FORTNIGHTLY ROUNDUP


The Hanoi Summit: great meeting, shame about the legacy.

The omens for the meeting were good. The two main delegates seemed well-matched in temperment. The destination city was redolent of past conflict and reconciliation (or suspect medical deferment). The venue was a hotel where Jane Fonda had stayed, Joan Baez had recorded, and Somerset Maugham and Graham Greene had both written.

Yet the meeting broke up without outcome. No deal may have been better than a bad one, but surely there should have been some result or higher purpose to the event other than merely being a distraction from damning congressional testimony back home?

So making meeting legacy a part of initial planning is a really good idea! Do you see what I did there? In Features, in collaboration with the European Society of Association Executives, Iceberg partner Boardroom presents two perfect congress case studies: ESSKA last year in Glasgow, and Barcelona’s annual Mobile World.

Also in Features, two Brisbane Trailblazer Grant winners have secured the International Peptide Symposium for the Queensland capital. Montreal, a city cofounded by the first lay nurse in North America, has secured the International Council of Nurses Congress. As this industry has refined its value proposition in terms of the way events transform society, so the Joint Meetings Industry Council, which presents The Iceberg, and The Iceberg itself, have together been telling the story. My colleague James Latham explains. Finally, their respective histories have made The Hague, Bogotá, Belfast and Kigali all ideal destinations for conferences about peace or justice. Hanoi so nearly made the list, and I hope Pyongyang will in time.

In News this issue, leaders at a prestigious gathering of Europe’s destination marketing organisations voiced disbelief at proposed budget cuts that could see the end of Marketing Edinburgh and the city’s convention bureau (Iceberg partner European Cities Marketing was holding its Spring Meeting in the Scottish capital). Then there was a temporary stay of execution after Edinburgh councillors agreed a substantial but smaller cut. With timely irony, an economic impact report from the Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau shows that £71 million was generated by that Scottish region’s business events last year.

Our own industry has itself gathered at two major trade shows, with South African Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom opening Meetings Africa in Sandton, and the revamped Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) taking place in Melbourne. Victoria’s capital was also chosen as host city for the 2023 Rotary International Convention, a massive gathering of about 20,000. Queensland’s Gold Coast recorded an increase of 19 percent in association events. The value of meetings secured with the aid of Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund has almost doubled in the past three months. In New Zealand the newly unveiled operator of Christchurch’s Te Pae centre says it will tap into key city industries to attract international meetings.

Also in News, conference ambassador programme Club Liverpool has honoured those whose events brought £10.8 million into the city last year. Manchester Central saw 31 percent growth in exhibition revenue during 2018. VisitBerlin has been chosen to host the 11th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science.

There’s still more on The Iceberg itself (click View all News). Visit Belfast, has launched a new marketing campaign aimed at business events. Average spend per meeting in the UK increased in 2018, according to a report. Messe Frankfurt will source all of its electricity from a renewable energy provider in 2020.

In Opinions, there’s a sixth Boardroom and Global Association Hubs Partnership interview about association globalisation. This time the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardisation opens up in Singapore.

Also in Opinions, one industry market survey is investigating CSR and sustainability. Another is painting a dark picture about mental health. There are thoughts on budget cuts perhaps closing Convention Edinburgh and its ambassador scheme, as well as about the city’s idea of a “room tax”. US events are having more and more issues with visa entry.

In Opinions as well, quotes from key figures at AIME, and three industry heavy hitters each of whom wear two hats: Elliott Ferguson of Destination DC and now the US Travel Association, Aloysius Arlando of SACEOS and AIPC, and ExCeL London and ICCA’s James Rees.

In the run up to International Women’s Day our partner Positive Impact is rerunning its annual Girls Creating campaign of inspiring stories, with a webinar on 8th March. Find out more here.

Finally, The Iceberg reiterates its call for you to join our Global Ambassador Program. You can now see our Ambassadors listed on The Iceberg homepage. Visit Call for Ambassadors 2019 & 2020 to find out more.

Until our next summit…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg

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