GAHP Members Surpass Universal Association Growth Rate

December 3, 2018

GAHP Members Surpass Universal Association Growth Rate

The Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP) was founded in October 2015, bringing together four major association hubs to represent their regions of America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As it marks its third anniversary, its members – Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC – are experiencing growth in the number of associations located in their cities at a significantly faster rate than global averages. More specifically, in 2018, the number of association headquarters and regional offices located in the four cities grew by 2.5% reaching 3,769, according to the Union of International Associations (UIA), a significantly higher number when compared to worldwide growth of 0.9%.

In this past year, the partnership has continued to get involved in industry meetings and events the world over. This included organising and powering sessions at the inaugural Dubai Association Conference, the European Association Summit in Brussels, the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago, and the ASAE Association Leadership Forum-Asia Pacific in Singapore. GAHP has also provided research to feed into studies by the likes of the Union of International Associations (UIA), International Conference and Convention Association (ICCA), Association Laboratory and AT Kearney.

Steen Jakobsen, Assistant Vice President, Dubai Business Events, said: “Dubai remains committed to facilitating the growth of associations, recognising their importance to developing key industries and sectors and further diversifying the economy. The Dubai Association Centre (DAC) provides a powerful platform for international and regional associations to expand their reach, influence and membership, and at the same time contribute to and tap into Dubai’s growing knowledge economy. In December, DAC will host its first Association Leaders Getaway, offering a unique platform for networking, education and discussions.”

Melissa A. Riley, Vice President, Convention Sales and Services, Destination DC, points out the impact of new investment in the region: “The recent announcement that Amazon will establish HQ2 in the DC metro region exemplifies how the investment in technology, talent and innovation intersect in our region.”

Jeannie Lim, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings and Incentive Travel, Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau recognises the growth of her country as the regional Asian hub for international associations to anchor their events and offices. She says: “Singapore was again ranked as ICCA’s top international association meetings city in Asia-Pacific for the 16th year in a row. We believe we can continue to contribute meaningfully to the growth of associations both at the regional and global level.”

Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Director, Brussels Convention and Association Bureau, said: “In March, visit.brussels will organise the 7th edition of the European Association Summit, confirming its commitment to association professional development. The event gets into a new dimension by linking it closely to the sustainability activities undertaken by the Brussels Capital Region actors allowing to combine education for associations and promoting what the destination may offer them in this important field.”

November 26, 2018

The Changing Meeting Landscape

As more and more associations create event departments some appear to see less and less value in the work of professional congress organizers (PCOs). Why should associations hire professional organizers if, as they grow, they have the staff and the resources to do things themselves? Are the event departments of associations taking over what a PCO or a destination management company (DMC) can bring to the table, and if so, what does that mean? Aigars Smiltans, director of MEET RĪGA, shares his view.

 With the abundance of information out there, available everywhere and all the time, some association event planners find it easy — or think it’s easy — to get what they need to stage a meeting. Industry experts say they see planners going directly to suppliers, whether a hotel, a technology company, or an off-site venue, to book conference space or audio-visual services for their next event. “This is an obvious trend at the moment,” says Aigars Smiltans, director of convention bureau MEET RĪGA. “What used to be organized thanks to the expertise of PCOs or DMCs is now handled in-house, without the assistance of third parties. Planners, like anybody else, are looking to save money: Everyone now has a good understanding of the supply chain from client to end service and is trying to cut someone out.”

Convention bureaus can still add value, experts say, especially if a destination is totally new to a planer. He/she may need people who can give input on, say, unusual venues and new, exciting activities. “But, as convention bureaus, we can’t add value over the whole supply chain either,” Smiltans says.“Hotels, just like Radisson Blu Latvija for instance, now offer a full range of in-house AV solutions to planners, shortcutting intermediaries. That was typically the work done by a PCO not so long ago. And there is also that big buzz about hotels cutting (or at least reducing) commissions now and going the extra mile for their clients. All this stimulates direct collaboration between conference organizers and suppliers.”

Does this change the situation for destinations? “It doesn’t really,” Smiltans argues. “The workload is pretty much just shifting. What used to be done by a PCO is now done by a hotel; whatever advice could come from a DMC is now coming from a convention bureau. I really think DMCs and PCOs should change their mindset and maybe rethink their business models so that associations see where their added values lie.”  That value, experts say, includes extensive local knowledge and connections.

“More and more associations choose Riga without the support of a local branch — and even without the possibility of getting a subvention — because our stakeholders over the whole supply chain do a good job showcasing what they’re good at,” Smiltans says.

Events in Riga that are testament to this include conferences organized by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), the International Airlines Technical Pool (IATP), or the European Association of Adhesives & Sealants Industry and its FEICA event.

This article, whose unedited version is available in the November issue of Boardroom, was written by Rémi Dévé.

November 19, 2018

Transforming Associations with Agility

The world is evolving very quickly, from changing economies to blending industries, resulting in tremendous competitive pressure from all angles. In the current environment, association leaders need to disrupt their organisations to survive, rethinking their products, technology, organisational talent and partnerships. They are required to promote an organisational culture that assumes changes, is comfortable with chaos and customer driven. They are expected to break the rules while bringing operational consistency. There is simply no room for rigidity!

I come at this topic from two directions in my role at Scrum Alliance®, the largest professional association of Agile practitioners worldwide. Our mission is to help others transform the world of work through improved organisational practice. At the same time, Scrum Alliance®itself is in the midst of a multi-year process of renewal and revitalisation to better align our work with the needs and desires of our members.

People over processes

We have attacked that challenge through a greater organisational commitment to Agile – an approach and mindset that values people over processes, iterative solutions with constant customer feedback, deeper cross-functional collaboration, and responsiveness to change over following a set plan.

Although Agile has gone more mainstream, it remains an idea that is easier to grasp than to practice. Scrum Alliance®just collaborated with Forbes Insights on a global survey of more than 1,000 C-level executives. Just 16 percent of these leaders said their organisations were “Agile in both strategy and execution,”although 81 percent of respondents agree on the critical importance of agility when it comes to leading a successful organisation.

So, if your organisation seems to be stuck in a time machine of pre-2000 efficiency, know that you’re not alone. The question is how do you change it?

The findings from our survey suggested a structured approach with three key elements to increase organizational agility: (1) Create a C-suite with an Agile mindset;  (2) Hire and develop the right mix of talent, and (3) Foster an Agile-friendly culture and organisational structure.

Executive-level support for Agile change is a must. Active senior management sponsorship and support is the number one motivator for undertaking a broader transformation.C-level executives can increase organisational agility by challenging ideas, sponsoring the right supporting structure and inspiring an Agile mindset across the organisation.

All about the staff

The next group responsible for supporting successful disruption is the staff. True Agile practice requires everyone in an organisation to work differently. It is important to have changing agents on board and surround those employees with a supporting culture. Many CEOs are good with developing strategies but aren’t as good with communicating across organisational layers. HR professionals become key Agile enablers as the heads of hiring and training. They evolve into a more strategic role becoming strategic business partners. They also help bring culture and communication down from the C-suite, acting as a cross-functional facilitator.

It is fine to start small; in fact, that is how most successful transformations begin. Some departments may be able to handle a total process overhaul quickly, eliminating unnecessary process and protocol, while others, like accounting, may hold on longer to older ways that are still working.

Many organisations mistakenly think that “going Agile” just means eliminating hierarchy. However, Agile is about creating the right team mindset and dynamics through practices such as Scrum and Kanban to support execution. Both Agile frameworks help organisations create empowered teams, bottom-up decision making, accountability, transparency and customer centricity.

The full version, written by Renata Lerch, Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications at Scrum Alliance, is available in the November issue of Boardroom

November 9, 2018

Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur: Let the People Talk

It’s always better to have organisers talk about their experience in a given destination than just convention bureaus explaining how great it would be for you – and them – if you chose them for their next event. In order for you to get familiar with Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and where its expertise lies, Boardroom asked four planners to explain how the regional convention bureau, Provence Côte d’Azur Events, successfully supported them.

HEALTHCARE

Stéphane Azoulay, Member of the Local Organising Committee, EFMC-ISMC 2022, XXVII International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry

In September 2022, we will co-organize the 27thInternational Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Nice. This biennial event, led by the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, welcomes about 1,200 participants from the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

Thanks to high-quality research conducted at the Côte d’Azur University,a centre of excellence according to the state-funded programme IDEX (Initatives d’Excellence), easy accessibility to and from Nice through its international airport, a highly flexible convention centre, and a good image of the city on the international scene, our bid made the difference.

In addition, we benefitted, at a local level, from the support of Nice Convention Bureau and many stakeholders of the whole supply chain. They were very helpful putting the bid together and giving us advice in terms of off-site venues and social events – a real added value. On a regional level, Provence-Côte d’Azur Events acted as a facilitator for us to obtain a letter of support from the President of the South Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, with a financial grant of up to 30,000€ – which of course we highly appreciate for an event of this magnitude.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

Claire De Longeaux, Trustech Director, Cannes

With an in-depth focus on the latest innovations applied to payments and identification, biometrics, blockchain and artificial intelligence, Trustech is the professional event dedicated to digital trust technologies. We have been operating for more than 30 years and settled in Cannes in 2016, where we usually welcome over 120 different nationalities. Trustech is a congress, with 200 international speakers, a trade show, with 300 exhibiting companies, and a networking event attended by more than 11,000 professionals.

In 2017, Trustech benefitted from the support of the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region as part of its ‘Attract Congresses & Events’ programme (see sidebar), helping our growth in a field the region has become renowned for. Many Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur-based companies are indeed working in this dynamic sector, starting with the members of the SCS-Global Competitiveness Cluster dedicated to secure communication solutions.

ENERGY

Philippe Olivier, Deputy Secretary General of the ITER Industrial Committee (ITER France Agency)

ITER (‘the way’ in Latin) is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today. In southern France, 35 nations are collaborating to build the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that has been designed to prove the feasibility of fusion as a large-scale and carbon-free source of energy.

The 2017 edition of the ITER Business Forum took place at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, with more than 1,000 representatives of 433 companies from 25 countries, including more than 50% foreigners. For three days, delegates were able, to meet, interact and establish contacts while learning about the progress of the ITER programme and upcoming calls for tenders.

This sixth edition of the Forum, which is today the international flagship event of the ITER programme, was organised by the ITER France Agency with the support of the International Organization ITER and its partners from China, Korea, Europe, India, Japan, America and Russia. The financial support of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region was instrumental in making the event a success.

The full version, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is available in the November issue of Boardroom. For more information on the Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur region as a conference destination: l.cassuto@provencecotedazurevents.com / www.provencecotedazurevents.com

Picture: the Ephrussi de Rothschild villa and gardens, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

November 7, 2018

Ottawa: A Pioneer in Innovative Immigration Integration 

Ottawa, a capital at the crossroads of government, education and advocacy, stands apart from all other international hubs for its integrated and holistic approach to immigration.

The Canadian metropolitan is continually ranked one of the best places to live worldwide and an archetype in innovation, economy, and transportation, making it not only a case study for progressive immigration but also for innovative city planning, job creation and top quality of life.

As Canada’s Capital, Ottawa puts conventions on a national stage close to decision-makers and international news media. If gaining their attention can help move an organization forward, Ottawa is the best place to get noticed.

Metropolis Project

It is no surprise that the International Metropolis Project – an international network of researches, policy makers, and community groups concentrated on improving migration and diversity – chose this capital hub for its 2019 event. The 2019 International Metropolis Conference will be held June 24 – 28, 2019 at the award-winning Shaw Centre with more than 1,500 delegates expected to join.

“Not only does Ottawa have several major universities, but all the federal departments and many NGOs also deal with immigration. We have two mayors who are very, very interested in migration issues and a plethora of organizations that look after immigration,” explains Enrico W. del Castello, the director of the 2019 International Metropolis Conference Project.

Del Castello himself could be considered an immigrant to Ottawa. Originally from Rome, del Castello has worked on immigration integration and reform in Ottawa for more than a decade — first as the Metropolis’ director of international outreach and then as the director of knowledge, mobilization and partnerships.

Not only does Ottawa’s status as a G7 capital provide an international stage to share these paramount conversations, its plethora of government departments, agencies and research institutions that del Castello refers to also provide a ready supply of subject matter experts to speak to and expand the discussion.

Hosting the International Metropolis Conference is a huge honor for Ottawa. We’re excited to be working with the Government of Canada to bring a large international conference here,” explains Mikayla Palladino, meetings researcher at Ottawa Tourism.

The conference will take place during Ottawa’s WOW Week, which is the welcome week for newcomers giving delegates from around the world will have an opportunity to see what Ottawa does for new arrivals. “It’s a really fantastic opportunity,” exclaims del Castello.This year’s conference will actually be a homecoming for the organization, which was constituted in Ottawa in 1996. It has since grown into the largest network in migration models in the world representing more than 70 countries. The conference itself is a platform for more than 130 concurrent workshops with up to 2,000 delegates.

The full version of this article written by Boardroom editor Samantha Shankman is available in the November issue of Boardroom. More information on Ottawa: MPalladino@ottawatourism.ca/ www.ottawatourism.ca

November 6, 2018

Rimini & Vicenza:
2 Cities, 1 Strong Link

Italy is no stranger to innovation and efficiency when it comes to dealing with international associations, may that be following new trends or covering specific needs when organising conferences, and Rimini (pictured above) and Vicenza (pictured below) are quite representative exemplars of that. Both situated in northern Italy, the two cities are immersed in history and architecture comprising of UNESCO World Heritage structures, hospitality and environmental awareness. Rimini is a dynamic and welcoming city at the edge of the Adriatic Sea and Vicenza is situated in a strategic position in the heart of Veneto, one of the most productive region.

In order to represent the two cities in the international scene, Rimini and Vicenza joined forces creating the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG) as a leading trade fair and conference-convention organizer for expo portfolio. Its Event & Conference Division provides associations with the necessary tools to hold successful conferences in the two cities.

Go with the flow

Keeping up-to-date means far more than just being technologically advanced or facilities-adequate. Both cities have embraced the idea of following new tourism tendencies in order to remain competitive in regards to the meetings industry. Industry Vision Travel&Hospitality, IEG’s survey that monitors consumer trends, is proposing a list of such trends that will influence the international market in the future. Implementing strategies based on this data helps Rimini and Vicenza to build further innovative strategies for their clients.

One of the five trends mentioned in the survey, ‘Wonderland’, wants the public to take a strong interest in the fiction created by immersive technologies, as the need to be surprised is increasing and the line between the real and the virtual is growing thinner. Virtual Reality is key in the second trend, ‘Playing the Game’, where adults are turning into children as they seek more playful and fun experiences.

With change, curiosity and inspiration playing a central role in a third trend called ‘Chance to Change’, delegates will be looking for services and activities that promote transformation and self-awareness, whereas the ‘In Private’ trend finds them opting for exclusivity whether that is in the form of reserving private space or creating small, ‘exclusive’ communities. Last, but not least, ‘Switch Off’ takes tourism to the next level where people are eager to be temporarily detached not only from technology but also from their everyday life obligations.

Venues Adopt the Trends

A clear sign that Rimini and Vicenza have deep understanding of these trends can be found in the two cities’ convention centres. Rimini Palacongressi, the country’s largest convention centre, is a uniquely designed and elegant structure full of light. It manages to combine state-of-the-art technology with smart and flexible architectural elements providing privacy and exclusivity as requested in the in private trend. 39 rooms, seating capacity for 9,000 and a main room that can host 4,700 guests: the Palacongressi is in line with what the consumers want: a total connectivity with the possibility to escape and switch off when needed.

On the other hand, the Vicenza Convention Centre (ViCC) provides the space for 9,000 persons and 15 meeting rooms, all of which are multifunctional and innovative, making Vicenza the ideal new business destination. In agreement with the city’s architecture and today’s needs, the diverse yet simple structure can cater for associations in every detail.

With the two cities joining forces, associations will have the opportunity to offer their delegates new ways to network and do business.

This article was written by Boardroom editor Vicky Koffa. For more information on Rimini and Vicenza: info@riminiconvention.it / www.riminiconvention.it

 

 

 

 

November 5, 2018

A Breath of Conference Air in Paris

What more can be said about Paris, the most visited city in the world? Apart from old favourites like the Eiffel Tower or Le Louvre, there are always countless things to do, and you can return over and over and every time you will be in awe of the abundance of history, culture, and of course art de vivre. Paris is renewing itself all the time, and this is true when it comes to meetings. After all, the economic dynamism of Paris and its surrounding region has always relied on research and innovation – this is actually one of the reasons why the International Congress of the European Respiratory Society took place there in September.

While Paris accounts for 20% of the total Ile-de-France population, Paris Region’s multi-faceted economy is unparalleled in Europe, packed with high-tech clusters – there are eight national and global competitiveness clusters – and research centres that rank among the global and European leaders. Paris Region’s sectors of excellence range from aeronautics, cosmetics, health and biotechnologies to logistics and financial services, just to name a few.

Major draw

The city is a major attraction as a destination for association meetings, and many attendees of course opt to tag some leisure time onto their trip. Because attendance is so high in Paris, it is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for associations to broadcast their work to a larger audience and attract more sponsorship.

The International Congress of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) took place in Paris Convention Centre (Viparis)in September 2018. Serving as a platform to share the latest knowledge in the fields of respiratory medicine and science, the event is continuing the standards of previous years and retaining the position as the world’s largest meeting for respiratory physicians, scientists and allied health professionals, with around 420 scientific and educational sessions and a wide range of activities.

Pippa Powell, Director of the European Lung Foundation (ELF), the public and patient arm of the European Respiratory Society, explains: “With more than 20,000 participants from over 130 countries, the ERS is the largest congress in its field and therefore has a restricted number of cities as potential destinations that have the congress centre and infrastructure to support the ERS International Congress. Recent developments in this area in Paris meant that the destination became a possibility for the ERS. We have a broad membership and we also move around European cities to honour our members and make the congress accessible. We have many members in France and the members of SPLF, who are joint members of our Society, feel at home in France.”

In Paris, all stakeholders work hand in hand in order to provide an unmatched level of service to planners and delegates alike who, then, can make the most of the city. In this context, public authorities, suppliers, hotels, the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau constantly unify their efforts to promote, market and sell the destination to event organisers.

Testing the lungs

“Paris is of course a globally renowned city with much to offer. It has fantastic travel links and a wealth of culture,” says Pippa Powell. “As a congress destination however there are many challenges – not least the sheer size and expense. The Paris Convention Bureau provided support to the ELF in the run up to the ERS Congress to try and improve communication with the city of Paris. ELF runs all of the public outreach and legacy activities for the ERS, including lung function testing for the inhabitants of Paris. The Convention Bureau acted as an intermediate between ELF and city officials and were able to help us gain support of the city for our activities, advertising space in the city and a wonderful location for our public event. They also ensured the presence of some key city officials at our activities.”

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is available in the November issue of Boardroom, out soon. For more information on Paris: cmairaville@parisinfo.com/ convention.parisinfo.com

 

October 26, 2018

International Coach Federation – Growing With a Local Presence

Globalisation 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. Thanks to our special partnership with the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP), Boardroom talked to Magdalena N. Mook, CEO of the International Coach Federation (ICF), who explained all about the organisation’s growth strategy. 

Can you introduce ICF to our readers? What are its mission and vision? 

As a federation gathering professional coaches, ICF helps people and organizations truly reach their full potential so they can contribute to a thriving society. We are changing lives, day after day, person by person, organisation by organisation. Our mission is to advance the art and science of professional coaching. And our mission is to see coaching being integral part of the society, and – naturally – ICF coaches representing the highest quality in professional coaching. Established in 1995, ICF is now a proud home to over 32,000 professional coaches around the globe.

What are your growth objectives and how are your plans to achieve them?

We are very happy that we have members in over 140 countries right now! We started small and then big – but just in North America at the very beginning. The growth in all other areas of the world has been phenomenal. Our ultimate goal is to help everybody gain access to a professional coach or to somebody who can offer coaching skills. The sky is the limit, really: we keep adding close to a thousand of new members every month.

To sum it up, we do two things. Externally, we promote coaching to general public and also do some targeted outreach to organisations and institutions. Internally, we offer education, tools, practice, credentials and community to our professional coach members so they can be well prepared and very confident in offering their services to their clients. These two dimensions seem to be working well.

You’re an international organisation and your reach is global. Were there any obstacles as you expanded?

Becoming global does not happen overnight. Even when you have members in multiple countries, it does not mean your organisation is global. It took us several conscious steps to “get there”. First, we made sure that our board of directors reflects our global make-up. Then, we evaluated our products and services to ensure that they are equally accessible around the globe. And then, we reviewed our language policies so we could access our members in their native tongues – coaching is such a personal relationship, after all. We conduct lots of research about coaching marketplace around the world. It helps us to adjust our messages and services, depending on the market.

There is no question that we are part of a larger global community and every day associations are looking for ways to take advantage of this globalization to grow.Getting global means having a better visibility towards your community and enhancing your presence in geographical area that you might have never thought about before. This way, you can assert your position as a leader in your field.

As an international federation, you have a lot of chapters. What are the challenges and opportunities for growing internationally? What are the synergies between the chapters and the ‘mother organisation’?

Chapters are truly our blood-line in the organisation. For so many of our members, the chapter is the lens that they perceive ICF – that’s their reality. So chapters are crucially important to our system. They play a significant role in retaining members and recruiting them. We put a lot of effort to support initiatives to create a chapter, our staff is working with members on the ground to see this happen.

And then we invest heavily in equipping our leaders with tools to make them successful in running a chapter – that being an education about association management; financial management; governance or even how to best access everything we, as the headquarters, have to offer. Four years ago our Board made a brilliant decision to support an annual gathering of all of our chapter leaders. This amazing event, typically lasting three days, brings us together to remind all of us about the “why” of ICF and coaching and then to help improve the “how” of the execution.

This interview was conducted by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé. The full version of this article is available in the November 2018 issue of Boardroom available here.

October 24, 2018

Knowledge in the Sunshine of Marseille

Known as France’s second biggest city, rich in 300 days of sun a year, Marseille stands proud as the country’s largest city on the Mediterranean coast and largest commercial port. Building on the legacy of its European Capital of Culture title and thanks to a whole-of-the city approach promoting Marseille’s excellence in key industry sectors, the number of conferences it attracts has steadily been growing– the recent World Conservation Congress win says a lot about the city’s presence on the international meetings scene.

Marseille’s growth is due not only to the presence of conference venues you would expect in big destinations but also to constant investment in tourism infrastructure. In Marseille, there are cultural edifices designed by internationally acclaimed architects, like the MuCEM, as well as facilities that improve the daily life of Marseille locals and benefit visitors. The Mayor of Marseille, Jean-Claude Gaudin, has long had an ambitious strategic vision: the development of the city must come from the development of its tourism industry.

Six key sectors

In terms of association conferences, that means identifying those events that are aligned with the city and its surrounding region’s key economic, academic and scientific fields. Marseille has a wealth of expertise in six fields, the first one being healthcare. The city is the first cancer research centre after Paris, while its Immunopole cluster is the first French cluster in immunology, spearheading R&D in infectiology and neurology as well – in this regard, the GIPTIS Institute is the largest research centre for rare disease.

It comes hardly as a surprise the European group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) chose Marseille for its 2017 Annual Congress, which attracted more than 5,000 participants. Professor Christian Chabannon, President of the Local Organising Committee, said that on this occasion Marseille demonstrated that it can combine scientific and medical excellence with friendliness and a high sense of hospitality. “But beyond the quantitative success of the congress, the attractiveness of the city itself and the quality of the scientific programme were clearly a draw, as evidenced by the messages circulating on social networks. I believe all stakeholders benefitted from the coming of the event to the city. Congresses such as the EBMT one clearly position Marseille as a major business tourism destination in Europe,” he added.

Marseille is a major player in the digital and creative industries. Accreditated ‘French Tech’ – a label awarded to French cities recognised for theirstartup ecosystem– it boasts a fast-growing startup network and 8,300 businesses are active in what has become a leading digital territory. Shipping, Maritime and Logistics, on another hand, make up for no less than 61 000 jobs, and Marseille, home to CMA CGM, the third world biggest ship owners, is the first French centre for heavy ship and yacht repair. The city’s excellence in aerospace and mechanical research has also attracted the attention of associations –the World Congress of Space Operations recently took place at the Palais du Pharo.

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is available in the November issue of Boardroom. For more information on Marseille: pbigo@marseille-tourisme.com / www.marseille-congres.com

 

October 22, 2018

The Drive of Excellence of Nice

An active modern capital that has preserved its art of living over the centuries, Nice is the 5th largest city in France. Nested between the sea and the mountains around Baie des Anges, it cultivates its modernity and dynamism with a policy of constantly improved services when it comes to hosting associations.

With a beautiful backdrop that has proved a great inspiration for Matisse, Picasso and Chagall, Nice has been enjoying a genuine economic and architectural revolution in recent years. Boasting cutting-edge infrastructure (with Nice Acropolis Congress & Exhibition Center leading the way right in the city centre), from its international airport to its 200 hotels and 10,000 rooms, and the ability to facilitate the planning of events like Cardiostim (5,200 delegates) or the 2018 European Congress of Psychiatry (3,000 delegates), it is the sixth most popular European destination for meetings organisers according to the 2015 American Express’s Global Meetings Forecast.

After all, Nice is a knowledge hub and has been attracting the attention of associations for this reason. With internationally recognised healthcare facilities including 9 hospitals, 26 clinics, seven specialist centres, an ICT expertise in the service of e-health, it’s aleading centre of scientific and medical research, spearheaded by Sophia-Antipolis Technology Park. The University Hospital of Nice is also very active in research and innovation, thanks to its involvement in IT and communication technology initiatives for the health sector and to ambitious projects such as Pasteur 2, the largest hospital construction project in France, opened in 2015.

Smart City

Ranked the 13th smartest city in the world in the 2017 Juniper Research Survey, Nice is also dedicated to sustainability, finding its energy in numerous projects such as the Smart City Innovation Center. There, the so-called Eco Valley, one of the largest Operations of National Interest in France devoted to sustainable development, extends over about 10,000 hectares. Focusing on the preservation of natural heritage, it will become a major employment area with state-of-the-art innovations, and will impact the life of its inhabitants socially as well as economically by improving the way they live.

The ultimate aim is to make Nice the ‘Green City of the Mediterranean’, an example of an environmentally friendly region on a European scale. In this regard, Eco-Valley, located west of the city on the Var plain, will be home to enterprises active in the sustainability field and a research cluster dedicated to ecological development. A 65,000 sqm exhibition and convention centre and big brands acquiring environment-friendly infrastructures will also join along with housing facilities to make it a true community.

Last but not least The Metropolis Nice Côte d’Azur supports six of the ten regional competitiveness clusters: Secured Communicating Solutions, PASS (for perfumes, aromas, scents, and flavours), Eurobiomed, dedicated to health and bio-engineering, Capénergie, a cluster focusing on energy generation with no greenhouse effects, SAFE, all about security and aerospace, and Mer PACA, devoted to marine resources.

Contact: bertrand.puissegur@otcnice.com/ www.meet-in-nice.com