How to Keep Communities Consistently Engaged

January 7, 2019

How to Keep Communities Consistently Engaged

In June 2016, the University of Edinburgh hosted the 13th World Congress (IAB2016) of the International Association of Bioethics (IAB). It is critical both to reflect on the event past and to consider how we might keep future events relevant and to adequately bridge the periods in-between. In other words, how do we generate and maintain legacy and help to keep communities consistently engaged over time? This brief article undertakes these functions by reflecting on some of the lessons learned from IAB2016 in the hope that it will prove useful to future IAB Congress organizers (and indeed other international conference organizers).

Read all about it here.

December 18, 2018

Major Conferences Leave Major Legacies in Glasgow

Throughout 2018 three major international medical conferences were hosted in Glasgow: the World Federation of Hemophilia World Congress; World Down Syndrome Congress and the International Symposium on ALS/MND.  Approximately 700 delegates, roughly 10% of those who attended these conferences were living with the conditions under discussion.

To ensure Glasgow gave the warmest and most appropriate welcome to all attendees, Glasgow Convention Bureau partnered with Glasgow Welcomes and VisitScotland to offer free educational sessions designed to help taxi drivers, staff at the transport hubs, Scottish Event Campus, hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions better understand the requirements of delegates who would soon be arriving in Glasgow. These sessions were led by experts from each of the association alongside local people living with these conditions, to ensure customer facing staff across the city were fully prepared to give a warm, educated and appropriate welcome.

Aileen Crawford, Head of Conventions at Glasgow Convention Bureau, said: “Glasgow has been cited as one of the world’s friendliest cities and the People Make Glasgow Welcome initiative epitomises how Team Glasgow supports and works with our conference organisers to gain a fuller understanding of our delegates’ needs. The educational sessions ensured Glasgow was ready to welcome all delegates to these conferences and have left a lasting legacy on the city, benefiting both Glaswegians and future visitors living with these conditions.”

Glasgow was the first conference city in the world to create such a bespoke educational programme for their conference delegates. To support the associations as they move to their future conference locations, the Glasgow Convention Bureau presented each client with a video of their educational sessions to help them prepare the hospitality industry of their next host city.

Feedback from each of the associations following their partnership with Glasgow has been extremely positive.

Craig Stockton, CEO of MND Scotland, commented: “As well supporting people with MND, and funding research for a cure, we want everyone with MND to be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. The awareness sessions we ran for Glasgow’s hospitality industry gave people an understanding of what MND is, how it affects people, and how best to accommodate someone with the illness. These practical tips and advice can be used long after the symposium leaves Scotland.”

Pandora Summerfield, CEO of Down’s Syndrome Scotland said: “The awareness sessions allowed us to ensure Glasgow’s tourism and hospitality businesses have current and accurate knowledge about Down’s syndrome today and how to positively include and support people with the disability, whichever their area of business. This then meant they were prepared to welcome and support people who have Down’s syndrome from all over the world to have a wholly positive experience during their visit to Glasgow.

She added: “Two of our Lead Commissioners, Andrew Macintyre and Stuart Campbell also co-delivered the sessions and proved to the audience that having Down’s syndrome doesn’t stop you from doing things, they gave a clear message that having a disability doesn’t define who you are and to remember that anyone who has a disability is a person first.”

December 10, 2018

Copenhagen Creates ‘Tourism For Good’

As tourist numbers keep growing around the globe, tourism is seen as a problem since it poses a challenge to the planet’s sustainability. The city of Copenhagen has chosen to see tourism not as part of the problem but as part of the solution. Wonderful Copenhagen, the city’s official DMO, has, therefore, taken it upon itself to present a way towards responsible tourism by launching recently an ambitious strategy called ‘Tourism for Good’. The strategy views sustainability from an environmental, social and economic perspective while contributing to 8 out of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Wonderful Copenhagen’s ambition for 2030 is that tourism in the city and its surrounding areas positively impacts local and global sustainable development. This progressive strategy is aiming to do just that through four different focus areas. Broadening tourism to areas outside the city centre’s boundaries and, hence, offering tourists a much wider choice of activities and richer experiences is the first concern of the strategy. A second one will be to guide tourists towards responsible consumption and behaviour by promoting sustainable products and ways of transportation. Thirdly, as part of the strategy, partnerships are to be formed in order for information and measurements to get collected so that increased knowledge on sustainability is acquired and passed along. Finally, Wonderful Copenhagen has chosen to lead by example, taking the greatest possible sustainability considerations when it comes to its own operations.

‘Tourism for Good’ could not go unnoticed in the international scene. Secretary-General of UNTWO, Zurab Pololikashvili, praised the initiative when talking to Copenhagen’s Convention Bureau: “This strategy is designed to foster sustainability at local level, where both visitors and hosts can enjoy exploring, living and learning from each other. This is also one of the core objectives of UNWTO’s INSTO network. Through its strategic commitment to a holistic approach for destination sustainability, Copenhagen will contribute to realizing the potential of the Danish tourism sector as an agent of change.” Furthermore, the strategy received praise at the recent ICCA awards where Copenhagen won the Innovation Award. “The initiative marks a very positive approach to changing negative feelings surrounding the tourism industry and encouraging local communities to recognise the benefits of a thriving tourism scene,” said ICCA President James Rees.

Director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative, Megan Epler Wood, has worked in depth with sustainability in tourism and the effects of over-tourism and describes the strategy as “ahead of its time.” “The city has a grand plan that seeks to boldly expand tourism without harming their city’s culture or environment. Their effort will be facilitated through continuous consultation with locals and measurements of impacts via third party organizations. They seek to leapfrog over the problems of overtourism by emphasizing that a destination can and must be designed for visitors and locals alike.”


December 5, 2018

ICC Sydney Legacy Program Reveals Its Creative Industries Stream

International Convention Centre Sydney’s (ICC Sydney) famous Legacy program continues on its successful course introducing a new dedicated Creative Industries stream, to showcase Australia’s home-grown talent on the global stage and support the next generation of creative leaders. This last addition is meant to complement the Legacy Program’s four core streams – Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Generation Next, First Australians and Sustainable Events and to drive long-term social, economic and environment outcomes, which are both meaningful and measurable.

The new focus will give the opportunity to event organisers and their delegates to collaborate with Sydney and New South Wales’ thriving creative economy, through a diverse range of stimulating and inspiring arts and cultural encounters. From providing support to Sydney’s already established artists to engaging new talent for event performances from Talent Development Project, the main goal remains a lasting legacy for the country and its people. The venue has decided to take client satisfaction and lasting impact even further as it will be connecting with festival programs including VIVID and Sydney Festival.

ICC Sydney has also formed a collaboration with Dinosaur Designs, maker of bold and instantly recognisable Australian homewares, in order to offer original Sydney gifts while promoting the local art scene. ICC Sydney CEO, Geoff Donaghy said expanding the venue’s support for creative industries will help invigorate client event programs, while accelerating opportunities for a broader segment of the community. “Our team is looking forward to formalising our connections to deliver tangible commercial outcomes for the creative industries while reinforcing Sydney’s reputation as a vibrant and diverse city and ensuring authentic, entertaining experiences for our clients and their patrons.”

Sydney Festival Executive Director, Chris Tooher also applauded ICC Sydney’s initiative for further promotion of the local region and its cultural scene. “ICC Sydney sits right on the doorstep of our city’s bourgeoning creative industries and plays an integral role in raising Sydney’s global reputation for artistic excellence. This initiative to build enriching cultural experiences into events programs will make a significant contribution to the sector.”


December 3, 2018

Basel Gets Creative for DIA Europe 2018

A global association that mobilises life science professionals from across all areas of expertise to engage with patients, peers and thought leaders, the Drug Information Association brings its European meeting to a different location every year. For its 30th anniversary, it chose to stay close to its European headquarters and organised the event at Congress Center Basel (CCB). Some 2,000 participants from all over Europe convene to Basel from 17 to 19 April 2018, ‘at the crossroads of healthcare’, as branded in the theme of the meeting.

The DIA is the only organisation in the world with the aim of bringing together professionals in health-product development so that they can pool their findings and push ahead with measures for the development of health products and lifecycle management. Over the past 30 years, the association has been getting experts around a single table, with the objective of finding new, concrete methods and solutions for patients. Transparent cooperation is made possible by incorporating representatives from the life sciences landscape. In this regard, the industry, the cost bearers, the patients and the regulatory authorities all have an equal say. Whether politics and regulations, research and development, marketing or economic developments: all the different stakeholders of the value chain are represented and that’s what makes the DIA conference unique.

As written in the programme, DIA Europe 2018 is more than just a traditional meeting. It’s a chance to learn, engage, and grow as a healthcare professional. “At DIA Europe 2018, we provided our delegates with a neutral forum to discuss current issues, with the goal of uncovering new ways of working and new solutions for patients. We welcomed participants from across the entire drug development industry and we facilitated open collaboration,” said the committee in charge of the programme, which included more than 65 meetings with nine challenging and cross-functional topics, such as ‘Drugs of the future: What will innovation need and bring?’ and ‘How can we further promote clinical research in Europe?’

A new feature of the 2018 conference were the DIAlouge sessions – a dynamic and results-oriented format which brought together stakeholders in order to solve a specific problem. The three-day event came to a close with the rapid-fire meeting, which in the past has proven very successful, and during which the key contents and findings of the conference were presented.

The innovations that helped make the conference a genuine experience included some creative stage setups, as well as a large number of unique ideas in terms of material, signage, technology and furniture. For the branding, digital elements were combined with tangible features to form a convincing whole. In Hall 4U of the CCB, an exhibition featured state-of-the-art ePosters, which made a lasting impression on participants. “The Congress Center Basel is an excellent location. The infrastructure is ideal and the working relationship perfect. In future, DIA Europe will only be rotating between different locations, and one of these will be Basel”, said Magdalena Daccord, Head of operations EMEA. Cathy Persidis, Senior Conference Manager at DIA added: “My work was definitely made easier with the support and collaboration of the CCB team”.

This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé. More info on Congress Center Basel: / ; and on Switzerland as a convention destination: /


November 20, 2018

Legacy is Always All About Value Capture

Politician, diplomat and educator Baroness Amos has given the keynote at a Sydney Speaker Series luncheon in London. The event was organised by both Business Events Sydney and ICC Sydney, and was hosted by the High Commission of Australia. The Iceberg itself was invited to attend, and was even able there to interview BESydney CEO Lyn Lewis-Smith.

You can read the whole article here.

November 7, 2018

Creating Impact: Bill Reed’s Career Lessons

In the first installment of PCMA’s Leaving a Legacy series, Bill Reed, FASAE, CMP, chief event strategy officer at American Society of Hematology, shares his thoughts on what he learned from his career bumps, who played critical roles on his career path, and why he’s excited for the future of business events.

You can read the whole article here.

October 29, 2018

Japan – The Land of Rising Legacies

Japan is known for its unique culture, unbeatable hospitality, safe cities and world-class infrastructure. It’s this combination that makes it such a popular destination among international associations. But let’s not forget that Japan is also a treasure trove of world-leading scientific and industrial knowledge and talent. These forces come together to create dynamic and vibrant industries across all fields, making it the ideal place to exchange ideas, as happened during the Human Genome Meeting in Yokohama.

Success was on everybody’s lips at the end of the 22nd Human Genome Meeting (HGM2018) which took place at PACIFICO Yokohama in March 2018. Marking the second time for Japan to host the conference after it was held in Kyoto in 2005, it attracted 460 scientists and professionals from 39 countries/regions, who presented and discussed a variety of topics related to genome research.Themed “Genome data and Health”, the event was organised by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO), whose mission is to strengthen the network and relations between the scientists dedicated to the colossal task of deciphering the human genome and discovering new therapeutic possibilities.

Involved in numerous international collaborative initiatives such as ENCODE, the Human Cell Atlas and the Roadmap Epigenomic project, Japan has significantly contributed to the genome community. Additionally, the country has taken part more recently in the Cancer Genome projects, as well as in the broad sequencing of the Japanese population. Japanese scientists are at the forefront of genome research: they have developed novel technologies and showed continuous efforts to map the genes and have identified the fundamental roles of the non-coding part of the genome.

Center for Life Sciences

Deputy Director of RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies and council member of HUGO, Dr. Piero Carninci, was the chair of the meeting. RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution, has a Yokohama campus and some of the world’s most advanced research on life science is being conducted there – making Yokohama, the second largest city in Japan, the ideal place to hold the event. For many years Carninci has also made exceptional contributions to the development of genome research, both in Japan and abroad, winning a number of national awards such as the Biotec Award, the NISTEP Researchers award and the HUGO Chen Award of Excellence.

“Organising HGM2018 here is a good way to advertise how great Japan is as a place to do research,” says Dr. Piero Carninci. “And this contributes to the internationalisation of science – which I believe is paramount. That’s actually one of the reasons why I decided to become an event organiser, a role which I knew nothing about not so long ago. Science has to be international, especially in our field of expertise, genome sequencing: the more genomes we can compare, the better. So it is essential to have the Japanese scientists working hand in hand with the Europeans and Americans, in order to exchange knowledge. Thanks to the interactions it created, HGM2018 helped the advancement of science and the achievement of a legacy for years to come.”

Located close to Tokyo and easily reachable from its two international airports, Yokohama was the first port city opened to the world in 1859. Harmoniously blending cultures and architectures with a strong Japanese feel, it boasts a great international dimension. Post-convention options abound: visitors can experience true Japanese aestheticism at Sankei-en Garden, enjoy harbor cruises and receptions at facilities with ocean and night views only a port town can offer, and eat delicacies in Chinatown. With many years of experience, a spirit of hospitality and an excellent track record of quality event management, association conferences and events have been organised with great success in Yokohama.

Dr. Piero Carninci explains: “Yokohama is a very attractive city built around a comprehensivecentre,located in the vicinity of an international airportandit boasts a wonderful,flexible conference venue.Plenty ofhigh-quality hotels and restaurants can be found in very close proximity, giving organising committees all the means to offer a strong event programme combined with fun social and networking activities.”

Carninci also praised the blend of quality facilities andthe support to be found not only on a local but also on a national level. As a scientist, I knew nothing about the world of meetings, but thanks to the help of Japan National Tourism Organization and Yokohama Convention and Visitors Bureau, I got support, contacts, sponsors… everything showed up automatically and went smoothly. Now this is my second time organising an international conference, and I think that we have reached a level where preparation and communication go with no particular problems, as we stay in close contact with the local organisations during all stages of the event,”he concludes.

More information on Japan as a conference destination: / This full version of this article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is available in the November issue of Boardroom.

October 17, 2018

The Land of Rising Legacies

Japan is known for its unique culture, unbeatable hospitality, safe cities and world-class infrastructure. It’s this combination that makes it such a popular destination among international associations. But let’s not forget that Japan is also a treasure trove of world-leading scientific and industrial knowledge and talent. These forces come together to create dynamic and vibrant industries across all fields, making it the ideal place to exchange ideas, as happened during the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference in Miyazaki and the Human Genome Meeting in Yokohama.

Snow-capped mountains in the North, pine-clad islands in the South, outstanding people, vibrant cities and ‘cool’ culture… coming to Japan brings visitors in contact with the imagination and intelligence of the country, touching upon its high quality, technological expertise and creativity. This combination leads to new ways of thinking and triggers experiential insights hard to find anywhere else, as the country, along a strong academic community, has for a long time been a leading force for research and development in many industries – from engineering and pharmaceuticals to robotics, finance and IT.

Aiming to be the leading meetings destination in Asia by 2030 and already looking beyond the 2020 Olympics (it will also host its very first G20 Summit in February 2019 in Osaka, spearheading discussions on the many challenges the international community is currently facing), Japan boasts one of the largest national memberships within many international associations, in addition to a great record of hosting successful international association events. This is partly due to the efforts of Japan Convention Bureau who, within Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), identifies conferences that are aligned with the country’s key industries and sectors.

Language Resources

In this regard, it hardly comes as a surprise that the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC) took place in Miyazaki in May 2018. Since the first LREC held in 1998, the conference has become the major event on Language Resources and Evaluation for Language Technologies. LREC provides a unique forum for researchers, industrials and funding agencies from across a wide spectrum of areas to discuss problems and opportunities, find new synergies and promote initiatives for international cooperation, in support of investigations in language sciences, progress and innovation in language technologies and development of corresponding products, services and applications, and standards.

Coming to the Asia-Pacific region for the first time and co-organised by the European Language Resource Association (ELRA) and the Istituto di Linguistica Computazionale, LREC attracted a total number of 1,149 delegates, from 63 countries. They were welcome in the ocean-view Phoenix Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki, a convention city located in the South of Japan and blessed with a rich natural environment, a warm climate, and plenty of facilities. The original bid to win the event was initiated by Professor Hitoshi Isahara, Director of Information and Media Center of Toyohashi University of Technology, with the support of JNTO and its Conference Ambassador Program.

The conference explored new R&D directions, emerging trends and information regarding LRs and their applications, evaluated methodologies and tools, identified industrial uses and needs, and addressed requirements from e-science and e-society. In addition to this strong content, highlights of the conference included the welcome reception at the sacred Miyazaki-Jingu Shrine, historically dedicated to the first Emperor of Japan, during which Governor Kouno and Mayor Toshikiexpressed their continuous support for international exchange in Miyazaki. Together with the festival-like atmosphere of the gala dinner, where participants could indulge in local tastes, those moments showcased Japan’s unique culture combining sophisticated, modern elements with more traditional components.

Asked about the legacy of the Conference, Conference Chair Nicoletta Calzolari says it’s actually twofold.“There are two aspects for me,” she explains.“The first one is clearly professional, as we help participants coming from Europe, America and other countries to get in touch and interact with their Japanese peers, so they can exchange knowledge and best practices, as there is obviously a high level of research in our field in Japan.But then there are all the people coming from Asia, who visit Japan for the first time. There, I hope they understand Japanese culture and people a little bit better. The cultural legacy of the conference is, in that regard, very important for me.”

The Legacy component of the Congress could also be felt on JNTO’s side as it was selected to receive the ‘JNTO Best International Convention Awards 2017’, in the ‘International Conference Bid Division’. This clearly recognised the efforts showcased by the local authorities and organisations from the early planning stages of the event: a comprehensive bid was put together to promote the geographical and historical appeal of the region, as well as the good accessibility from overseas airports, providing professional and flexible support in an unprecedented manner.

This full version of this article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, will be available in the November issue of Boardroom.