Normality returning at IMEX in Frankfurt 2022.

Sadly, I didn’t get to join the joyful returning hordes at IMEX in Frankfurt 2022. What fun and how back to form it all looks in the always excellent photos that the Iceberg partner has posted of its triumphant event.

But even so I did attend my first trade show since the pandemic in May. The Media Production and Technology Show was staged at Olympia London, and I went with a close friend and colleague I had seen so rarely over the last two years. In a delightful coincidence actually very normal for this show, we quickly bumped into two further old friends and former colleagues there. It turns out that everything they say about serendipitous meetings in liminal spaces is absolutely true!

So in News this issue, the seventh Global Exhibitions Day celebrated how exhibitions and face-to-face business events drive the global economy. GED was marked June 1st at Messe Frankfurt, where over 175 congresses, trade shows and other events are taking place before year end as the venue returns to pre-pandemic numbers. One of them was the above first IMEX in Frankfurt since 2019, itself marked by an outrush of camaraderie, celebration, and most importantly, business. In Germany as well, Berlin has unveiled a Relaunch Programme to stimulate faster recovery of business events, conferences and trade shows. After a major remodelling and modernisation which began in 2017, the Congress Center Hamburg has now fully reopened for business. In other venue News, venue ICC Belfast has just hosted the Microbiology Society Conference, an event anticipated to kickstart its target of creating a £125 million economic impact for Northern Ireland. Peter King, Chief Executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, announced he is to leave the role after eleven years. In 2018 King led the AU$205 million expansion of MCEC.

Also in News, STB (Singapore Tourism Board) announced that the city-state is to join Iceberg partner the Global Destination Sustainability Index. Plus, research studies are making headlines. Two-thirds of venues say they will recover to 2019 revenue levels in either 2022 or 2023. So reports the international venue association IACC’s annual Meeting Room of the Future Barometer 2022. New GBTA (Global Business Travel Association) research has collected industry and external stakeholder insights to benchmark perceptions, priorities and actionable opportunity for more sustainable business travel. Tourism and convention bureau Destination Vancouver has teamed up with local Capilano University to research the legacy of international conferences held in the city. A team of researchers will study five of them and deliver findings to local stakeholders and Iceberg partner BestCities Global Alliance. Prague is better than any other city at engaging with its locally-based association leaders to secure big meetings and conventions, according to Leveraging Intellectual Capital – The Second Edition just compiled by Iceberg partner GainingEdge.

All twelve Opinions articles this issue are fresh. Daegu, South Korea, hosted the 2013 World Energy Congress, often called the “Energy Olympics”. The meeting created multiple legacies to shape the city’s future. The European Association Summit has convened its first face-to-face meeting since 2020, gathering many Brussels-based associations for a tenth EAS edition. After postponing their event due to COVID-19, World Environmental Education Congress organisers then had zero time to plan any community service project for the Ukrainian refugees suddenly housed in the Prague Congress Centre alongside them during their delayed conference. Participants even so found ways to demonstrate their support. Solutions to feeding the world are to be discussed in Quebec City, Canada, throughout the fourth edition of the International Insects to Feed the World conference. Some of the menu options are unusual! With its two huge global events generating zero waste and powered by renewable energy, Iceberg partner IMEX Group has just set its sights on zero carbon. CEO Carina Bauer explains how exhibitions need to become more sustainable to survive. There is also a huge disconnect between “sustainability” and real change. Generation Z is passionate about reversing the climate crisis. This shift of mindset was also the subject of a past report for the sector published by IMEX and Marriott International, The Regenerative Revolution – A New Paradigm for Event Management.

Also in Opinions, organiser ideas. The infamous 2022 Academy Awards slapping incident reveals the need for event runners to have a full emergency response plan and code of conduct in place. Event planners often make mistakes with accessibility services. A common wrong assumption is that all deaf people know sign language. COVID mask-wearing also affects lip-readers. Better understanding should benefit everyone. Healthcare events have changed because of the pandemic, as have the wants and needs of their organisers and attendees. What are the key changes, and what trends we are seeing? Plus, event tech evangelists have hailed the pandemic switch to virtual as a transformational moment, rather than a practical necessity. It was always odds on that most would return to site once the worst was over. Is the new normal the old normal? Agency Eventful’s Head of Incentives Holly Mills shares the changes she has witnessed in the industry and the trends that are going to shape the future of the category, including replacing the dreaded word “incentive”. Finally, an unexpected artistic legacy now hangs at Salt Palace Convention Center in Utah. Monumental Mattie portrays a local physician and suffragist who was elected as the first female state senator in America in 1896 (beating her polygamist husband!). The mosaic is made of carpet samples donated from a flooring trade show.

In Features this issue, a major conference on how people with cognitive, linguistic and physical impairments interact will be held soon in Newcastle, UK. Glasgow will welcome over 2,000 soil scientists this summer for the quadrennial World Congress of Soil Science. Plus, at the recent International Conference in Hamburg of Iceberg partner European Cities Marketing, renamed during the event the City Destinations Alliance, Visit Flanders and #Meet4impact presented a legacy collaboration. Iceberg partner #Meet4impact’s Geneviève Leclerc, herself an Iceberg ambassador, explains how the UN Sustainable Development Goals make a great framework around which to anchor the legacy of association meetings.

In Research you will find added Leveraging Intellectual Capital – The Second Edition from Iceberg partner GainingEdge, which builds upon the success of an inaugural report published last year. Also, please check out Business Events Legacy in Daegu, Korea once again. Since its posting last issue, Daegu Convention and Visitors Bureau has itself published further legacy case study material, this time on Daegu’s hosting of the 2019 World Congress of Neuroscience (IBRO 2019). The new press release is now added to the legacy report page.

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), the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), plus publications Conference & Meetings WorldConference NewsExhibition WorldExhibition News and ASAE’s Associations Now Today’s Coronavirus Tracker.

There are association resources aplenty at the website of Iceberg partner 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.

The seventh edition of Global Exhibitions Day took place on June 1st 2022, celebrating and promoting the role of face-to-face business events in driving the global economy. In the lead up to the day and during, according to UFI’s numbers, the GED campaign reached over 800 million people around the world online through unique social media posts, messages and comments.

The 2022 UFI LATAM Conference reconnected the exhibition industry community from across Latin America over the span of two full days in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Organised by Ana Maria Arango, UFI Regional Director for Latin America, this year’s event offered participants a blend of keynote sessions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities.

The 2022 UFI European Conference took place over the course of three days in May, putting the spotlight on important industry topics and challenges faced by exhibition and event industry professionals. UFI identified key themes of discussion, including post-pandemic recovery, new business models, the talent crisis, net zero and other sustainability questions. The event, which took place in Poznan in Poland, was hosted by Grupa MTP.

Registrations are now open for the 89th UFI Global Congress 2022. Taking place in Muscat on November 14th to 17th, it is the “must-attend” annual event for the global exhibition industry. Hosted by Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, this year’s Congress is the first UFI Global Congress in ten years to take place in the Middle East.

On May 4th the UFI Board of Directors elected Geoff Dickinson as UFI President for the 2023 to 2024 period. The UFI Presidential Trio for the 2022 to 2023 term will therefore be Michael Duck, Geoff Dickinson and Monica Lee-Müller. The decision will come into effect at the conclusion of the 89th UFI Global Congress in November.

UFI President Monica Lee-Müller posted this letter in May, and this update for June. UFI CEO and Managing Director Kai Hattendorf posted this update for May, and this one for June.

ICCA has released its annual analysis of association meetings worldwide. The latest ICCA Ranking Report examines 8,000 meetings scheduled for the year 2021 and categorises them based on how the meetings were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also compares last year’s affected meetings with ICCA’s analysis of meetings in 2020. There will be full coverage in the next issue of Business Events World.

Meeting design, regeneration and legacy impact will be the key topics explored at the newly launched ICCA Global Association Community Forum. Taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland on September 5th to 7th 2022 at the Beaulieu Convention Center, the Iceberg partner forum will take a collaborative and interactive approach, delivering educational content through group activities.

During the AFIDA Connect 2022 Congress, ICCA announced an alliance with the International Association of Fairs of America (AFIDA), which aims to unite efforts to generate greater value for the region in the face of new market challenges and opportunities. Both organisations agree that greater collaboration between associations of the meeting industry in Latin America is fundamental to the reactivation and sustainable growth of the sector.

The Hybrid City Alliance, which boasts twenty-four member cities in sixteen countries across five continents, has committed to developing and implementing strategies based on the ICCA Global Association Meetings Protocol. The destinations will report back on their individual activities and success at IMEX America in October, and at the ICCA Congress in November.

ICCA has announced that Thomas Reiser, Executive Director of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis has been bestowed with the ICCA Global Influencer Award. Reiser is the first to receive the trophy which was created this year to acknowledge influencing personalities for their outstanding contributions that foster community engagement as well as inspire peers in the global association meetings industry.

ICCA has posted a new video detailing its inaugural ICCASkills accreditation classes. ICCASkills was developed in partnership with GainingEdge, and the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), Destinations International, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), also all Iceberg partners, are among those contributing to the curricula.

The first IMEX in Frankfurt since 2019 proved to be a momentous occasion for the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry this week. The Iceberg partner show was marked by an outpouring of camaraderie, celebration and, most importantly, business. On Tuesday May 31st, the first day of IMEX in Frankfurt, the IMEX Policy Forum brought together policy makers, destination representatives, business events association executives and other thought-leaders for a half-day of intensive, perspective-challenging discussion.

Professionals from all corners of the global business events industry were honoured at the IMEX in Frankfurt Gala Dinner Awards at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel on June 1st. The awards brought together meeting and event professionals in a glittering gathering to celebrate the achievement, innovation and resilience of individuals within the industry. James Rees, President of both ICCA and JMIC, presented the JMIC Unity Award to Rod Cameron, President of Criterion Communications. The award recognised Rod’s significant contribution to the development of the industry. Cameron is Executive Directive of the Joint Meetings Industry Council, which presents The Iceberg.

City Destinations Alliance is the new name and identity of the Iceberg partner formerly known as European Cities Marketing. The organisation joined with ETOA and NECSTouR to hold a webinar on April 20th entitled Supporting Tourism’s Recovery: Destination and Regional Perspective. Full video is available at this link.

City Destinations Alliance will also contribute to the resilience of the meetings industry through its renowned ECM Summer School in Turin, from August 27th to 31st 2022. After two years of holding this flagship event online, CityDNA is launching a refreshed programme. Over fifteen experienced professionals will lead the newcomers and freshly-employed professionals of the sector, complimented by hands-on workshops.

City Destinations Alliance is launching a training program to host Ukrainian tourist information centre staff members in other member cities’ TICs. This solidarity training programme is open to all CityDNA member destinations if they are able to host one or two Ukrainian TIC staff members (from Lviv, Odessa or Kyiv), for a one-week training programme at their local TIC.

Iceberg partner BestCities Global Alliance has welcomed Guadalajara, Mexico as the twelveth destination in its global network of business events destinations. The agreement extends the alliance into Latin America, expanding its worldwide footprint and furthering its aim of promoting positive impact through business events. The city is home to the biggest convention centre in Mexico, along with 61 unique venues, 22 arenas and stadiums, and 23,500 hotel rooms in the metropolitan area.

BestCities has also posted What’s Happening this May? and What’s New this June?

BestCities Global Alliance and ICCA have together launched a new website for their Incredible Impacts programme, which awards three grants every year to the best association meeting legacy projects. The deadline for first round submissions is June 30th 2022 and by July 15th all shortlisted associations will be invited to submit for round two.

In March, Iceberg partner the International Association of Convention Centres announced the launch of its Start-Up Lab. This new initiative creates a platform for interaction between the global AIPC community of convention centers and start-up companies offering cutting-edge solutions for the next generation of organised events. In April, AIPC welcomed Wordly to the Start-Up Lab. Wordly provides interpretation services via artificial intelligence.

AIPC has also posted a report with video about the staging of its recent AIPC Academy. After an absence of a year, participants were welcomed from nine countries to the 2022 edition in Brussels. The delegates went through a week-long programme of lectures, workshops, team challenges and networking, focusing on the issues they face as future convention centre leaders.

Iceberg partner the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event has released new insights on the success of the show, held in Melbourne from March 21st to 23rd and online from March 28th to April 1st. New industry research has revealed that buyers placed or expect to place AU$120 million in business as a result of their attendance at AIME 2022. This is a twenty percent increase on the pre-pandemic 2020.

Registration is open for the 2022 Annual Meeting and Exposition of Iceberg partner ASAE. The event is where thousands of association professionals and industry partners gather to exchange resources, strategies, solutions and more. Over three days of learning, growing and finding inspiration, attendees gain a year’s worth of practical ideas and colleague support to fuel their work as leaders in the association industry.

Iceberg partner Mash Media’s Exhibition News Awards returned to London Evolution on March 18th to showcase outstanding achievement within the UK and global exhibition industry. After a period when no exhibitions could run, the awards allowed individuals, teams and companies to gain recognition for their endeavour and celebrate their triumphs.

Mash Media has partnered with speaker management software Lineup Ninja to streamline its awards and speaker submission process, and also partnered with ShoutOut, an automated production solution, to provide a more well-rounded and immersive experience for delegates at its events.

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, Building Confidence with Your Stakeholders, Destination Planning: Evolving the Role of CVBsLegacies – the New Meetings Business DriverBuilding a Better Business Case, and What Meeting Planners Are Looking For, 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, Issue #11, Issue #12Issue #13, Issue #14, Issue #15, Issue #16, Issue #17, Issue #18, Issue #19, Issue #20, and Issue #21. GainingEdge also posted GainingEdge’s Pick 5 Issue #1 and Pick 5 Issue #2.

Iceberg partner Maritz Global Events has sponsored a PCMA Convene article called Four Key Steps to Transform Data Into Actionable Insights. When it comes to event data, for organisers the toughest part is not necessarily collecting it, but deciphering it. The good news is that you do not have to be a data scientist to do so effectively. It is all about setting a smart strategy ahead of time.

There are extensive further COVID-19 resources at the Events Industry Council (EIC), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Meetings Mean Business and Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

The Events Industry Council has announced its inaugural class of CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) Fellows, following the launch of the programme last year. The US-based federation said the programme recognises and rewards those who “continue to make a significant investment towards the betterment of the events industry and the community of people working within it”.

The EIC has also announced its support for VSef, a global data format for the digital events industry. VSef was launched in early 2021, with the aim of creating a global standardised data format which can be used to simplify the process of moving data between event platforms, sales and marketing systems and business intelligence tools. VSef appointed Stephen Knowles as CEO. Knowles previously worked at IQPC, Informa Markets (previously UBM) and CloserStill.

After the worst of COVID-19, the world is witnessing the horrors of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and the humanitarian crisis as Europe scrambles to help the millions of refugees escaping the war. An editorial by PCMA’s President and CEO Sherrif Karamat outlines ways the industry is standing by Ukraine, with a photo of refugees being sheltered at the Ptak Warsaw Expo Trade Fair and Congress Center in Poland.

PCMA has also posted a tribute to Lois Stratemeier, a pioneer in the business events industry, who passed away on March 30th at the age of 90. Stratemeier started as a clerk in the meetings department at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, eventually becoming department head and managing 300 meetings a year. In 1993 she received PCMA’s Professional Achievement Award, and was inducted into the Events Industry Council Hall of Leaders in 1997.

International confidence is bouncing back according to delegates at the Society of Independent Show Organisers’ CEO summit in Florida. Members of the ExCeL London team attending the meeting said delegates have reported an overwhelming return in market confidence both in the UK and across the pond. The Summit was held from March 21st to 24th at the Vinoy Renaissance Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The International Association of Professional Conference Organisers shared its members’ statistics for 2021 on Global Meetings Industry Day. Even though employment was impacted by a twenty percent decrease, up to 99 percent of members decided to stay with the association despite the problems of the pandemic. The figures showed that association events were considered necessary, hence continuing in different formats throughout the crisis.

The Association of Event Organisers has partnered with specialist recruitment consultancy Expocast to tackle the talent shortage in the exhibitions industry. The partnership aims to “reset the dial on the industry’s recruitment strategies”. As the official AEO Talent Partner for 2022 to 2024, Expocast will play an integral role in the AEO Employee Benchmarking Project.

Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Events Organisers Chris Skeith OBE says the need to recognise the economic impact of business events is as strong as ever. In an Exhibition News editorial entitled The Only Way is Through, he looks at how the AEO will navigate its way through the key challenges of 2022.

The Event Supplier and Services Association has announced details of its Summer Event, which includes the return of the In the Rough ESSA industry charity golf day, dinner and awards. The ESSA Summer Event will take place on July 13th and 14th at The Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club in Coventry. The first day is open to ESSA members only and includes the ESSA AGM.

The Meetings Industry Association has had a “very positive year” offering “real value” in “extremely difficult circumstances”, the trade body’s Board of Directors informed members attending its AGM. Taking to the stage at the association’s 32nd annual general meeting, Chair Steve Jones recalled the successes of the last year, which have seen member retention levels remain strong despite the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

The Meetings Industry Association has launched sector-specific certified training courses to help those already working in business events and to support those new to the industry. A strategic partnership with Exceed Global Learning saw the creation of more than 200 training courses. They include sessions on developing general management skills. More practical courses include event management, sustainability and digital transformation.

Jane Longhurst, former Chief Executive of the Meetings Industry Association, has been awarded for an OBE for her services to the business events sector in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Before her retirement last November, Jane was the driving force behind the trade association, committed to championing, collaborating with and uniting the many different parts of the sector while also advocating best practice to raise industry standards.

Beam, the trade association for the business events, accommodation and meetings industry, has added six more members to its Board. The Board of twelve will support the association’s new broader membership and focus. Sian Sayward, Beam Governance Director said “our new board will ensure that our voice as an industry is louder, and our future is stronger”.

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers had by April received enquiries tallying more than 16,860 delegate days’ worth of face-to-face events. The data was collected over three months from ABPCO’s web-based enquiry system, which links associations with ABPCO accredited professional conference organiser members. The events in question range from 50 to 1,000 delegates for a minimum of one day to a maximum of six days.

ABPCO has also launched a series of limited-access events. The idea behind the series is to allow delegates to share and discuss issues impacting their business in a confidential environment. The first, created specifically for in-house professional conference organisers, was attended by fifteen ABPCO members who directly plan events within association, membership, not-for-profit or charity organisations.

Event sustainability body Isla has launched its carbon measurement platform, Trace, which captures emission and waste data from live, hybrid and digital events. After two years of development, Trace will generate reports in real-time and allow event planners to measure and reduce carbon emissions across a range of areas, like venue energy, travel and accommodation.

Isla and Davies Tanner have announced a strategic partnership that will see the communications agency create a dedicated Sustainability Communications Practice within itself to support clients looking to expand their sustainability credentials and messaging. The new practice will be led by Senior Account Director, Nancy Cremore. Isla will provide dedicated training to the team and provide consultancy and training to agency clients.

Isla is hosting its first Venue Forum to engage UK centres in the challenge of accelerating the UK’s transition to Net Zero and creating a sustainable destination for events. Taking place on June 28th at ExCeL London, the forum will include senior representatives and sustainability leads from a select group of prominent UK events venues all working towards the common goal of a sustainable industry.

One Industry One Voice, the coalition of associations and businesses created to champion the entire events industry, has been expanded and rebranded The Power of Events (UK). The recently formed collaborative not-for-profit has been built on the back of OIOV, which was launched in July 2020 to represent seven core event industry sectors and provide a collaborative campaign vehicle during the pandemic.

Event industry charity Meeting Needs has announced Chris Peacock is its new Chair. As Director and Co-founder of Conference Care, Peacock brings nearly 30 years of event industry experience with him to the role as he takes over from outgoing Chair Jason Wilcock. Wilcock’s departure comes after nearly three years at the helm, steering the charity through the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining fundraising and project finance.

Workplace wellbeing organisation Stress Matters is continuing its mission to “improve employees’ lives” by becoming a B Corporation. The B Corp certification is gained through a diagnostic process that looks at five key impact areas of governance, workers, community, environment and customers. Meanwhile, Wyboston Lakes Resort’s Head of People and Development Sophia Montagna has become the first certified EventWell Mental Health Champion. The charitable social enterprise EventWell created the programme to train event industry professionals to become Mental Health Champions within their organisation.

On June 29th and 30th the global meetings and events community will gather together at ExCeL London to celebrate the landmark tenth edition of The Meetings Show. With a 92 percent increase in visitor buyer and 100 percent increase in hosted buyer registrations compared to 2021, the show is twice the size of last year’s. Education remains a foundation of The Meetings Show, and this year’s programme is packed to the brim with inspiring content, designed to answer core questions in the industry. The opening keynote will be from Lord Sebastian Coe, the double Olympic champion and Chairman of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Also on the agenda, the lessons learned from COP26, and a dialogue on diversity within the events industry.

The Meetings Show is also celebrating ten bright stars of the business meetings and events industry as it unveils the winners of Tomorrow’s Talent 2022. The initiative, run in partnership with M&IT and sponsored by Visit Belfast in 2022, champions exceptional emerging talent within the industry to help nurture and support the leaders of the future. The winners are invited as VIPs to The Meetings Show where they will attend a celebratory reception hosted by Visit Belfast.

The finalists have been announced for the M&IT Awards 2022. There are a total of nineteen categories at this year’s ceremony, taking place at Evolution London on Friday September 9th. This year sees the introduction of brand new categories including Best Incentive Provider and the Diversity and Inclusion Award, plus the return of previous categories such as Best Airline and Best Hotel Brand.

Exhibition organisers have given resounding praise for the Elizabeth Line, London’s new high-speed railway. Reducing journey times to the venue by up to two thirds, the first trains arrived at ExCeL London’s own dedicated station Custom House on Tuesday May 24th, where passengers were met by CEO Jeremy Rees. Organisers from the first two events to benefit were on hand to take part in a ribbon cutting, whilst the night before the venue lit up in purple in honour of the launch.

Smart Group in collaboration with Oceandiva is to launch a carbon-neutral vessel that will be used as a multi-purpose event venue on the Thames capable of hosting exhibitions. With a joint investment of over £25 million, Oceandiva London will be the largest floating events space on the Thames spanning three decks and measuring 86m in length and 17m in breadth. Launching in Autumn, Oceandiva London will be able to host up to 1,500 guests standing and 600 seated.

Hyve Group has announced it is exiting the Russian market following the invasion of Ukraine. The London-listed company had 206 staff in Russia, as well as 87 in Ukraine, who they said they have been supporting since the start of the conflict. But Hyve also reported a fast recovery of its in person events, with some already surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The group released its 2022 interim results in May, with revenue climbing to £56.6 million in the six months to March 31st 2022, up from £5 million for the same period a year earlier.

Events company 73 Media is on the final stretch of its journey to becoming a Certified B-Corporation. Certification by B-Corporation is a lengthy and detailed process of demonstrating that a business is not only as sustainable as possible, but also a force for good. Through the charity Toilet Twinning 73 Media helps provide sanitation in developing countries and has planted 20,000 trees through ForestNation.

The Birmingham and the West Midlands Convention Bureau has launched a new Conference Ambassador Network to drive more global events into the region. Ambassadors will receive support from the Bureau and partners throughout any bidding process, from finding a suitable venue and preparing proposals, to the running of the event itself. The sector is worth £2.3 billion in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

The NEC Group launched an “Event Space Hoppers” campaign for agencies this May as the events industry bounced back from the pandemic. For the first time ever, the ICC Birmingham, the NEC Birmingham and Vox Conference Venue were featured together in a playful campaign to highlight the potential for clients to “hop” between the three venues to suit their event requirements.

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust, alongside the NEC Group‘s ICC Birmingham and event crewing company Crewsaders, recently hosted an events training programme for 18 to 30-year-olds in the West Midlands. The “Get Into Events” course delivered insight and training into the practical aspects of event crewing, and aimed to equip young people with the skills needed for events careers.

The NEC Group and partner The EV Network have been given planning approval for a major electric vehicle charging hub on the NEC Campus in Birmingham. Once completed, it will be one of the largest EV charging hubs in Europe in terms of number of charge points on one site. Set to go live from Autumn 2022, the hub is part of the NEC Group’s sustainability strategy and also opens the opportunity for the campus to electrify operational vehicles.

The 2022 One Young World Summit is taking place in Manchester and The Fresh Group has been appointed as one of the key Manchester partners. This will involve the agency being responsible for rolling out the brand identity across the event, delivering the customer journey and installing the sponsor exhibition being held in Manchester Central.

The UK’s most inclusive venues, organisations and individuals have been celebrated at an awards ceremony in Manchester. The Blue Badge Access Awards, which promotes exceptional venues comprising thoughtful, design-led accessibility, rewarded those that have gone above and beyond in their mission to achieve inclusivity for all, at the Hotel Brooklyn Manchester.

Almost three in four guests believe there is not enough attention being brought to accessibility in the UK hospitality industry according to a new consumer survey. The “Accessibility in Hospitality” study, unveiled to the public by Robin Sheppard, Founder of the Blue Badge Access Awards and President of Bespoke Hotels, in collaboration with guest experience management experts HGEM, found that 71 percent of customers want more to be done to address the lack of accessibility in the industry.

Manchester Central CEO Shaun Hinds has been named the Top 50 City Region Leader for Greater Manchester. The award was given in recognition of Hinds’ commitment to the Greater Manchester business community and the impact the venue has had in boosting the recovery of the region. Hinds, CEO of Manchester Central since 2017, received the award at a ceremony held in Leeds on May 25th.

Venues across Newcastle and Gateshead have united in a campaign to bounce back from COVID-19 and recapture the £150 million-a-year business events and meetings market. A total of 35 venues have joined forces to help build back event organisers’ confidence in staging meetings and events in the twin North East cities. The “Tyne To Get Back To Business” campaign has seen all 35 gain AIM Secure accreditation.

The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative has named the Scottish Event Campus as its latest gold sponsor. The announcement took place at IMEX’s People and Planet area, and was welcomed by Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director of UFI, representing the Joint Meetings Industry Council, one of the founding partners of the initiative. JMIC presents The Iceberg.

The SEC also pledged to plant a tree for every person its team met with during IMEX Frankfurt. The venue, site of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26, will work with local charity Trees for Life in Scotland’s Caledonian Forest. The new trees will add to the 170,000 others the campus has helped to grow through its partnership with the nonprofit.

Six months on from COP26, the SEC welcomed back COP President Alok Sharma MP as he hosted an event with SEC Chief Executive Peter Duthie. Half a year after the signing of the Glasgow Climate Pact, Sharma delivered a speech streamed globally in which he warned world leaders that failure to honour COP26 commitments would be an “act of monstrous self-harm”.

SEC has hosted the 14th European Paediatric Neurology Society Congress with 1,000 delegates on site and another 600 delegates attending virtually. Winning the Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics 2023, Euroanaesthesia 2023 and the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2024 are expected to further promote the city’s medical sector.

In the framework of the conference “Brain and Brain Pet 2022”, Glasgow Convention Bureau has held Glasgow Brain Health Awareness Day. On May 28th, residents got the chance to learn how making healthy choices affects the brain through a variety of activities outside the conference. The organising committee and Glasgow CVB were taking the opportunity to create positive impact in the local community.

Since opening its doors as a new convention centre in September 2019, ICC Wales has finally been able to celebrate a full twelve months’ worth of trading. Following its launch, ICC Wales was only able to open for six months before the pandemic began, meaning the venue had to close its doors for eighteen months. In the eight weeks following the lifting of restrictions on business events in Wales, over 42,500 people visited the convention centre.

Almost 2,000 teachers have met in Belfast for their first in person convention in three years. The 55th annual conference of the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language took place at ICC Belfast, the city’s only purpose-built conference centre. The meeting, which is one of the largest international events in English language teaching, will also deliver £2.3 million in economic impact for the city.

Patrick Delany has received the Hall of Fame award at the annual conference of the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers. Along with business partner Pádraic Gilligan, Delaney runs SoolNua, a specialist business events advisory company that helps destinations, hotels, venues, agencies and associations. The enterprise has been trading for 25 years in various guises.

Interprefy, the Zurich-based remote simultaneous interpretation provider, has launched its new AI-driven live captioning technology for multilingual meetings, webinars and conferences. The new technology provides automated live translation services for organisations looking to host international events in the language of the delegate’s choosing.

Berlin is making it easier for meeting planners to create sustainable events. A new website, attached to visitBerlin’s Berlin Convention Office, points planners to hotels, venues and other suppliers that have been certified sustainable. It is also home to Sustainable Event Guidelines Berlin, a 65-step guide for planners about carbon-friendly transport, regional food sourcing and energy-friendly technology.

The air quality at three trade fairs held at Messe Frankfurt in the second half of 2021 was found to be “well within” safe limits, according to the results of a new study. The venue asked a team of researchers to carry out the work as lockdown restrictions were lifted. The aim was to determine if the level of air contamination in typical trade fair halls constituted a hygiene risk, regardless of the ventilation systems.

The Austria Center Vienna has won a pair of Gold Stevie Awards, taking first place in the COVID-19-related Communications or PR Campaign of the Year sub-category for the testing and vaccination lanes operated on behalf of the City of Vienna. Meanwhile, the venue’s Hybrid Circle, a 360 degree set-up with multiple cameras and large screens, was named Brand Experience of the Year.

A conference centre in Rotterdam is hoping to use harvested rainwater for cleaning as part of a project aimed at preparing the city for climate change. The Rotterdam Ahoy, the Municipality of Rotterdam and cleaning company Hago Nederland are working together to create an “urban water buffer”. A crate storage facility will be constructed under the Gooilandsingel, which is being transformed into a green city boulevard for pedestrians and cyclists.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its lasting effect on meetings is forcing planners to work much harder to get delegates to events, according to a new survey. The study by conference matchmaking platform Conferli found 90 percent of respondents were expanding efforts to attract delegates. Flexible cancellation policies, partnering with destinations and increasing market awareness were listed as remedies to the problem. Conferli is based in Zeist, Netherlands, and Boston, USA.

Pre-pandemic numbers have been reached at at the Palacongressi di Rimini, part of Italian Exhibition Group. The centre is working hard to prepare the 23rd European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition from June 21st to 24th 2023, with over 1,500 European researchers and academics in industry attending. In advance of it, Palacongressi either has or will also be hosting thirteen other events, including a number of medical meetings.

Travel Trade Athens 2022, the eighth in a row, took place in May in the Greek capital. The two-day annual fair was attended by over sixty representatives of foreign companies in the tourism and events industry who connected with leading local suppliers. The show was organised by the Athens Development and Destination Management Agency through the This is Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau, in cooperation with the European Tourism Association.

Africa’s Travel Indaba 2022 in May was a boon for the continent’s tourism sector as well as the host city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Hundreds of buyers and exhibitors from fifty-five countries descended on Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre to trade on the continent’s best tourism products and experiences. Of the fifty-five, nineteen countries were from the African continent, including South Africa.

South Africa was badly hit by floods earlier this year and one of the most urgent needs to address when this happens is to provide the impacted population with drinking water. The Cape Town International Convention Center supported the Gift of the Givers Foundation in making this happen by providing space and logistical support. Iceberg partner AIPC has posted a video about the project.

Work on the biggest exhibition hall in the Middle East is running ahead of schedule. Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company has announced that 40 percent of building work on the new space, being constructed on a 1,000 square metre plot in the Marina area opposite the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, has been completed. The waterfront hall, the first of its kind in the region, is two weeks ahead of its scheduled opening in October.

Convene, the US-based provider of hybrid meetings, events and workspaces, has announced the completion of its recapitalisation plan, with holding company HBC taking a majority stake. A fund managed by the Private Equity group Ares Management Corporation has also taken a share in the business, which aims to capitalise on shifting work habits, including virtual meeting.

ASSOCIATIONWORLD is heading into North America. The expansion of the format into Washington DC marks the first time the platform will host an event outside of Europe. Brussels-based ASSOCIATIONWORLD hopes to attract representatives of international and North American associations, non-profits, NGOs and federations to its inaugural Washington International Association Forum on September 27th and 28th 2022.

The new Javits Center building embraces its West Side New York location, with floor-to-ceiling views of the Hudson River, and a slew of new sustainability initiatives. PCMA Convene’s Michele Russell was happy to be invited there for NYC & Company’s Tristate Meeting Planner event, held on April 5th in conjunction with Global Meetings Industry Day on April 7th. She wrote about the new venue after her visit.

Wordly, the California-based provider of AI-powered simultaneous interpretation services, has announced a notable adoption achievement of its real-time translation platform with one million global meeting, event and conference attendees using the service. This milestone comes on the heels of a record breaking 2021, in which the company grew its business by ten times, introduced platform enhancements and expanded technology partnerships.

Destination Canada has announced the launch of its Canadian Business Events Sustainability Plan, a first-of-its-kind national programme aimed at improving the economic, social and environmental sustainability of business events hosted in Canada. Actionable programs tailored toward the unique Sustainable Development Goals of individual cities will be rolled out to global clients to accelerate the industry’s progress toward net zero targets.

Tourism Saskatoon has officially launched its Legacy Project, which brings meaningful national and international business and sport events to the city in Saskatchewan. It recognises the efforts of Legacy Builders who commit time and energy to host events in Saskatoon. The Legacy Project has a new website and introductory video.

Focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals of Malaysia and the city of Kuala Lumpur, the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Urbanice Malaysia recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The aim is for Urbanice to advise the venue on how to enhance its SDG roadmap, corporate social responsibility and reporting. The centre had already made efforts to decrease energy and water consumption and also reduce emissions.

Business Events Sarawak’s post-pandemic recovery plans for the meetings industry place legacy at the forefront. During the recent Tribal Gathering, the first industry event of the year, participants discussed strategies and tactics for business events in 2022. Eight focus areas were identified for economic recovery, improvement of local industry standards and support for business events organisers.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Convention Bureau have announced big investments for attracting, hosting and organising international conferences. PCO costs are now taken into consideration and the Seoul Experience Tour Program and the Seoul VR Experience Booth are offered to first-time visitors. The Future Seoul MICE Contest continues to boost innovation within events.

The Adelaide Convention Centre has announced that Martin Radcliffe is the new General Manager, taking up the post in May 2022. Radcliffe will be an asset for the Centre, bringing 23 years of experience in the industry, including leading positions in hotels and the Adelaide Convention Bureau.

The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre experienced a very busy month in May with sixteen conventions held in a short period of four weeks. The Preventive Health Conference, the Australian Water Association’s OzWater’22, and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Conference and Exhibition 2022 are among the major ones. June is looking just as bright with fourteen conferences along with five exhibitions already in the centre’s agenda.

With the Australian borders now open, Cairns will welcome over 25 conferences between now and December attracting over 8,000 delegates. The Cairns Convention Centre has been refurbished and is ready for the post-pandemic era. Contemporary light interiors, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and new building systems offer seamless conferences and more networking opportunities.

Ready. Set. Melbourne is the name of the new digital experience Melbourne Convention Bureau has launched for business event professionals. The innovative video show gives the viewer the chance to select the information they are looking for through videos and deeper interaction links. Association decision makers can also connect directly with local event professionals or save the content they choose for later.

Even back in April, a Sydney-based professional congress organiser was saying that on site registrants were outnumbering their online counterparts at hybrid meetings to a greater extent than expected. ICMS said over 60 percent of registrants for the 20th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in May had chosen to be there in person. Three-quarters at the 21st International Meeting on Lithium Batteries in June were choosing the on site option.

Western Australia is continuing to plough money into its events industry as the state emerges from the pandemic. Across four years, an extra AU$30.7 million will be spent on attracting big gatherings to WA, including AU$20 million for a Major Events Fund covering business events. This new finance is in addition to the AU$15 million Reconnect WA package announced in December 2021.

New Zealand’s capital city Wellington is hosting international conference delegates once again following the lifting of border restrictions. Fully vaccinated travellers from about 60 countries, including the UK and US, are now able to travel to the country. Business Events Wellington has partnered with Tourism New Zealand, universities based in the city, locally based government agencies and a variety of national associations to target events focussing on the city’s specialist sectors and research areas.

Until the next time…

Robert Coren, Curator of The Iceberg


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