GDS-Index Welcomes Denver

September 4, 2019

GDS-Index Welcomes Denver

Denver is the newest, and fourth city in the US to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index).

Denver’s sustainability as both a destination and a convention city is apparent throughout the city – from the LEED Gold certified Colorado Convention Center with its own sustainability program, to green hotels, to a citywide bike sharing program and others. In 2019, Denver was only the 11th community in the world to become LEED Platinum certified under the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities program; and VISIT DENVER was the first CVB In the world to achieve Level One Certification with the ASTM/APEX Standard for Destinations for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows and Conferences.

Denver is home to the first commercial service airport in North America to receive an internationally certified Environmental Management System (EMS), and was ranked as one of the top 10 most sustainable North American Cities (Arcadia, 2016). The city’s convention bureau has contributed to these successes, by providing the necessary tools and resources to assist organisers in creating more regenerative events.

September 3, 2019

An Industrial Revolution in Nantes

The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) define the 4th Industrial Revolution as the convergence of digital technologies (such as Big Data or the Internet of Things), biotechnologies and the physics of the infinitely small. And this is precisely what they will talk about at La Cité Nantes Congress Centre, who will host their 36th World Conference (IASP2019). The great promises of this revolution are to seduce consumers with unique and personalized products, as explains IASP consulting director Jean-François Balducchi, from Atlanpole, the science-based business incubator for the whole region Pays de la Loire.

What kind of role has Atlanpole played in Nantes’ candidacy for the hosting of IASP2019?

Back in 2017, Atlanpole initiated the candidacy of Nantes at the IASP World Conference in Istanbul. Competition from other global destinations was fierce, and we chose to highlight the strengths of the Nantes Saint Nazaire Metropolis and, more broadly, the Greater Western Region of France – and France as a whole. The challenge was taken up across the whole shareholders chain, including Nantes Métropole, the Pays de la Loire Region, the University of Nantes, the Chamber of Commerce, etc., who followed and encouraged us from the very start.

In addition, as the IASP from 2014 to 2016, I had every intention to bring this conference to our shores. So I waited for the right opportunity to apply. This win is the confirmation that Nantes is recognized for its virtuous innovation ecosystem. The region has undeniable assets in the field of the industry of the future, with the competitiveness cluster EMC2, the French industrial cluster dedicated to advanced manufacturing technologies, the IRT Jules Verne, the French Institute for Technology, or Atlanpole Biotherapies which focuses on the health of the future. So many strengths that will allow us to best address the main theme of our conference: the 4thIndustrial Revolution.

To what extent are Nantes and La Cité the ideal venues for this event?

La Cité Nantes Congress Centre has been our privileged partner for 30 years, we’ve been working together on different types of events for a long time – and always with successful results. Ideally located in the heart of the city, it is very accessible from Paris, and thus from all major European capitals and beyond. We also like their commitment to CSR in general, and how they approach events in environment-friendly terms. La Cité’s infrastructure makes it possible to organize our world conference in the best conditions. Their professional teams provide bespoke services which guarantee a flawless execution of events in general.

More broadly, Nantes was labeled the European Green Capital in 2013, and it has many advantages outside the quality of life. It’s a dynamic, green, innovative city which delegates can easily enjoy after a hard day’s work at a conference.

What kind of support did you receive exactly?

From the very start of the bidding process in 2017,the teams of La Cité were quite keen for us to win IASP2019. They really acted as our partners in this, providing all kind of support. We of course rent their spaces, along some dedicated technical support, but what we like the most is that they also guarantee a permanent follow-up of our project, by putting an account manager as well as a production manager at your disposal. That makes the execution of the event very smooth to say the least.

This piece was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi Deve.. The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.



September 3, 2019

Malaysian Associations Advance Through the 5th MyNEXT Conference

The congregation of Malaysian association leaders and professionals – the Malaysia Association NEXT 2019 (MyNEXT 2019) was back for its fifth year, themed “Building Capacity of Malaysian Associations; Optimising Benefits for Malaysian Associations”. Held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the conference aims in providing education and networking opportunity for Malaysian associations from the experts.

Participants of MyNEXT 2019 learn from experts with strong understanding of the industry; gain opportunity to network and share ideas with other Malaysian associations; motivate volunteers and employees about the importance of their association; develop the capacity of Malaysian associations to lead their sector; and learn leadership development.

Initiated by Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), the forum recorded a total of 120 delegates and expected to increase in coming years.

September 2, 2019

St Petersburg Receives Support for Further Growth

St Petersburg is doubling its subvention fund to approximately €700,000 for 2019 as part of its ongoing strategy to attract major international congresses to the city. Although the fund is available for use across all the city’s venues, it will have a significant, positive impact on Expoforum, which is the city’s primary congress venue, capable of hosting up to 4,000 delegates in its main conference halls in addition to its 50,000m2 of indoor exhibition space.

The fund, which is controlled by St Petersburg Government and the St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development will be available to socially oriented non-profit organisations, who are stimulating business tourism and events in St Petersburg. Subvention support will be granted as part of a competitive process, which will reimburse up to 50% of the costs of an event. The subvention application process has also been simplified with support available from the CVB as well as local consultants to ensure associations maximise their chances of financial support.

“Expoforum is growing its presence internationally, with a variety of major events confirmed over the coming five years,” comments Maria Tsedeviyn, International Development Director at Expoforum.“However, this comprehensive subvention strategy ensures we are competitive on the global stage. With upcoming enhancements to the city’s ambassador programme and plans to simplify the visa process we are looking forward to significant growth in events from a wide variety of sectors.  Whilst the fund will benefit St Petersburg as a whole, the Expoforum team are particularly looking forward to the impact it will have on us in our position as the city’s primary venue for major events.”


August 31, 2019

The Green Goals of Nancy

France has long been a pioneer protecting the planet with environmentally friendly practices. Nancy in particular is stepping up on the sustainable scene and emerging as a premier locale for green meetings. The French capital of Art Nouveau — and capital of the Duchy of Lorraine — has made sustainable development one of its core missions, with the city convention bureau, DESTINATION NANCY, working hard to obtain the ISO 20121 certification, which was renewed this year.

It’s not news that events take a heavy toll on our resources, society and the environment, sometimes generating significant waste and occasionally even igniting tensions with local communities. This is how the international standard ISO 20121 was born, guaranteeing best practices in sustainable event management and promoting the motto that every action counts, whether that be tap water vs. plastic bottles or taking public transport instead of private transfers. Thanks to initiatives like ISO 20121, Nancy is now making a name for itself as a responsible business events destination.

The proof sits in the center of the city, where you’ll find the Prouvé Convention Center, which can accommodate up to 2,400 people. A roof comprised of 1,000 sqm of solar panels, bees and honey, a trained staff with an environmentally responsible attitude throughout the entire event process, and an overall policy of sustainable development are just a few of the green credentials to brag about. But take a look at the Nancy Exhibition Centre, with a capacity of 4,900, and you’ll be just as impressed.

Green initiatives

The trend toward green initiatives has tricked through the city, with DESTINATION NANCY working hard to combat food waste, earning a Special Sustainable Development award by France Congrès et Evénements last April as a sign of its success. Another area the convention bureau is honing in on is responsible purchasing: 100% of what Nancy sells and buys, whether it be a service or a product, has a CSR component to it. And, for the past three years, DESTINATION NANCY has worked attentively on waste management via a comprehensive food rescue and redistribution programme co-organized with a local association.

All of these elements are placed into a broader context in Nancy’s ‘welcome pack’ (pacte d’accueil) for major events. For associations choosing Nancy for their next conference, they will be hosted by a city and a greater region that places sustainability and care for its people—as well as the environment—at the forefront. In fact, the city developed a whole green ecosystem, or “EcoQuartier,” in 2009 with help from the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Accommodation. In this pedestrian-friendly zone developed around the train station, the quality of life has been significantly improved for residents and visitors like conference attendees.

Next step on the horizon: Nancy aims to become an international green destination like a handful of its French counterparts, working within the confines of a programme launched by France Congrès et Evénements, with the support of Green Evénements and the G7 General Secretariat (only 9 destinations in France are now engaged in this approach). At the rate the city is establishing its green footprint, it’s no doubt Nancy will soon make its presence known around the globe as a hub for green events in Europe.

This piece was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi Deve.. The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.



August 31, 2019

Medical Success in the South of France

Located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur region is not only an easily accessible destination, it also boasts 300 days of sunshine per year, rich culture and UNESCO-listed heritage sites. A key player in life sciences, the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region has been attracting the attention of European and international associations with its dynamic medical ecosystem that promotes opportunities in a variety of different ways.

In France, Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur ranks second in terms of patent filing and boasts more than 170 health and life sciences research laboratories. The region specializes particularly on research topics such as infectiology (infectious disease), immunology, oncology, neuroscience and ophthalmology, looking at these topics not only on a national level but on a European one as well. Four regional universities—Aix-Marseille, Avignon, Nice Sophia-Antipolis, South Toulon Var—as well as competitive clusters such as Marseille-based Eurobiomed with more than 280 members specialising indrugs, diagnostics, implantable medical devices, and e-health, fuel the region’s strong research network.

The South of France also offers plenty of opportunities for sponsorships. The region is a well-trusted and competitive destination for many companies in the pharmaceutical and AI industry but also in the management of big data, digital biology and medical imaging, with some leaders headquartered in the region.  As a getaway to the EMEA region, Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur has become a worldwide leader in the hosting of large medical events, which attract on average 20% more participants than anywhere else.

No surprise

It comes as no surprise, then, that Cannes (pictured), Marseille, Nice and Toulon continue to draw more medical congresses each year that comply with the guidelines of the MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice, which regulate all aspects of the industry’s relationship with healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations. Forthcoming examples include the Congress of the French Society of Vascular Medicine in Cannes (1,000 delegates); the European Macrophage and Dendritic Cell Society Convention (2,500 delegates) and the European Public Health Conference (2,000 delegates) in Marseille; theEuropean Congress of Pathology (2,500 delegates) and the Movement Disorder Society Congress (4,500 delegates) in Nice; and the conference of the French Society of Emergency (400 delegates) in Toulon.

In response,

the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regional authority launched the ‘Attract Congresses and Events’ regional programme, aimed to improve the bidding and hosting experience for large international events. Designed to financially support events of a structural nature in sectors of excellence, such and healthcare, the aim is to generate substantial spin-offs in terms of economics and image. Eligible congresses and conferences include those that combine over 800 nights. The programme is managed by Provence Côte d’Azur Events, the regional convention bureau.

One prime example is the NeuroFrance, which was organised by the French Neuroscience Society in Marseille in May. The region’s “Attract Congresses & Events” programme was a major factor in the organiser’s decision to host the event in the South of France.“The importance of the local community in neuroscience, the commitment of the South of France in the areas of research and health and the attractiveness of the city of Marseille were decisive elements in the selection of this destination for the 14th edition of our biennial conference,” explains Lydia Kerkerian-Le Goff, President of the French Neuroscience Society.“All in all, it was an easy process, and we would like to thank all our partners for their support of the project.”

Contact: / / This piece was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi Deve.. The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.



August 30, 2019

New Association Wins for Congrex Switzerland

Congrex Switzerland for has expanded its association management portfolio by thirty percent and has been appointed PCO or official accommodation agency for several European associations.

The European Association of International Education (EAIE), with over six-thousand participants, has signed a three-year agreement with the agency, starting in 2021, while the European Association of Nephrology (ERA-EDTA), with more than ten-thousand participants, has chosen Congrex for their main 2022 congress, due to take place in Paris.

Meanwhile, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) has entrusted them with the organisation of over one hundred events, with up to four-hundred participants each, over the next two years. The European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) has also designated Congrex as their Core PCO, beginning in 2020 with the organisation of their next major congress, which attracts over seven-thousand participants every year.

August 29, 2019

First Details of IBTM 2019 Association Programme Revealed

IBTM World has announced the first details of its 2019 Association Programme, which takes place on the afternoon of 19 November – the first day of IBTM World, in Barcelona.The annual event for the global meetings industry will be attended by over 15,000 industry professionals, including 300 international Association meetings planners.

Created in partnership with the Association of Association Executives (AAE), the programme includes eight topical sessions addressing some of the key challenges facing association event organisers. The afternoon concludes with Associations Connect, a peer-to-peer networking event, in association with ICCA.

Themes for the afternoon include; driving delegate attendance, raising sponsor and exhibitor revenue, sustainability for events and cost control. The programme includes case studies, speeches and panel sessions from some of the leading organisations in the association sector.

Speakers include Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, who will lead a session on ‘preserving the world through sustainable meetings’; Gordon Glenister, Global Head of Influencer Marketing, The Branded Content Marketing Association, will cover ‘how influencers marketing can help build delegate awareness and uptake of your event’; and Greg Tracz, Chief Executive Officer, Diabetes Africa, will run a session on ‘developing sponsorship revenue streams for long-term benefit’.

Commenting on the Association Programme, David Thompson, IBTM World Event Director, said: “Working with AAE, we’ve put together a comprehensive content schedule, full of sessions that have a genuine practical application for our association delegates. The programme is a great opportunity for association buyers to enhance their time with us in Barcelona with targeted learning opportunities that complement the wider event schedule.”

Knowledge Programme

Also new this year is Event Business Accelerator created in partnership with Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Barcelona Convention Bureau (BCB). It is an investment and mentoring programme that will see young entrepreneurs with an idea, product or service relevant to the events industry participate in an intensive programme of workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions.

Mentees will then present their idea in front of a panel of investors and the Reed Global Innovation team on the IBTM Accelerate stage, also a new feature area for 2019, located at the heart of the event. Designed to attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent, IBTM Accelerate will incorporate exhibitors and education sessions that will give delegates the opportunity to learn from other successful MICE entrepreneurs and share ideas with their peers.

Registrations for this year’s Hosted Buyer programme are now open. IBTM’s leading Hosted Buyer programme benefits association event organisers through providing them with a personalised diary of pre-planned, one-to-one business meetings, as well as through only matching them with exhibitors with whom they are highly likely to do business.

IBTM World 2019 will take place from 19 – 21 November 2019 at Fira Gran Via Barcelona.  For more information and to register for the event, visit

August 28, 2019

Typically Queensland Menu Launched in Brisbane

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre Executive Chef, David Pugh has unleashed his haute cuisine skills and love of fresh local produce on the Centre’s newly released menus. Having reigned as Queensland’s Ambassador Chef for four years and recipient of numerous chefs’ hats during his restaurant career, he  has set his much acclaimed culinary talents at work celebrating the freshness, flavours and variety of local Queensland produce in this latest menu offering.

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC), has a long history of advocacy for quality and the provenance of Queensland food, sourcing the very best of available and accessible local, seasonal produce. BCEC sources 80% of its produce from Queensland – from the Far North of the state, west to Chinchilla, east to the Fraser Coast and south to the New South Wales border.

August 28, 2019

A Global Focus with a Strategic Plan

Given the fact that BICSI’s Vision Statement is to be “the worldwide preeminent source of information, education and knowledge assessment for the constantly evolving information and communications technology community,” it’s easy to see why the organization would call itself a truly global association. In this particular case, being global is the direct result of a clear, planned strategy, as explains Paul Weintraub, CAE, Vice President of Global Development & Support at BICSI.

Expanding any association globally is a big step that requires careful preparation. In order for the expansion to be successful, it is critically important to develop a thorough plan including objectives, market situation, entry strategy, financial and ROI analysis, goals and measurement. All this is very hard work, yet it comes with great opportunities for growth, such as getting and retaining new members, brand awareness, new products and services, and the possibility of making your organization truly competitive.

Avdvancing knowledge

With membership spanning nearly 100 countries, a satellite office in Dubai and affiliate offices in Tokyo and Melbourne, BICSI, whose purpose is to advance the knowledge and success of its members, their customers and the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, has become global surely and rapidly.

“As with any organization, the journey toward becoming a global entity has not been without its challenges, though” says Paul Weintraub. “Language barriers, time zone differences, pricing, and other high-level considerations all require thought and strategy to determine best practices and courses of action when expanding your reach globally. BICSI has approached its entry into global markets by making global a focus of our Board of Directors’ Strategic Plan; creating a task force to determine where to focus our efforts; and developing objective decision matrices and a weighted point system to take a fact-based approach to global expansion.”

Establishing a satellite office in Dubai has given BICSI the ability to better service its members and stakeholders who operate on a completely different time schedule from Florida, where the organization is headquartered. “That includes Africa, Europe and, of course, the Middle East,”explains Paul. “Having support from the Dubai office means customers can call and speak with someone who can assist them during their normal business hours. It also means that BICSI staff are more “local” to them and more attuned to global concerns, such as differing communication styles, cultural nuances, and the process of relationship building. We have found that opening the Dubai office and having affiliate offices in Japan and Australia, has given BICSI a more global face and local reach.” 

In Dubai in particular, DAC, the Dubai Association Centre, has been an indispensable resource in providing local market and cultural insight and “boots on the ground” to BICSI’s expansion in the Middle East. “DAC provided support and a clear, easy-to-understand process we followed when opening our office in Dubai. From there, they provided the required handholding to get things done locally like opening a bank account and establishing mobile telephone accounts, all the way to recruiting and managing of local staff,” says Weintraub.

The Dubai Association Centre was formed in 2014 as a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) as a “response to the surge in the demand for association engagement in the UAE and the Middle East.” Now, more than 60 associations fall under DAC’s umbrella, which acts as a platform for dialogue and education for associations interested in expanding their presence and activities in the Middle East.

Increased demand

There’s no doubt that, if executed properly, globalization can bring your association many benefits, the first and most obvious being getting access to a much larger base of members and partipants for your events. If your services are proven added values, you can enjoy increased revenues while at the same time helping an exponentially greater number of people find the answers to the questions or challenges your association helps solve, this way improving your reputation.

In BICSI’s case, because information and communications technology (ICT) is everywhere, there is an increased demand for product design and that’s where the organization’s added values lie. “There is an ongoing – and even rising – need for skilled digital infrastructure designers and installers experienced in Smart Cities and Buildings, Data Centres and Cloud Computing, 5G Cabling Systems, IoT and such are needed more.” says Paul Weintraub. “BICSI trains and certifies ICT/ELV professionals using BICSI standards and best practices that are recognized worldwide and included in many tender and design documents for a variety of commercial buildings and projects including airports and stadiums.”

And when asked for a piece of advice he would give anassociation wanting to ‘internationalize’ itself, Wintraub concludes: First and foremost, determine exactly why your association wants to expand globally and what the opportunity cost may be of not doing so. Make sure you gain Board support, and have a global focus included in the Strategic Plan. Remain objective, using decision-making tools including a SWOT Analysis, a points-based and weighted decision matrix, and a lot of fact-based research. Staff should spend time in the region of expansion and learn the local way of doing business. It also greatly helps to have enthusiastic volunteers willing to lend a helping hand in the regions into which you are expanding.”

This piece, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Remi Deve, 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.