Global Meetings Industry Day 2019 around the world.

Things are still chaotic here on the Brexit barricades. As I write, Britain may be leaving the EU this Friday, or on June 30th, or at the end of the year, or at the start of 2020, or not at all. The EU is voting tomorrow on extending our departure once again.

Since self-interest is the basest basis of all current politics, can I just say that I’ve got a big birthday this Friday? So please, EU, go for one of the other options. I want the day to be my milestone, not the national millstone.

At least last week’s record sector turnout for Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) 2019 demonstrates that when knowledge is shared across borders, there are no boundaries to what can be achieved.

In Features this issue of Business Events World and on The Iceberg, read about the Systemic Sclerosis World Congress, a meeting that places a premium on patient participation. Thailand has just hosted the CPhI Southeast Asia pharmaceutical trade show. Quebec is building on forestry innovation to host Woodrise 2019, the second world congress on midrise and tall wood buildings. The Rwanda Convention Bureau and Kigali Convention Centre are shaping a bright future after a dark past in central East Africa.

In News, ten of the UK industry’s shining new stars have been named winners of the first Tomorrow’s Talent, launched by The Meetings Show with Iceberg partner M&IT. Seven Brisbane researchers will share AUS$30,000 from the Lord Mayor’s office to help them lure big international conferences to the city. Fourteen Club Melbourne Ambassadors have been awarded for securing nine such meetings in 2018, which are expected to generate AU$95 million for the state of Victoria. Karen Bolinger, tireless CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, has announced her departure after more than seven-and-a-half years in post. The International Congress and Convention Association’s board of directors has chosen Senthil Gopinath to serve as CEO.

In venue News, funding has been approved for a $500 million expansion of Calgary’s BMO Centre. Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre is adding two large meeting spaces. Budapest’s Hungexpo announced record turnover for 2018, as did the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The new congress and exhibition venue in St. Petersburg, Expoforum, is trying to raise its profile in the international association market.

Lyon has become the latest city to join Iceberg partner the Global Destination Sustainability Index. Organisers, venues and convention bureaux all over the world marked GMID 2019 by promoting the economic and societal benefits of the sector.

There’s still more on The Iceberg itself (click View all News). The Seoul Convention Bureau has rolled out its 2019 PLUS SEOUL initiative to boost business events. There are also four key meetings to note. The 17th Aesthetic & Anti-Ageing Medicine World Congress has taken place at Grimaldi Forum in Monaco (without a wrinkle). ICC Belfast is hosting the Microbiology Society Annual Conference. Cybersecurity association (ISC)2 is about to stage Secure Summit EMEA at the World Forum in The Hague. A Business Visits and Events Focus North conference is taking place in Leeds to explore how the North of England can win more UK meetings and events.

In Opinions you’ll find part seven of our series about the globalisation of associations. The interviewee is Matthew D’Uva of the Washington DC-based International Association for the Study of Pain. There’s a look at key pointers from the Incentive Research Foundation’s 2019 Trends Study. There’s a fascinating piece about measuring the return on investment of exhibiting at medical meetings. As well as that, rather than speakers speaking to speakers, should healthcare and STEM meetings “flip” the model and make their event a place for peer review and improvement of research works in progress?

After Meetings Africa 2019, Opinions sees how the continent is looking to farming technology event Agritech Africa. There’s must-read analysis of the big questions climate change poses for the meetings industry. There are interviews with three sector leaders. Danielle Curtis of Arabian Travel Market and IBTM Arabia lists seven destinations set for meetings and events prominence, including Rwanda. Destinations International’s Don Welsh describes how the function of a convention bureau is evolving. Christian Mutschlechner, formerly of the Vienna Convention Bureau, pops up in “soft” retirement on the board of Congrex Switzerland. Finally, there’s a round up of voices heard and issues raised during GMID 2019.

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

Next year’s GMID is April 2nd 2020.

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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