How to Pioneer a Green Spirit

September 5, 2019

How to Pioneer a Green Spirit

Calling Berlin a “green” capital is an understatement. The city’s largest park, Tiergarten, sprawls right across the center—and is even home to a boating lake, beer gardens and the Berlin Zoo. But to see beyond the “cool” Berlin that everyone’s talking about, we needed to stroll the city’s streets ourselves. And Meeting Place Berlin – a mega fam trip organized by Visit Berlin every two years – was a real eye-opener in terms of how green meetings are treated in the city. Sustainability isn’t an illusive concept in Berlin – the whole city is seriously focused on organizing events that truly make a difference for everyone involved.

The Berlin Convention Office of visitBerlin has launched a dedicated programme for meeting planners whose vision aligns with that of the German capital. The aim: become one of the most innovative and sustainable destinations for events of all sizes and formats.

The idea is to make life easier for planners, so they have all the information they need on Berlin’s sustainable options—including hotels, venues, convention centres and any supplier who is a member of Berlin’s strong partner network. To ease the process, the Berlin Convention Office set up a Sustainable Meetings Berlin online platform earlier this year where associations can find all kinds of information relating to sustainable conferences, congresses, meetings and events in Berlin.

“Our vision is to make Berlin one of the most sustainable congress destinations in Europe,” says Iris Lanz, Director Conventions, visitBerlin, Berlin Convention Office. “That’s an ambitious goal – and it can only be achieved with our many partners in the city. But we have gained large-scale support on a political level, and it really helps to make a difference.”

In addition to sustainable options, planners are strongly encouraged to plan sustainably. “Our online platform is clearly a unique development that allows us to support planners and provide them with the right services and information every step of the way,” Lanz explains. “For example, we have collected tips on how every event can be made greener. At the moment, such services are still niche products in the meetings industry. But Sustainable Meetings Berlin has started spotlighting them, which has raised our profile as a ‘different’ convention destination.”

Green spaces

In Berlin, there are plenty of venues that have received the city’s green stamp of approval. For instance, the Umweltforum (which translates to ‘environmental forum’), a former church near Alexanderplatz (pictured below), is a flagship project when it comes to ecological building that can host events for up to 400 people. A photovoltaic system and a combined heat and power unit (CHP) produces electricity for the building, while the façade is composed of a giant solar panel. The building is equipped with other environmentally friendly devices, too, like a condensing gas boiler and loam-rendered walls. In fact, 100 percent of the electricity in the conference rooms is produced via renewable energy sources—and there are 10 beehives on the roof.

Even the capital’s largest hotel, Hotel Berlin, Berlin doesn’t take sustainability lightly. Crowning a street corner in the city centre, the hotel has a modern look—and a modern outlook. As one of only five hotels to be a certified partner of Berlin’s Sustainable Meetings initiative, the hotel boasts impressive eco-conscious credentials. And it’s easy to go green when travelling with public transport on the metro to the hotel, too. As a Green Key label holder – which means the hotel follows strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education – it’s a great choice for sustainable events, since it features 48 meeting rooms — the largest of which accommodates up to 550 people.

Aside from using renewable energies (including the required 10 percent by Green Key, produced by its own rooftop photovoltaic system), Hotel Berlin has implemented a number of water and energy-saving measures. It also continually monitors its carbon footprint, pollution causers, and waste, looking for ways to reduce CO2emissions and consumption.

These hotels are only two of the many examples. Since sustainability in event planning is now a must, Berlin is a city where planners are truly spoiled for choice. “Our congress and event sector is rich in resources and personnel, and for that reason alone it bears a special responsibility—and that is a strong factor in Berlin’s commitment to sustainability,” Lanzsays. “With Sustainable Meetings Berlin, we can pursue a path to greater sustainability.” 

Contact www.convention.visitBerlin.de | convention@visitBerlin.de – This article was written by Boardroom chief editor Remi Deve The right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

Umweltforum Berlin copyright visitBerlin, Dirk Mathes

August 29, 2019

Dubai Association Conference 2019: A Dialogue for Change

During the Dubai Association Conference 2017, participating associations and speakers discussed an important topic for further consideration: how to gain new insights and knowledge on the impact generated by their association’s main activities. Now, two years later, the second edition of the conference, which will be held 9-10 December at the Dubai World Trade Centre,is looking to address these questions head-on, with a focus on the larger role that associations play in global society—offering the tools attendees need to drive forward real change that will significantly bolster “the societal impact of associations.”

In our July issue, we briefly introduced the two-day conference and the first of its four pillars, which were designed to help participants develop a cohesive, systematic approach to creating long-lasting impact in their industry.

According to conference program curator Geneviève Leclerc, CMP, president of Caravelle Strategies and co-founder and CEO of #Meet4impact, the Dubai Association Centre is offering education and inspiration through the conference, to give participants –  association executives from around the world, government representatives, industry leaders, as well as university faculties and students- a better understanding of the true value generated by associations (beyond direct and indirect economic gains). They will learn how to better communicate the positive outcomes of their activities for their communities; deliver a better return on public investments; and become more ingrained in the knowledge clusters and communities where they could directly serve as drivers of positive change.

Last December, the Dubai Association Centre hosted its first Association Leaders Getaway, a four-day event that brought together 25 participants from local, regional and international associations, in addition to Dubai Government representatives, university students and academics. The goal: curate themes and topics for the upcoming Dubai Association Conference.

“Following the inaugural Dubai Association Conference, the city has witnessed a marked increase in interest from association representatives, both regionally and globally,” explains Issam Kazim, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, in reference to the Centre’s growth of 38 percent last yearThe Association Leaders Getaway was an effort to harness this interest and create a platform for association executives to network, share knowledge and best practice, in an engaging setting, beyond the confines of meeting rooms. The Getaway was an invaluable experience for all attendees, while being a crucial step forward in our city’s evolution.”

Pillars of success

Over the course of two days, Dubai Association Conference 2019 will be built around four pillars: Impact and Legacy — Key Concepts; Designing an Impact Management and Measurement Programme; Organizational Resilience and Foresighting; and The Art of Collaboration. Each session will explore at least one of four areas of impact: Community Well-being, Business and Opportunities, Knowledge and Research, or Creativity and Innovation.

In the post-conference proceedings following the Dubai Association Conference in 2017, the importance of collaboration in building communities was one of the key takeaways. These collaborations should involve as many stakeholders as possible, even going beyond local geographies,” explained Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Associations are among the biggest contributors of economic growth and business activity globally, and they are crucial for generating the flow of innovative and creative ideas that can add value to our society.”

Through Pillar 2, Designing an Impact Management and Measurement Programme, sessions will focus specifically on impact evaluation and indicators, answering the question, “How can impact be created by associations through their programs and activities for individuals; for the organization; and for the broader community?”

The pillar will combat the challenge the association sector has faced in terms of creating an impactful methodology for impact assessment. The current issue is that there aren’t any benchmarks to serve as reference points of clear framework that demonstrate the cause-to-effect relationships that generate change.Case studies will shed light on how some associations are currently creating their own successful framework. By looking at these impact projects, representatives of each organization will be given a voice to share how they’re actively engaged in strategies that aim to create more social value for their members and the community they serve. The city of Dubai will even act as living proof of how a smart platform can lead by example in demonstrating the role of technology as pivotal in a changing world.

“From discussing how to define indicators and metrics to measuring social impact, to exploring how we can use design thinking methodology for greater impact, the sessions in this track serve to convert theory into action and provide actionable tools to participants,” Leclerc explains. “A number of business cases will be presented over the different sessions, which can be approached from various angles, but will lead to the understanding of how the association sector can develop a cohesive and systematic approach to creating large-scale impact.”

Future foresight

Associations are facing stronger disruptions than ever, and, in order to succeed in a rapidly changing environment, they need to have clarity on their long-term strategies, building on their strengths and tackling their weaknesses. This is where Pillar 3—Organizational Resilience and Foresighting—comes into play. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Resilience is a broad concept, centred on the ability not only to resist and recover from adverse shocks, but also to ‘bounce back’ stronger than before and to learn from the experience. For organizations, this entails understanding the sources of risks and opportunities, and learning to cope with uncertainty. It also involves equipping people with the competences and support necessary to take best advantage of the changing circumstances in which they find themselves.”

In this regard, “boards need to allot dedicated time to scanning the horizon and contemplating how existing or emerging trends could impact the profession or industry and the organization,” says plenary speaker Gregg Talley. “This ‘foresight’ is critical to understanding and planning and is integral to their role as volunteer leaders. We will explore what this looks like and the value it brings to associations.”

Throughout interactive sessions, participants will be broken up into smaller teams to identify what the phrase “indicators of impact” means at various levels, and design a program that aligns with their association’s purpose and changing needs of their members. By working in cross-functional teams, attendees will have the chance to solve real-life problems through collaboration and innovation.

Hazel Jackson, CEO of Dubai-based Biz Group, will serve as moderator for a plenary session called “Survival of the Fittest,” helping associations prepare for change by learning how to recognizing threats and the signals of change and plan for both the expected and unexpected. By analysing the concept of “Foresighting,” participants will learn adaptability while understanding how to implement local strategies that are scalable globally and initiate sector-wide responses to external disruptors. This pillar will also hone in on how—and why—organizations should use technology like blockchain and big data to create greater impact in their work and service delivery. As Leclerc puts it:“Our aim is to demonstrate that organizational resilience and planning for change is a core strategy for achieving impact and a powerful response to the pressure that associations are facing on their quest for relevancy.”

For further information regarding registration, please contact Mr. Junjie Si via Junjiesi@Dubaiassociationcentre.com or visit www.dubaiassociationconference.com

This article, whose extended version will be available in the September issue of Boardroom,  was written by Boardroom editor Lane NiesetThe right to use, part or all of it in subsequent works has to be granted by the Publisher.

July 1, 2019

All Eyes on Dubai Association Conference 2019

How can the association community grow in a way that creates a positive impact on society? This is the key question the five-year-old Dubai Association Centre (DAC) aims to address in the second edition of the Dubai Association Conference, being held 9-10 December at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, the two-day conference will gather top association executives from around the world, as well as industry leaders, government representatives, and university faculties and students, to discuss how working together can “create an ecosystem for associations to prosper,”explains Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

“As Dubai continues to grow as a knowledge hub, associations have immense potential for driving growth in our rapidly transforming economy,” Kazim continues.“Along with being a catalyst for business opportunities within a thriving ecosystem, they have the power to fuel innovation and creativity, which ultimately contributes to the wellbeing of our communities and society.”

Creating true value

During the inaugural Dubai Association Conference held in December 2017, one of the major concerns expressed by associations and speakers was how their work and main activities are impacting global society and creating true value. This year’s theme, “The Societal Impact of Associations,” addresses this topic head-on and will offer deep dives into how associations can and should develop core strategies around sustainability and social impact in order to become key drivers of positive change. The conference will also touch on the value proposition of associations going beyond direct and indirect economic benefits—and how a community like the one growing in Dubai can help.

“Dubai has strengthened its reputation as a regional association hub in recent years, and global associations are fast realizing the attractive advantages and expansion opportunities that the emirate can offer them,” says Hassan Al Hashemi, vice president of international relations at Dubai Chamber. At the same time, Dubai is benefitting from the city’s fast-growing association community, as these organisations make a positive contribution to the economy and society by bringing with them best international practices, valuable expertise, and international events that support the emirate’s knowledge economy and enhance its long-term competitiveness.” 

To aid associations in developing a cohesive and systematic approach to creating large-scale impact, this year’s Dubai Association Conference will break down its programme into four pillars: Impact and Legacy — Key Concepts; Designing an Impact Management and Measurement Programme; Organizational Resilience and Foresighting; and The Art of Collaboration. Each session will explore at least one of these four areas of impact: Community Well-being, Business and Opportunities, Knowledge and Research, or Creativity and Innovation.

The host destination, Dubai, will act as a living case study for the subjects addressed during the conference, discussing how the association scene in the city has evolved since the inaugural 2017 conference, as well as the legacies the event left behind.

Dubai has been at the forefront of positioning associations within various sectors to ultimately achieve their highest potential,” says Mahir Julfar, senior vice president of venue services management at Dubai World Trade Centre.“Since its inception, the Dubai Association Conference has successfully bridged the gap between like-minded international and regional experts that share a combined passion for transformation, creativity and innovation.”

The Dubai Association Centre was formed in 2014 as a joint initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) as a “response to the surge in the demand for association engagement in the UAE and the Middle East.” Now, more than 60 associations fall under DAC’s umbrella, which acts as a platform for dialogue and education for associations interested in expanding their presence and activities in the Middle East.

“We’re honoured to have witnessed the evolution of education across industries through intercultural knowledge exchange, which in turn will make an impact on the city’s economy,” Julfar says.“We look forward to another edition of the Dubai Association Conference—one that will help businesses flourish, innovate and encourage key dialogue for those looking to explore business opportunities in the Middle East.”

Key Concepts of Impact & Legacy

With issues like the growing pressure to attract and maintain members, associations are questioning how to improve their value proposition to stakeholders. In the first pillar —Impact and Legacy – Key Concepts — a TED-style session will explore how associations can set themselves apart from competitive offers and understand and measure the positive social impacts their activities are leaving behind. Attendees will also analyse goals to create a 2030 strategy similar to the blueprint drafted by the UN in 2015, which pinpoints 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Experts will take this concept and adapt it to the association sector, showing how goals can be integrated into long-term strategy to create impactful business models that make the shift from being activity-driven to being motivated by the positive outcomes created for stakeholders. Attendees will hear first-hand how associations and stakeholders in Dubai are weaving some of these Sustainable Development Goals into their own strategy, in addition to how putting impact at the forefront of a business model can create new opportunities in terms of value sharing and growth.

While we only touched on the first pillar here, we will dive deeper into the conference’s three other pillars in upcoming issues of Boardroom, sharing more about the strategies and sessions that will help associations create more social value for both their members and their communities.

For further information regarding registration, please contact Mr. Junjie Si via Junjiesi@Dubaiassociationcentre.com or visit www.dubaiassociationconference.com

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

May 30, 2019

Dubai Association Conference Returns in 2019

The second edition of the Dubai Association Conference, being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, will take place 9-10 December under the theme of ‘Driving change: The societal impact of associations’.

Over the course of two days the conference, organised by Dubai Association Centre and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre, will bring together association executives from around the world, government representatives, industry leaders, as well as university faculties and students, in a space focused on building the association community in the region for the purpose of positive social impact.

Focused on the value and impact associations have on societies through this year’s theme, the conference will explore four sub-themes: Community Well-Being, Knowledge and Research, Business and Opportunity, and Creativity and Innovation.

The key objective of this themed approach is to anchor associations more closely to the respective business sectors and knowledge clusters in which they have the means to generate a positive and sustainable change. In addition, the conference will serve as a platform to facilitate discussions on the value proposition of associations that go beyond direct and indirect economic benefits.

May 9, 2019

Dubai Expo 2020 Presents the New Dubai Exhibition Centre

The Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) opens for business on 20 October, 2020, offering Expo 2020 Dubai participants, partners, government entities, industry associations and event organisers access to a global stage for the six-month duration of the Expo. The venue will comprise 45,000sqm of space spread across two campuses, housing a theatre, auditorium, several multi-purpose halls, four suites and 24 meeting rooms, and customisable to all event needs, including large indoor concerts.

Featuring the latest technology, onsite-catering facilities, and best-in-class audio, visual and telecommunication facilities, the DEC is set to become a hub for Expo 2020’s more than 200 participants, including nations, global multilateral organisations, businesses, educational institutions, and millions of visitors. More than that, this multi-purpose venue will be used by the wider community as a unique location for summits, business festivals, seminars, weddings, gala dinners and live performances.

 The DEC will be in close proximity to Al Maktoum International Airport and accessible from Dubai International Airport, Abu Dhabi International Airport, as well as the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminals. Access to the DEC will also be directly available via the dedicated ‘Route 2020’ metro line and four major highways, making it easily reachable by land, air and sea.

May 3, 2019

Qatar in All Its Glory at IMEX Frankfurt

Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) along with 10 other industry partners are set to return to IMEX Frankfurt between 21-23 May to showcase the country’s desirability in hosting business events. Since last year QNTC has achieved significant milestones, including its transformation from QTA (Qatar Tourism Authority) to QNTC. The new entity seeks to unify and consolidate efforts to develop the tourism sector in line with its Next Chapter of Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy. A new corporation ‘Qatar Business Events Corporation (QBEC)’ has been launched as QNTC’s executive arm to organize, manage, operate and supervise events and venues in the state of Qatar.
The ‘Customised Research and Membership Support Agreement’ recently signed between QNTC and ICCA will further enhance QNTC’s engagement with the association community by creating closer relationships with international association executives. It will further introduce Qatar’s MICE products in specified markets and segments globally and facilitate business introductions.
Over the five-year period between 2012-2017, the sector witnessed a 36% average growth rate in exhibitions. In 2018, Qatar hosted over 150 exhibitions and conferences in various fields and won the rights to host six major business events to be held between 2019 and 2022 with a prospective number of participants reaching 2,400.

April 25, 2019

Radiology Experts Scan Through Oman

Oman, represented by ORMIS (the Oman Radiology and Molecular Imaging Society), and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Oman Medical Association, the Oman Convention Bureau and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre has won a bid to host  the 30th edition of the International Radiology Congress in October 2020. ORMIS was formed in 2009 and one of its aims is to bring all radiologists working in Oman together under one umbrella to facilitate dialogue and exchange ideas. It also allows for sharing standardised protocols and procedures for diagnostic and therapeutic radiology procedures.

Key highlights of the conference will include diagnostic, interventional radiology, radiation protection and the important subject of Artificial Intelligence applications in radiology.  There will also be a separate programme within the congress for Radiographers and Radiology Technologists and an exhibition demonstrating the latest technology and equipment in the field of radiology.

Khalid Al Zadjali, Director of the Oman Convention Bureau added, “It is expected that more than 1000 experts will attend the congress from all over the globe with many internationally renowned speakers covering the latest advances in radiology. We will ensure that they have the most successful conference ever and we will shower them with our warm Omani hospitality.”

 

April 4, 2019

2020 Radiology Congress Scans Oman

Oman, represented by ORMIS (the Oman Radiology and Molecular Imaging Society), and in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Oman Medical Association, the Oman Convention Bureau and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre has won a bid to host the 30th edition of the International Radiology Congress in October 2020. Key highlights of the conference will include diagnostic, interventional radiology, radiation protection and the important subject of Artificial Intelligence applications in radiology.  There will also be a separate programme within the congress for Radiographers and Radiology Technologists and an exhibition demonstrating the latest technology and equipment in the field of radiology.

ORMIS was formed in 2009 and one of its aims is to bring all radiologists working in Oman together under one umbrella to facilitate dialogue and exchange ideas. It also allows for sharing standardised protocols and procedures for diagnostic and therapeutic radiology procedures.

Khalid Al Zadjali, Director of the Oman Convention Bureau added, “It is expected that more than 1000 experts will attend the congress from all over the globe with many internationally renowned speakers covering the latest advances in radiology. We will ensure that they have the most successful conference ever and we will shower them with our warm Omani hospitality.”

 

March 5, 2019

Oman Helps Advance Gas Research in 2020

The Sultanate of Oman has been selected to host the International Gas Union’s 16th International Gas Research Conference (IGRC) in 2020 in collaboration with Oman LNG and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC). The triennial event highlights the research, development and innovation aspects of the ever-growing gas industry. Harib Al Kitani, CEO of Oman LNG LLC said, “IGRC 2020 will bring over 1000 senior leaders, partners and experts in the gas industry together to share invaluable insights into the role of natural gas today and in the future.”

The Sultanate of Oman is recognised as a global leader in enhanced recovery technologies. This is largely thanks to the country’s focus on research and the key reason behind Oman’s application to host IGRC 2020 was to further Oman’s ambition of becoming a knowledge economy and to transform the commodity reliant country into one that helps shape the world’s thinking.

February 12, 2019

Dubai Gathers the World with 10 New Conferences

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced that it has won the bids to host 10 new international congresses at the venue from 2019 – 2022. These high-profile events will bring to Dubai approximately 37,000 delegates from around the world.

2019 will welcome two space-themed congresses hosted by Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre. An anticipated 2,500 delegates will attend the 4th Young Professionals in Space Conference (YPS) in October followed by the 22nd International Academy of Astronautics Human in Space Symposium in November. This event is being held in the Middle East for the first time as part of the centre’s efforts to promote the UAE as a hub for space science and research.

Confirmed congresses for 2020 include the 6th Global Symposiums on Health Systems Research which will welcome an estimated 2,500 delegates in November and the 40th Congress of the Societe International d’Urologie.

Confirmed congresses for 2021 include ACTE Society of Petroleum Engineers which will see 10,000 oil and gas professionals from across the globe, World Congress of Gastroenterology which will be attended by 8,000-10,000 delegates, and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2021 which will welcome 5,000 delegates from the global physical therapy community.

Other key events that will take place in 2021 include the World Congress of the Asian Pacific Society of Cardiology and the 5th edition of the ISPRS Geospatial Week.