Current Affairs

Time for Collaboration

14th May 2020

Graeme Mackay, Aberdeen Convention and Events Bureau, member of the Energy Cities Alliance, gives his fellow industry colleagues some advice on how to best navigate this crisis. The answer here? Collaboration.

If ever there was a time to focus on collaboration, it is now. With destination marketing on hold, and uncertainty over the sustainability of future meetings and events, we look to those around us for support and encouragement. There is power in numbers.

The Energy Cities Alliance, a destination partnership between Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Calgary, Lausanne and Stavanger, is now in its 12th year of working in partnership to secure conferences and events for the respective destinations. It is a low paid membership with high return, that goes beyond just the return on financial investment. 

During the COVID-19 crisis, the alliance has identified it is more than just the economics of the business events industry, more than the number of conferences confirmed bed nights, it is about the people – the beating heart of our industry. Self-isolation is far from working alone, it is about sharing a common goals, transparency and compassion.

The alliance agrees that in order to be its best at this time of uncertainly, it needs to bring positive energy to its members through transparency and compassion. Now is the time to share stories, communicate the challenges and take the time to be supportive. Uncertainty can be lonely, the sound of silence frightening, but sharing and trust in a relationship are the binding force in a partnership.

In order to practice positive mental health and encourage good energy, the alliance have the following advice to members of the business events industry:

About the Energy Cities Alliance

The Energy Cities Alliance is a destination partnership between representatives from Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Calgary, Lausanne and Stavanger. The group work together to exchange business leads, market intelligence and sales activity.

  1. Share your challenges. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved. It sounds like a cliché, but there’s huge value in communicating with peers and colleagues. Use this opportunity to address old problems. 
  • Begin planning now. It is never too early to start thinking about recovery and the sooner this process begins, the stronger businesses emerge. 
  • Speak your mind. Don’t be afraid to have an opinion, talk through an idea or to ask for help. There are no bad ideas, if fact, there’s never been a better time to speak up to share your thoughts. 
  • Spark your creativity. Use this time to think and to generate new ways to train your mind. Step outside of your working environment and gain inspiration from the outdoors (where possible of course) and brainstorm. 
  • Seek your alliance. Create your network, there is power in partnership. Build relationships and count on the support of your colleagues. Utilise links and crowd source, the best work happens in collaboration. 
  • Smile. Your greatest asset must be exercised. Remember, this too shall pass, and the business events sector will emerge with a new strength and innovative ways of working. 

There is strength in sharing and the Energy Cities Alliance is proof of this. Celebrating its 12th year working together; sharing knowledge, undertaking sales missions, operating lead exchange, providing friendship and adapting to the business events industry; the alliance continues to be the energy it wants to attract.

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