Manchester Central Continues to Meet ISO Standards

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.

Want more information? Write to or call +32(0)2 345 83 57

July 19, 2019

Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons to Head to Brisbane

Asia Oceania Otorhinolaryngological Head and Neck Surgery Congress (AO ORL-HNS) 2023, the major ear, nose and throat scientific event in Asia-Oceania, is returning to Australia for the first time in 40 years. The five day conference will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in March 2023 and is expected to attract some 1,500 clinicians and specialist surgeons working with the ear, nose, throat, head and neck.

The main driver of the successful bid for the 15th Asia Oceania ORL–HNS Congress is world leading ear nose and throat surgeon, Associate Professor Bernard Lyons worked with Professor Ben Panizza and Dr. Phil Fisher, President of The Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and the team at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in collaboration with Tourism & Events Queensland and Brisbane Marketing to secure the prestigious surgical conference for Brisbane.

“This meeting is potentially the largest meeting to be held in the field of otolaryngology head and neck surgery in Australia. It is a unique opportunity for Australia to interact on a scientific basis with our neighbouring countries in the Asia Oceania region,” Associate Professor Lyons said.

July 18, 2019

Record-Breaking Indigenous Conference Draws to a End in NZ

Hamilton, New Zealand,  hosted a historic NAISA conference, in what has been hailed as a record-breaking meeting for Indigenous scholars from around the world.

The Native American & Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) Conference was held at the University of Waikato in Hamilton from 26-29 June, the first time the conference has been held outside the United States, Canada and Hawai’i. It attracted a record 1,872 registrations from many different countries – the last conference in Los Angeles hosted 1,000 delegates. The event incorporated a community day, followed by 257 sessions from 900 presenters over three days. Themes included Indigenous leadership, sovereignty, justice, health, biosecurity, and the State removal of Indigenous children from their families.

Professor Brendan Hokowhitu, Dean of the Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Waikato, who was instrumental in securing the event, commented: “The size and success of the conference has been beyond my wildest dreams. The conference, the excitement and buzz generated around campus and the city has been amazing, with nothing but overwhelmingly positive feedback coming back to us about the registrants’ experiences at the conference, the University, the city, the Waikato and more broadly Aotearoa.”

Tourism New Zealand Business Events supported the conference from bidding stage through to execution through the Conference Assistance Programme.



July 17, 2019

AC Forum’s Learning Experience in Glasgow

A partnership between the Associations & Conference Forum (AC Forum) and the Leading Centres of Europe (LCE) delivered its inaugural Collaborative Learning Experience at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow earlier this month. Under the theme “The Language of Leadership”, the event was attended by 20 delegates from both organisations.

Glasgow-based communications consultancy, Pink Elephant, took the participants through a journey which tackled the golden rules of communication and interviewing skills. Attendees were challenged to communicate in the most effective way possible during filmed interviews which were then played back for analysis. Collaboration between groups and individuals was key throughout the event, helping to grow strong working relationships.  The SEC’s Chairman, who is the former president of Virgin Galactic and special advisor to Sir Richard Branson, delivered a session on the value and importance of brand and innovation.

Adrian Ott, President of the AC Forum, said: “Through this new partnership, the LCE and the SEC, supported by the Glasgow Convention Bureau enabled AC Forum’s educational ambitions to come a big step closer towards a natural synergy which fosters peer-to-peer education, innovation by sharing good practice, expanding thinking, and finally, neutrality by providing a forum free from commercial influence.”

More on this soon, in the September issue of Boardroom.

July 16, 2019

Toronto Talks Animals

From today til July 19, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) is hosting the leading international convention for companion animal veterinarians, the 44th World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress (WSAVA),

The WSAVA World Congress is bringing together 2,100 veterinarians from 82 countries for a scientific program of the highest standard that will leave a legacy beyond the convention. Delegates will host a clinic for homeless and vulnerably-housed pet owners at the Yonge Street Mission and participate in a run to raise funds to support the fight against rabies in Africa. Following the convention, a two-day workshop will take place with leading expert veterinarians Dr. Sheilah Robertson and Dr. Melinda Merck in collaboration with the Ontario Shelter Medicine Association and the Toronto Humane Society.

The bid to host WSAVA was won back in 2015 by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) in partnership with the MTCC, Tourism Toronto and the Leaders Circle, a noteworthy association of Canadian professionals who are experts in their respective fields.

July 15, 2019

Growing with a Global Agenda

Who doesn’t know the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the international organization working in the field of the wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment? Just the name conjures up images of cause-driven individuals fighting against habitat loss, climate change, illegal trapping of endangered species… and the list goes on. What might be lesser known is the organization’s growth strategy, which has to take into account all kinds of local characteristics, as Sid Das, Director, Digital Engagement, WWF International, explains here.

The WWF is a global organization. How do you define ‘global’ in your case?

WWF came into existence in 1961. From its origins as a small group of committed wildlife enthusiasts, WWF has grown into one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations – supported by 5 million people and active in over 100 countries across five continents.

Over this time, WWF’s focus has evolved from localized efforts in favour of single species and individual habitats to an ambitious strategy to preserve biodiversity and achieve sustainable development across the globe.

From numerous initiatives, priority areas and priority species, the entire WWF Network focuses on six major goals – forests, oceans, wildlife, food, climate & energy, and freshwater– and three key drivers of environmental problems – markets, finance and governance. As a network, we organize ourselves around communities of practice with one for each goal and driver. We are becoming more focused and more targeted in our efforts while building on the interconnectedness of each of these issues within the global agenda. WWF aims to bring the weight of its unique local-to-global network to bear and drive these issues forward cohesively.

Can you explain your growth strategy to be even more global’ and what it implies?

Our mission is to ensure that people and nature thrive together. Our growth strategy is two-pronged. On one hand, we are looking to actively engage a billion people to care for nature. Nature not only provides us with all the things we need to live – from the air we breathe to the water we drink, and from the shelter we need, to the economy we rely on – but also makes our lives better. However, its growing loss puts this all under threat.

On the other hand, we are looking to get nature up the political agenda. The world needs to come together to set ambitious targets to reverse nature loss as it did for climate. We will have a tremendous opportunity to influence the future direction of some of the world’s most important policy instruments for sustainable development in the year 2020. We need policymakers to reset the agenda so that by 2030 the loss of nature starts to reverse.

What are your challenges as a global organization?

We are living in a time of unprecedented risk but also an unparalleled opportunity for the future of our planet and our society. A time where the world’s wildlife has halved in less than a generation; oceans, rivers and forests are struggling to cope with our growing pressure upon them; and where we are still on a path toward catastrophic climate change impacts.

As a global organization, our challenge is to balance local conservation priorities with the global agenda. We need to constantly align ourselves to the direction that is increasingly being set by governments, civil society and businesses. Additionally, the smooth flow of information between all of the offices in the world is something we put a lot of effort and emphasis toward. We choose innovative platforms like Facebook Workplace to ensure our employees and volunteers get all of the information they need.

Can you explain how you decide to locate regional offices and why?

We decide regional offices based on conservation needs. While we have ‘Network offices’ that focus on the conservation needs of a country, the regional offices look to bring countries together to weave a cohesive conservation strategy and its implementation. We also look at other factors like access to regional talent, attitude to environmental conservation amongst numerous other criteria. Currently, we have regional offices in Singapore, Woking, Nairobi and at our headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.

You’re based in Singapore. Why is that so? How does Singapore respond to the needs of your organization?

Singapore is at the forefront of conservation in Asia Pacific. The mission of WWF across the Asia Pacific is to ensure a future for both people and nature. WWF has been working to conserve Asia Pacific’s astonishing wealth of biodiversity for over four decades and has considerable experience in engaging with partners for conservation solutions that benefit people, economies and the environment. Singapore satisfies all of the criteria for WWF’s regional hub. We are able to liaise with teams around the region easily and have access to regional media, creative agencies, fantastic corporate partners and a wide pool of talent which truly helps us build a global organization.

This article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is part of the exclusive partnership between Boardroom and the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP), which comes as an innovative response to the increasing decentralisation of international associations, as they look to develop their activities globally. www.associationhubs.orgThe right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.