How Knowledge Transfer Can Exceed Economic Impact

October 9, 2018

How Knowledge Transfer Can Exceed Economic Impact

In partnership with the Vienna Convention Bureau and research firm Triconsult, the European Society of Radiology, the world’s largest professional community in the biomedical field with over 80,000 members across 193 countries, conducted a research on the value of its congresses.

Titled ‘The Sustainability of Scientific Congresses – European Congress of Radiology 2018’, the findings, which were derived from a sample of nearly 10% of speakers responding to detailed questionnaires distributed by the society, revealed that the value of the professional time spent compiling, and the research funding associated with, the content of 3,331 papers presented at the European Society of Radiology`s 2018 Congress, amounted to 813 million euros.

Commenting on the importance of the study, Executive Director of the European Society of Radiology, Peter Baierl, said: “Our mission is education. We live in a world of numbers and everyone, wherever they come from, can go with those numbers to whomever is important; the public, the industry, or our customers – the doctors.”

Monika Hierath, European Society of Radiology director of European & International Affairs and executive manager, European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research added: “Radiology is crucial in the diagnostic process of modern healthcare. But it is also playing a role in the entire healthcare pathway – for treatment selection, monitoring, and assessment of treatment outcome. We attract researchers, industry leaders, and other stakeholders including policymakers [to the congress] from the European Commission but also international organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or the World Health Organisation (WHO). This creates very fertile ground for knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer but also beyond the scientific community into practise, policies, and actions”.

“We wanted to establish what value is associated with presenting scientific papers at scientific congresses”, commented Christian Mutschlechner, director of the Vienna Convention Bureau. “We started in 1991 with ‘Economic Impact Studies’ [measuring visitor spend]. For the European Society of Radiology`s congress you can expect an economic impact of 40-65 million euros when 20,000 visitors stay in Vienna for 4 days. But the value of the knowledge presented at the congress might range from between 500-850 million euros – ten times that of the economic impact…”

Our partners at The Iceberg produced a video about it:



October 1, 2018

Who Does Your Association Conference Serve?

In an article published on the website of Convene, one of Boardroom’s partners, Dave Lutz, CMP, reflects on how an association conference shouldn’t be a rite of passage or a way for someone to leave a legacy.

Conferences are there to serve the paying attendees. Organizations that don’t put the attendee first in every conference experience they offer lose an opportunity to grow trust and loyalty.

Read Dave’s opinion piece here.

September 21, 2018

Auditors Inspect Innovation in Dubai

For Dubai, half a century brought change that transformed a tiny fishing village into one of the leading cities across the globe for both business and tourism. Once a quiet coastal settlement, Dubai has reinvented itself, over just a generation, into the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) pioneering destination, with over three million inhabitants. A hub between East and West, it’s only normal international associations turn their attention to it, as did the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) when it chose Dubai as its host for its annual conference in May.

 Serving today more than 190,000 members from more than 170 countries and territories, the Institute of Internal Auditors held its first annual conference in New York City in November 1942. Since then, this event has been held in more than 50 locations worldwide and attracts over 2,500 attendees annually.

The IIA’s International Conference showcases the best the profession has to offer and provides participants from around the world with an understanding of the latest developments in internal auditing. Today, it is the premier event for internal auditors who want to hear powerful keynote speakers and international presenters representing the global internal audit profession. Attendees are presented with a number of concurrent sessions on today’s current issues and trends, industry best practices seeking to address common challenges, and knowledge-sharing opportunities. The overall experience enhances professional development, provides engaging peer-to-peer networking, and affords access to key service firms and vendors.

“There is nothing like gathering together with your colleagues and peers, to be able to exchange ideas. And our international conference gives us the ability to do that face to face,” argues J Michael Peppers, 2017-18 chairman of the Global Board of Directors for the IIA.“Our members are looking to be challenged, to expand their skillsets, their knowledge bases, so that they can serve their organisations well. And international conferences pull together speakers on so many topics and we’re able to get diverse viewpoints and opinions and learn about technologies that we may not have in the home regions where the members work.”

Connecting the World Through Innovation

Held under the patronage of is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum,Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – and thus demonstrating government support at the highest level –the four-day 2018 Conference was organised at Dubai International Convention&Exhibition Center under the theme “Connecting the World Through Innovation”, with the participation of some 3,000 experts from over 100 countries from the global internal audit industry – a record-breaking attendance.

The theme was very fitting to Dubai. The Emirate was founded on oil – although the economy has long diversified away from it – and quickly developed into a city known for the tallest buildings and most exclusive hotels, aiming to be the most innovative at any goal it set forward. With the UAE Vision 2021, the country is building a competitive and resilient economy focused on fostering knowledge and innovation, as well as sustainability, honing in on seven main sectors: renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space.

Dubai Business Events’ bidding strategy is aligned with these sectors and the Emirate’s strongest knowledge economies. Work to get the Institute of Internal Auditors to hold its conference in Dubai started with the involvement of the UAE chapter of IIA, through the Al Safeer Congress Ambassador Programme. It helped, of course, that the city hosted the IIA Global Council back in 2014.“The Dubai Business Events Al Safeer Congress Ambassador Programme has been instrumental in bringing this conference to Dubai,” explains Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events“We’ve worked very closely with UAE-IAA chapter for many years and the leadership is part of our Al Safeer conference ambassador programme. So it’s through the ambassador programme that we identified this conference as an opportunity for Dubai where we engaged with the right local counterparts and jointly worked on submitting and promoting the bid for Dubai.”

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé, is available in the September issue of Boardroom available here.


September 11, 2018

Empowering the Young Generation

Aaron Etra is the co-founder of the Institute for Life Sciences Collaboration, which organizes two series of international life sciences conferences (ICMAN and ICNODAT) and fosters ongoing cooperation among organizations worldwide under the auspices of the Global Health Collaborations Association. He has long represented NGOs at the United Nations, which he also served as an official in Geneva, and is Chair of the Executive Committee of the Council of Organizations of the United Nations Association of the USA. As an expansion of the feature published in the September issue of Boardoom, he shares his insights on how youth should be empowered in this special contribution by BestCities Global Alliance.

Can you tell us about your role as chair of the Executive Committee of the Council of Organisations? 

The COO is a federation of NGOs whose establishment dates back to the formation of the United Nations and whose role is to support the work of the UN in all its aspects and worldwide. I Chair an Executive Committee of 23 persons drawn from the member organizations which itself undertakes programs and projects, while also encouraging partnering among its member organizations and with other organizations and networks in the U.S. and internationally.

Do associations currently report on their contribution towards the 2030 agenda? If not, how can they?
Yes, there are several forums in which associations and other NGOs meet, interact, report and review the progress toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030. I would like to encourage even greater participation and discuss such opportunities at the length they deserve.

BestCities are committed to advancing our industry and we feel that a role or us to help associations engage with the next generation of association members.  What do you think engaging with this generation would bring to the industry?
It is essential to bring the meetings industry as a whole in closer touch with the aspirations and priorities of the world’s youth. The challenge is to convince the next generations that they can indeed further their goals, at least in part, through participating in meetings programs and projects. As an industry we want to be able to measure impact and people are working on different elements however measuring societal impact is not easy.

Do you have any suggestions how we can do this?
One such source of measurements of societal impact is the Indicators developed for measuring progress toward the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These have drawn on expertise from all quarters worldwide and provide a universally applicable data base.

You attend a number of industry events. What events or activities do you find most valuable?

I find particularly valuable sessions and programs where meetings representatives from the two basic groups – exhibitors and planners – have meaningful exchanges and opportunities to present and test innovations and new directions for their respective activities, with a view to a collaborative result.

The 2019 High Level Political Forum theme is ‘Empowering Young People’ – What do you see as the fundamental pillars required to empower young people?

The ability to participate, engage and have meaningful impact on policy and practice is what draws youth to the likes of the HLPF and the 67th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference that just concluded at UN Headquarters. Youth can and should question current policies and action, provide fresh insights and perspectives, demand changes where felt necessary and hold all stakeholders to fulfilling their respective roles.

What do you think the main benefits to the industry are for effectively engaging the next generation?

The benefits include refreshing both the leadership and membership with new energy, enthusiasm, talent and belief in the future. It presents opportunities for all parties to learn, diversify the industry and create a whole new generation of future leaders in the meetings industry.

How do you think an organisation like BestCities Global Alliance can support the growth of the industry through youth engagement and legacy?

BestCities can ensure that its members are tuned into worldwide opportunities for youth engagement and legacy, both in respect of subject matter and modalities. It can inform and assist its members and their constituents in assuming the roles they can play in the issues of the present and the future which will improve their functioning and enhance their relevance.

September 3, 2018

Case Study: Physical Therapy in Singapore

Singapore has made major strides in the local healthcare scene, including the introduction of a four-year Bachelor of Science with Honours programme in physiotherapy jointly developed and offered by Singapore Institute of Technology and Trinity College Dublin (TCD) in 2016, whose programme aims to groom professional physiotherapists who are theoretically-grounded and clinically-oriented to practise autonomously in different specialities of physiotherapy. With achievements like this, which was announced at the 17th World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress (WCPT) 2015, it was “significant that Singapore hosted the conference….and a proud moment for us, [as] we are a small and relatively young profession compared to the larger physiotherapy populations in other countries,”explained Singapore Physiotherapy Association (SPA) past president Professor Celia Tan.

International voice

WCPT, a UK charity and non-profit, represents more than 450,000 physical therapists in 109 member organisations around the world. Founded in 1951, WCPT acts as the sole international voice for physical therapy, developing statements, policy documents and educational curricula to help support and mould the profession, in addition to hosting the bi-annual world conference. Holding the congress in Singapore enabled WCPT to raise the profile and role of physiotherapists in Singapore, in addition to raising awareness of WCPT and its leadership in building and developing the profession globally,”says Tracy Bury, Deputy CEO at WCPT.

Over the course of four days in Singapore, more than 4,100 participants came together from 114 countries for the congress, which was held at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre in partnership with local host SPA, which is part of the Asia Western Pacific region of WCPT.

A registered society with the National Council of Social Services, Singapore, SPA has helped physiotherapy gain more recognition as a profession, and with Singapore having hosted the WCPT Congress, it helped advance the association’s work propelling physiotherapy into the spotlight both in Singapore and abroad. According to current presidentMiss Sin Yi Lee:“WCPT Congress 2015 was key to advocate for the role of physiotherapy not just in the Singaporean context, but also the global context. It was Singapore’s honour to be able to host such an international congress that inspired and connected physiotherapists from around the world. Hosting the congress in this part of the Asian Western-Pacific region also provided an opportunity for neighbouring countries to have access to the sharing of evidence-based practice and networking with international experts and colleagues.”

 Fifty-four percent of attendees came from the Asia Western Pacific region—with 12 percent from Singapore alone—and nearly 30 percent made the trip from Europe. As a way to encourage networking, WCPT offered 172 different sessions, with nearly 2,000 speakers leading dynamic panels and debates on subjects like affordability and collaborative practice. For one quarter of attendees, this was their first WCPT Congress, and networking and making new contacts ranked just as high on the list of reasons for attending as gaining new knowledge. “Being part of ASEAN, we can contribute significantly to the population health within the region by serving as an important meeting point and learning hub where we actively collaborate with other countries’ Physiotherapy Associations. Our local context is unique in that we are able to build relationships with other colleagues and counterparts from other countries with much ease and mutual understanding,” Lee explains.

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom editor Lane Nieset, is available in the September edition of Boardroom here.

August 30, 2018

Taiwan’s Bays Attract International Associations

From the north where Taipei the capital city resides, all the way down to the southern regions and Kaohsiung City, the small yet surprising island of Taiwan is a continent in itself. Aged monuments and green landscapes rest alongside major industry clusters that include IT and communication, optoelectronics, semi-conductor, and bicycle, as well as high-level research facilities in academic fields like IT, biotechnology and medicine.

Promotion of the meetings industry has kept apace, as the Taiwan’s MICE Promotion Program (MEET TAIWAN) has established the island well on the global stage with the construction of new high-standard facilities that speak louder than words. The Taipei International Convention Center, the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall and the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1 are already in service for the northern part of the island, with Nangang’s Hall 2 opening in March 2019. The southern part enjoys the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, whereas the Tainan Exhibition Center will open in 2021.

Taiwan has successfully gained the trust of numerous international associations. These tend to organise their conferences in the island’s main meeting cities. Meetings like the 30th International Congress of Chemotherapy and Infection 2017 or the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology Congress 2018 showcase the expertise of Taiwan as host of such large-scale events and the valuable relationships the country upholds with international associations.

A Carnival & a Harbour

As part of MEET TAIWAN’s endeavour to boost the visibilityof the country’s islands, it has been announced that Penghu County, an island chain just off the shores of western Taiwan, will serve as host for the Carnival of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World (MBBW). This international event is expected to last more than a month, over September and October, and will comprise of a series of meetings and activities. One of the main events will be the 14th World Congress of the MBBW to be held between 27 September and 1 October 2018.

Around the same time as the Penghu event, that is between 25 and 27 September, Kaohsiung City Government will be welcoming the 2018 Global Harbour Cities Forum (GHCF) at the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center. The event aims to bring harbour cities together within a framework of future co-operation and further development of the harbour ecosystem for a greener environment with the help of smart technology.

There is also the Kaohsiung 2020 Roundtable, organised by the MEET TAIWAN team, which is set to be held at the same time as the Global Harbour Cities Forum, on 27 September. In light of the 2020 ICCA Congress to be held in the city, the Roundtable will bring together International Congress and Convention Association members, who have organised such congresses in the past, to share their key strategies for putting together a seamless congress. Hosting the ICCA Congress is not only a great opportunity for Kaohsiung City, it will also serve as recognition of Taiwan’s meetings industry.

Small Islands to Represent Taiwan

These ocean-related congresses do not stand alone, and they are part of a campaign launched earlier this year called ‘The 2018 Year of Bay Tourism Campaign’. Aiming to promote the country’s top ten islands and heightening public awareness of the need for sustainable development, enhancement and protection of marine environments, the initiative introduces various culture and lifestyle events extending over the year.

This article, whose full version is available in the September issue of Boardroom,  was written by digital editor Vicky Koffa. More information on Taiwan as a conference destination:

Organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA and Taiwan External Trade Development Council / Ad. by Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA

August 23, 2018

ICC Sydney Helps Build Connections and Leave Legacies

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) represents a pivotal connection point between clients, delegates and the local Sydney stakeholders, as the team ensures the events it hosts create a lasting legacy, giving back to the communities in which it operates and placing people first.

Acknowledging and celebrating First Nations communities

Through its First Australians Legacy Program stream, the venue is promoting First Nations businesses and simultaneously offering authentic delegate experiences. This is underpinned by a commitment to building greater acknowledgement for the original custodians of the land on which it stands, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.

Already, there are a number of ways event organisers can engage First Nations communities and businesses at ICC Sydney – from inviting a Gadgil elder to perform a Welcome to Country via the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, to organising a cultural tour with Dreamtime Southern X as part of delegate registration on site.

In further recognition of the importance of First Nations cultures and heritage, ICC Sydney is preparing to launch its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) later this year. The plan will see the introduction of a number of new initiatives moving forward.

Aunty Margret Campbell, Director of Dreamtime Southern X, Chairperson of theNSW Aboriginal Tourism Operators Council and member of the ICC Sydney RAP Working Group, said that the venue’s support of Australia’s First Nations people will open up a myriad of opportunities. “With more than a million people welcomed through its doors every year, ICC Sydney is in a unique position to facilitate connections between international and interstate visitors and local First Nations businesses via employment and economic development. This is helping to strengthen and celebrate our diverse cultures in an innovative and purposeful way,” she says.

Supporting Sydney’s students and startups

ICC Sydney is an important contributor to innovation in Sydney – actively strengthening its local knowledge economy by providing a platform to share ideas and information.

Through its network of partners and Legacy Program, the venue is also fostering the next generation of talent via student and startup engagement, helping these important groups reach their potential, while enriching event programs. In practical terms, clients have the opportunity to engage students through volunteering opportunities and participation in conference workshops, networking and more.

ICC Sydney is also setting the industry benchmark for entrepreneurial collaboration by providing event organisers with direct exposure to Sydney’s network of startups. Clients may choose to invite entrepreneurs or students to pitch and present their ideas to delegates, giving them the opportunity to support the commercialisation of local business. Young bright minds can be invited to networking sessions where they can connect with those who have the potential to bring their idea to life. 

A gateway to regional communities

Taking its people-first approach beyond the city borders, ICC Sydney is proudly driving business growth and economic development in regional communities through its Feeding Your Performance (FYP) program and local supply chain.

Beginning with the venue’s in-house culinary team, ICC Sydney is committed to providing delegates with a culinary experience that caters to all event requirements. The approach focuses on sourcing highly nutritious, seasonal ingredients which have been produced locally and sustainably. The resulting menus served at ICC Sydney showcase the best of Sydney’s surrounding areas to an international audience while providing financial security for farmers and producers, supporting improvements to infrastructure, boosting production and creating opportunities for new and speciality produce.

Heralded as a blueprint for innovation in the sector, this approach has generated A$4.3M in direct expenditurefor a network of more than 85 NSW farmers, with investmentin local producers generatingA$8.3 millionin total benefits in ICC Sydney’s first year of operation.

To learn more, contact the team at ICC Sydney today / 

August 16, 2018

The Business Events of African Associations

Our partners from The Iceberg have recently gathered a lot of insights on the value of business and professional events.

In their latest one, GainingEdge CEO Gary Grimmer and Gregg Talley, President and CEO of the Talley Management Group, delve deeper into the role associations play as gateways to professional and sector development. They specifically tackle the opportunities that exist for associations within Africa’s transition to a knowledge society and economy. Also participating in the video: International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) President Nina Freysen-Pretorius, African Society of Association Executives (AfSAE) President Jeffers Miruka, and South African Tourism’s Chief Convention Bureau Officer Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo.

You can watch the video here.

(Picture: Cape Town)

August 7, 2018

Obesity Conference to Leave Lasting Legacies

The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) will host a public engagement event in partnership with Café Culture, as part of its wider programme during the 5th UK Congress on Obesity (UKCO), which takes place on 6 – 7 September at Newcastle University.

The free, public event, ‘Obesity and Cancer: The Unspoken Link’ will take place before the main conference programme begins at Newcastle’s Brunswick Centre on Tuesday 4 September, 5:30 – 8pm. The event provides an exciting space for public discussion about the links between obesity and cancer. There will also be the opportunity for attendees to find out about the work going on in North East England to reduce growing obesity trends and the related research being conducted in this field at the region’s five universities.

Prof Annie Anderson of the University of Dundee, who is also speaking as part of the main conference programme, will share important research with the public showing how weight management can influence cancer risk.

The event will also feature representatives from the ASO, Cancer UK, the Obesity Empowerment Network, Newcastle City Council and Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, which brings together the five North East universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside in a unique collaboration to deliver robust research to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities.

Paul Szomoru, Director of Business Events at NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau, said: “The local organising committee of the UKCO was keen to maximise the impact of this event and to leave a lasting legacy in the North East. Obesity presents such a challenge, but life-changing work is happening here in our city to tackle this issue. The event is the perfect opportunity to share this knowledge outside of the academic setting, and hopefully make an impact on those who come along to participate.

Dr Nicola Heslehurst, Lecturer at Newcastle University and leader of the UKCO Local Organising Committee, said: “Hosting the UK Congress on Obesity means that we are bringing together experts from across the world to share important research about obesity here in NewcastleGateshead. We felt it was important to use the opportunity while so many renowned experts in this field are here for the conference to do something for the benefit of the people of the North East. The public engagement event is a chance for people to come along and hear more about an important, but less well known, issue relating to obesity. They can also learn about some of the exciting research that’s underway and activities taking place in the city.” 

Café Culture offers a well-established programme of events that welcome participants to café-style, thoughtful public discussions on culture, politics, philosophy and science. The events aim to generate discussion and debate in an inclusive, welcoming setting. Events are open to all, with no need to book.

July 26, 2018

Recognizing Personal Impact and Legacy at IMEX America

Experiential innovations, learnings, industry trends and new exhibitors are some of reasons to attend IMEX America, taking place October 16 – 18 at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center at The Venetian®| The Palazzo® in Las Vegas.

In line with tradition, the show kicks off on October 15, Smart Monday – a full day of complimentary, cutting-edge professional development, which is powered by MPI.

Additionally, an Association Leadership Forum, created by ASAE exclusively for association leaders and an Executive Meeting Forum dedicated to senior corporate executives with a focus on SMM program management, procurement leadership or meetings management are also on offer on Smart Monday.

Various aspects of legacy will also be covered throughout the program – political, personal, environmental, CSR and social impact/knowledge legacy – all designed to help planners produce more engaging, topical events with longer-lasting positive outcomes. Following great feedback, a ‘Legacy Wall’ launched at IMEX in Frankfurt will also premiere at IMEX America, showcasing heart-warming and inspiring stories and case studies from exhibitors, partners and IMEX staff.

Registration is free.