Brexit: “Yes, but you don’t go!”.

Just I sit down to write about the United Kingdom’s Halloween Brexit later this week, the European Union – stop the presses – generously agrees to yet another deadline extension, with almost nothing seeming able to break the paralysis of domestic British politics on this momentous issue.

I’m reminded of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, and the chorus of policemen who repeatedly announce their departure without actually leaving, before the Major-General points out in exasperation, “Yes, but you don’t go!“.

We may now have exceeded the highest number of deadline extensions I ever received submitting homework at school. Roll on January 31st… and the next one.

At least, here on The Iceberg, business events are still leaving legacies (a product of the Weak Link Corporation™). So there are six great Features this issue. The Meeting Manager of Eurac Research in Bolzano, Pier Paolo Mariotti, tells us on video how Alpine knowledge is attracting events and transforming the Tyrollean capital. Iceberg partner Intellectual Capitals has posted another of its guides to destinations and their meetings, this time for South Africa. Calgary has seen steady growth in its life science and healthcare sectors, plus in the association conferences they attract. The RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre is developing a neighbourly approach to its social impact on the local community, including food donation. The British Association for the Study of the Liver has just held its annual meeting in Glasgow, partnering with the British Liver Trust and Glasgow Convention Bureau to bring a liver health roadshow to town. Meanwhile, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has been setting up conferences to develop four economic corridors connecting the Greater Mekong Subregion.

In venue News this issue, the new Paris Convention Centre helped make this year’s European Society of Cardiology Congress “an exceptional vintage”. London’s QEII Centre, under threat of being commandeered to house the House of Lords, has posted its highest-ever economic contribution to the UK. In destination News, Dubai Business Events won 82 bids for international meetings, conferences and incentive travel groups in the third quarter of 2019. Seoul’s debut hosting of the International Bar Association Annual Conference is the latest example of global groups using the city’s PLUS SEOUL support service for meetings. Melbourne is showing vision as a leader in eye health, partnering a major international optometry congress secured for 2021 with existing events in the field.

In research News, a survey from Lime Venue Portfolio, in partnership with BCD Meetings and Events, has found that almost a third of planners throw away fifteen percent of the food they commission for events. A bonus feature in the recent CWT Meetings & Events 2020 Future Trends Report says that sustainability is rising in importance for the industry. The ICE Insights 2019 report, in conjunction with Cvent, identifies how corporate meetings organisers are focusing on the use of different metrics. AIM Group International has published a white paper on why organisers should consider the integration of patients in scientific congresses.

In awards News, companies offering event artificial intelligence, virtual reality and facial recognition technology are finalists in this year’s Tech Watch Award, organised by Iceberg partner IBTM. Brisbane’s brightest are again being offered Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grants to help them bring international meetings to the Queensland capital. Plus, Iceberg partner ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, has invited senior association executives, meetings managers and volunteer leaders to join its newly founded Association Community.

There’s still more on The Iceberg itself (click View all News), including three longer term event wins. Vilnius is energising its physics community via the 14th European Conference on Atoms, Molecules and Photons in 2022. Seoul is, ahem, stitching up minimally invasive urological surgery through securing the 40th World Congress of Endourology, also in 2022. In 2023 Auckland will host the 61st Annual Meeting and Congress of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists. Plus, work on the €170 million refurbishment and expansion of Hungexpo Budapest Congress and Exhibition Center has begun with laying the foundation stone.

Seven Opinions this issue are fresh. Gina Glantz is the co-founder of the equality campaign GenderAvenger. Already recently profiled in these pages, she is now interviewed again on video for PCMA’s Ascent Luminaries series. Two Iceberg partners have turned up in a video series on sustainability filmed at IMEX America: Positive Impact’s Fiona Pelham and the Global Destination Sustainability Index’s Guy Bigwood.

Some US convention centres don’t donate leftover food for legal reasons, but are actually protected from liability by a Clinton era Good Samaritan law. Meanwhile, Angeline van den Broecke, Director of Global Business Development and Marketing at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, writes about how venues can help bridge the divide that so often lies between international associations and their local hosts and chapters.

Also in Opinions, three UFI Next Generation of Leaders Grant winners talk about what NGL mentoring means for them. The Iceberg partner is the global association for the exhibition industry. The Swedish concept of “flygskam” or “flight shame” is starting to affect air travel. What might this mean for incentives? By way of contrast, Strata Creative Communications’s Client Services Director and Head of Incentives, Mike Parrott, persuasively spells out how incentive travel today drives growth in performance, much like those old motivating desk photos of your dream car, home or holiday destination.

In Research you’ll find added the aforementioned AIM Group International’s Why and How to Involve Patients in Scientific Congresses, Lime Venue Portfolio’s Beyond Food: Food Wastage and the Fear of Running Out, and also Iceberg partner UFI’s Euro Fair Statistics 2018 (October 2019). The news story about CWT Meetings & Events’ 2020 Future Trends Report bonus feature has been added to the existing page for that study, and you’ll find the sustainability supplement itself at the back of the report.

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.

Leaving now without delay…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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