The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Brexit.

Things are quite strange at the moment here in the United Kingdom.

With just days to go before the big departure, the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal has again been rejected by Parliament, which won’t accept leaving without a deal, but will accept a delay. So by the next issue of Business Events World, Britain may have left the European Union – on exactly what terms is anyone’s guess – or not. The political paralysis is perplexing.

I feel a little like Arthur Dent, the hapless hero of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, feebly lying in front of the bulldozer about to demolish his home, even as a spaceship is hovering above poised to do the same to the whole of earth, all the while being loudly lectured that it really is far too late to do anything at all about it. As author Douglas Adams himself might have put it, “so long, and thanks for all the fishing subsidies”.

In News this issue of Business Events World and on The Iceberg, at least there’s an optimistic survey about what Brexit means for meeting venues in the City of London, the capital’s historic financial district. The UK Events Industry Board has also launched a survey to assess the value to which the EU has benefitted British business events. The latest Meetings Market Survey from PCMA in the US has revealed growth in attendance, with a further rise expected next year.

Leeds has been chosen to host XborderAsia Exhibition 2019 because of its fintech expertise. Marketing Cheshire’s “Brilliant Science” campaign helped win it a cybersecurity conference. The UK meetings industry turned out in force for the 2019 M&IT Awards.

Also in News, and at the heart of Europe (not forgotten by all in the UK), the Belgian Federal Parliament approved a new Code of Companies and Associations. Brussels also hosted the European Association Summit. The International Convention Centre of Barcelona broke its turnover record. More globally, Iceberg partners BestCities Global Alliance launched financial products for association meeting clients, IBTM organiser Reed Exhibitions acquired the India BIG7 trade fair, and IMEX Group CEO Carina Bauer spoke about her show’s focus on diversity and gender equality.

There’s still more on The Iceberg itself (click View all News). Michael Hirst has been appointed chair of the UK Events Industry Board. He also chairs the Business Visits and Events Partnership, which is seeking contributions for a new industry study. DRP Group is celebrating the qualification of two apprentices, the first in the UK to pass a national apprenticeship scheme for the events industry.

To digest in Features this issue, there’s gastrointestinal endoscopy in Korea, the burgeoning space industry in Scotland, and – with exclusive video – the $2 billion investment legacies of the Singapore Fintech Festival.

In Opinions you’ll find two Iceberg partners on advocacy: IMEX Manager Natasha Richards and European Cities Marketing President Dieter Hardt-Stremayr. There are views on both destination management companies and destination marketing, the latter from ECM’s Spring Meeting 2019 in Edinburgh.

London venue 15Hatfields’ Warren Campbell talks sustainability, as does the new director of the Geneva Tourism & Conventions Foundation, Adrien Genier. Three gender-related opinions mark 2019’s International Women’s Day: ICC Wales Business Development Director Jill Manley, Australian event and conference management company Arinex, and the San Diego microbiome conference that invited only women scientists to speak.

Also in Opinions, are hostile immigration policies in the UK and US making it harder for delegates from lower income countries to attend scientific meetings? Plus, one further positive spin on what Brexit means for London from etc.venues MD Alastair Stewart.

Finally, The Iceberg reiterates its call for you to join our Global Ambassador Program. You can see Ambassadors listed on The Iceberg homepageAmbassadors page, and now in Business Events World below. Visit Call for Ambassadors 2019 & 2020 to find out more.

Until next time (under WTO rules if there’s neither deal nor delay)…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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