The Green Goals of Nancy

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.



August 27, 2019

Introducing Hangzhou’s Association Resources

Hangzhou launched the “Hangzhou PLUS” roadshow in Beijing today. This event, organized by Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism, aims to update national associations and societies on the enhanced resources of the city as a high-profile business events destination.

Zhang Ansheng, member of the leading CPC members’ group, Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism, Tian Mei, “Hangzhou Conference Ambassador” & vice chairperson of the Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology, and Noor Ahmad Hamid (pictured), Regional Director Asia Pacific, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) attended the event. They were joined by representatives of 60 associations and societies, and 30 professional conference organizers (PCOs) specializing in association meetings, along with 18 outstanding Hangzhou-based conference companies and hotels.

Associations are one of the main targets of Hangzhou’s new economy industry, as the MICE industry strongly develops in terms of infrastructure and know-how. In recent years, Hangzhou has been transforming itself into the #1 city for the digital economy, as well as fostering its strengths as an innovation hub, slowly but surely becoming the new engine driving the growth of local MICE market.

In this context, Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV and Tourism has joined hands with local industries, and branded the city as a “destination for MICE of the new economy”. To visualize its philosophy, the bureau has launched “Hangzhou PLUS: MICE Roadshow”. By demonstrating Hangzhou’s upgraded MICE resources, the bureau hopes to anchor the image of Hangzhou as a preferred destination for association meetings.

Hangzhou accommodates a slew of renowned universities and research institutions, such as Zhejiang University, Westlake University and Alibaba DAMO Academy, which have attracted a large number of talents. As a hot spot for people worldwide to seek jobs, Hangzhou has a net talent inflow rate that has ranked first in the country for three consecutive years. Hangzhou also boasts some of the best technological research institutes, and the city has so far originated no less than 51,213 invention patents! Its broad talent pool and strong scientific research, underlined by 53 “Hangzhou Convention Ambassadors” from all academic circles, have significantly contributed to the implementation of high-end association conferences in Hangzhou.

August 27, 2019

Stepping into a Thriving PCO Scene

Out of 130 agencies across the world that are members of International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), Hamburg is home to four Professional Congress Organisers (PCOs)—INTERPLAN, CPO HANSER SERVICE, Conference Partners International and MCI—a pretty big deal for Germany’s second-largest city.

Often referred to as the gateway to the world, Hamburg boasts a centuries-old relationship with the Far East (China and Japan in particular), as well as the Baltic, serving as the German or European headquarters for many international businesses. Couple these factors with its role as one of the most important reloading points and ports in global trade and the third largest civil aviation location in the world and it’s no surprise that the green waterside metropolis, perched on the shores of the Elbe—Germany’s second-largest river—has emerged as a meetings mecca, where over 60,000 events and more than two million participants congregate annually.

The rising number of Hamburg’s PCOs—including this year’s newcomers, Conference Partners International (CPI) and MCI Hamburg—show the city’s steady development, growth of facilities, and economic strength, in addition to giving customers the opportunity to “draw on the know-how of four first-class PCOs in Hamburg for planning, realization and successful conduct of their events at the new Congress Center Hamburg,” explains Heike Mahmoud, Chief Operating Officer – Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) (pictured).“This quartet of expert organizations puts us even more closely in touch with the latest trends and innovations in the meetings industry. They are an enrichment for our city, and above all for prospective and naturally also existing customers.”

Growth Strategy

MCI’s new partner, “Wolf trifft Jäger,” will help shape the agency’s North German launch, and their new office in Hamburg and the CCH will “enable us to continue successfully with our sound growth strategy and to enhance our agency profile,”says Andreas Laube, CEO MCI Deutschland GmbH.“The new CCH will be an ideal conference centre for the vibrant city of Hamburg, and its new spaces and technical facilities will give plenty of opportunities for the systematic and successful development of the ‘congress of the future.’”

The new Congress Center Hamburg is a little less than a year from opening, but the city is already receiving a slew of event bookings in anticipation of the new venue—which hopes to attract even more international clients to Hamburg. CCH will sit in the heart of the city, a few steps from the Dammtor train station and just an S-Bahn ride away from the airport. When completed in 2020, the congress centre will measure 36,000 square metres in total and feature 50 conference rooms offering over 12,000 seats for attendees—making it among the largest on the continent.

According to Jaime Bennett, Sales & Marketing Director CPI, the opening of CCH will be a huge boost for business, adding to Hamburg’s overall attractiveness as a congress destination.“Hamburg has some of the best features you could expect from any city – from outstanding event venues to an outstanding cultural scene,” says Jaime Bennett, Sales & Marketing Director CPI, who adds that this will be CPI’s first German outlet in Hamburg. “Having this conference centre right on our doorstep means we can encourage our regular clients to hold more international conferences in Hamburg.”

This article was written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset.  The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.



August 26, 2019

Smart & Appetizing Lyon

Both the second-largest metropolitan area and the second-busiest convention city in France, Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage city which has been attracting the attention of international associations for some time. Situated at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone rivers, it is a key location for biotechnology companies and headquarters to a variety of international organisations. It was recently awarded the coveted title of ‘European Capital of Smart Tourism’.

But what does Smart Tourism actually mean? Well, practically speaking, it means implementing and promoting sustainable practices in several key areas of tourism. And that’s exactly what Greater Lyon and Lyon Convention Bureau have worked hard to do for a number of years, developing responsible tourism and a range of activities that are adapted and accessible to all.

Lyon has, in fact, been performing quite well in four key areas, namely sustainability, accessibility, digitilisation and cultural heritage. The city, indeed, promotes environmentally friendly and responsible transport, with its bike rental or car-sharing system, e-scooters, and the Vaporetto river shuttle, as well as accessibility for people with disabilities. Lyon’s connectivity is also one-of-a-kind, with the development of, for instance, OnlyLyon Expérience, a destination CRM system that is unique in Europe,with which visitors can explore the city with personalised advice directly on their smartphone.

Eco-responsibility all over

The emphasis is on eco-responsibilty across the whole supplier chain as well. In that regard, the organisers of the famous Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights) and numerous other festivals are committed to improving their carbon footprint. Meanwhile, restaurants that serve seasonal and local food are encouraged to come forward.

No wonder Lyon recently made the Global Destinations Sustainability Index, which recognizes the efforts of its members to improve their commitment to sustainability by listing them on an index of comparison with other destinations. Many businesses use this index to assess the sustainability of possible partners and it has quickly become an invaluable tool for the meetings and events industry.

As Valérie Ducaud, Manager of Lyon Convention Bureau, put it, Lyon’s participation to the Index “aims to build on top of our selection as the European Smart Tourism Capital, and accelerate (the city’s) efforts to boost digital innovation, accessibility and environmental stewardship, and to work to become an even more sustainable and smart events destination.”

As France’s second city for conferences, Lyon offers a unique combination of business and culinary pleasure that makes congress participants enjoy a truly French experience. The epitome of this? The Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie, which is opening this fall in the Grand Hôtel-Dieu, a former hospital, and which willexamine how gastronomy plays an integral part in the world.

The site will house exhibitions and cultural events, an Intercontinental Hotel, restaurants and shops, conveying a ‘modern vision of gastronomy… as well as a conference centre. The project is an integral part of the Vallée de la Gastronomie (Valley of Gastronomy) which is currently being discussed at regional level. From Dijon to Cassis, it’s set to become “an international destination based on experience.” As such, it will rely on the gastronomic cities of Dijon and Lyon, as well as a range of activities around wines, local know-how and catering.

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

August 26, 2019

ASSOCIATIONWORLD Offers Comms Education

ASSOCIATIONWORLD, partners of Boardroom, are organising one more interesting workshop at The Hotel in Brussels on 2 September. The event, whose morning will be moderated and facilitated by Boardroom founders Cécile Koch and Rémi Dévé, will be all about communications.

Associations must, indeed, find the right balance in catering information and communications towards their stakeholders. They must also be able to reach them through the right media channels. But in today’ss world of social media versus traditional communication methods, how exactly do you do that? What is the best strategy to use to get the most out of your limited time and budget? What is good business communication in today’s ever-changing world?

In AW’s Media Workshop participants will get to answer some of these issues by looking in-depth at the differences between traditional print media versus new media approaches. Both elements are invaluable in building a comprehensive communication strategy that targets your messages to your many and varied audiences.

You can find more information and register here.