IMEX America’s Imagination Wall in Las Vegas this week.

This year IMEX America sat right across the production schedule of The Iceberg and Business Events World. So half of its content is contained in this issue, and the rest will drift into issue 66.

Suffice it to say that I’m already scanning the Imagination Wall above for content ideas, and the ebook IMEX just published around its 2019 “Talking Point”, The Year of Imagination – 15 Stories to Inspire Your Next Event, is a must-read in our Research section.

So in News this issue from our own partners, IMEX America in Las Vegas opened for business with 13,000 people expected and over 70,000 appointments being held across the event. This year’s “Incredible Impacts” awards were announced by the International Congress and Convention Association and BestCities Global Alliance. Three major associations each won $7,500 to develop the trailblazing legacy programmes attached to their events. IBTM World has announced first details for its 2019 Association Programme, which takes place on the show’s first afternoon this November in Barcelona. Denver is the latest city, and the fourth in the US, to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index.

CWT M&E has unveiled its ranking of the top ten cities for meetings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2020, with London retaining the coveted number one spot. The list is based on data in CWT’s 2020 Future Trends in Meetings & Events report just out, which says the buoyant global meetings industry is poised for eight percent growth next year, despite geopolitical and economic headwinds. The 2019 Incentive Travel Industry Index preliminary results show that “soft power” (meaning persuasion) is now competing with sales and the bottom line as a key driver for the sector.

Also in News, plans for Macau’s Galaxy International Convention and Exhibition Centre have just been presented at IBTM China in Beijing. Organisers are wary of holding events in Hong Kong after its summer of protest, but local players are keen to allay fears. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre has been partnering with US-based associations. St Petersburg is doubling its subvention fund for 2019 to attract international congresses. Glasgow will welcome 30,000 delegates, including 200 world leaders, to discuss climate change when it hosts COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus in November 2020.

All twelve Opinions this issue are fresh. Four influential thought leaders, instrumental in winning conference bids for four Dutch cities, discuss their experiences. The International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation is set to host its 36th World Conference in Nantes. London has just hosted the 33rd edition of Iceberg partner European Cities Marketing’s Summer School. The upcoming Dubai Association Conference is to focus on “the societal impact of associations”. Sid Das, Director of Digital Engagement at WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) International, talks advancing global conservation globally, in the eight part of our series on association growth jointly produced by partners Boardroom and the Global Association Hubs Partnership.

Also added to Opinions, AMR International’s recently updated report on the US exhibitions industry points the way to the next generation of such events. A recent report supported by nine convention bureaux has identified trends affecting Europe’s potential as a meetings destination. The Tech Watch Award winners will be announced during IBTM World in Barcelona this November, and experts on its judging panel have been discussing trends in that sector as well. Through August, global meetings professionals were asked how the industry could support UN Sustainable Development Goals. Fiona Pelham, CEO of Iceberg partner Positive Impact, has a video update on the resulting “acceleration action”. Is overtourism an issue for the meetings industry? How do different destinations host the crowds without crowding the host? Flight-shaming has not yet reached the US, but eco-warrior Greta Thunberg just crossed the Atlantic in a yacht to avoid flying to two big climate summits. Plus, issues 18, 33, 53 and 60 of Business Events World discussed meetings in terms of President Trump’s rapprochement with Kim Jong-un. The pair’s summit venue, the Demilitarized Zone or DMZ, is also a fascinating outing for incentive delegates.

In Features, France’s Art Nouveau capital, Nancy, is emerging as a premier destination for green meetings. Dubai is strengthening its networks to become a meetings hub in medical sciences. Edinburgh has just shored up its ambition to become “data capital” of Europe by hosting the ESOMAR Congress 2019. Plus, in the fourth instalment of a series, #MEET4IMPACT founder Geneviève Leclerc discusses the management of meetings’ legacy impact.

In Research you’ll find added The US Exhibitions Industry – Developments and Opportunities for Organizers from AMR International, Europe as a Destination for Meetings and Conferences from the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe, 2020 Future Trends in Meetings and Events from CWT M&E, plus The Year of Imagination – 15 Stories to Inspire Your Next Event from the IMEX Group, all aforementioned.

Finally, and as always, 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.

Until the next time, with more from IMEX America…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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