The 2019 UK Space Conference at the new ICC Wales.

A warm welcome from The Iceberg and Business Events World this issue to the new International Convention Centre Wales, whose opening events included a nursing conference, an “experience” with Arnold Schwarzenegger (he’ll be back!), and the 2019 UK Space Conference (pictured).

Meanwhile, in other first-time door opening news, meetings industry commitments on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, collated by our partner Positive Impact, were formally presented to the UN at a summit in New York.

In News this issue, the ninth IMEX America came to a close in Las Vegas after an “imaginative” week and a three percent increase in pre-scheduled appointments between buyers and exhibitors (see also in Research The Year of Imagination – 15 Stories to Inspire Your Next Event). ExCeL London has hosted a record Sibos, the world’s premier financial services event. The American Express Meetings and Events 2020 Forecast reports that all meeting types are expected to see steady growth next year for the fifth year in a row. Plus, for the first time ever as stated above, the UN has received commitments from the event industry at the Sustainable Development Goal Summit in New York. 7,000 pledges from 58 countries were collated by Positive Impact, with the aim of promoting events as a means of delivering UN SDG 4 (quality eduction and lifelong learning for all).

In destination marketing News, the Adelaide Convention Bureau has secured 75 events so far this year, expected to bring in around AU$136 million. Over the first half of 2019, the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau won 301 meetings, with an estimated economic impact of RM3.9 billion. Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bring their convention offerings closer together. Meet in Reykjavik, in partnership with the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, has honoured three ambassadors for their roles in securing important meetings for the capital. But Edinburgh will be leaving Iceberg partner BestCities Global Alliance at the end of the year, after major funding cuts that have devastated the destination’s convention and visitors bureau.

In venue News, construction has just begun on a new trade fair and convention centre in Bruges. The aforementioned ICC Wales finally opened its doors to UK and international events, and the first of the latter was the UK Space Conference 2019, attended by many international space agencies and British astronaut Tim Peake.

There are two more venue stories on The Iceberg only (click View all News). EventCity in Manchester has just submitted a request to relocate to a new site. The Governor of Massachusetts hopes to pay for a major expansion of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center by selling off the Hynes Convention Center in the city’s Back Bay neighbourhood.

Eight Opinions this issue are fresh. The Glasgow Convention Bureau has just reported best ever year-end results for conference business, the city attracting as well incentive and motivational events like KFC’s RGM Fest. Davos is perhaps best known for staging the World Economic Forum. It also has the expertise and capacity to host association events, as Professor Geoff Richards, Director of the AO Research Institute Davos, explains. Iceberg partner Positive Impact has been campaigning for the meetings industry to align its activity with the the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We have two videos from CEO Fiona Pelham, one from the show floor of IMEX America, the other from outside UN HQ itself in New York.

Also added to Opinions, four further viewpoints covering those UN SDGs. A recent Tropic Skincare conference hosted at The Vox in Birmingham was the venue’s first fully plant-based event. Meetings industry mental health has been discussed at the UK Event Wellbeing Week 2019 in London. Could queries about work culture from clients in their RFIs (requests for information) promote positive change? Live event producer Will Glendinning also lays out four key issues behind the stress that industry professionals encounter on a daily basis. There’s a great profile as well of Gina Glantz, Founder of GenderAvenger, which campaigns against conference panels which are merely “manels”.

In Features, conferences and events are set to play a key role in the West Midlands’ new Regional Tourism Strategy. At the conurbation’s heart is Birmingham, a city on the rise. Plus, the flying saucer of Palacongressi di Rimini will in 2020 see five major international association events, each creating significant legacies.

In Research you’ll find added the aforementioned 2020 Global Meetings and Events Forecast from American Express Meetings and Events. With all the talk of UN Sustainable Development Goals this issue, you’ll also still find Iceberg partner UFI’s The Exhibition Industry and UN SDGs, published back in June.

On that subject, Iceberg partner #MEET4IMPACT has just launched three research projects on the social impact of business events and their contribution to the UN SDGs. Learn more and participate here.

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 door opens…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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