The Changing Face of Angers

May 20, 2019

The Changing Face of Angers

If you haven’t been to Angers, the western gateway to the Loire Valley, in a few years, you would hardly recognize the city of 400,000—considered one of the greenest in France. The well-connected hub sits just an hour from the Nantes Airport and less than 90 minutes from Paris on the high-speed TGV. It’s the connectivity factor, coupled with a rapidly growing city centre and brand-new convention centre, that’s making it one of the more attractive locales for associations meeting in France.

In early May, Boardroom was invited to attend the inauguration of the completely reconstructed Angers Convention Centre (pictured), which can host up to 1,200 visitors and sits just a 15-minute stroll from the train station. By 2020, the new tram will connect the two making it even easier to reach the 18-room Centre, which was completed in a quick 18 months with a few features that put the top-ranked green city, or ville verte, on prime display for delegates.

In addition to a high-tech, 1,200-seat auditorium and amphitheatre accommodating up to 266 people (overlooking the gorgeous next-door neighbour, the botanical gardens), the Centre added a 400-sqm. panoramic terrace that extends over the garden, emphasizing the fact that you’re meeting in the heart of one of the city’s top selling factors: green space. “We’re at the crossroads of the west and in an interesting position geographically,” says Thierry Gintrand, CEO of Destination Angers. “We want to link events to our terroir, our surroundings, and improve our visibility on the French map.”

From the Centre’s opening to the end of 2019, it’s doing just that, with over 85 events already marked on the calendar. Three of the major international conventions coming up include the first Chenin Blanc International Congress (CBIC) in July, which will draw 500 delegates and highlight the surrounding wine-growing region, the third-largest in France; En Mode Senior in October, created by the newly formed Destination Angers as a way to generate innovation and solutions for better quality of life for the elderly; and the first double edition of the Global Forum and ICMASim 2019, the International Conference for Multi-Area Simulation, in October.

Around 650 experts and decision-makers in the fields of digital and stimulation are anticipated to attend the Global Forum(nicknamed the Davos for ICT) and “digital week,” which plays on the work of the region’s 40,000 students and 250 researchers, as well as Angers’ rapidly developing IoT sector and start-up ecosystem, which, in 2015, earned the city the French Tech Hub label.

When asked why the Global Forum decided to host the 28th edition in Angers over Aix-en-Provence or Paris, where it has formerly been held, vice president Sébastien Lévy simply responded: “connectivity.” He added that Angers’ horticulture, electronics and digital sectors (which count companies like Atos, Afone, Octave and Evolis as local residents), as well as the 200-member cluster of the West Electronic & Applications Network, are also draws for the high-profile policy makers and stakeholders attending the conference. “The ‘digital week’ in Angers is an opportunity to network and develop innovative solutions and partnerships in a stimulating and inspiring environment that brings together a diverse international audience,” he explains.

The city centre was a maze of construction when we arrived, but Gintrand assures that the projects underway will improve the quality of life for residents—and boost the experience for visitors. In addition to two new trams and a new four-star boutique hotel next, which will debut next to the recently opened Musée des Collectionneurs, the Maine riverbank is undergoing a rejuvenation that will have it looking just as pedestrian-friendly as Paris’s Seine. While each project is unfolding in piecemeal fashion, the city will look practically new (while still placing its heritage sites like the landmark château on prime display) by 2022, when Angers plays host to the 31st International Horticulture Congress (IHC2022), aka “the world Olympics of horticulture.”

This article was written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset. More information on Angers as a conference destination here.

 

May 13, 2019

Guadalajara: Economic Transformation in Jalisco

A recent trip to Guadalajara told Boardroom a lot about the city and how it’s emerging as a conference destination. As Vicky Koffa, Boardroom digital editor, reported in the latest issue of the magazine: Not abandoning its deeply-rooted culture, history and religion, but, instead, reinforcing it with a more elevated quality of life is what makes this city attractive for the meetings industry.”

In the second report from Boardroom’s on the Jalisco state capital, and in partnership with The Iceberg,  we hear about the role of education and events as enablers for attracting investment and talent in two key sectors earmarked for growth – in the high tech and creative industries.

Monica Sanchez Torres, General Director of International Affairs and Gustavo Staufert, chief executive of the Guadalajara Convention and Visitors Bureau, combine to share the story of how a strategic approach to securing events and talent through education is enabling the city to position itself as the intellectual capital of Latin America in both sectors.

 

Guadalajara – Economic Transformation in Jalisco, Mexico from Fred Productions Ltd. on Vimeo.

May 7, 2019

A Global Growth Strategy

In July 2015, Matthew D’Uva became Executive Director of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), where he now serves as CEO. As the world’s leading professional organization devoted to pain research and treatment, IASP brings together scientists, clinicians, health-care providers, and policymakers to stimulate and support the study of pain. As the association grows globally, D’Uva shares some of the challenges and opportunities of having a global membership including 100 chapters and members from more than 120 countries. This article is part of Boardroom’s exclusive alliance with the Global Associations Hub Partnership (GAHP).

You have been quoted saying IASP was born as a global organization. What does that mean?

IASP is a global organization with members in more than 100 countries. Currently, one-third of our members are in Asia/Pacific, Europe and North America with the remaining members in Latin America and Africa. This geographic diversity existed nearly from our founding. Our headquarters in the United States is more directly related to our founder, Dr. John Bonica, who was an American. There are benefits of being located in Washington, D.C. There is a strong association community, and we can recruit from organizations that have a global mindset. We also work really hard on the training and development of our staff to ensure that they have the culture competency to support members around the world.

IASP has 100 chapters all over the world. How did the association grow to such a large number?

The association has always had an international membership. Most of chapter growth has been organic over time as members find the need to both connected with a global organization (IASP) as well as recognized the benefit of connecting with a chapter at a national level.

When I was in Dubai for the Dubai Association Conference at the end of 2017, I met with members who were interested in creating a chapter in the United Arab Emirates, we had great conversations and they founded a chapter that IASP recognizes as our official chapter. One of the by-products of that particular trip was the path for IASP to develop a deeper relationship with members in the UAE, and this would not have taken place without being present in the region.

In terms of how we build connections with people, we have some core programs on which we base our organization, whether it be for young investigators in what we call “pain schools” or for clinicians in “pain camps.” Those are programs that we have in different parts of the world around which we form global partnerships. They represent opportunities for us to educate people about of what a chapter can do for them, inspire them to build a chapter, and create a community wherever they are based.

Our strategy is to give members and the local organization the time needed to build something sustainable.

You use the term ‘glocal’ referring to your presence in different parts of the world. What does this mean exactly?

We’ve been able to build programs that have been successful in different parts of the world, so when we’re looking to develop new markets, we have examples of programs that we can bring to markets we want to grow. In Southeast Asia, we developed the pain camps I mentioned earlier, which were embraced by local leaders. When we were looking to develop stronger connections in Latin America, we introduced those programs. For example, a successful fellowship program in Thailand was replicated in Colombia.

Local connections are paramount and we rely strongly on our members locally. We can demonstrate what has worked in Southeast Asia and see what is relevant for Latin America. It’s a pragmatic approach: our members know what they need, know where the gaps are, and they need support from us to fill those gaps.

This means there’s no ‘one size fits all’ model?

Because we are a global organization, we attract people who think globally and who are engaged as global citizens. The people we are working with are usually people who have expertise due to their research background, as well as cultural appreciation of the context in which they are working. As far as global growth is concerned, it’s all about cultural competence and empathy.

We try to have real conversations where everybody is engaged to find solutions together. As a global organization, we’re going in and basically co-creating.

What do you find most challenging when it comes to expanding globally?

One challenge is finding the resources to invest, of course. Collaborations—when they are truly collaborations—are a lot of work; to get everybody on the same page and to have everybody truly listen doesn’t happen magically. Every market is unique, and it takes time to understand and grasp.

What are the benefits of having a presence in all member cities of the Global Associations Hub Partnership?

When it was founded, IASP was actually headquartered in the state of Washington. When they decided to relocate to Washington, D.C., they felt there was a strategic advantage of being in a global hub city, because of the accessibility to human resources, association management knowledge, policy makers, etc. The same goes for our European federation. We have a presence in Brussels with staff on the ground, and they are engaged in European policy. We tap into their expertise in all related fields.

Until recently, we didn’t have a chapter in the UAE, and Dubai now represents the ideal convening place to reach that community in the Middle East. Our Singapore chapter has been historically strong and helped expand our reach in the Southeast Asia-Pacific region to countries we never dreamed we have a presence, such as Myanmar, the Philippines, or Vietnam.

Is the ultimate goal to continue growing, to increase the number of chapters?

The ultimate aim is actually to grow our global partnerships to allow us to achieve our mission of relieving pain worldwide. We partner with other global organizations for our advocacy efforts and on programs we would not be able to manage by ourselves. Our goals for growth and membership are twofold: from a financial perspective, we’re looking to diversify our programs so that we may develop new opportunities to engage with members in different ways. This could be through the creation of new programs or the way we engage members and participants at our World Congress. In the end, it’s all about supporting a distribution hub for world-class science and evidence-based treatment to elevate the knowledge and education of members and the healthcare community.

This interview, conducted by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is part of the exclusive partnership between Boardroom and the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP), which comes as an innovative response to the increasing decentralisation of international associations, as they look to develop their activities globally. www.associationhubs.org

April 30, 2019

Guadalajara:
Prevention Is Better Than Cure

A recent trip to Guadalajara told Boardroom a lot about the city and how it’s emerging as a conference destination. As Vicky Koffa, Boardroom digital editor, reported in the latest issue of the magazine: Not abandoning its deeply-rooted culture, history and religion, but, instead, reinforcing it with a more elevated quality of life is what makes this city attractive for the meetings industry.”

Our partner from The Iceberg also took part in the trip. The visit to Jalisco state capital and life sciences hub of Latin America, Guadalajara, by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) executive director and Editor-in-Chief Pathobiology at Geneva University, Professor Bettina Borisch, revealed the significance of international public health association events in the war against NCD [Non Communicable Diseases] pandemics including obesity and diabetes. The visit also unveiled increasing concerns over traditional curative public health policies as Jalisco State Secretary of Health, Dr. Fernando Petersen Aranguren, struggles to meet the escalating burden of cost associated with the American healthcare model of curative treatment costs, already exceeding 240bn pesos.

Prof. Borisch applauded the preventative approach being undertaken by the health secretary who expressed his eagerness to bring the WFPHA Congress to Mexico as a game changer in policy and public awareness as he strives to adopt greater social medicine in order to meet the escalating challenge. Prof. Borisch further echoed concerns expressed by Dr. Aranguren regards the economic pressures from Big Pharma providers and declared public health as a human right, not a [commercial] commodity.

Learn all about it in the video below.

Secretary of Health: “If we don`t change lifestyle we will go into financial breakdown”

April 30, 2019

Washington, DC:
Where Economics, Culture and Academics Unite

With unmatched access to the federal government and policy leaders, Washington, DC is where great minds gather for meetings in the technologybiotech/pharmaceutical, education and medical sectors. As the connected capital continues to expand its knowledge economy, those working in sustainabilitytransportation and government advocacy have also taken notice. Meeting planners will find major sustainability advancements, transformative public transportation initiatives and access to the country’s leaders and lawmakers in DC, which benefit their attendees, sponsors and bottom line.

There are copious reasons why hosting your next meeting in DC will be valuable for your attendees and your organization. Here are just a few ways DC is a leading city:

  • Named 1st LEED Platinum City in the World (United States Green Building Council, 2017)
  • Local government commitment to the nation’s first 100% renewable energy bill, which requires DC utilities to source all electricity from wind and solar by 2032.
  • 2nd largest subway system by ridership in the U.S. (SmartAsset, 2018)
  • Home to the second most educated population in the U.S. (WalletHub, 2018)
  • Fourth city in which Ford will debut its self-driving vehicles (CNN, 2018)
  • Approximately one out of every 10 jobs in the DC region is in the federal government (WTOP, 2018)
  • Access to 11,270 lobbyists in industries including pharmaceuticals/health products, insurance, electronics and business associations. Lobbyists spent $2.59 billion in 2018. (Center for Responsive Politics, 2018)

Washington, DC is dedicated to developing initiatives and investing in new opportunities by adding to its strong industries with $11.2 billion in development underway, 16 hotels in the pipeline and many new and renovated special events venues in the works. The city’s appeal and ease of access are unparalleled, making it a hot spot for the international business community. In 2020, DC will welcome many international hotel brands for the first time, including Mob Hotels, a Paris-based chain, and Dutch hospitality brand, citizenM.

The ease of travel continues to add to DC’s appeal for business travelers. A $1 billion investment at Reagan National Airport called “Project Journey” will add new security checkpoints and a 14-gate concourse to replace busing operations by 2021. Dulles International Airport provides daily nonstop service from over 50 international destinations with new nonstop air service launching from Tel Aviv on United Airlines (May 2019), Rome on Alitalia (May 2019) and Lisbon on TAP Air (June 2019).

“We welcome more international association business and hope the new flights, unique hotel inventory and thriving restaurant scene help make it easy to choose Washington, DC for your meeting,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of Destination DC. “Business travelers can access lawmakers relevant to their cause, find a delegate base that helps grow their bottom line and meet in incredible venues throughout some of the city’s most exciting new developments.”

To learn more about meetings and conventions succeeding in Washington, DC or submit an RFP, visit washington.org/meetings.

 

 

April 27, 2019

Major Medical Advances in Hamburg

A pioneering research lab dedicated to biology and infection research has opened in Hamburg, strengthening cooperation between the city’s universities and research institutions as well as cementing its reputation as a medical hub.

The Leibniz Science Campus named InterACt or “integrated analysis of pathogen-induced compartments” is scheduled to open on May 1 and is the product of a partnership between the Heinrich Pette Institute Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI) and the University of Hamburg.

Over €6m funding due

InterACt is designed to further the city’s reputation in the field of structural systems biology and infection research and will enable experts to investigate the role of reaction chambers in cells and find new therapeutic approaches. InterACt is located near to the recently revamped CCH – Congress Center Hamburg (set to reopen 2020) and, over the next four years, will receive a total of EUR 6.6 million in funding.

Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen, President of the University of Hamburg, said: “The creation of a new Leibniz Science Campus devoted to infection research is yet another example of the excellent co-operation between the university and non-university research institutions in the city. Together, we in Hamburg want to tackle the numerous pathogens.”

Hamburg’s heathcare cluster

Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, has an international reputation as a healthcare location with one out of seven employees working in the healthcare sector and one of the highest density of medical doctors in Germany.

Hamburg’s healthcare cluster combines the expertise of the city’s the healthcare sector – companies, universities, research and training institutions, hospitals, care providers, physicians, insurance funds and insurance companies – with medical associations and other interest groups.

Karine Serra, Marketing Manager Conventions – Medical, Healthcare & Life Science at Hamburg Convention Bureau, explains: “Our cluster initiative aims to strengthen Hamburg’s reputation as a leading healthcare location and also build relationships between experts in the sector and meeting planners. The new Leibniz Science Campus is a reflection of the city’s dedication to supporting pioneering medical research.”

April 23, 2019

An Engaged Member is a Retained Member…

Giuseppe Marletta joined the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in February this year. As a member of Boardroom Advisory Board, we have asked him to contribute a column on his experience as he goes about his new role. This is Giuseppe’s first contribution and it’s all about association membership.

As the new Managing Director for Europe for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and the former General Manager at the International Association of Young Lawyers, much of my day-to-day involves planning and executing the best experience for association members. As associations look to maintain strong membership year over year, member engagement is often the difference between whether someone will renew his or her membership or become a lapsed member. An engaged member is a retained member.

In my 15 years as an association leader, here are some of the ways I have learned to engage your membership:

Take members’ pulse on critical issues

The first step towards engaging members is knowing what matters to them. Membership surveys are a valuable tool to gauge what issues are top of mind and how members like to interact with the association and each other. In addition to regular full-membership surveys, segmented “flash polls” are a less formal way to generate almost instant feedback. Recently, ACC created a two-question survey for our Canadian members regarding the program theme they’d most like to see at our annual Canadian conference. Gathering this intelligence was fast and free, and helped us make an important decision.

Offer a variety of programs

With membership survey data on hand, it will be clear that one size does not fit all. For larger surveys, cross-section your data by demographic criteria (location, age, company size). Doing so is especially crucial for an international association. At ACC, we know that the top issue affecting company decisions in 2019 for in-house lawyers in Europe, Asia, and the United States is new regulation. We also know that among in-house lawyers in Australia and Canada, brand/reputation is most important, and for members in Latin America, the leading issue is mergers and acquisitions. The information helps us tailor our regional programming and even determine which legal resources should display first for a member accessing our website from a particular region. We can better customize our content to what members need – saving them valuable time.

Membership data also tells you how members like to interact with your association. Our younger members are less likely to attend in-person events. Our focus then becomes offering new and better virtual programming to this constituency. Review your data to make sure there is some type of programming that appeals to everyone – networking, video content, roundtables, webcasts, etc.

Meet members on social

Ensure that the community of your association extends online. Keep the association’s social media profiles active, visually appealing, and newsworthy. Members should visit your pages and profiles often and always see a variety of relevant content. Know whether your members visit social media for news, networking, photos, or a combination, and curate your feeds accordingly.

Offer many opportunities for feedback

Not every member will provide feedback in every scenario, but create an opportunity for feedback at every event. This can be as simple as having an iPad with a five-star rating system for conference check-ins (tap the number of stars representing the ease of check-in). Or, offer short surveys after virtual learning opportunities so you know which topics and presenters are best. Most importantly, make it clear to members that you act upon feedback they share.

Recognize and honor members

With constant efforts to expand conferences, create new learning opportunities, and ensure the most up-to-date content, it can be easy to forget that one of the main reasons professionals join an association is connection. Members want to get to know their peers. For that reason, always spotlight the human side of your membership. Honor your outstanding members, spotlight interesting members, and simply find ways to demonstrate the stories of your association membership. The spotlighted members will appreciate the recognition and others will like learning more about their peers. Fueling these connections drives members to engage more with each other – and ultimately with the entire association.

 

April 20, 2019

Rennes Takes E-Health to the Next Level

The capital of Britanny, Rennes is a vibrant yet quite relaxed city, the place to enjoy some Breton culture and medieval heritage. As a knowledge hub, it’s a leader, among many fields of endeavor, in health technology. No wonder the International Conference on Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS) chose it and its now famous Couvent des Jacobins for their next venue.

The CARS conference is an international and interdisciplinary conference bringing together radiologists, surgeons, computer scientists, engineers, physicists, and other researchers at a unique meeting, where together they contribute to, and in fact lead, the development of novel methodologies and applications in this fast-growing field of technology for health care.

For its 33rd conference, it will be hosted at the brand-new conference centre, the Couvent des Jacobins, in the capital city of Brittany. Rennes’s history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village named Condate. Regularly cited as “the most liveable city in France”, Rennes has been selected not only for its historical ambiance, exquisite cuisine and affordable hotels, but also because it’s a leader in health technology, imaging and e-health, and with a unique expertise in biotechnology. Rennes, indeed, bridges the divide between scientific research and clinical excellence with a very specific entrepreneurial spirit.

Only an hour and half from Paris by high-speed train, Rennes is the beating heart of the Brittany economy with four competitiveness clusters leading the way, including Images et Réseaux (Images and Networks), ID4CAR (vehicles and mobility) or Valorial (food sector) and Sea Brittany. Its health sector has been heavily invested in, and isstructured around an academic research hub of 25 research institutes and a network of over 200 companies. Two high-profile university hospitals complete the picture.

If you add the pleasant parks and gardens, as well as a delightful old town with restored streets and squares, colourful traditional timber-framed houses, outstanding buildings by famous architects and one of the biggest outdoor markets in France to this, you might have the most intriguing conference destination worth exploring.

Since its opening, the Couvent des Jacobins (pictured), Rennes’ main convention centre, has increasingly been attracting the attention of international and European associations. Able to accommodate events of all nature and format, it boasts two auditoria for up to 1,000 people, 4,000 sqm of exhibition space and 25 meeting rooms, and is housed in a former convent, making it really one-of-a-kind. With 4,000 hotel rooms, 2,100 of which are in the city centre, a stone’s throw from the Couvent, Rennes is definitely one of those emerging destinations that clearly stand out on the meetings map.

Contact couvent@destinationrennes.com/ www.centre-congres-rennes.fr/en. This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May edition of Boardroom.

 

April 17, 2019

After the Associations World Congress in Gothenburg

There was definitely something going on in Gothenburg, Sweden, last week during the two-and-a-half days of education and networking of the Associations World Congress. As several hundred association executives and exhibitors from the meetings industry gathered under one roof, you could feel there was an eagerness to learn and make the most of the time out of the office.

The programme was rich, that was obvious. The selection of the right workshops and sessions to attend was hard. It was almost like you were going to miss out on something if you chose one stream over another.

The Congress kicked off  with a special forum for medical associations, which proved quite popular. The keynote opening speech was delivered by Paul Welander, senior adviser to the CEO of Gothenburg-based automotive company Volvo, who emphasized the power of collaboration to do business properly.

New this year was the Congress’ format: participants were encouraged to move freely between streams throughout the day. This allowed for greater flexibility and enhanced the opportunities for high-quality learning. Highlights included sessions on governance, or how to rethink and re-engineer the board for the modern association, communications, or how to adapt the look and feel of your communications can be a great way to re-energise members’ interest and engage more effectively with external stakeholders, or reflections on the association of the future. How do, indeed, associations renew themselves in a rapidly changing world full of disruptors? That was a much debated topic at a well-attended session.

The Congress took place at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers (pictured) in Gothenburg, a city which made sure all the participants felt welcome. Europe’s largest fully integrated hotel and congress venue in the city centre, only 20 minutes from the international airport, the complex will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021.

Delighted to be able to host so many association executives at the same time, Gothenburg has put meetings at the core of the city’s sustainable tourism strategy. With a vision to create a dynamic meetings destination, the city council assigned its destination marketing organisation, Göteborg & Co, to develop a strategic plan to support efforts to attract scientific congresses, in close collaboration with the industry and academia.

In this context, Gothenburg Convention Bureau provides easy access to the local meeting industry, the two universities and cutting-edge industries in the region, e.g. Volvo and AstraZeneca. The region of Gothenburg is characterized by relatively high business R&D expenditures, a highly educated workforce and many people employed in knowledge-intensive industries such as Life Science, Automotive/Transportation, ICT, Green chemistry and materials.

April 16, 2019

Titanium Expertise at La Cité Nantes Congress Centre

The largest city in northwest France and the sixth-largest in the country, Nantes is a centre of history, culture, technological innovation, and green sensibilities. Recognised by the European Green Capital label, regularly coming first as the most liveable city in France, it is attracting associations like the French Titanium Association, the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials (SF2M) which were instrumental in getting the World Conference on Titanium to La Cité Nantes Congress Centre next June.

The World Conference on Titanium (Ti-2019) is the fourteenth in a series of meetings that have been held every four years since 1968. Expected to attract 1,000 delegates, it will bring together the world’s titanium community to present and discuss progress in titanium science and technology. Supported by the French Titanium Association, the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials (SF2M) with the endorsement of Region Pays de Loire and Nantes city council, it is chaired by Patrick Villechaise, director of research at the CNRS.

“Nantes was selected by the International Organizing Committee thanks to the city and region’s significant group of industrial and academic actors, who are all experts on titanium, its high value alloys, and its many applications,” explains Patrick Villechaise. “The attractiveness of Nantes also made the difference. The city is easy to reach (2 hours from Paris by high-speed train), with a wealth of possible cultural activities, and it is very easy to discover by foot or public transport. La Cité Nantes Congress Centre also enjoys an ideal location in the heart of the city, and has a very ‘we can do it’ attitude when it comes to the organization of high-profile conferences like Ti-2019.”

The French industrial cluster for advanced manufacturing technologies, EMC2 was designated operational support of the event. Led by CEO Laurent Manach, it aims to reinforce the regional innovation and growth ecosystem in order to help the French industry become more competitive with a focus on advanced manufacturing technologies as a shared cross-disciplinary feature.

“This is the first time that Nantes hosts the World Titanium Congress” says Patrick Villechaise. “The program will have new features, including the visit of industrial sites. The idea is to meet key players in the territory working on titanium and discover their expertise, their way of working, their equipment…” A competitive and innovative regional capital, Nantes has indeed witnessed a booming of new high-tech industries over the last decade. Today, the territory is a centre of excellence for a large number of key industries such as science and technology.

La Cité Nantes is located just opposite the high-speed train station and 20 minutes from the international airport, and can host any type of events from 200 to 4,000 participants, with state-of-the art equipment in line with environmentally-friendly practices. It is also the only French convention centre with the AIPC ‘Gold’ Quality Standards, and has 1,100 hotel rooms within walking distance.

Contact: olivier.lefloch@lacite-nantes.fr\ lacite-nantes.com.  This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May edition of Boardroom.