The Business Events Industry: Mirror, mirror on the wall…?

Welcome to a bloated post-New Year Issue #111 of Business Events World – the monthly compendium of news, views, research and opinions from The Iceberg & Partners.

In Features, UFI boss and JMIC past President Kai Hattendorf leads the charge to have the Business Events Industry certified at the ISO. It’s time, he asserts, to put a face to the industry name.

Also in Features ABEA (Australian Business Events Association) Vice President, Matt Pearce, prepares to host a record-busting AIME ‘24 in Melbourne as regional competition hots up for the Asia-Pacific meetings market. In Holly Patrick’s report for AMI titled ‘The Rise of the Sustainability Subventions’, #MEET4IMPACT’s Genevieve Leclerc describes subvention as “eco-conditionality, or cross-compliance”, which Patrick verifies in the VisitBritain Business Events Growth Programme, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism Organisation’s Community Impact Program (CIP), the National Events Strategy for Wales, and Copenhagen’s Sustainability Guide 2.0. With ESG reporting becoming mandatory in 2024, is there a connection to be made between these subventions and the sustainability reporting now required? Hold that thought because the ESG debate is not going away – more in #113 to follow.

In News, Northstar Meetings Group UK Managing Director, Nick Powell, issues a personal invitation to join him in Singapore for the inaugural Meetings Show Asia-Pacific in April. The Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-M) partners with Tripadvisor for the Best Sustainable Destination – Copenhagen wins the consumers’ choice. Skift’s Andrea Doyle shares the Human Heros victory over the AI Wizards event design shoot ‘em up at PCMA’s record-breaking Convening Leaders 2024 in San Diego. The creative brains beat the bots so RoboCMP will have to wait! PCMA’s Jennifer N. Dienst explains why organisations are choosing NOT to boycott politically polarized destinations, especially in the wake of the repeal of Roe v Wade in 2022. Beth Surmont, Vice President event strategy & design for 360 Live Media argues “it is the chance to make real local impact”. CM+W reports on the Net Zero Carbon Events’ latest 7 guidance documents as Workstreams focus on key action areas identified in the Joint Meetings Industry (JMIC) led Roadmap launched in 2022.

Also in News, the world’s largest exhibitions group, Informa, posts strong 2023 results, Reuters predicts choppy waters at Davos amid geopolitical complexity, while in San Diego Convene’s Curt Wagner reports on Holly Ransom’s live discussion with former President & Hillary Clinton who confirm the value of in-person events for democracy and ideas exchange.

Chicago loses its head.

In Case Studies, Gothenburg reports on its impact strategy for the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare 2022. Education for Health publishes ‘Creating Socially Accountable Health Conferences’ indicating a lack of connection between the subject matter of scientific conferences and the local host concluding that “health conferences need to move toward a more profound connection to the locale in which they occur by increasing their relevance and impact on local stakeholders”. ICC Sydney showcases its ‘Best Case Studies of 2023’ as part of its ongoing legacy programme.

In Research, the GCB (German Convention Bureau) shares its Future Meeting Space ‘Creating Meaningful Events in Challenging Times’ (of climate change, pandemics, global conflicts & energy crises) and seperately its Knowledge Centre including access to its Meeting & Event Barometer and its Research Archive.

ICCA and Destination Canada publish their International Sustainability Report providing a nuanced picture of the status of our industry. Dissecting ICCA’s efforts in sustainability & potential roadblocks to innovative approaches to business models, long-term sustainability & the diversification of revenue streams, the report warns of; “alarming signals from the international scientific community emphasising the urgent need for attention to our trajectory towards a potential global catastrophe”.

Gothenburg shares a gem; ‘How Meetings Can Contribute to Long Term Impact’.

And also in Research, Northstar publishes its Convention Cities Index charting the changes in site-selection factors for major convention cities across the U.S and the rest of the world. Skift Travel’s Editor in Chief, Sarah Kopit, shares a brace of podcasts and video recordings at the Skift Megatrends 2024 event in New York alongside other editors, reporters, and analysts.

In Opinions, ASSOCIATIONWORLD President, Kai Troll, bravely stands in for the professional association community in Lviv, Ukraine, at the UNBROKEN Emergency Summit. The veteran Kennedy Shriver Foundation executive explores what roles professional associations, charities, foundations, and institutions can prepare for in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the country. The scale of the challenge, especially the infrastructural demands will require institutional funding from the World Bank and the EU without which the corporate and philanthropic foundation support will be insufficient, he concludes. That doesn’t mean that associations are off the hook – the role of the professions is going to be critical for knowledge exchange and capacity building while corporate and other philanthropic foundations have much to gain from Ukraine’s reintegration into the European family of allies.

Julius Solaris, the doyen of event tech, pours scorn on the sceptics – its about connecting people, not the medium, dummy! Boardroom’s Vicky Koffa reports from the BestCities Global Forum in Melbourne while Graeme Kemlo’s podcast from the same, thinks the BestCities are ‘cute’ in his 1:1 with Managing Director Loren Christie. Chantal Sturk-Nadal, the Destination Canada veteran executive reflects on her time on the PCMA Board as the best board she ever served on, Travelpulse reveals the taxation being levied as destinations face up to the return of over-tourism, something GDS-Movement chief changemaker, Guy Bigwood, says will control visitor numbers. IMEX chief eventmaker Carina Bauer, meanwhile, shares the decision that the IMEX Talking Point for 2024 is Impact and that it’s all about taking action. ‘Amen!’ to that, Carina.

Rejoice in Preperandum! Soon, the industry could enjoy face recognition.

Go Hattendorf, go!


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