IAS 2013. Photo: International AIDS Society / Steve Forrest / Workers’ Photos.

If you only read one article in this issue of Business Events World or on The Iceberg, please make it Jane Vong Holmes’ retrospective of IAS 2013 Kuala Lumpur (in Features below). The piece sums up everything the Iceberg team believes about the legacies of business events in one perfect closing sentence. “It’s really not over when the convention is over. In fact, it’s the start of the harvest.”.

This fortnight past has been one of recovery for far too many destinations.

After the devastating Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and although full rebuilding will take years, flights are at least resuming, hotels trying to reopen, and the convention bureau returning to normal office operation. The Puerto Rico Convention Center did not sustain significant damage.

In Mexico City the same is true after its earthquake. The Florida Keys has reopened with a $1 million ad campaign to woo back visitors after Hurricane Irma.

And then over ten brutal minutes in Las Vegas, 58 lives were ended and hundreds more irrevocably altered in a sickening mass shooting that will surely overshadow both the open-air event and hotel industries for years to come. What a summer this has been.

Here in the UK things are bad if not quite so grim. Monarch Airlines ceased trading just shy of its half century leaving 110,000 passengers stranded abroad. The UK Government chartered more than 30 planes to collect them in Britain’s “biggest ever peacetime repatriation”. Next year Christopher Nolan will be optioning the story as a sequel to Dunkirk.

In London the reign of Uber may also be over. And Theresa May’s Conservative Party Conference speech was a lesson for the ages in what can go disastrously wrong at an event. It was a warning “or everyon” (see video in Opinions below).

But congratulations are in order elsewhere. UK industry charity Meeting Needs has raised £1 million and helped more than 145 causes since its founding 14 years ago. Next June and July it is running two Nightider charity bike rides, one in London and one in Liverpool.

Congratulations also to Denise Dornfield of Iceberg partner AlliedPRA, who has announced her retirement. Denise has sat on many industry boards and committees, most recently serving as President of the SITE Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Finally, congratulations to Iceberg partner M&IT (Meetings & Incentive Travel), which has just won “editorial team of the year” for the second year running at the 14th Business Travel Journalism Awards.

Until the next time…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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