The Urban Agricultural Lab atop the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.

In this edition of Business Events World and on The Iceberg our lead in Features is the tale of a remarkable rooftop agricultural laboratory. It’s a legacy created by – and sitting on top of – the Palais des congrès de Montréal. There are 150,000 bees making honey on top of this city roof! Somebody has been watching too many episodes of Elementary.

News includes a convention centre expansion in Yokohama, a fund launched to attract events to Abu Dhabi, and sustainability legacy projects from both Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and also ICC Sydney. The New South Wales capital’s Asian growth is examined as well, and BESydney welcomes seven new ambassadors to advocate for the city.

In Opinions there is operational security at the LA Auto Show, Catalonia’s unrest causing cancelled bookings, best practice in risk management, a five part video series on African events, analysis of the SITE Index report, the importance of the business event visitor, communication with delegates in a crisis, a meeting of minds in the Westminster bubble… oh yes, and a rather eye-watering tale of just how far one DMC had to travel to bring home the bacon.

Last issue we carried a story from partner CIM News Magazine about the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB) releasing its latest Forward Calendar of International Business Events. Despite a modest increase of 3 percent in the number of overseas events heading to the country, lost business was up by 7 percent.

It’s a brave approach to spin a broadly positive story in terms of the business and professional events that got away. But that’s what AACB did, and this viewpoint has now been republished and dissected in a number of other reports.

One of these also from CIM News Magazine explains that over the next decade, around 223,000 international delegates are expected to collaborate with 118,000 local attendees at international business events in Australia. But a larger number won’t be coming, as AACB CEO Andrew Hiebl explains. “We are still missing out on these great minds coming to Australia due to lost business, with almost 268,000 international delegates now set to go elsewhere”. This translates to about 460 full Qantas Airbus A380s.

It’s a honest and bracingly competitive admission that highlights the link between the meetings industry and economic development. Let other destinations take note!

Until the next time…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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