The Iceberg is now identifying and celebrating the greater mass of hard-to-see business events legacies that lie hidden beneath the surface in a new podcast “Below the Waterline”.

In the fourth of a series featuring significant meetings industry players, Iceberg founder James Latham catches up with BestCities Global Alliance Director of International Associations Jane Cunningham and #MEET4IMPACT President and CEO Geneviève Leclerc, both Iceberg ambassadors.


Jane Cunningham (second left) talking “Incredible Impacts” at the 58th ICCA Congress.

Based in Stockholm, Jane has been doing business development for Iceberg partner BestCities Global Alliance since December 2009. Before joining the team she was Sales Director for the international professional conference organisation Congrex UK. Prior to that, she spent five years at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in association sales.


Geneviève Leclerc at DAC (Dubai Association Centre) Going Global London.

Geneviève Leclerc is an industry professional with 23 years of experience in associations and a global vision of the needs and potential of this powerful sector. After researching meeting legacies for a while and frequently speaking on the topic, she came to see that the broader impact of association activities was often not generated on purpose and was rarely measured. With Jacques Blanchet she decided to launch #MEET4IMPACT in February 2019 to promote more deliberate approaches to creating positive legacies.

In this fourth “Below the Waterline”, James talks to Jane about “Incredible Impacts”, the legacy grant awards organised by BestCities Global Alliance with ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association. Geneviève describes the launch of #MEET4IMPACT and its “big dreams”, trying to build a framework for others to follow in measuring the success of their meetings in terms of social value.

Much of the discussion sits around our very own Iceberg metaphor of looking beneath the visible tip of travel and accommodation revenue at the harder to see greater mass of impact beneath the surface. Too often key performance indicators are only built around the tourist spending at meetings and events, and there’s still not enough storytelling of legacy benefits.

James describes the potential for talent acquisition acquisition revealed in Business Events Sydney’s research Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies. Geneviève compares this with the situation in New Zealand, where #MEET4IMPACT has partnered with Tourism New Zealand on the “Enrich New Zealand – Conference Impact” project. Other topics covered include the threat of “conference shaming”, accessibility and also aligning legacy to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Examples of this are quoted from Bogotá.


Podcast production: Toby Miller.


Further content from Jane Cunningham and Geneviève Leclerc previously posted on The Iceberg:

Jane Cunningham in Conversation with IMEX on Associations and Collaborations (BestCities Global Alliance website / IMEX video)

How to Get on the “Incredible Impacts” Programme (Boardroom article)

Launch of the #Meet4impact Project (Boardroom article)

#Meet4impact: An Actionable Impact Framework… and More (Boardroom article)

#Meet4impact: Define Your Intention First (Boardroom article)

#Meet4impact: Managing Your Legacy Projects (Boardroom article)

#Meet4impact: Measure What Matters (Boardroom article)

New Zealand Measures Conferences’ Positive Impact (Boardroom article)


Further content about “Incredible Impacts” previously posted on The Iceberg:

“Incredible Impacts”: The Beyond Tourism Impact of Meetings (Iceberg video)

“Incredible Impacts”: Making a Mark (Iceberg video)

“Incredible Impacts”: World Parkinson Coalition (Iceberg video)

“Incredible Impacts”: World Confederation for Physical Therapy (Iceberg video)

“Incredible Impacts”: ISTH’s Kyoto Legacy (Iceberg video)

Lung, AIDS and Child Abuse Associations Win Impact Grants (Association Meetings International article)


Relevant other content previously posted on The Iceberg:

Conferences: Catalysts for Thriving Economies (Iceberg JMIC Case Study)

Universal Accessibility in Meetings (GainingEdge / BestCities Global Alliance / Rehabilitation International research)

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