MANY VOICES, ONE MESSAGE: Industry Leaders Step Up in Brussels and DC

Welcome to Issue #115 of Business Events World from The Iceberg presented by the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) and the world’s leading industry associations, publishers, events, and educators.

Could it be possible that the industry, both sides of the Atlantic, has finally converged on a consistent message to government – that, in addition to the visitor economy (the tip of the iceberg), business events deliver the meeting places and the marketplaces that transform societies and economies?

In Features: Business Events (BE) Industry leaders converge in the political capitals of Europe and the United States to deliver a consistent and compelling narrative, advocating the transformative power of business events (including, but beyond their travel, hospitality and event services supply-chains, or ‘tourism’).

April’s combination of Business Events Industry Week (BEIW), #LegislativeActionDay, and #GMID in Washington DC, and EU Dialogue held at the European Parliament in Brussels, reveal a sense of collective solidarity not witnessed before.

In a video double-bill, The Iceberg share their message.

Also in Features, Business Events Wellington unveils a trilogy of insights into its Scientific, Climate Innovation, and Creative Industry Film credentials as associations align to intellectual capital. Exhibitions deliver £10.9bn to the UK economy (more in Research), Calgary’s game-changing expansion of the BMO Centre is the perfect entree to AIPC’s annual conference in Costa Rica (but visa issues dampen the celebrations – see News), and Boardroom Magazine re-affirms the Wellington story by featuring the NZ capital’s Business Events Manager, Irette Ferreira, who claims that “whatever the purpose, conferences also have the potential to create something meaningful for the community and drive wider socio-economic gains… We are capturing these outcomes and supporting our clients to achieve these legacy goals”.

Another voice, same message.

In News, BE Sarawak’s CEO, Amelia Roziman, hosted ICCA’s inaugural Association Impact Masterclass in partnership with #Meet4Impact CEO, Geneviève Leclerc, and GainingEdge chair, Gary Grimmer. In a video triple-bill, The Iceberg shares association leader reaction to a re-discovery of mission and purpose while being ‘back at school’, meets Sarawak’s Deputy Minister of Tourism on the intended legacy of business events, and reveals an immediate impact of the Masterclass which is set to accelerate healthcare competency for the Malaysian Ministry of Health. Leclerc is left speechless, but celebrates 5 Years of the Social Impact consultancy she co-founded, nevertheless.

Calgary misses out on hosting major international conference due to visa processing delays. Organizers with the International Health Economics Association cancelled plans to have Calgary host their next global congress over worries Ottawa couldn’t process hundreds of attendees’ visas in time for the July 2025 event.

PCMA and SANCBE (Strategic Alliance of National Convention Bureaus of Europe) announce ‘Convene 4 Climate’ – a workshop based sustainability conference to be held in Barcelona 2-3 October. ICC Sydney’s CEO and ASM Global (APAC) Group Director, Geoff Donaghy, is to call time on an illustrious 30-year contribution to convention centre management including 10 years at ICC Sydney. Earlier this year, the landmark venue shared the McCrindle Report identifying 6 key trends shaping the evolution of business events (see Research) aptly named ‘RESPECT’.

The respect, Geoff, belongs to you.

Donaghy has served as President of AIPC, Deputy Chair of BECA, and on the executive committee of JMIC

Talking of serving time, a former Facebook diversity programme manager is jailed for $5m theft from her employers.

BE Sarawak continues to emphasise its credentials as the Legacy Capital of Malaysia, releasing an IJBEL Sustainability Special at yet another knockout edition of IMEX in Frankfurt (see Publications.) The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) welcomes ICCA to its advocacy leadership concurrent with delivering an outstanding #LegislativeActionDay alongside the GBTA which confirms the industry spending power. The BestCities Global Alliance is having a stellar few months. Dublin is to host a trilogy of industry events including the BestCities Global Forum & ICCA Association Impact Masterclass in January, and the Destinations International (DI) Global Leaders Forum in February, Guadalahara is to host the 2027 edition of the World Physiotherapy Congress, and Singapore’s commitment to ‘Performance & Legacy Wins Out’ in a special report.

Also in Publications, as elections loom in the UK, The Business of Events (TBOE) – the UK-based policy think tank by PR specialists Davies Tanner – has unveiled its pre-election edition of The Business of Events Policy Agenda 2024: UNLOCKING GROWTH IN THE UK EVENTS ECONOMY.

Another voice, same message!

In Case Studies, Do You Take Wine with Your Flies? At IMEX Frankfurt Destination Canada unveiled the first full fat, high protein, edition of its Legacy & Impact Case Study Series, developed in partnership with #MEET4IMPACT and GainingEdge, with the tale of ‘Insects to Feed the World’ – an academically-inspired event which has resulted in Quebec’s emergence as an intellectual capital in the circular economy of sustainable entomoculture, alternative protein production, and now, Canada’s fly-farming hub! Martin Sirk, of Sirk Serendipity, described the press conference as one of the best he had ever attended – his video reaction concludes the report.

In Research, the UK-based Exhibitions Industry Alliance (EIA)’s Rachel Parker reveals the £10.9bn Economic Impact of Exhibitions in the UK, Northstar / Cvent reveal the May edition of PULSE, and Boardroom Magazine shares ‘The Insider’s Perspective’s ‘RFP of the Future’.

In Opinions, The Power of Academic Conferences. Veteran VisitScotland and Marketing Edinburgh DMO, Amanda Ferguson, is now bringing key sector international academic conferences to the University of Edinburgh. The key driver for her is to elevate the University’s international standing within the Reputational Excellence Framework (REF) which determines the University’s research funding. We also share a glimpse into the demise of Marketing Edinburgh, the former convention bureau for Scotland’s capital city.

ICCA President, Marta Gomes of VIParis prepares for the Olympics, SoolNua’s Padraic Gilligan reiterates the $1.6tn economic impact report from the Events Industry Council but says the industry is still underselling both its hard economic impact, and its soft powers. In a separate shout-out, Gilligan turns to his heartland of Incentive Travel, voicing concerns of the sector’s association with surfeit, excess, and consumption associated more often than not with chimes of Cliff Richard’s “we’re all going on a summer holiday”. Time for a rethink, he hints.

There’s Paul Colston’s gentle grilling of PCMA Convening Leaders’ emcee, Holly Ransom, and in a WIT report the new president of the European Tourism Commission, Miguel Sanz Castedo, questions the consumption KPI’s for tourism, welcoming the broader social and community values outlined in the UNWTO framework awaiting approval from the UN General Assembly in September.

He’s not the only one delving below the waterline, so it seems!

GDS-Movement chief changemaker, Guy Bigwood, features in ICCA’s 3rd podcast edition of 971 alongside Ksenija Polla who herself collected the Lifetime Achievement Award at FIEXPO last week for her 27 years’ service to the organisation. Polla moves to Talley Management and The Iceberg wishes her every success. Talking of awards, fresh from receiving the AEO ‘Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award’, outstandingly loyal Iceberg Partner & Ambassador, Carina Bauer, shares her mid-year reflections and Ioannis Pallas, ESAE managing director, drops a stone in the legacy & impact taxonomy pond in his OpEd from Boardroom while Kit Lykktoft, Director of Conventions at the Copenhagen Convention Bureau shares the same pages to advance the innovation in sustainability cause…

Events, education, publications, and newsletters from the world’s leading industry providers complete edition #115 as The Iceberg calls time on international travel until the CityDNA Summer School, August 27-30, in Brno. If you value your DMO or PCO staff, we’ll see them there! Otherwise, or also, be sure to sign up for Convening EMEA now!

For now, celebrate the sense of unity and await next steps as The Iceberg prepares a Call to Arms!

Until #116… enjoy, share, and remember to scroll right to left for each section!

The Curator


Showing Featured Features

View all Features


Showing Featured News

View all News

Case Studies

Showing Featured Case Studies

View all Case Studies


Showing Featured Research

View all Research


Showing Featured Opinions

View all Opinions


Showing Featured Education

View all Education


Showing Featured Events

View all Events


Showing Featured Ambassadors

View all Ambassadors

Partner Spotlight

Showing Partners

View all Partners


Showing Featured Newsletters

View all Newsletters