just launched the 5th stream of your Legacy Program: Creative Industries. Can you tell us about it? 

The Creative Industries stream has been curated to complement the Legacy Program’s four core streams – Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Generation Next, First Australians and Sustainable Events and to drive long-term social, economic and environment outcomes, which are both meaningful and measurable.

The program will actively work to cultivate a lasting legacy from fostering support for Sydney’s emerging and established artists through cultural institutions and colleges to engaging new talent for event performances from Talent Development Project and connecting with festival programs including VIVID and Sydney Festival. From a design perspective, ICC Sydney has partnered with Dinosaur Designs, maker of bold and instantly recognisable Australian homewares, to create bespoke Sydney gifts and handmade award trophies in their signature style.

What has been the feedback on the Program from your clients’ altogether?

Our Legacy Program is still in its early stages, as is ICC Sydney as we have just entered our third year of operation.

The feedback we have received from clients about the program has been overwhelmingly positive and we are now starting to see the benefits of the discussions that have taken place well before the event delivery. As events often go through a three to five year planning process, it’s important to discuss the opportunities through program at the stages of the planning phase.

You successfully hosted  SIBOS last year: how did you help them make an impact/leave a legacy?

The multi-faceted Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program executed at Sibos was designed by ICC Sydney’s dedicated CSR team in partnership with event organisers, SWIFT. The program focussed on reducing the ecological footprint of Sibos at all stages of event delivery as well as support community engagement. This included organic waste and recycling processing initiatives, minimisation of plastic water bottle consumption, excess food donations and the establishment of the first ICC Sydney Charity Market Day. Here, event exhibitors collectively donated 150 items to seven local charity organisations to be repurposed for their communities, from astro turf to umbrellas and potted plants.

In a record result for an event of its size and scale, a waste diversion rate of 62.5% was achieved, including 88% of materials being diverted from landfill during the event bump out and 15,200 plastic water bottles being saved.

ICC Sydney’s partnership with OzHarvest and Mathew Talbot hostel resulted in 855 kilograms of food being saved across a one-week period, representing the equivalent of 2,564 meals being donated to community members in need and 1,120 tonnes of fertilizer being produced from organic waste matter.

January 15, 2019

Investment and Re-development for Leeds in 2019

2018 saw Leeds climb to the fourth place of most popular conferencing city in the UK, according to the 2018 British Meetings and Events Industry survey (BMEIS). The city plans to continue last year’s investment also in 2019 with the refurbishment of many more Leeds venues, with the Leeds Town Hall and the recently re-named Leeds Playhouse currently undergoing a massive redevelopment to improve their conferencing spaces. Alongside this, a variety of new venues are set to open and some of the cultural spaces in the city continue to benefit from investment.
The brand new NEXUS centre will also open up this year providing a range of spaces for networking and collaboration, including meeting rooms, presentation space and an innovation suite, as well as offering office and laboratory space for external technology-led companies. This will be part of the new Innovation Centre in the city, which is focused on the academic and economic strengths of the city, particularly health innovation, engineering, financial and business services, data analytics and digital technologies.
Leeds has already laid the foundations for the Innovation District, the largest centre for knowledge-based industries and financial services outside the capital which attracts some of the best and most innovative companies and researchers from within the UK and further afield.