VIDEO DOUBLE-BILL: Industry Sends Clear Policy Message Pre-Elections

Transatlantic advocacy of Business Events reached new highs as the leading industry organisations, including Iceberg Partners & Ambassadors, advanced policy engagement in the political hubs of Washington DC and Brussels ahead of elections. Better still – the message is proving coherent, and consistent.

From April 8-11, the Business Events Industry Week (BEIW) held in Washington DC saw the combination of ICCA, ASAE, PCMA, Destinations International, the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) hold near-simultaneous events in the US capital with intent to advance federal government understanding of the value that business and professional events deliver beyond tourism. The report features, among others, Iceberg Ambassador Gregg Talley, Events Industry Council Chair, Ana María Viscasillas MBA, CDME, DES, CED, and leading lobbyist, Tommy Goodwin, who went on to host over 100 policymakers during Legislative Action Day on Capitol Hill (see the CNTV report in ‘Further reading’ – bottom of page), hot on the heels of GMID – the Global Meetings Industry Day.

You can read even more from Legislative Action Day by TSNN here.

The US narrative is graduating below the waterline to include the catalytic effects of business events

The following week, Brussels celebrated its Presidency of the Council of the European Union by convening EU Dialogue: Driving Positive Change In the Meetings Industry. This was a City Destinations Alliance / European Exhibitions Industry Alliance (EEIA) / Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) co-hosted advocacy event designed to mirror the same message within policy circles of the European Parliament in advance of EU elections in June with Kai Hattendorf, CEO at UFI – the global association of international exhibition organisers – neatly summarising that “we’re here to press the flesh and press the point – that we build & operate the meeting places and the marketplaces for everyone and that is such a key to Europe’s success”., City Destinations Alliance, the EEIA, and JMIC convened the BE industry at the EU Parliament

Goodwin’s lobbying counterpart in Brussels, Barbara Weiszacker (Secretary-General of the EEIA), provided the introductions to MEPs in attendance.

Following the EU Dialogue, the architects of the conference have unveiled The Meetings Industry Manifesto: Priorities for the next EU leadership.

Read the excellent review of EU Dialogue by Kerstin Wünsch

James Lancaster, Editorial Director at AMI, praises the manifesto as “one of the most lucid – and mercifully succinct – advocacy documents I have read in 14 years as a journalist working in this field.” Read more here: Manifesto provides clarity on value of meetings

The Iceberg was on hand to capture both events featuring spokespeople from participating industry leaders including industry associations and the collective voices of JMIC headquartered in Brussels, and the Events Industry Council (EIC) based in DC.

Cautious optimism remains for the potential of continued transatlantic collaboration and The Iceberg will, as always, keep the industry posted on next steps. Meanwhile, look out for the report from the IMEX Policy Forum in the next edition of Business Events World as the industry continues its advocacy efforts.

Special thanks to Iceberg Ambassadors Melissa Riley of Destination DC, and Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, CMP of for hosting The Iceberg.

Melissa Riley, Senior Vice President, Convention Sales & Services, Destination DC

Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Director Convention & Association bureau,

Further reading:

The JMIC Global Manifesto

The Business of Events Policy Agenda 2024

2023 Global Economic Significance of Business Events

Destination Promotion: A Catalyst for Community Vitality

Iceberg Feature | Business Events: Change Agents or Travel Agents?

ECA Legislative Action Day, May 2024 – video

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