It is time once again to grab your own little piece of The Iceberg!

The Iceberg is rattling the collection box a little louder than usual this issue.

We have just issued a call for partners and ambassadors through 2021 and 2022. In Features below, The Iceberg’s Founder and Producer and James Latham explains that sharing storytelling and advocacy is the best route to wider appreciation of the sector and its vital role in economic recovery. Please email to apply for partnership or ambassadorship with The Iceberg for 2021 and 2022. Kai Hattendorf, President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council – which presents The Iceberg – also discusses the value of our platform on video.

In News this issue, conferences and exhibitions were not allowed to reopen on October 1st, nor for six months thereafter, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed. Business events for up to thirty can run. Without a support package the UK meetings industry will enter free fall. The stark message from the Association of Event Organisers, Association of Event Venues and the Event Supplier and Services Association came in response to the reopening delay. Informa has posted pre-tax losses of £739.9 million ($946.9 million) in its financial results for the six months ending June 30th 2020. A survey posted by Iceberg partner ECM (European Cities Marketing) shows that three quarters of Europe’s city destination management and marketing organisations have seen budget reductions as a result of the pandemic, some of over fifty percent. The convention bureau Meet in Reykjavik has joined Promote Iceland, making it a national convention bureau for the whole country.

There are positive stories to celebrate in News. The managers of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre have welcomed the launch of a subsidy deal to “reinvigorate” the city-state’s business events industry. After “overwhelming” interest, Austria Center Vienna has published key findings of its COVID-19 rapid testing pilot at an event on September 16th and 17th. The UK Space Agency is supporting a new exhibition and conference to drive growth through the sector, Space-Comm Expo. The EICC (Edinburgh International Conference Centre) marked its 25th, revealing 2019 as its most successful ever year. The venue has made an economic impact of over £720 million since opening its doors in 1995. 2020’s Top 25 Influencers within the Meetings Industry have been named. The list includes the Iceberg partner UFI’s (and also JMIC’s) Kai Hattendorf, plus Iceberg partner Talley Management Group’s Gregg Talley. “Incredible Impacts”, the awards for legacy run by Iceberg partners ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance, has unveiled three 2020 association winners. Plus, BestCities has released a global study of legacy impact measurement in the business events sector.

All twelve Opinions this issue are fresh. Convention centres know that as meetings return they will often be hybrid. So many are installing broadcast studios, like the Javits Center in New York. In another article, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal Robert Mercure also spells out how his venue’s media offer is adapting with client needs. The Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre has just resumed major business events with a meeting attracting over 4,500 people, including the Prime Minister. Jeremy Rees, CEO of ExCeL London, discusses how his venue became an emergency field hospital for COVID-19 patients. ICCA President and ExCeL London Executive Director James Rees talks to IMEX CEO Carina Bauer about the same subject, part of a video double feature from AIPC, the other being about the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. AIPC, ICCA and IMEX are all Iceberg partners.

Also in Opinions, the first UKickstart event brought together 1,419 event professionals both online and across twelve “in person” venues. Illuminate at the Science Museum was one of them. Germany has a more receptive attitude now to business events than most nations. Congress Centre Leipzig has just played host to 600 doctors at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Phlebology. The PCMA Rocky Mountain Chapter just hosted an in person meeting for over sixty with an additional online audience. When the Georgia Society of Association Executives held its annual meeting in August at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, the event was the first in person meeting the hotel had hosted since the pandemic began. Plus, the first Exhibitions Think Tank has launched a report gathering insights from over 150 eventprofs and setting out ideas for the future of the global industry. COVID-19 has slammed the brakes on the international expansion of associations. International Advisor Martin Sirk, of Iceberg partner Global Association Hubs, says association-friendly regional destinations are the answer. Finally, looking to hold a memorable virtual event? We have five unusual ideas for injecting some fun, from sharing musical experiences with karaoke or kazoos to the nonprofit animal sanctuary running a service called “Goat-2-Meeting” (I kid you not).

In Research you’ll find UFI’s Waste Management in the Exhibitions Industry – 1st Edition, Fast Forward 15’s Diversity and inclusion and from PCMA the COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard for September. Also just added, aforementioned in News and right on the sweet spot of The Iceberg‘s own take on the sector, Advancing Event Legacies Through Impact Measurement from BestCities Global Alliance. Plus, the Joint Meetings Industry Council joins up with UFI for JMIC & SDGs – Meeting the World’s Sustainable Development Goals.

This issue’s parish notices start with previously published coronavirus resource pages from within our own partner community: the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), IMEX Group, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), plus publications Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT)Association Meetings International (AMI)Conference & Meetings World, Conference NewsExhibition WorldExhibition News and ASAE’s Associations Now Today’s Coronavirus Tracker.

There are association resources aplenty at the new website of Iceberg partner the Global Association Hubs, including a Free Virtual Meetings Guide made available by Julius Solaris of, and COVID-19 advisories from the four GAH destinations: Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC.

ICCA’s registration for its 59th ICCA Congress in Kaohsiung remains open. The hybrid format regional hubs are Cape Town, Sarawak, Luxembourg, Malaga and Riyadh, with Latin and North America events being held virtually. A six-week online programme is already underway leading up to main dates November 1st to November 3rd.

ICCA has just partnered with ISSA and GBAC to enhance event safety. The Global Biorisk Advisory Council, a division of worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA, will offer essential business reopening resources to ICCA members.

ICCA has also partnered with the Geneva International Association Forum (GIAF), which was launched by the ASSOCIATIONWORLD Foundation in collaboration with the Geneva Convention Bureau and Congrex Switzerland earlier this year, now postponed to November 5th and 6th.

UFI’s registration for its “glocalised” Global Congress 2020 in November remains open. There will now be physical attendance in two locations, hosted by Dubai World Trade Center and by MCH Group in Basel. The theme is “resilience”. UFI Connects is also back with all new online talks.

Hannover Fairs México is the winner of the UFI Marketing Award 2020 for its project “Multi-channel, Cross-generational marketing”. Koelnmesse is the winner of the UFI Operations and Services Award 2020, for a large-scale digital signage project combined with an intelligent digital communication system.

Designed for the creative and the curious, “Monday Funday” opened the revamped PlanetIMEX on October 12th. Funday launched a five day run of creative, insightful, community-minded and educational content. The German Convention Bureau has announced it will be partnering with PlanetIMEX, and contributing several sessions to the event’s programme. “Unprecedented leadership during unprecedented times” is the focus of the 2020 Association Leadership Forum, created by ASAE, at PlanetIMEX on Thursday October 15th. The programme offers high level insights into the strategies association executives can employ to navigate a business environment that continues to change and challenge. On the same day, IMEX Group working with partners ICCA, Destinations International and the German Convention Bureau has “on the ground” advisors presenting detailed business and events updates from various parts of the world. Also at PlanetIMEX on October 15th, Virtual Event Tech Day, which has been created by IMEX partner EventMB. EventMB has brought together 20 event technology specialists from all over the world to share their insights and experience. Iceberg partner BestCities Global Alliance is holding two sessions at PlanetIMEX on October 16th: “Around the World in 80 Minutes” and “Your Meeting Can Be More Meaningful”. Global Association Hubs will be asking the question “Still Going Global?” on the same day.  Registration for the October PlanetIMEX is now open.

Iceberg partner IBTM has announced the first details of IBTM World Virtual, taking place between December 8th and 10th 2020. Organisers say the online event will incorporate three days of one-to-one business meetings, a comprehensive programme of content and many key features of the live event. The main event page is here.

Iceberg partner AIME (Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event) already launched its 2021 Hosted Buyer program, to help kickstart the industry back into action whilst having fun at the same time. AIME also announced the appointment of new Event Director, Silke Calder, to lead the first hybrid event taking place from March 15th 2021.

Iceberg partner AIPC has issued a members’ reminder that the JMIC Global Manifesto, for which the Iceberg produced a webinar in July, is available in PowerPoint format for use in presentations.

BestCities Global Alliance has posted Your Guide to COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols at Every BestCities Destination.

Iceberg partner European Cities Marketing launched its first ever ECM Mentor Programme during the ECM Summer School 2.0. The industry-supported initiative has been created to secure networking, relationship building and knowledge exchange between newly-appointed and advanced professionals in the meetings industry.

Iceberg partner Mash Media has announced that the Exhibition News Awards (EN Awards) are postponed to February 5th 2021. Tickets are on sale here. Mash Media has also partnered with to launch the Everything Event Tech Guide, which will be unveiled with a series of event technology awards at International Confex 2021.

Iceberg partner GainingEdge has posted the advisories COVID-19 and Destination PromotersPutting Some Order to the ChaosWhat to Ask Associations Beyond “Will You Be Rebooking?”Partnerships and Collaboration: Now Even More Essential, and Building Confidence with Your Stakeholders, plus insights Tracking the Return of the MICE Events Sector in a COVID-19 WorldThe MICE Sector in a COVID-19 World – Lockdown, Transition, New NormalTracking the Return of the MICE Events Sector in a COVID-19 World – Part 2, and “How Accessible is Your Association?”, plus Bulletin: COVID-19 Issue #1, Issue #2, Issue #3, Issue #4, Issue #5, Issue #6Issue #7, Issue #8, Issue #9, Issue #10 and Issue #11.

As mentioned above, Iceberg partner Talley Management Group President and CEO Gregg Talley has been named one of the “Top 25 Influencers of the Meetings Industry” in 2020 by Northstar Meetings Group. The citation mentions Gregg’s work on the current 59th ICCA Congress, on which the Iceberg team is also contributing.

Iceberg partner Boardroom has launched Boardroom MiniCourses, a dedicated online learning site loaded with short, high-quality educational videos. New strategy, communications and marketing MiniCourses are available. Contributors include Geneviève Leclerc, Chief Executive Officer of #MEET4IMPACT and Iceberg ambassador, plus International Pitch Coach David Beckett. Boardroom MiniCourses has an Instagram page here.

Iceberg partner Positive Impact Events is seeking 100,000 event professionals to build the future of the industry. There is a great video here.

There are extensive further COVID-19 resources at the Events Industry Council (EIC), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA)Meetings Mean Business and Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Northstar Meetings Group has posted a running list of New Dates for Events and Conventions Postponed Due to Coronavirus, and updated its Pulse Survey in September.

Following up on its Meeting and Event Design Accepted Practices Guide (see Research), EIC has released Health and Safety for Hotels Accepted Practices Guide, which covers how hotels and planners can have “open and honest” conversations about holding in-person meetings.

PCMA will hold its flagship annual meeting Convening Leaders as a hybrid event. Originally scheduled to take place in Houston, the conference will now have multiple further hubs for small face-to-face gatherings around the world from January 11th to 14th as well as going online.

To support continued activation of PCMA’s global business events recovery plan Recovery Discovery, PCMA has announced the appointment of Bruce MacMillan as Chief Operating Officer.

The Meetings Mean Business Coalition board of directors has announced the appointment of Michael Massari, Chief Sales Officer for Caesars Entertainment, as its next co-chair.

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the umbrella body for the UK’s events industry, has launched a reopening survey. The poll will show how industry suppliers across the country are preparing to reopen safely. Take part here.

The IRF, FICP and SITE Foundation partner each year with market leader Oxford Economics to conduct the most comprehensive research ever into the incentive travel industry and its future evolution. This year’s Incentive Travel Industry Index survey is now open for submissions.

The World Travel Market and Travel Forward shows are going digital only this year, and will take place on November 9th to 11th as “WTM Virtual”.

Three major events industry campaigns, #WeCreateExperiences, #WeMakeEvents, and #LetTheMusicPlay have joined forces under the One Industry One Voice banner.

Until the next time…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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