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HEADQUARTERS The Pan-European Magazine for Association Executives Supported by ESAE, European Society of Association Executives, and UIA, Union of International Associations, Brussels

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Meeting Media Company Meetings Industry Publishers (Belgium) Afgiftekantoor 2800 Mechelen 1 Bureau de D茅p么t 2800 Malines 1 Published 6 times a year: February, April, June, September, October & December Edition June 2009 - P3A9029


TOURISM AND CONVENTIONS

here

be

you

Š Jean-NoÍl Leblanc - Bontemps

be

A city of nuance and emotions, Lyon brings out the best in you naturally. Here, creativity and talent shine as one. Listen to your heart, discover yourself, follow your instinct. Your life will take on new intensity in Lyon.

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HQ

> M A R C E L’ S PA G E

CREATING THE MEETING ROOM FOR THE FUTURE For our editorial office the publication of our annual AIPC issue is always an exciting time. We always change from writers into diggers. We dig for the deeper meaning of a perfect convention centre, we explore how a conference room of the future should look like and in which environment a conference or congress could thrive the best. Without actually realizing it, while I was digging, I got lost in a Swedish story I wrote a few years ago. MARCEL A.M. VISSERS Editor in Chief

One of my particularly special journalistic experiences was a meeting with Ejnar Söder in 2005. He’s Swedish, enthusiastic, energetic and full of inspiration. He has been in the hotel and conference business field for more than 60 years now and he is still engaged every day in searching for the best accommodation and meeting formulas. About 5 years ago - at an age that would be deep into retirement for everyone else - he bought up the former IBM conference centre and transformed the building into a youthful, dynamic meeting place with hotel accommodation: Nordic Blue Hotel on the Island of Lindingo in Stockholm. He told me: ‘In creating this hotel, I realized my first dream: designing a conference room for the future. For years now, I have seen people meeting in the same room arrangement and in the same passive manner. In 2004 I created the conference room for the future: a magnificent view, everything in one room, no formal table arrangement - instead, high stools at high bar tables, with comfortable seats in the middle. At any given moment, everybody can see everyone else.

Imaginary break-out rooms are set up on two walls. In this one room, everything happens in the greatest freedom: eating, meeting, exchanging thoughts, working in groups, and so on. This atmosphere is maintained for the entire day in order to achieve one single goal: to make meetings more interactive, instructive, and interesting for everyone… and in one of my new-to-open meeting rooms, I want to fulfill my ultimate dream: a conference room with chairs on wheels, low tables, and lots of lights. Everyone will be able to ride around and choose their right place at any moment of the meeting. Interactivity at an all-time high!’ I think that’s great! I haven’t seen his conference room with chairs on wheels yet but I recommend anyone who’s nearby to take a look and then you’ll say: old meeting formulas have had their day!

The White Conference Room in the Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm. Jan Söder, its designer, explains: ‘We have created a meeting place with untold possibilities. We have created a kind of meeting place that we ourselves felt was lacking. A meeting place that is constantly changing in colours: breakfast, lunch, presentations, meeting, dinner, bar and club.. meeting in white, clubbing in rose…’

» READ MORE OF MARCEL’S STORIES ON HIS BLOG: MARCELSBLOG.HQMAGAZINE.EU!


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HQ > CONTENTS

COLOPHON

CONTENTS

HQ OR HEADQUARTERS IS A NICHE PUBLICATION FOR EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS HEADQUARTERED IN BRUSSELS AND ALL MAJOR EUROPEAN CITIES DEALING WITH THE ORGANIZATION OF WORLDWIDE CONGRESSES. IT IS PUBLISHED 6 TIMES A YEAR. CIRCULATION IS 5000 COPIES. Subscriptions Subscription amounts to 65 EUR (all incl.) in Belgium, 75 EUR (all incl.) in the EU and 95 EUR (all incl.) in the rest of the world. The subscription entails 6 editions of HQ per year including the special edition Meeting Trends, as well as an online access to the website. Online subscription for digital magazines is 50 EUR. To subscribe: www.HQmagazine.eu Editor in Chief Marcel A.M.Vissers T: +32 (0)3 226 88 81 marcel@meetingmedia.eu Managing Director Cécile Caiati-Koch T: +32 (0)2 761 70 52 cecile@meetingmedia.eu

MARCEL’S PAGE

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CONTENTS

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NEWS

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AMSTERDAM Cover HQ33:

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AIPC MEMBERS SPEAK

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STAR ALLIANCE

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ASSOCIATION PORTRAIT: IWTO

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© Larry Oltmanns & Vx3

Larry Oltmanns, of Vx3 Architects, was “interested to see what would happen if the notion of the ‘ideal congress centre’ could somehow be expressed as a range of ideas rather than as a singular vision for one specific place”.

Editorial Officer Rémi Dévé T: +32 (0)2 761 70 54 remi@meetingmedia.eu

AIPC SPECIAL ON CONVENTION CENTRES CONGRESS PEARLS: GEMS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

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VERBATIM: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE CONGRESS PEARLS

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THE FUTURE OF CONVENTION CENTRES

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ESAE: ASSOCIATIONS AND GOVERNANCE

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UIA: LAW OF THE LAND

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Editor Steven Kins Design UPSILON advertising, Gent T: +32 (0)9 267 39 40 info@upsilonadvertising.be Print Cartim - Destelbergen Supported by ESAE and UIA Address 20, rue Paul Wemaere B - 1150 Brussels (Belgium) T: +32 (0)2 761 70 50 F: +32 (0)2 761 70 51 www.hqmagazine.eu

DESTINATIONS

Responsible Publisher Meeting Media Company Marcel A.M. Vissers Mechelseplein 23, bus 1 B - 2000 Antwerpen (Belgium) www.meetingmedia.eu

BRISBANE

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MAASTRICHT

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FLANDERS

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DESTINATION SUPPLEMENTS

> PARIS > QUÉBEC

STAY TUNED FOR HQ34 - SEPTEMBER 2009

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MEETING TRENDS: our much-anticipated comprehensive research on the latest developments in the meetings industry AUSTRALIA: an emerging destination for international associations - why you definitely should go there MONACO: green as ever TWO DESTINATION SUPPLEMENTS: Amsterdam, the loving city / Montréal, the host city par excellence

… AND DON’T FORGET TO JOIN ONE OF OUR TWO GROUPS ON HQ magazine sets great store by sustainable development and therefore chose environment-friendly FSC certified paper which comes from a controlled source. More info: www.fsc.org ® FSC, A.C. FSC-SECR-0045

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> HEADQUARTERS NEWS © Cheong gye Cheon official website

Cheonggyecheon, Seoul

THOMAS REISER JOINS INTEREL

European Corporate Affairs Consultancy Interel announced the appointment of Thomas Reiser as the new Director for Healthcare and Life Sciences within its growing Association Management practice. For over 15 years, Thomas Reiser has worked as an association management professional supporting a wide range of professional organisations in the healthcare and life sciences sector. Before joining Interel, Mr. Reiser worked with MCI Brussels as Client Director where he served most recently as the Executive Director of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Liver Cancer Association. www.interel.eu

MARRIOTT HOTELS EVEN GREENER In a move to help improve the climate, Marriott International, Inc. has launched a new way for

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guests to ‘green’ their hotel stays. Now, while booking a room on www.marriott.com, guests can offset the carbon generated during the stay with a donation, for example as little as US$1 per day. As part of Spirit To Preserve, Marriott’s five-point environmental strategy, guests can so contribute to a Brazilian rainforest preservation fund which has already been supported with a US$2 million commitment by the company. www.marriott.com

SEOUL EXTENDS SUPPORT FOR HOSTING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES The city of Seoul City has begun offering financial support to organizations that plan to attract, organize and host international conferences. The exact amount will be determined after an evaluation of the scale, importance, and potential economic effect of the conference, with up to 43,000 USD available. Potential recipients of the financial support include organizations that are planning to attract, or are preparing to hold, an international conference or other types of small and medium international conferences with over 50 participants from foreign nations. The funds will be released by the Seoul Tourism Organization’s Convention Bureau. www.miceseoul.com

ducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research across the technology, catering, event, accommodation and transport industries, specifically focusing on trends experienced in London. The research is supported with comment and examples from leading industry figures and representatives of the five individual sectors including Visit London, Leith’s, London City Airport, Blitz Technology and Accor Hotels. www.excel-london.co.uk

NEW DIRECTOR OF SALES AT MCEC EXCEL LONDON LAUNCH DESTINATION LONDON

A sales professional with a string of awards to her name, Anne Jamieson, has been appointed Director of Sales at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Anne will replace Melissa MacCourt, who leaves MCEC after three years in the role, this month. Her experience is extensive and includes senior executive roles at The Westin Melbourne, Novotel Melbourne on Collins, InterContinental Hotel Groups, Radisson and Sheraton Hotels. www.mcec.com.au

ExCeL London has produced its first annual Destination London report, providing an extensive analysis of the current and future trends being witnessed across the UK conference and events market. With the results unveiled at this year’s IMEX in Frankfurt, the report has con-

EACD WELCOMES ITS 1000TH MEMBER The European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), the leading Europe-wide network for in-house communication professionals, recently welcomed its 1,000th member.


HQ

> HEADQUARTERS NEWS

Founded on November 8, 2006 by about 100 founding members from 23 different countries, the association has since then extended its network of communicators from companies, institutions, associations and NGOs to more than 40 countries. EACD brings in-house communication professionals together to exchange ideas and discuss the latest news and information relevant to their work. www.eacd-online.eu

ICCA PUBLISHES COUNTRY AND CITY RANKINGS 2008 © Paris Tourist Office Jocelyne Genri

This year the ICCA Data researchers have identified 7,475 events which took place in 2008, a rise of approximately 800 over 2007. As has been the case since 2004, U.S.A. and Germany are the number one and two countries respectively measured by the number of international meetings organised in 2008. For the first time in three years, Vienna shares the top with Paris as the most popular city. Barcelona on third place had an increase of 30 meetings over 2007. Remarkable newcomers in the top 20 are Athens, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. Stockholm and Seoul both climb in the rankings to 8th and 9th position respectively. www.iccaworld.com

QMDI WINS GREEN EVENT CATEGORY AT MIDDLE EAST EVENT AWARDS 2009 Qatar MICE Development Institute (QMDI), a joint venture company with Qatar Foundation, recently won the ‘Green Event’ category at the Middle East Event Awards 2009. Khalifa Al Mannai, PR & Government Liaison Manager, QMDI, said:

‘The accolade was presented to QMDI, the appointed event management company for UNEP (United Nations Environment Protection Agency) Ozone Protection Conferences hosted by the Qatar’s Ministry of Environment, for the turnkey event management and special project management to ‘reduce paper usage’ at an event’. MEEZA, the Managed IT Services and Solutions provider, developed a paperless document management solution, an event portal, web-site and wireless network for the event. www.qmdi.com.qa

ACCESS 2009 SEE YOU IN AUSTRIA!

EXPERIENCE M:CON IN A MOUSE CLICK

www.access-austria.at

On the new M:CON’s website and www.rosengarten- mannheim.de a virtual walk through all rooms of M:CON, online booking inquiries and film sequences offer more convenience for the meeting planer. The virtual walk through the m:con CC Rosengarten, (capacity 9,000 persons; 5,000 m2 exhibition space) shows each room’s highlights e.g. room size, seating, technology & media. Homepage visitors will receive a comprehensive idea of how a hall might look for their event. Booking inquiries can be done by a ‘Shopping Basket’function. www.mcon-mannheim.de

SEVENCENTERS CELEBRATE 7TH ANNIVERSARY In May 2002 the seven biggest German convention centres with large exhibition grounds directly adjacent founded the marketing alliance ‘SevenCenters of Germany’. Since then, the Big Seven have jointly promoted Germany internationally as a meetings destination with the slogan ‘Great Places for Great Conventions’. They celebrated their seventh anniversary at IMEX 2009. The members of the SevenCenters of Germany are ICC Berlin - International Congress Center Berlin, DüsseldorfCongress, Congress Frankfurt, CCH - Congress Center Hamburg, Congress-Centrum Koelnmesse - KölnKongress (Cologne),

In its sixth year access has grown into a nationally and internationally acknowledged venues platform, counting in the meantime as a must for all those planning and holding events in Austria. In access 2008 over 230 Austrian exhibitors from all sectors of the Austrian conference industry presented their products and services portfolios. Designed to be even bigger, access 2009 will take place in Vienna from the 5th to the 6th of October 2009. A comprehensive Hosted Buyer programme has already been put together. Interested? Please write to press@meetingmedia.eu or call +32 2 761 70 50 to register.

ICM - International Congress Centre Munich and ICS International Congress Center Stuttgart. Under the motto ‘Together we are even stronger’, these seven big congress centres today form a forceful marketing association. www.sevencenters.de

ASIA’S CONVENTION AND VISITOR BUREAUS UNITE TO WIN BUSINESS

Bangkok

Eight Asian visitor bureaus have united to boost the continent’s market share in the growing global business events industry by relaunching the Asian Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (AACVB). The Association announced that a new agenda will be implemented and driven by eight convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. AACVB Chairperson, Ms Suprabha Moleeratanond of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, said: ‘These eight convention and visitor bureaus will put cooperation ahead of competition and raise the level of sophistication of the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibition sectors in Asia. Our aim is to

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Understanding creates Networking. Networking creates Experience. Experience creates Knowledge. Knowledge creates Technology. Technology creates Convenience. Convenience creates Well-being. Well-being creates Feeling. Feeling creates Motivation. Motivation creates Participation. Participation creates Meetings. Meeting creates Understanding!

Save the date! ND

2 HQ/UIA ACADEMIC SESSION Brussels October 5 & 6 2009 Programme: UIA 2009 statistics Trade associations debate Stay tuned for more information!

www.austrian.com www.acv.at www.messecongress.at www.vienna.convention.at

www.hqmagazine.eu > events


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> HEADQUARTERS NEWS

MEET ANNABEL SULLIVAN

NEW VENUE TO RISE UP IN MONTPELLIER In mid-2010, visitors to Montpellier’s exhibition centre will witness the opening of a new key infrastructure, a multi-purpose hall within the exhibition centre, which can be used as an exhibition and congress hall, a venue for major events and shows, with a capacity of 14,000 spectators in show configuration and 13,500 m2 surface area in exhibition configuration. Aptly named The Great Hall, it will be an exceptionally versatile facility and managed by the Enjoy Montpellier group. www.enjoy-montpellier.com

increase competitiveness and drive new MICE business to our region.’ Contact: aacvb@macau.ctm.net

ESTORIL WINS IMEX’09 GREEN EXHIBITOR AWARD

created a simple but unique new stand design, built by their own team, with a concept for visitors interaction inviting people to commit to a more responsible behaviour, personally and professionally, and promoting its Show and MI campaign ‘Reduce Your Footprint and Survive’. www.estorilcc.com

CONVENTION CENTRE DUBLIN RECOGNISED AS CARBON NEUTRAL

Competing on a final short list of three sustainable exhibitors, the Estoril Congress Centre, in Portugal, was chosen as the winner of IMEX’09 Green Exhibitor Award for ‘its combination of ingenuity and inventive thinking in stand design with a concerted effort to think outside the box’, as referred to by the judging panel during the Award presentation at IMEX Gala Dinner. In the opinion of the judging panel, Estoril Congress Centre

The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) recently announced it is the first carbon neutral international convention centre as the net impact of the building’s construction on the environment is zero. This iconic landmark, which is still in construction, can be considered carbon neutral due to the use of low carbon cement throughout the building and through offsetting all unavoidable carbon emissions by investing in carbon credits in accordance with the Voluntary Carbon Standards (VCS). Validation and verification of the venue was conducted by UN accredited auditors SGS. www.theccd.ie

Supporting the Tourism Australia alliance and representing Brisbane’s business events industry at IMEX this year was Annabel Sullivan, Brisbane Marketing Director Business Events. In her 3.5 years with Brisbane Marketing, Annabel has contributed to several major bid wins and overseen the Bureau’s participation in a range of projects and events including IMEX, AIME and TABEE. Annabel brings 20 years experience in the business events sector (including roles with Voyages Hotels and Resorts and P&O Australian Resorts) to her role and is an ideal Australian contact point for associations looking to meet in Australia’s new world city. www.meetinbrisbane.com

TOURS EVENTS IS BORN Right before IMEX began last month, a new entity was born in Tours, France. Aptly named Tours Events, it’s made of Vinci, Tours’ congress centre, the exhibition park and the Tourism Office, and designed to promote Tours as a business tourism destination. Its board is composed of one president, JeanFrançois Lemarchand, and two directors, Benoît Martin and Denis Schwok. www.vinci-conventions.com

2009 MEETINGS INDUSTRY FAIRS WORLDWIDE: MAKE YOUR CHOICE! CIBTM – Beijing // China National Convention Centre September 8-10 2009 – www.cibtm.com ACCESS – Vienna // Hofburg Vienna October 5-6 2009 – www.access-austria.at IT&CMA + CTW – Bangkok // Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld October 6-8 2009 - itcma.com.sg EIBTM – Barcelona // Fira Gran Via December 1-3 2009 – www.eibtm.com

» SEND YOUR PRESS RELEASES TO PRESS@MEETINGMEDIA.EU

HEADQUARTERS 9


HQ > AMSTERDAM

I AMSTERDAM UNCOVERED: AMSTERDAM AT ITS BEST A COUPLE OF TIMES OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS, AMSTERDAM TOURISM AND CONVENTION BOARD (AND THE NBTC) HAVE SURPRISED ME WITH AN ORIGINAL, BUT PARTICULARLY INFORMATIVE, MEETING. ORGANISING WORKSHOPS, FAM-TRIPS, HOTEL VISITS OR SPECIAL EVENTS IS NOT A SIMPLE ASSIGNMENT IN THE MEETINGS INDUSTRY. FEW DO IT REALLY WELL. I AMSTERDAM MAY BE CONSIDERED AN EXCEPTION. TEXT MARCEL A.M. VISSERS

SERVING UP AMSTERDAM: THE SILVER PLATTER What should I make of ‘I amsterdam uncovered’ business case’? was my first query to Marc Horsmans, Business Unit Manager, when the programme was introduced in La Serre Bar in Amsterdam’s Okura Hotel. ‘Good question,’ Marc replied. ‘Picture a waiter carrying a serving plate with a domed silver cover, striding with a bearing as though he’s going to present a secret programme. He lifts the cover... and instead of a rabbit ‘I amsterdam’ springs into magnificent view. Our aim each year is to conjure up a particular aspect of the city of Amsterdam to a select international gathering of association executives and congress organisers. I use the word ‘conjure’ because we leave no detail of the programme untouched. In every visit to a venue, we try to amaze our visitors. And that’s usually more than a mere pleasant surprise.’ With this science in mind, I took my place in a bicycle taxi (and there would follow at least 20 more) in the company of Michel De

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Bisschop, Executive Director of the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA). What did we see? I will mention only the highlights.

THE RAI AMSTERDAM The highlight of the visit to the RAI was the presentation of its congress possibilities with a lot of attention on the new RAI Elicium complex. The best that the RAI has to offer was presented as we watched a sophisticated digital screen, sitting in 30 white armchairs arranged on a large red carpet in the middle of an immense space. And what was served up in the Brasserie Amsterdam afterwards was not to be scoffed at either.

CANAL CRUISE Congress-goers can easily travel by water in Amsterdam, which is always a pleasant, relaxing way to get about. A restored steamboat brought us within the hour to one of Amsterdam’s historical meeting venues.

THE BEURS VAN BERLAGE This former stock exchange building - regarded as the beginning of Modern Architecture - offers the congress organiser a whole range of very special meeting places. The guests were also able to meet the city’s stakeholders here.

LE CIEL BLEU RESTAURANT WITH PANORAMIC VIEW Concluding a visit on the 23rd story of an iconic hotel is already a unique experience but then to savour delectable French cuisine, that’s something else besides. A restaurant

Organising workshops, fam-trips, hotel visits or Special Events is not a simple assignment in the meetings industry. Few do it really well. I amsterdam may be considered an exception with two Michelin stars, if you please. And know what I heard as we were dining? Michel De Bisschop, ESA’s Executive Director, signed the contract for his 2012 congress during the visit. How many delegates is he expecting? - 15,000! For the second time I say: if you please!

www.amsterdam.com


HQ

> AIPC MEMBERS SPEAK

HOW CONVENTION CENTRES FINANCE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS - WITH OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY TEXT EDGAR HIRT - AIPC PRESIDENT AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CCH, CONGRESS CENTER HAMBURG

At first glance, the economics of a convention centre can look a little odd. Few ever recover their capital cost. Many lose money on the bottom line and need to be subsidized. And those that do make an operating profit may do so at the expense of broader economic benefits they might otherwise generate! This is all simply the result of a market that understands only too well the value they bring to a host city or region. The overall economic benefit generated by conferences far exceeds any potential bottom line profit by the centre itself. Governments, who are typically the owner, are in the best possible position to capture a portion of that resulting benefit via incremental tax revenues. Clients know that, and negotiate accordingly. But what is likely the biggest benefit of all is seldom even understood - and that is the role that a centre and the kinds of events it hosts play in generating new economic activity. When viewed in that light, the modest subsidy that some owners have to pay in operating a centre pales in comparison with the much larger proportion that is paid for by the very planners and delegates whose presence provides what is typically the most effective business promotion a destination can have. Most cities or regions that are serious about attracting new business to their communities organize programs to promote what makes them a good place to locate and invest. A key part of any such promotion is encouraging potential investors to come and experience that city, and to see what makes it an attractive location. And that’s exactly what convention centres also do.

Why this factor has never figured more prominently in the thinking of centre owners is a bit of a mystery, until you realize that it has one problem: it doesn’t lend itself to direct measurement. As a result, it’s often simply ignored. The value of something as obvious as the role that major events play in building destination profile, to the longer term benefit of a city, seems to be well understood when it comes to a single, high profile event - like the Olympics - but seldom recognized in connection with the activities of a convention centre.

Edgar Hirt

The overall economic benefit generated by conferences far exceeds any potential bottom line profit by the centre itself Here’s how it works: convention delegates are generally no ‘regular’ visitors. They are much likely to be senior professionals and business people, and primarily there to attend an event. Very often, they are people who would not otherwise have had any reason to visit at all. And once they are there, their event program is designed in a way that will expose them to the attributes of the destination. This is precisely what you’d want for an effective business development program - and ironically, it’s paid for by the delegates themselves almost entirely.

In practice, most centres manage a balance of business activities that combine good revenue generators with those that create greater economic benefit, and manage to achieve both an acceptable operating bottom line and the broader economic generation that is often the more important objective. However, managers are still regularly faced with the question ‘Why can’t you people make more money?’ from those who don’t understand the full range of potential benefits that are available from different strategies for centre operation. Few would question the wisdom of committing money to a program to attract new business to a destination. It’s about time we recognized how convention centres do exactly that.

For more information on AIPC: marianne.de.raay@aipc.org or www.aipc.org

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HQ

> STAR ALLIANCE

STAR ALLIANCE

WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR YOU

ROSWITHA CLEMENT HAS BEEN WORKING IN THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. AT STAR ALLIANCE, THE FIRST TRULY GLOBAL AIRLINE ALLIANCE, SHE HAD BEEN THE

around 17,000 flights a day to some 916 destinations in 160 countries, and all this through one contact at one of our member carriers and one agreement.

RESPONSIBLE PRODUCT MANAGER FOR CONVENTIONS PLUS SINCE Roswitha Clement

2003. IN THIS ROLE, SHE CO-ORDINATES, INITIATES AND DEVELOPS

ALL PRODUCT RELATED MATTERS WITH THE MEMBER CARRIERS. SHE EXPLAINS WHAT STAR ALLIANCE IS EXACTLY… AND HOW CONGRESS ORGANISERS AND DELEGATES CAN BENEFIT FROM IT.

HQ: We understand that Star Alliance offers a dedicated product for convention organisers? Roswitha Clement: Star Alliance Conventions Plus is specifically designed to suit the needs of convention organisers. International associations were identified as a target group with increasing global travel needs in the early years of the alliance. Work carried out by a project group consisting of representatives of the five founding airlines culminated in the launch of the product in 2002, making it the first true alliance product for the conventions market. It has been very well accepted by the market, with the number of delegates travelling on Conventions Plus agreements steadily increasing

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year-on-year. Last year for the first time we had more than half a million delegates travel on the Star Alliance network.

HQ: In a nutshell, what advantages does the product provide, especially compared to those offered by individual airlines? Roswitha Clement: Global reach is one the key selling points, as through Conventions Plus, organisers have access to a network of 24 airlines (including Regional Member Airlines), offering

Conventions Plus Brochure

HQ: So from an organiser’s perspective, how does this work exactly? Roswitha Clement: The organiser submits a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the travel needs for the event through our website www.staralliance.com/conventionsplus. The RFP is then evaluated and the lead airline assigned centrally by Star Alliance. All other member airlines are then asked internally to confirm t their participation in the o offer for the event. After this p phase the organiser is conta tacted by the so-called ‘lead ai airline’, the Star Alliance membe carrier who will present the ber Sta Alliance Conventions Plus Star offe and negotiate this Official offer Airl Airline Network agreement on beh of the other participatbehalf ing Star Alliance member airlines.


> STAR ALLIANCE

HQ: Does the product provide for special prices? Roswitha Clement: In general, delegates receive a discount ranging from 10 to 20% off the applicable fare for either Business or Economy Class. HQ: Do you offer any support or ancillary services for the conference organiser? Roswitha Clement: Yes, the product provides for ticket support for the organiser, e.g. travel for site inspections and for speakers needing to attend the conference. HQ: What advantages does Conventions Plus provide for participants? Roswitha Clement: Each event organised through Conventions Plus is given a specific conventions code, which is recognised by all our member carriers and even by travel agents. Therefore the participants can book through any of these channels to obtain the offered discounts. Moreover, travel on Conventions Plus fare qualifies for

the collection of miles for those inscribed in any of our member carriers’ frequent flyer programmes.

Alliance airlines home markets and on the website of the HCCE (Historic Conference Centres of Europe).

HQ: Does the product cover more than just conventions? Roswitha Clement: Yes, we have recently expanded the offer to include Sports and Cultural Events. The product works in exactly the same way as for conventions travel. We can however not provide any direct sponsorship, but offer Conventions Plus delegate discounts for member carriers sponsoring sporting events.

We are represented at the most important trade show for the conventions business - IMEX - with our own dedicated booth. In addition, our member carriers also promote Conventions Plus at various trade shows around the globe.

HQ: We understand more airlines will be joining Star Alliance. How will this affect the product? Roswitha Clement: In 2008 both EGYPTAIR and Turkish Airlines joined Star Alliance, thereby bringing in more choice of travel to, from and within two important convention markets - Egypt and Turkey, while at the same time increasing flight options especially in Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East. At present, we are working on the integration of 4 more airlines: Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental and TAM. These carriers will again bolster our network and hence the number of flight options for our customers. This of course will also increase the attractiveness of Conventions Plus, especially in the respective home markets of Belgium, Brazil, India and the USA.

HQ: As part of your marketing, do you participate in trade shows ? Roswitha Clement: The product is a marketing tool in itself due to the promotion of Star Alliance as the Official Airline Network and the delegate discount offer on the event websites and in event publications. Furthermore Conventions Plus banners can be found on the website of several Convention Bureaus in Star

HQ: I believe that you are a member of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)? Can you explain what benefits this membership brings? Roswitha Clement: Star Alliance is a member of ICCA and represents the member airlines at the chapter meetings and the international congress. Joining ICCA has enabled me to gain more knowledge about the meetings industry and has also provided unique networking opportunities. www.staralliance.com/conventionsplus

About Star Alliance: The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer customers worldwide reach and a smooth travel experience. Star Alliance received the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award in 2008 and was voted Best Airline Alliance by Business Traveller Magazine in 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and by Skytrax in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The members are Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Regional member carriers Adria Airways (Slovenia), Blue1 (Finland) and Croatia Airlines enhance the global network. Air India, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 17,000 daily flights to 916 destinations in 160 countries.

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HQ

> ASSOCIATION PORTRAIT

THE INTERNATIONAL WOOL TEXTILE ORGANIZATION An Interview with Henrik Kuffner

Henrik Kuffner

International Wool Conference - Oslo 1962

IWTO IS THE INTERNATIONAL BODY REPRESENTING THE INTERESTS OF THE WORLD’S WOOL-TEXTILE TRADE AND INDUSTRY. AS SUCH, ITS MEMBERSHIP COVERS THE WOOLGROWERS, TRADERS, PRIMARY PROCESSORS, SPINNERS AND FABRIC MAKERS OF WOOL AND ALLIED FIBRES IN ITS MEMBER-COUNTRIES, AS WELL AS ALL KIND OF ORGANISATIONS RELATED TO WOOL PRODUCTS AND THE WOOL BUSINESS IN GENERAL. IT PROVIDES FOR THEM A FORUM FOR DISCUSSION OF PROBLEMS OF JOINT CONCERN AND ACTS AS THEIR SPOKESMAN WITH ALL THOSE BODIES AND AUTHORITIES TOWARDS WHOM A COMMON APPROACH IS DEEMED NECESSARY. ITS DIRECTOR GENERAL, HENRIK KUFFNER, TELLS US HOW THEY OPERATE.

HQ: What is the mission of the International Wool Textile Organization? Henrik Kuffner: IWTO’s mission is to help our Wool Industry Members to understand the textile demands of the consumers, and to enhance the response to them with products and promotional activities especially developed to meet their needs, with a fibre that is highly desirable for its social, technical, comfort and sustainable values. The expected outcome should be a

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HQ: What is the Organization’s decision process concerning the organization of a congress? Henrik Kuffner: IWTO Congresses are usually hosted by an IWTO Member Country. IWTO asks for submissions approximately three years in advance, and these are sent out to the National Committee Members for approval. The Congress takes place annually in the month of April, May or June. As IWTO members are located globally, the Congress can take place basically everywhere.

better positioning of the Wool fibre on top of consumers’ choices and preferences, and to bring a steady increase of wool sales and higher market share, and the maintenance of commercial advantages along the entire wool demand chain, from retailers to woolgrowers, all around the world. IWTO’s aim is to position and to value wool clearly in the consumer’s mind as a desirable material for its technical, ethical and comfort values.

Edinburgh 2007


> ASSOCIATION PORTRAIT

IWTO has been organizing annual Congresses since 1927. In recent years, those events have attracted an average of 200-300 delegates with about one-third of delegates bringing their spouses. This is where they took place: + 2000: Christchurch, New Zealand + 2001: Shanghai, China + 2002: Barcelona, Spain + 2003: Buenos Aires, Argentina + 2004: Evian, France + 2005: Hobart, Austrália + 2006: Cairo, Egypt + 2007: Edinburgh, UK + 2008: Beijing, China + 2009: Frankfurt, Germany + 2010: Rambouillet/Paris, France

It is not necessarily important to have a ‘state-of-the-art congress centre’. Delegates prefer sometimes to have a less ‘luxurious’, maybe more ‘convenient’ congress centre

HQ: Regarding this decision process, in what way does a trade association differ from a non-profit organization?

Henrik Kuffner: The congress centre has to be able to host a large group of individuals, many of which travel long distances to take part in the congress. It is also paramount to offer a certain standard when it comes to accommodation and congress facilities. Our congress delegates have to feel comfortable and this usually happens thanks to a friendly environment and a good standard of service culture.

Henrik Kuffner: Many trade associations actually are non-profit organizations. They are organizations founded and funded by businesses that operate within a specific industry. The main activities of a trade association consist of marketing and networking so companies can collaborate and policy strategies can be formed. The aim is also to influence public policy through lobbying, public relations and education. In addition the organisation of conferences is essential for both trade associations and non-profit organizations. On the whole, trade associations try to give their members the best support so that the industry they represent become stronger commercially, while non-profit organisations usually have just the benefit of members/consumers as strategic goal.

HQ: Where will the next congresses be held? And why have you picked these destinations? Henrik Kuffner: The Frankfurt Congress just took place in June, along the TechTextil Fair organised by Messe Frankfurt, an associated member of IWTO. Next year, in May, we’ll go to Rambouillet (Paris), France, in conjunction with the World Merino Congress and a Wool Festival at the historic Bergerie Nationale. IWTO endeavours to provide added value by organising events of interest to the wool

industry in the same venue as other events. The venue must be of interest to a large number of our members involved in different stages of the wool pipeline in order for the event to be attractive.

HQ: When choosing a congress centre, what criteria must it satisfy?

Beijing 2008

HQ: Do you work with a PCO or a DMC? Why? What do you expect of them? Henrik Kuffner: IWTO organises everything in-house and in cooperation with our local Member contacts/representatives. IWTO has the ‘know-how’ to handle on-line registration and coordinate speakers, hotels, suppliers (technical, social events, etc.).

HQ: How would you summarize new trends in the association congress world? Henrik Kuffner: In the last couple of years, with a much more difficult economic context, the following criteria have become significantly important: + The Congress has to take place be in a country/region/city which can be combined with general business. This means that delegates frequently register to a congress only if they can combine it with a business trip as such. + Registration fee is becoming more and more relevant. It is not necessarily important to have a ‘state-of-the-art congress

centre’. Delegates prefer sometimes to have a less ‘luxurious’, maybe more ‘convenient’ congress centre if it means congress fees can be significantly reduced. + Hubs are more and more preferred as congress sites, as travelling is easier and cheaper, and can be better combined with other activities. + Nice congress trips, cultural days during a congress, pre- and post-event tours, etc. are less important nowadays.

www.iwto.org

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HQ

> CONGRESS PEARLS

CONGRESS PEARLS The New Icons of the World

THE BRAND NEW CONGRESS CENTRES HALIC CONGRESS CENTRE (ISTANBUL)

THIS ISN’T THE FIRST TIME I REPORT THAT MY FASCINATION FOR CONGRESS CENTRES HAS GROWN APPRECIABLY OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. NOW, AS THE AIPC ANNUAL CONFERENCE APPROACHES, I FEEL AN INCREASING URGE TO WRITE ABOUT THE NEW ICONS OF OUR TIME. AND ODDLY ENOUGH, I’VE DIPPED INTO HISTORY AND HAVE COME UP WITH A NUMBER OF HISTORICAL ICONS. TEXT MARCEL A.M. VISSERS

It’s a fact that, before its hey-day, an industry always goes through a pioneering phase. For the congress industry, this was the early 1980s. I still remember that I once received an invitation from Jacqueline Pietri - whom I dare to call here, in her memory, the Queen of the Congress Centres and Bureaus - to the opening of the first European purposebuilt congress centre: Nice Acropolis, 1984. I had never before seen such an immense, colourful and strangely shaped building. Nearly everybody was gaping, awestruck, at the opening of the prestigious Apollon auditorium in 1985. In 1988, I was again invited to a spectacular opening - this time in Asia: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the first purpose-built convention centre in the world to be situated on a waterfront. I gradually began to suspect that congress centres could well begin to shape the face

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of a city. New centres started springing up all over the globe - so many, in fact, that I may have lost track of a few. Who still knows that the first purpose-built congress centre in Asia was not located in Hong Kong but rather in Colombo, Sri Lanka? In 1973, the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Centre had been opened, clad in exquisite Chinese marble. And who can still remember the oldest congress building of North America? Le Palais de Congrès de Montréal, opened in 1983. All of these buildings have well withstood the ravages of time - but they’re now undergoing intensive renovation. That’s the short story of the first 25 year-old congress pearls. The story of the young congress pearls is much longer. I draw a conclusion from this history: congress centres have grown to become the new icons of our time. Here is a fine selection of them.

Opening: March 2009 Capacity: a 3,000-seat auditorium, 21 meeting rooms capacities ranging from 50 to 1,100 participants Website under development

CHINA NATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE (BEIJING)

Opening: November 2009 Capacity: 23,600 m2 of meeting space, 6,000seat plenary hall, 36,000 m2 of exhibition space, 72 breakout rooms, ballroom to seat 3,500 for banquets, auditorium to seat 396 www.cnccchina.com


> CONGRESS PEARLS PALACONGRESSI DI RIMINI

STOCKHOLM WATERFRONT CONGRESS CENTER

OTTAWA CONGRESS CENTRE

Opening: end of 2009 Full capacity: 42 rooms, 9,300 seats (4.700 seats in the plenary hall) and 11,000 m2 of exhibition space www.riminipalacongressi.it

Opening: December 2010 Capacity: 13,700 m2 of usable space for up to 3,000 people. Next to it: a 4-star hotel with 418 rooms www.stockholmwaterfront.com

Opening: April 2011 Highlights: up to 30 separate meeting spaces including a spectacular ballroom on the top oor and a dedicated formal boardroom for executive meetings and events www.ottawacongresscentre.com

TIVOLI CONGRESS CENTRE (COPENHAGEN)

PALACIO DE EXPOSICIONES Y CONGRESOS CIUDAD DE OVIEDO

Opening: Last half of 2010 Highlights: up to 4.000 guests, 3 hotels with a capacity of 1, 300 rooms, for an assembled building area of 75,000 m2 www.arp-hansen.com

ICELANDIC NATIONAL CONCERT & CONFERENCE CENTRE

Opening: 2010 Highlights: auditorium capacity for 2,150 people, 14 modular meeting rooms, 3,200 m2 of indoor exhibition area, 15,640 m2 of total surface www.pec-oviedo.com

Opening: mid 2011 Highlights: a 1800-seat concert hall of the highest quality, a 450-seat concert hall as well as a number of conference halls, with the largest of these seating up to 750 participants www.portusgroup.is

NEW DELHI CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

QATAR NATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE

Opening: 2010 Capacity: Plenary Hall for 10,800 delegates, two-tiered lecture theatres for 600 and 450 delegates, Grand Ballroom for 2,700 people, 28 meeting and breakout rooms, 24,700 m2 of exhibition space www.newdelhiconvention.com

Opening: 2011 Capacity: 40,000 m2 of exhibition space over 9 halls with the capacity for a conference or gala dinner for 10,000 guests, a 4,000-seat conference hall, 2,300-seat lyric style theatre, three tiered auditoria, 52 meeting rooms www.qatarconvention.com

CONVENTION CENTRE DUBLIN

Opening: September 2010 Highlights: space for up to 8,000 delegates, 22 multi-purpose meeting rooms, a 2000seat auditorium and approx. 4,500 m2 of exhibition space ww.theccd.ie

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> CONGRESS PEARLS

EXTENSIONS OF EXISTING CONGRESS CENTRES

HARBIYE CONGRESS AND CULTURAL CENTRE (ISTANBUL)

MANCHESTER CENTRAL CONVENTION COMPLEX

VANCOUVER CONVENTION CENTRE

Opening: April 2009 Capacity: 29,200 m2 of exhibit space, 7,900 m2 of meeting space, 72 meeting rooms, 6,700 m2 of signature ballroom space www.vancouverconventioncentre.com

Opening: October 2009 Highlighst: an auditorium for over 3,500 participants, 12 meeting rooms with capacities ranging from 100 to 850 and over 10,000 m2 of multi-purpose space Website under development

Opening: late 2010 Aim: to enhance the venue’s facilities and maximise the available space to add to Manchester Central’s appeal to national and international convention, exhibition and event organisers www.manchestercentral.co.uk

MIC PLUS (MILANO)

RAI ELICIUM

HONGKONG CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTRE Opening: 2011 Capacity: a 1,500-seat auditorium, a 4,500seat plenary hall, 73 modular halls for 20 to 2,000 people, 54,000 m2 of exhibition space www.micmilano.it

Opening: June 2009 Capacity: The expansion brought the centre’s exhibition space to 83,000 m2 and total rentable space for events and activities to over 92,000 m2 ww.hkcec.com.hk

Opening: 2009 Highlights : Built in the RAI Congresplein, the Elicium has a basic surface area of 3,400 m2 and 20 meeting rooms for up to 100 people. Elicium ballroom accommodates a maximum of 2,500 people www.rai.nl

BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

WORLD CONFERENCE CENTER BONN

Opening: 2011 Highlights: a 24,000 m2 development including 5 levels of boutique meetings and event space, a contemporary design, a five-star green rating www.bcec.com.au

MELBOURNE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE

Opening: July 2009 Capacity: 32 meeting rooms of various sizes, one grand banquet room, an entry level foyer for 8,400 guests, a state-of-the-art 5,000 seat plenary hall, 30,000 m2 of exhibiting space www.mcec.com.au

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Opening: end of 2009 Highlights: A glass roof spanning the expansive foyer, a large hall will offer rowed seating for 3,600 participants, an extension with space for up to 834 additional guests, and an additional four conference rooms www.worldccbonn.com

Opening: End of 2012 Highlights: an additional function space comprising a 1,600m2 multi-purpose hall, break-out areas, meeting rooms www.eicc.co.uk


> CONGRESS PEARLS

PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE CONGRESS PEARLS AT HQ MAGAZINE, WE’RE ALWAYS ON THE © City of Dubuque

LOOKOUT. FOR THIS YEAR’S RESEARCH ON CONGRESS CENTRES, WE TRIED TO FIND AN ANGLE THAT WOULD ENCOMPASS THE PHENOMENOM OF CENTRES POPPING OUT EVERYWHERE, AS THEY ARE USUALLY CONSIDERED ECONOMIC GENERATORS TO THE PLACE IN WHICH THEY ARE BUILT. WE HAVE ASKED A FEW REPRESENTATIVES OF THE WORLDWIDE MEETINGS INDUSTRY THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 1/ HOW WERE CONGRESS CENTRES CONCEIVED/DESIGNED/ BUILT 25 YEARS AGO? WHAT WAS THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND IT? 2/ WHAT IS IT LIKE TODAY TO CONCEIVE/DESIGN/BUILD A CONGRESS CENTRE? 3/ DO YOU FORESEE CHANGES IN THE FUTURE IN THE MATTER? HERE ARE THEIR ANSWERS.

Grand River Center, Dubuque, Iowa

LUC HENDRICKX Director, Congresses and Governance, International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

1/ A few years ago, there seemed to be a lot of copy/pasting going on. Congress centres were designed and built with a traditional concept in mind: speaker in front on stage and audience in theatre style in the room. The tendency was to built lecture theatres for as large an audience as possible. Older congress centres mostly ignored the well-being aspect of the participant experience: there were a few ‘bunkers’ without daylight! Fortunately more recent centres or later extensions seemed to use more glass, open spaces, seating areas, or large open foyers.

2/ The very nature of congresses has evolved through the years, and continues to do so. The way congress centre are designed lags behind because they are literally set in concrete and were designed with a set, traditional use in mind. Compared to a decade and more ago, congresses nowadays tend to be more interactive than they used to be. Interactive sessions, workshops, round tables, forums, and other new formats require quite a different set-up than before. The more events become interactive, the more it becomes a challenge to make them fit nicely in congress centres. An interesting new trend that only became apparent in recent years is the changing value set of the average participant. More and more participant belong to the post-Baby Boom Generation X. Typically, Generation X-ers have quite opposing view of the balance between work and live, attach a lot of importance to atmosphere, environment, well-being: exactly the things that architects who designed public building in the past paid very

little or no attention to. They followed the design rule ‘form follows function’ but the form they designed at the time matched different functions than the ones that are needed today. Gradually, we see congress centre being designed and built that do not follow the old paradigms, that are innovative, different, surprising, seemingly excentric or even deceptively off-the-wall. 3/ The latest in public building design, which spills over into congress centres undoubtedly influenced by the growing concern about the environment, is green roofs on public buildings, also known as the fifth façade. This technology is developing fast and is taking us to a sustainability level and environmental correctness which goes far beyond the initial attempts at greening the congress industry by recycling participant badges. The congress centre extension in Vancouver is a prime example of green roof technology. I would not be surprised if this trend will move very quickly from a mere curiosum to mainstream architectural design.

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> CONGRESS PEARLS

DAN RIVLIN Managing Director, Kenes International 1/ Congress centres were built using different philosophies in different parts of the world. In Europe, centres were mostly built outside of the city. Cities were established many years ago, so allocation of adequate space within the city centre was virtually impossible. Most centres were built also as primarily exhibition centres with huge halls and large parking lots as they were probably originally planned to serve a more local market. The idea behind was that congresses which utilized the facility used converted exhibition halls for plenary sessions if needed, even if it’s the exhibition market which was the significant market share of the centres. 2/ Today a more multipurpose approach is used for the new centres: the Lutfi Kirdar in Istanbul has now a large space that serve both exhibition and meeting space, thus creating an appreciated and needed flexibility

for the association needs. Older centres are taking similar approach: the Fierra in Milan has converted one of its exhibition halls into a multipurpose space, thus enabling a meeting to utilize its space with a maximum flexibility. The current philosophy is indeed to enable maximum of multipurpose space, creating the needed flexibility for the societies.

The current philosophy is to enable maximum of multipurpose space, creating the needed flexibility for the societies

3/ Predictions of the future needs of the association market are challenging, but there is a high likelihood that the exhibition space will be less utilized while meeting space will be of a greater demand. The medical industry for instance will reduce the size of its exhibitions. Furthermore, we see more of more mergers in the medical market, which implies less players to exhibit to begin with.

huge registration area will not be needed as technology advances. As a matter of fact, I foresee that the logistical space for the service centres will be reduced significantly within the next five years, thus the large entrance foyers will be used for other purposes.

The large entrance foyers will also be of a lesser importance. The present structure of

Furthermore, the meeting space will need to be more flexible than ever. While there is still a need by many societies for big plenary halls, the trend will become more and more to utilize smaller parallel halls in order to enable

PIETER A VAN DER HOEVEN Consultant, PG International Consulting Pty Ltd built in most cases to become iconic in their appeal, so that it became a valuable asset attraction for the destination. Location and surroundings of the facility were important. The Sydney Darling Harbour and its convention centre is just one example of this. Centres also offered large exhibition facilities in most cases, which provided the local national and international companies to exhibit their products.

1/ Some two to three decades ago congress centres were developed by governments or city councils to generate economic benefit to the destination where they were built. They were built as 5-star deluxe hotels without rooms and a service delivery to match. In the Asia-Pacific region at least, centres were

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2/ The main purpose of the development of a convention centre has not changed a lot as it is still seen as an important economic benefit generator. However one does see more and more government and private enterprise partnerships emerging in the new development of convention centres. This is a result of the increasing costs associated with the development of venues of this nature.

Technology advancements are occurring at a very fast speed in today’s environment . Wireless connectivity is now an expectation and technology such 360 cameras are being installed in meeting rooms, enabling people to patch in from around the globe. It will be an ongoing challenge to keep up with the ever-changing technology development around the world. The capability of a centre to not only cater for the larger events but many smaller events simultaneously is also becoming more and more an expectation. Flexibility of the facility to create fast turnarounds in between events is of paramount importance because of the hiring costs involved for event planners. 3/ Most elements mentioned above are still the motivators to develop new facilities. However


> CONGRESS PEARLS

EMMA BOWYER General Manager of ICMS Australasia 1/ The first Convention Centre in Australia was built in Adelaide just over 20 years ago. Since then Australia has seen convention centre development in all major cities. The convention centres of 20 years ago were primarily designed to provide customised space for meetings. Unlike multi-purpose hotels, the early brief was to provide tiered seating and exhibition halls for delegates. They were also designed to draw on central access to the city, as can be seen in Sydney with the site of the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre located on the harbour waterfront.

maximum exposure of congress participants to diverse topics. I would even foresee smaller rooms being utilized for forums. This will enable also small groups to meet without the need to use AV or other elaborated equipment.

Properties offering sustainable hospitality or green programmes are becoming and will become a major criteria for selection of a venue

2/ Modern convention centres are a lot more technologically sophisticated, with in-built audio visual systems and intelligent lighting rigs. There is renewed attention to the aesthetics of these buildings, with green credentials essential for convention centres. The Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre is the newest convention centre in Australia and features a six star green rating, the first in the world to do so. Newly constructed convention centres have moved away from a concrete edifice design, and now aim to capture more natural light whilst featuring interesting internal design concepts. There is also evidence of drawing on the local environment in which convention centres reside, whether through art or in the design palette.

3/ The future of convention centres lies not just in the physical, but in the symbiotic relationship it develops with the end-user. Whether this is in the design of more flexible meeting spaces, customised food and beverage options, or innovations in technology, it is a very dynamic time for PCOs. The more commercially savvy convention centres will become involved in partnerships with hirers, especially in the area of delegate boosting. Convention centres may also entrepreneur events in the future, rather than wait for global rotation cycles. At a national level, we may see more joint marketing to bring business to the region: Australia first, then convention city.

properties offering sustainable hospitality or green programmes are becoming and will become a major criteria for selection of a venue during RFP processes in the future. Government sectors and companies in the medical and pharmaceutical especially need to know the green policies of the venue upfront even before negotiations start. Many centres throughout the world are now at the forefront of these new developments. The planning of their new extension will be based on the principles of advance technology and green/environmental friendly operations and facility structure.

Vancouver

Messe Stuttgart

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> CONGRESS PEARLS

DAVID GREUSEL Principal of Populous, a global design practice 1/ In the 1980s, congress centres were mostly concerned with providing up-to-date functional areas - congress halls and meeting rooms. Typically constructed in urban cores, these centres were not architecturally striking. The main idea was to create the types of spaces that would be useful and practical for hosting congresses. Examples of centres built 25 years ago include the Ottawa Congress Centre (Canada), which is undergoing a dramatic refit due to open in 2011, the Budapest Congress and World Trade Centre, and Congress Centre Basel. 2/ Today’s congress centres are much more likely to be iconic or landmark buildings in a community, like the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, or the Grand River Centre in Dubuque, Iowa. Cities have much higher expectations for excellent design than was the case 25 years ago. In addition,

centres today have a focus on sustainable architecture that was nearly absent a generation ago. Having some sort of accreditation, such as LEED or GreenGlobe, is considered to be a given in the design of current centres. And, like the higher design aspirations for the exterior, owners expect contemporary congress centre interiors to be finished to a level comparable to the finest hotels. 3/ As the world is changing and ever growing, we recognize the need to design congress centres that that celebrate many people coming together for a shared experience. We believe the congress centre of the future will be a more integrated experience for users. That is, we believe the next generation centre will merge editorial (seminar) and advertising (exhibit) content in a single space that is ideally suited for both. We also believe that while excellent design will still

be expected, centres will also be expected to render authentic content about their home community to visitors. This content will include everything from architectural expressions of local geography and culture, to miniature satellite installations of local cultural institutions and attractions. The purpose of this is to make centres more effective ambassadors, if you will, for all that a community offers its guests and to provide guests with a more unique experience of a community.

ROSLYN MCLEOD OAM Managing Director, Tour Hosts Pty Limited, Sydney ing example of best practice in convention centre location and construction.

1/ In Australia our first purpose built convention centre opened in 1987 in Adelaide. It was funded by the State Government, but the concept was driven by the private sector through the local convention bureau. The Centre itself was built close the centre of downtown and in a pretty location with a hotel, casino and arts centre complex beside it so the plan was well thought out and the location is a real advantage. Since its completion, many hotels and apartments, museums, two university campuses have been developed nearby. A mid sized centre, it still remains today as a lead-

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2/ Today the concept of designing and building a convention centre is different in the sense that there is a lot of experience around the world and today an investor can benchmark against best practice examples that are the obvious stand outs for a variety of reasons. + There are the very successful casino complexes that incorporate a convention centre to attract their punters. + There are the city built centres that use taxpayers funds to build a Mecca in their city to attract not only delegate and exhibitor numbers and their visitors who make considerable expenditure in the city attractions while in town but just as importantly, attract world famous and eminent speakers who share their knowledge and provide business opportunities in the supermarket style exhibitions for trade and sales.

+ There are the private investors who see convention centres as good revenue generators and build with the sole purpose of profit. 3/ New centres entering the market will provide a competitive threat to the existing centres. Meetings are going through the usual end of decade make over right now, exacerbated by the current economic turmoil which will provide financial reasons for implementing change. As industry changes its needs, it is possible that convention centres will be affected as both seller and buyers find different means to make purchases, collect information and network. Part of the current economic struggle resembles a modern economic revolution. The solution being sought is a way to do business that is not extravagant but prudent and practical. I see a major opportunity here for city owned centres who can market their centre as a functional and less profitable centre to the benefit of the user.


> CONGRESS PEARLS

THE FUTURE OF CONVENTION CENTRES: PALACES OF THE 21ST CENTURY The Views of Larry Oltmanns, Architect and Design Director of Vx3 CONSIDERED ON THE WHOLE, THE CONVENTION CENTRES OF THE PAST WERE A DISMAL FAILURE IN TERMS OF URBAN DESIGN. ALTHOUGH THEY WERE OFTEN CONSTRUCTED ON PRIME URBAN LAND, THEY FAILED TO ENGAGE WITH CITIES. BRUTAL IN APPEARANCE, GENERIC IN EXPRESSION AND UNAPPROACHABLE AS PUBLIC EDIFICES, THEY WERE FREQUENTLY PART OF THE CAUSE OF THE URBAN DECAY THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN PREVENTING. THE LACK OF IMAGINATION DISPLAYED BY THE DESIGNERS OF THESE BUILDINGS LED INEVITABLY TO THEIR MARGINALISATION BY POLITICIANS AND CITY PLANNERS, WHO WERE JUSTIFIABLY IN FAVOUR OF LOCATING THESE CLUMSY BUILDINGS ON SITES AT A SAFE DISTANCE FROM CITY CENTRES. THIS IS UNFORTUNATELY STILL THE NORM TODAY.

The extension to HKCEC in Hong Kong was arguably the first iconic convention centre ever built. In the 12 years since, iconic buildings have become a worldwide phenomenon, manifesting themselves in buildings of all types, including convention centres. A facility that has been massively successful in a highly visible and prominent location, HKCEC should have been the beginning of a reversal of the trend that banished convention centres from city centres. City planners, however, have been reluctant. There is a tendency to confuse exhibition centres (which need to accommodate massive numbers of trucks) and convention centres (for which the exhibition space needs tend to be more modest), and this has been exacerbated in recent years by the emergence of hybrid venues which

We will probably need to be more specific about the purpose and ultimate size of the venue. We will certainly need to ensure that the design of each new building responds to its location with appropriate imagination are a bit of both. More likely the ability to embrace change has been limited by the boundaries of narrow imagination. It is a well-known fact that international convention delegates choose event destinations primarily on the basis of the attractiveness of their host cities.

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> CONGRESS PEARLS

Lary Oltmanns

It is a well-known fact that international convention delegates choose event destinations primarily on the basis of the attractiveness of their host cities. It stands to reason that the ideal location for a convention centre in any particular city is therefore in its centre It stands to reason that the ideal location for a convention centre in any particular city is therefore in its centre. In terms of sustainability, a central location is also quite compatible with the planning objective of maintaining density in order to avoid urban sprawl. In the future, if we want to locate these buildings where they will be most successful, and where they will do the most good, we will need to be more imaginative in choosing convention centre sites. We will probably need to be more specific about the purpose and ultimate size of the venue. We will certainly need to ensure that the design of each new building responds to its location with appropriate imagination. As a way of illustrating the exciting potential that the future has in store, I have imagined eight new convention centres for first-tier cit-

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ies in Europe. Taken together, these examples illustrate the difference between the present, where design potential is all too often limited by location, and the future, in which the choice of locations might be made possible by the latest advances in construction technology, and inspired by all the possibilities of imaginative design. It is interesting to note that the French expression still generally used for convention centre - ‘Palais des Congrès’ - still conjures up images of sophisticated buildings that so obviously belong in the centres of the great cities of the world, and this is perhaps an appropriate model for the future. No city planner is likely to be particularly enthusiastic about constructing a ‘box with docks’ within the city centre. A grand palace, on the other hand, is a different story. Picture yourself in the following eight cities at some point in the future.

SUBMERSION IN VENICE: PALACE OF THE LOST LAGOON

in transforming a previously blighted urban area into one of the most south-after places to live in London.

Conceived as a sustainable undersea water palace, the new convention centre of Venice is an invisible presence that connects to the city’s waterways while preserving intact the historic views of this world heritage site. A thousand glass columns provide daylight and natural ventilation to the event spaces within, while a grid of solar collectors just beneath the water’s surface stores energy throughout the day. Glowing in the distance at night from the light within, the field of columns surrounds a submerged courtyard that literally causes the waters to part, creating a secluded outdoor space invisible from the islands beyond.

LEVITATION IN BUDAPEST: THE PALACE BRIDGE

TRANSFORMATION IN LONDON: BATTERSEA PALACE

RECONNECTION IN COPENHAGEN: PALACE OF THE SILVER STRAND

A new life form now inhabits the shell of a familiar old building along the south bank of the River Thames. Replacing the power station which once occupied the building, the Battersea Palace is one of the most popular convention venues in Europe. People love the contrast between the historic exterior and futuristic feel inside. Bursting out from the existing structure on all sides and cascading down to the river’s edge, the positive energy created by events in Battersea Palace has been a significant force

Spanning 300 meters across the Danube is a dramatic structure that connects the twin cities of Buda and Pest. The Palace Bridge is at once a symbol of unification, a meeting point shared by the two cities, and the means by which these cities are physically joined together. The structure itself is a covered bridge. Between the open-ended steel and glass helix of the bridge and the independent enclosed volume of the convention centre, public spaces above, beneath, and beside provide for all types of transport connections between the two cities.

A braided serpentine strand covers over the vast rail yard near the central station, knitting the city back together again and producing a labyrinth of new places to be discovered in its heart. Constructed above the tracks and within a sinuous hull of silver weathered wood, the Copenhagen Congress Centre is the central organising feature of a subversive new force within the city centre, a force that integrates cityscape with landscape, one that is urban in scale and green by design.


> CONGRESS PEARLS

RESURRECTION IN WARSAW: THE SAXON PALACE Lying at the intersection of the old and modern cities, Pilsudski Square is the ideal location for the new congress centre in Warsaw. The foundations of the Saxon Palace that once stood there are preserved within a glass reception pavilion that traces the original lines of the palace. While the historic excavations are revealed within a new glass volume, beneath the glass plaza the volumes of the new event spaces are represented as

richness of the city’s past and the vibrancy of its future. Monumental amber glass beams containing the meeting rooms span across the major event spaces and cantilever over the river, offering breathtaking views of the waterfront and the city beyond.

RECLAMATION IN BELGRADE: THE WHITE PALACE A monumental arch marks the entry to this new community in Belgrade. Built on reclaimed industrial land near the old city,

There is a tendency to confuse exhibition centres - which need to accommodate massive numbers of trucks - and convention centres - for which the exhibition space needs tend to be more modest excavations. A special ionized coating makes the glass opaque at the flick of a switch when darkness is required.

INCORPORATION IN RIGA: THE AMBER PALACE A shimmering golden curtain reflected in the River Daugave recalls the historic importance of Riga at the origin of the Amber Road. Forming a modern triptych with the Vansu Bridge and the Hansa Bank, the Amber Palace faces the old city from the far bank, creating a dialogue between the

the convention centre is a dramatic bridge of meeting rooms connecting the headquarters hotel on the mainland with the plenary hall on the island. The White Palace was the first building to be constructed here: an extremely wise investment of public money that acted as the catalyst for all the private development that has grown up around it. Passing through the arch is the Grand Canal, focal point of a new urban area that links the modern lifestyle of Belgrade with the riverbank that has always been so essential to its history.

INTEGRATION IN FLORENCE: PALACE OF A THOUSAND FACETS A series of modest ochre facades along the streets near the main railway station in Florence all but conceal the enormous size of its new convention centre. A series of narrow passageways, medieval in scale but modern in expression, lead inevitably to the centre, where the space suddenly erupts into a dazzling display of glass and light. A modern cloister that acts as the focal point of the scheme, the central space is shaped by a series of crystalline meeting pavilions connected by glass sky bridges.

Larry Oltmanns is the founder and Design Director of Vx3, a design studio based in London. He has achieved international acclaim for his work as the architect of convention centres and as a master planner of large-scale mixeduse developments worldwide. His convention centre projects, which are frequently cited as prototypes representing best practice by owners and operators, include the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, site of the handover ceremony in 1997 and arguably the first convention centre in the world to be recognised as an icon. Mr. Oltmanns has been a frequent speaker at annual events of the ICCA, of which he is the only architect member. He served as a commissioner on a panel appointed by the Mayor to study the potential of a new convention centre in London. His most recent project, the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre in Victoria, Australia, will define the new state-of-the art for plenary halls.

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GOVERNANCE AND ASSOCIATIONS An introduction by Luc Maene THE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE OF TRADE ASSOCIATIONS DIFFERS FROM A NUMBER OF OTHER ASSOCIATIONS MOSTLY BECAUSE THEIR OFFICERS ARE ELECTED AMONG THE MEMBERSHIP AND, THEREFORE, SHARE MANY INTERESTS. TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, NEVERTHELESS, FACE SPECIFIC ISSUES WITH REGARD TO GOVERNANCE. FIRST, ALIKE ANY FOR-PROFIT OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATION, TRADE ASSOCIATIONS NOW HAVE TO FOLLOW STRICTER RULES AND OPERATE IN A MORE REGULATED ENVIRONMENT: SUPERVISION AND ACCOUNTABILITY ARE PARAMOUNT, IN PARTICULAR WHEN IT COMES TO ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES AND FINANCIAL REPORTING. MANAGEMENT NEEDS TO DEDICATE TIME FOR REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH THE MEMBERSHIP TO EXPLAIN THE PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE RULES AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED.

Luc Maene

The relationship between management and governing bodies has to be built on trust and transparency for any association to function properly. A constant dialogue needs to exist between an association’s board and its members through the secretariat. Educating the members on the association’s governance structure is an important responsibility for the secretariat. At the International Fertilizer Association (IFA), new members are introduced to its

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governance structure and receive clear and concise information on the association’s management. IFA’s governance structure consists of the Council, which defines the policy and orientation of the association and decides on its budget and subscription rates; the Executive Management Group, which supervises the operations of the secretariat in line with goals set by the Council; the Executive Committee, which discusses the issues facing the industry and is responsible for ensuring that the activities developed by various Standing Committees meet the goals set by the Council; and the Finance Committee, which supervises the association’s financial management and prepares the annual budget for approval by the Council. For international associations, this is all the more challenging since important cultural and corporate cultures come into play. For instance, IFA’s board - the Executive Management Group - consists of six persons, each from a different region: Norway, India, USA, Turkey, Chile and Morocco. In order to build that trust, a clear understanding of the responsibilities of the elected officers and the association’s staff is required. International trade associations also need to show an additional level of transparency

because they usually have to follow the national regulations of the country where the secretariat is located. Associations need to investigate thoroughly which governance rules apply since they vary tremendously from one country to another, even within Europe. It is, thus, particularly important for an association executive in an international environment to understand and accept national and regional differences and have the necessary

Educating the members on the association’s governance structure is an important responsibility for the secretariat skills to clearly explain to the governing instances and the membership the rules that apply and to reconcile these differences in the interest of the development of the sector the association represents.

Luc Maene is the President of ESAE and Director General of the International Fertilizer Association


SEVEN KEYS TO SUCCESS IN GOVERNANCE REVIEW AND CHANGE GOVERNANCE IS ABOUT ‘WHO GETS TO MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT’ AND HOW THE OVERALL DIRECTION OF THE ORGANIZATION IS SET AND CONTROLLED. WHAT MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO EFFECT GOVERNANCE CHANGES? WHY DO SOME ORGANIZATIONS SUCCEED WHILE OTHERS NEVER EVEN LEAVE THE STARTING GATE? FROM MY EXPERIENCE, RESEARCH AND

1. Build organizational spirit To withstand the disturbance of the status quo, nurture and strengthen bonds of trust across the membership, its chapters and geographies. Connections create resilience.

and defend a comfortable, or at least a predictable, status quo. This is a case of ‘dig the well before you’re thirsty’. You can’t manufacture trust overnight. So if you want to make governance changes, be aware that trust across an organization is requisite and trust builds on shared experiences.

CONSULTING, I BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE CRITICAL FACTORS THAT, WHEN THEY ARE IN PLACE, HELP AN ORGANIZATION CONDUCT A GOVERNANCE REVIEW, PROPOSE SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IF REQUIRED, AND TO TRANSITION WELL. WHAT FOLLOWS

The case for governance review must come from people who are trusted, who have earned their stripes and who know of what they speak

ARE SEVEN KEYS TO SUCCESS BASED ON THOSE FACTORS. TEXT LYN MCDONELL, CAE, C. DIR.

When people from different parts of the association greet each other like old friends, debate ideas at lunch, and josh each other in the hallways, those same bonds help everyone make big changes together. On the other hand, the phrase ‘divide and conquer’ contains much truth. Organizational silos often resist change

2. Recruit champions for change The Board must be 100% behind the merits of any governance review. The Board must then select and appoint a respected and dedicated leadership team with the candour, integrity and courage to open up

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perspective, and grassroots leaders. Key leaders across the association should be tapped.

3. Make the case for change Expect many people to say: ‘it ain’t broke, so why fix it?’ This is a common challenge: organizational changes are often based on factors, internal and external, that few in the organization fully appreciate from their standpoint. Therefore the case for change must be accurate, credible and persuasive. It helps a lot if you can link improved governance to addressing a clearly-defined business problem.

Lyn McDonell

It helps a lot if you can link improved governance to addressing a clearly-defined business problem

these questions. The case for governance review must come from people who are trusted, who have earned their stripes and who know of what they speak. In the case of one organization that made governance changes successfully, its governance task force included the Board chair, someone with a legal perspective, individuals with analytical and strategic skills, a staff

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In the case of several organizations that transitioned successfully, the reasons for change were about increasing the organization’s effectiveness towards its mission (changes offered more clarity and focus of volunteer and staff roles), followingthrough an accepted and valued principle (ensuring members elected the national Board), or re-casting the Board to support its newly-defined role in risk management and strategic thinking. Just make sure the reason for change is not a long litany of what’s not working but is motivating. It’s about building a better organization to be more effective toward its mission.

4. Develop a working concept Develop, as early in the process as possible, a working idea of the governance change. Since the question is ‘change to what?’ it can create greater upset to make only the case for governance change without sharing some idea of what that change might look like. Communicate the guidelines you have in mind, the framework you’re starting with, or a direction for the change. Otherwise what your task force believes is getting everyone’s ‘buy-in’ to the need for change may appear to the average member

as indecisiveness or lack of leadership. In one successful transition, a ‘straw man’ or rough picture of what governance reform might look like was developed. Everyone was told it could be critiqued and improved. It was. Although some people called it a ‘fait accompli’, they had something concrete to discuss, and the final recommendations did contain adaptations made along the way.

5. Ensure both two-way communication and transparency There are always new people joining the discussion. Over-communicate and repeat basic messages and information. Make use of newsletters, special reports, and faceto-face meetings. Tell people how they can give input, get involved, and learn more. List questions and answer them - before they are asked. Then publish this Q&A. Since we look at organizational changes through a very personal lens (‘how does it affect me?’), inform those individuals affected by the proposed change as gently and/or plainly as needed according to the emotional environment. At all times, stress the case for change and its relationship to business goals. Successful associations not only plan the communication process carefully, they take advantage of unexpected opportunities to share with members why their associations are hoping to move forward with governance changes. Avoid closed doors! Candour is about being frank and sharing in a matter-of-fact and respectful way what the organization is considering. In the case of one organization, which eventually met fierce opposition to any governance change, there developed a sense that the meetings of the governance review task force were behind ‘closed doors’. Everything the group produced or reviewed was stamped ‘confiden-


EXAMPLES OF GOVERNANCE CHANGES + Changing voting rights + Reducing the number of people on a Board (expansion is typically not contentious) + Changing the culture of a representational Board so members govern and speak for the whole + Creating more engagement with, and accountability to, members + Creating a new norm that Board members attend meetings without staff from their home units for information and support + Eliminating quasi-governance groups + Moving to a new governance model + Clarifying accountabilities between professional staff and committees + Changing role and relationships of operational committees that formerly reported to the Board + Eliminating Board positions + Reducing or lengthening meeting durations + Radically changing the agenda of the Board

tial’. Related Board policy documents were held for release and also marked confidential ‘until other questions were settled’. The rumour mill went crazy. By the time the group had something to share, emotions were high and pre-set opinions trumped genuine dialogue. Better to throw open the doors, and be open. If people express interest or concern, that’s great! Find a way for them to contribute.

6. Expect and work through dissent If we expect and prepare for conflict, we can provide for it to be aired constructively

in ways that do not risk the entire project being scuttled. One organization changing its bylaws at a Special General Meeting knew there was strong opposition ready to speak out against the new terms. After the motion encompassing all changes was tabled, the Chair called for a suspension of

as response to dysfunctional situations or a turnover in the Board and new members’ views of what is governance. A Board has to decide the timing of a governance review. Wise Boards pace change mindful of all that is going on. If

There are certain occasions in the course of an organization’s history when the organization will open its governance system to question successfully. The occasions may be prompted by external or internal issues

the meeting. Delegates were then allowed an opportunity for debate and any lastminute questions and answers before their votes were cast. In small groups, opponents shared concerns and people asked questions. Champions of the change spoke to why they believed the change was necessary. An hour later, the plenary reconvened. The Chair addressed the top issues that had been reported from all groups, giving the Board’s viewpoint. Then he asked each delegate to make his or her decision, to vote. The governance changes passed in a single motion with an overwhelming majority.

7. Time it, pace it and maintain momentum There are certain occasions in the course of an organization’s history when the organization will open its governance system to question successfully. These occasions may be prompted by external pressures such as new regulations and a change in the role of the organization. Or there may be internal issues that prompt the review such

your Board makes a decision to go forward, try to accomplish the project with some dispatch while allowing appropriate input, proper consultation, and sufficient deadlines for response. Maintain momentum while remaining open and responsive. Otherwise, fatigue may set in and even a small faction opposing change can make for a tense political climate. You now need to get on the other side of the change to stabilize the organization. If the governance review takes too long, your Board may be beating a retreat.

Lyn McDonell, CAE, has the C. Dir. designation in governance and works as a consultant and facilitator with non-profit Boards. Lyn is Senior Consultant with Leader Quest, Inc. amongst other affiliations and a part-time instructor at Humber College. Lyn is a former CEO and COO. Lyn’s work at the Canadian Diabetes Association helped it earn the Conference Board of Canada/Spencer Stuart National Award in Governance in 2005. Lyn can be reached at lyn@jobexperts.com.

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ASSOCIATIONS: THE CONCEPT OF GOVERNANCE THE IMPORTANCE OF A WELL-FUNCTIONING GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE FOR AN ASSOCIATION SHOULD NEVER BE UNDERESTIMATED. ALTHOUGH THE GOVERNANCE OF AN ASSOCIATION FOCUSES MORE ON THE INTERNAL PROCESSES OF AN ASSOCIATION, IT HAS A DIRECT AND IMMEDIATE IMPACT ON THE WAY THE ASSOCIATION IS REPRESENTED TOWARDS ITS EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDERS. ANY DISCUSSION ON GOVERNANCE WILL THEREFORE TOUCH ON SEVERAL CRITICAL ASPECTS OF ANY ASSOCIATION AND THE Hans Craen

EFFECTIVENESS IN ACHIEVING ITS OBJECTIVES.

The concept of governance can be defined in various ways since it is applicable on different levels of society: public, corporate, associations etc. However, a good definition of (corporate) governance defines it as ‘the effective management of relationships with integrity to produce enhanced company performance’. This definition, although used from the perspective of a company can also be used to describe associations’ governance. The key elements to be extracted from this definition are: management of relationships, integrity and enhanced performance.

their strategic planning. Experience shows that many associations do so nowadays, however without explicitly linking their activities to the SR concept.

Some aspects of governance are integrated in the articles of association of which the decision making process is an important one. However, in addition to this, governance aspects are also influenced by less tangible elements such as the ‘human factor’.

Governance applied to associations

It is also worthwhile noting that, since a couple of years, associations are giving more attention to CSR - corporate social responsibility. Associations have the opportunity to learn from the corporate approach of CSR and include socially responsible aspects in

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TEXT HANS CRAEN, MANAGER, KELLEN EUROPE

bersome process with as a result that the association can only make progress at a very slow pace. On the other hand, a too swift and rapid decision-making process could

A good definition of governance defines it as ‘the effective management of relationships with integrity to produce enhanced company performance’

The following paragraphs will look closer at some of the critical governance elements which are to a certain extent all interlinked: (1) decision-making processes, (2) relationship between the Board and the Secretariat, (3) the need for high-level company commitment and (4) social responsibility. The decision-making process for an association should take into account certain balances. It cannot be a stringent and cum-

result in decisions that are not carried by the majority of the membership. It goes without saying that either extreme is not beneficial for the effectiveness of the association and its representation towards the external stakeholders. Is there an ideal decision-making framework? The answer is no! Associations are not simply interchangeable. The way the decision making rules are set are subject to: + The size of the association + The type of membership: a uniform


corporate membership will have more straightforward rules than a mixed membership base consisting of different types of corporations and national associations. + The voting weight: a ‘one member one vote approach’ will be easier than weighted voting rights based on objective criteria. This however should not preclude an association with a mixed membership to use a diversified voting scheme. On the other hand, when the membership base consists only of corporations, a ‘one member one vote’ approach is recommended. First, competition law rules always have to be respected. A diversified voting scheme could divulge information on the market size of the corporate members which, by all means, should be avoided. Also, any differentiation in voting rights could block smaller companies to join the association due to a potential perception that the big companies anyhow will dominate the association. Although a ‘one fits all’ approach is not possible, whatever the decision-making process will be, it should be transparent, democratic and applied consistently for all decisions. Within an association, the Board plays an essential role in setting out the overall direction of the association while the secretariat takes care of the day-to-day activities to ensure that these objectives are met. As such there has to be a good working relationship based on mutual confidence between the secretariat and the Board. It is also important that the Board and Chairperson have a clear vision in mind for the association. A passive Board will result in an inactive and therefore ineffective association. The need for an active Board is of course difficult to include in the articles of association. The role of the secretariat is essential to inform the Board members and to stress the need for action on issues of interest for the association.

An important part of good governance is based on the good working relationship between the members and the secretariat. The secretariat should have all the capacities to fulfill in the most effective way its daily operations. From the membership it is expected that they show commitment to

is especially important in times of crisis or when strict deadlines apply. The latter often applies for EU lobby activities which requires: + Quick decision-making + Membership commitment to define positions in a constructive way and to provide where needed technical expertise. The

Applying good governance principles for an association is one way of ensuring a socially responsible organisation internally become involved in the working groups of the association and that they are able to share there expertise. Especially on Board level, it is essential that there is a high-level company commitment consisting of the representatives of key-members with decision making power within their respective organizations. Applying good governance principles for an association is one way of ensuring a socially responsible organisation internally. This can be complemented by providing an environment based on trust, diversity and non-discrimination in relation to all those involved in the association. Additionally, developing efficient certification programmes or voluntary industry standards can strengthen a socially responsible reputation. Externally, SR for associations is mainly linked to responsible advocacy (‘lobbying for the good’), as well as ensuring an adequate best practice sharing platform for the association members and its stakeholders.

Governance vs. the external representation of the association

membership commitment is also important to avoid positions only based on the lowest common denominator + A supportive board with full understanding of the urgency and importance of the issues at stake + An effective functioning secretariat providing the necessary guidance, input and knowledge

Conclusion This text does not aim to give an exhaustive overview on governance applied to associations. It merely aims at provoking the readers’ thought on governance and how this would apply to the associations they are working for either as part of the secretariat or as a member. Clear and workable rules are indeed important to improve the governance of an association. But it doesn’t stop there. By definition, the ‘human factor’ plays a very decisive role in the functioning an association. But this is of course more difficult to capture in well defined rules.

A sound governance structure will ensure that the association functions internally in an effective way. This will benefit the way the association can represent itself in an efficient way towards the external stakeholders which

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BALANCING DEMOCRACY AND EFFECTIVENESS IN ASSOCIATION GOVERNANCE HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATION’S APPROACH TO BUILDING A BOARD? IS THERE AN EMPHASIS ON GETTING THE BEST AND MOST QUALIFIED PEOPLE FOR THE BOARD, OR DOES THE ORGANIZATION ATTEMPT TO MAKE ELECTION TO THE BOARD AS OPEN AND ACCESSIBLE TO ALL MEMBERS AS POSSIBLE?

TEXT WAYNE AMUNDSON, PRESIDENT OF ASSOCIATION XPERTISE

The historical approach in many organizations is the latter, and this may be reflected in nomination and election processes that include nominations from the floor at AGMs, some reluctance to present a slate of candidates for consideration, and elections that occur at the AGM. The increasingly common approach in other organizations is to identify potential Board candidates who have the skills, stature, and experience the organization considers essential for good director performance. When the emphasis is on building the best and most effective Board possible, associations are well-advised to focus efforts on ensuring Board connection with and accountability to the membership. It is also very important to place greater emphasis on the process of seeking out those qualified candidates for the Board. More effort is required to ensure that the search for such candidates is not limited to specific geographic areas, specific membership groups, or insiders only. These Boards must work at bringing a democratic element to their role and function. With organizations seeking to maintain a significant democratic emphasis, there is a critical need to ensure that the Board is trained and oriented on its role, and has resources available to secure advice and knowledge as needed. These directors may be all over the map with respect to their knowledge and understanding of governance, and this can result in frustra-

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Members of today generally are looking for more transparency and accountability in an efficient and effective organization tion, friction and poor decision-making. Good intentions are not enough... governing associations is growing increasingly complex. Which end of the spectrum is best? Well, a lot depends on the culture of the organization, but it is probably a good idea to bring your approach more to the centre. For example, if your organization still has nominations from the floor of the AGM, then look for more efficient ways to achieve democratic involvement in the election process. By the same token, if your approach is building an efficient and effective Board, then make sure everyone remembers that no matter how impressive the Board, members and their opinions still matter!

Members of today generally are looking for more transparency and accountability in an efficient and effective organization. To achieve this, both modern democratic principles and effective governance principles are essential.

Wayne Amundson is president of Association Xpertise Inc., a consulting firm serving associations and non-profits. He is also a writer and speaker on association and non-profit management and governance, and is editor of The Canadian Association e-zine and co-author of the new Primer for Directors of Notfor-Profit Corporations published by the Industry Canada and three non-profit umbrella groups in Canada. www.axi.ca


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ASSOCIATION GOVERNANCE THESE DAYS? HERE ARE FIVE TRENDS THAT ARE EMERGING

(that is, someone outside your industry or profession) to the Board. The American Academy of Ophthalmology added its first public board member (and non-physician) in 1992. According to David Noonan, Deputy Executive Vice President, the addition has been a success. ‘No matter the sophistication of the leaders involved, group-think enters all deliberative process. The inside ‘outsider’ keeps you looking at the big picture and often lends a cooling affect to an otherwise hot issue,’ Noonan explained. ‘Public members help keep you from taking everything too seriously. They do tend to see the forest and the tree.’

IN ASSOCIATION GOVERNANCE. MAYBE SOME OF THEM ARE RIGHT FOR YOUR ORGANISATION. TEXT GINGER NICHOLS, GINCOMMGROUP

Smaller Boards From a process standpoint, it is clearly easier for 12 people to agree on a course of action than for 30 people. Although the average board size in ASAE’s (www.asaecenter.org) survey has remained 27 since 1991, more associations seems to be recognizing the problems inherent in large boards. In many cases, however, reducing the size of the board means dealing with issues such as representation of certain constituencies. If your association creates avenues of two-way communications for all its members, then having designated representatives for certain groups becomes less critical and less controversial. Alternatively, associations with large boards are delegating more work to their executive committees to speed up decision making.

More Ad Hoc To accommodate the compressed time of our elected leaders, associations will continue to move away from bylaws-mandated standing committees in favor of ad hoc task forces. One reason our volunteers become disillusioned with committee service is that the tasks they are given are, frankly, a waste of time. It is infinitely easier to recruit a volunteer for a task force with a specific charge and a limited service commitment. Once the job is completed, the task force disbands and the members earn a sense of accomplishment.

Leadership Development Committees As boards recognize that they need ongoing

Faster Succession

If your association creates avenues of two-way communications for all its members, then having designated representatives for certain groups becomes less critical and less controversial attention for peak performance, nominating committees are becoming ‘leadership development committees’. Instead of just getting together to propose a slate of nominees, these broader committees have the responsibility to identify and nurture future leaders and to help the board assess and improve its operations.

Public Members Boards facing complex issues can benefit from an outside perspective. One innovative way to accomplish this is to add a ‘public’ member

Those same volunteers who are frustrated by cumbersome procedures will not hang around for 10 or 12 years (ore more) to ‘earn’ their place in the association’s leadership. One of the challenges for board development committees is to define an appropriate leadership path that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. What’s ‘reasonable’? Well, it’s probably not six years on the board then another four years moving through the chairs. In some associations, there is only one chair, president-elect. Comprehensive orientations, ongoing training and written policy manuals provide Board members with the in-depth understanding of the association that they formerly obtained only ‘on the job’. How can your association incorporate some of these trends? Perhaps this article can serve as a springboard for discussion at a board or executive committee meeting.

GinCommGroup provides consulting and training that helps associations succeed in leadership development, strategic planning, and membership marketing. www.gincomm.com

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UIA ı UNION OF INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

LAW OF THE LAND: NATIONAL REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS SET GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES THE UIA IS OFTEN ASKED TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING: ‘IN WHAT COUNTRY SHOULD I REGISTER MY INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION?’ THIS QUESTION COMES FROM ALL TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS (TRADE, SCHOLARLY, PROFESSIONAL, SOCIAL, ETC.) WHETHER THOSE DEVELOPING ORGANICALLY FROM A LOOSE INTEREST GROUP SEEKING TO FORMALIZE ITS ACTIVITIES OR FROM THOSE BEING FOUNDED WITH SPECIFIC INTENT (E.G. FOLLOWING CONCLUSIONS REACHED DURING AN INTERNATIONAL MEETING). TEXT JOEL FISCHER - HEAD, UIA CONGRESS DEPT AND CO-EDITOR OF THE YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Belgium is one of the few countries which offers specific legal recognition to international associations (or NGOs). This category is Association internationale sans but lucratif - AISBL, sometimes Association internationale scientifique sans but lucratif. This is in addition to the national level nonprofit status (ASBL / VZW in Dutch), Fondation Privée and Fondation d’Utilité Publique categories. As in other countries, corporate law can be used to register a not-for-profit organization; in Belgium this is known as a Société À Finalité Sociale.

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Early days of the UIA - Presumably a schema devised by co-founder Paul Otlet (Courtesy of Mundanuem Archives)

UIA has long been a proponent of the explicit legal recognition of international associations and has been active in promoting national and regional legislation. To this end UIA fostered the establishment of the FAIB - Federation of International Associations - in Belgium (www.faib.org). FAIB publishes a ‘Practical Guide’ to the Belgian AISBL registration process and can

also answer questions and provide assistance on these matters. Groups similar to FAIB exist in Geneva (FIIG - www.fiig.org) and France (where the Law of 1901 is the basis of non-profit association registration). In the absence of national recognition of INGO status, INGOs are then subject to registration at the national or sub-national level in


the country/countries where they headquarter and/or operate. In the USA this is usually 501c3 tax status with the IRS; in the UK it is usually achieved through Registered Charity status and/or Limited Liability Company corporate status. In the Netherlands many are registered as a ‘Stichting’ - which translates as ‘foundation’, but for the fact that they do not operate as foundations in the general English language sense of the word. There is no explicit European-level legislative recognition of transnational associations at this time, beyond the status of EEIG - European Economic Interest Grouping. Generally speaking, establishing a legal and fiscal personality in a specific country - whether moving your headquarters/secretariat or establishing a regional office - is subject to whatever national laws exist in relation to nonprofits, foundations, charities or NGOs. Every nation has its own set of policies in these matters not all of which are beneficial to organizations operating internationally. In the final analysis, it’s a matter of having a legal personality for the organization so that it may have a bank account, deal with taxation, write contracts and so forth.

structural environment for international associations have been few since that time. The major changes occur to the governance environment when national legislation is modified/updated to address legal and fiscal issues of the day - as was the case in Belgium circa 2001. From the required legal minimums an association’s governance structures are developed and elaborated: either through further defined roles and responsibilities (in bylaws or statutes refined and modified over time) or operationally in such documents as handbooks or project documents. There are organizations and associations which exist without formal legal structure and they do so for a wide variety of reasons. Many find that when matters of finance (partnership, grants/foundation support, corporate sponsorship, etc.) increase in importance so does the need to have a formal legal/fiscal personality. What has changed in the time since 1988 are the means by which we all communicate and do business. The Internet, open borders, the end of the Cold War, advances in telecommunications and travel all mean that things can happen more quickly, with more people from more nations and from greater distances from a central location. In addition to the daily life of an association, these developments also impact how ‘official’ association business (announcements, the handling of proxies, etc) is conducted.

The choice of location and organizational form is important because the laws, to greater and lesser extents, will require a basic/minimum governance structure to be clearly defined and registered. These structures will control fiscal and operational decision-making roles & responsibilities as well as responsibilities for financial matters and so forth.

COUNTRY OF REGISTRATION VS. OFFICE LOCATIONS

In 1988, the UIA published the first volume of the International Association Statutes book series in order to document the statutes/ structure of some major international nongovernmental organizations, provide model texts for others to use and to serve as a registry and research tool. Changes in the

It should be noted that while an association may be registered, or domiciled, in a particular country this nation may not be the one in which its day to day Secretariat activities take place. The reasons for this are also varied: officers may be voluntary with roles rotating every few years; the operational office may be hosted by a university department or a corpo-

Joel Fisher

The choice of location and organizational form is important because the laws, to greater and lesser extents, will require a basic/minimum governance structure to be clearly defined and registered

ration; the real daily business of the association may take place in Brussels, Washington, Paris, Nairobi or Geneva or New York. Registering a transnational association can be a daunting project with logistics, language, law and finance all playing a role. Luckily a growing cadre of professionals association management companies, lawyers, accountants, and local facilitators/ promoters - are available to assist organizations in establishing themselves and getting their governance structures firmly rooted.

www.uia.org

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HQ > BRISBANE

BRISBANE A NEW-WORLD DESTINATION TRAVELLING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AUSTRALIA LAST FEBRUARY TO ATTEND THE AIME FAIR, I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET INVITED - RIGHT AFTER THE SHOW - BY BRISBANE MARKETING TO DISCOVER THE JOYS OF A CITY IN QUEENSLAND I MUST SAY I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT. WHAT I DISCOVERED IS QUITE A YOUNG TOWN, FULL OF LIFE, FUN AND EXCITEMENT. BUT WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW IS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO HOSTING INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS CONGRESSES, BRISBANE IS KIND OF A RINGLEADER, WITH A STATE-OF-THE-ART, IDEALLY LOCATED CONVENTION CENTRE (ON WHICH I WRITE EXTENSIVELY IN THE FOLLOWING PAGES), VERY SPECIAL VENUES AND OF COURSE WARM-HEARTED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE YOU GO.

REPORT RÉMI DÉVÉ

Generally considered one of Australia’s most liveable cities, Brisbane is also known to be a progressive centre, with a dynamic, cosmopolitan population embracing modern cultural trends and some of the continent’s best meeting and event facilities. During my (way too short) stay there, I could taste flavors of them. If I had to pick one hotel and one special venue, I would pick the award-winning Emporium Hotel, which perfectly caters for conferences, and the new and unusual Brisbane Powerhouse, an arts and design centre, with its urban feel and original spaces.

HEADQUARTERS 36

© John Gollings

In Europe, Brisbane seems at the other end of the world. But once you’re there - and usually congress delegates come from all over the planet - it’s almost impossible not to be enthralled by the city, with its fresh, young vibe and its engaging appeal. In fact, it’s commonly agreed that it’s a ‘city of villages’ or better: as Lesley Caldwell, Communication and Media Advisor at Brisbane Marketing, put it, ‘conference delegates can really own the city with its compact and easy-to-get-around size’.

© Kevin Stallan

South Bank

Gallery of Modern Art

Brisbane Powerhouse

Other useful information for the convention planners: + Brisbane has 35,000 beds in 12,500 guest rooms. Hotel categories range from costconscious to 5-star facilities. + Brisbane offers excellent value for money: it has been rated as one of the lowest cost meeting destinations in the world, not to the detriment of high-standard service of course! + Brisbane’s Airport has 30 airlines operating more than 3,250 international and domestic flights each week. It’s the perfect gateway to Australia. + Brisbane offers endless possibilities of pre- or post-congress programmes, from all-essential urban experiences to authentic

Reddacliff Place

Australian outdoor activities - take my word for it and try Tangalooma Island Resort! As far as associations are concerned, Brisbane is renowned for being a ‘knowlege corridor’ - not to mention the Silicon Valley of computer games in Australia. I couldn’t say it better than Annabel Sullivan, Business Events Director at Brisbane Marketing: ‘Alongside the business fundamentals such as infrastructure and facilities, Brisbane offers great affordability and access to a cluster of world-class leaders in industries such as information and communication technologies, medical research and creative industries.’ Add to this several world-class universities


> BRISBANE BRISBANE CONFERENCING HOTELS + Brisbane Marriott Hotel: This multi-award-winning hotel provides 5-star accommodation and meeting facilities that come with the convenience of a central city riverside location. Recently refurbished, it offers 267 rooms with stunning views and state-of-the-art in-room technologies. Nine meeting rooms give business event organisers a range of options ideally suited to in-house conferences. + Hilton Brisbane: With a prime location in the heart of the city’s busiest shopping precinct, it offers contemporary accommodation and meeting options that are perfect for the business event organiser. It boasts 320 rooms and 14 meeting rooms – including a dedicated events floor of 2,500 m2. + Sofitel Brisbane Central: Located in the central business district, it’s one of the city’s premier hotels. Recently refurbished, the 5-star hotel offers 429 contemporary style rooms. On the meeting front, it is the largest fully integrated hotel meeting facility in the city offering 11 meeting rooms and extra business essentials such as direct Airtrain links to the airport.

Annabel Sullivan, Business Events Director at Brisbane Marketing:

‘Alongside the business fundamentals such as infrastructure and facilities, Brisbane offers great affordability and access to a cluster of world-class leaders in industries.’ and a vibrant research and development community and you will be likely to wonder why you haven’t chosen Brisbane before! And despite the current economic environment, the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre’s Manager of International Bidding, Alison Gardiner, said she even expects growth of conventions and meetings to continue at a steady pace. ‘Our new expansion received a lot of interest at IMEX and the world class standard of our venue and its location offer a really strong and cost effective proposition for clients,’ she said.

CASE STUDY: 23RD WORLD’S POULTRY CONGRESS (WPC 2008) Held every four years, World’s Poultry Congresses are the peak global poultry science and technology forums. At the beginning of summer 2008, it was held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and attended by 2,300 delegates from 82 countries.

+ In promoting the Congress at International Meetings there was the obvious challenge of distance and this was countered by the strong appeal of the destination and by the successful marketing and information provided on preand post-touring packages.

Event Profile The program of the 2008 congress was relevant to the needs of the poultry industries globally, with the added challenge of incorporating five individual associations’ programs into one cohesive scientific program. It included 16 key note plenary session speakers, 600 oral presentations (100 from invited speakers) in 16 concurrent symposia sessions each day and 400 poster presentations.

Destination Brisbane was chosen by the bid team in 2000 based on 15 criteria including conference and exhibition facilities of the venue, international access, accessibility and cost of accommodation, transport and traffic and climate, with all 10 members of the assessment committee independently giving Brisbane the highest total score.

Challenges + This was the first time that a concurrent industry exhibition was organised by the host body in conjunction with the congress. + Many of the delegates were from developing countries, which necessitated an active and effective fund raising program to support the attendance of these participants.

Overall Summation The success of the Congress according to Congress Chair, Dr Bob Pym, was due to a number of factors including ‘a superb facility in BCEC, a relevant and broad based scientific and technical program, thought provoking, challenging plenary sessions from keynote speakers and excellent oral and poster presentations.’

World Poultry Congress

Of course everybody at Brisbane Marketing and its Convention Bureau will be happy to help you to plan any event you might have in mind. And I have to say, this is the first time that I have experienced such a team spirit within a city. All the actors of the local meeting industry seem to have a strong, close, successful relationship. The rightfully named ‘Team Brisbane’ is a coordinated, collaborative, city-wide approach to doing business. As one united force reflecting the general, positive, out-there attitude of Brisbanites, they’re dedicated to getting the best results for their clients. I can now almost hear you saying: ‘Where do we sign?...’

HEADQUARTERS 37


> BRISBANE

BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE, THE OVERACHIEVER

‘Everything’s covered’. The motto of Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) says it all. And it’s pretty much what you feel when you take a tour of the venue. It seems like everything has been carefully thought out, planned out to meet the requirements of the most demanding meeting planner. And with the expansion of the current facility and maybe one of the friendliest staff in the meetings industry, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre will be on the map of international association congresses like never before. Opened in 1995, ideally located near the waterfront at South Bank, home to Brisbane’s thriving cultural and arts community, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre has nothing to

HEADQUARTERS 38

blush about when it comes to achievements, whether it be in hosting green events, catering or awards. The BCEC is indeed Australia’s most awarded convention centre, has been officially ranked among the top three centres in the whole world, has received recognition for its benchmarking activities in the sustainability area, hosts an average of 900 events a year and has won 42 catering awards so far!

IN TERMS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP A member of Australia’s Greenhouse Challenge since 2003, the centre has an in-house team whose members promote environmental efficiency wherever and whenever

BRISBANE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE, THE HARD FACTS + 171,650 m2 of floor area + 42 meeting rooms and event spaces + 3 plenary halls for 400 up to 8,000 people + 2 ballrooms + 4 executive boardrooms + 3 speakers’ presentation centres + 1 dedicated tasting room – the only one in Australia + 20,000 m2 of exhibition space

I A C C


> BRISBANE Great Hall Gala Dinner

River Room - Special events venue

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATIONS CONVENTIONS TO COME TO BRISBANE + 15th UICC Reach to Recovery International Breast Cancer Support Conference 2009 - 700 delegates + International Association for Community Development 2009 - 1,000 delegates + International Association for Ambulatory Surgery Congress 2009 1,000 delegates + 19th World Congress of Soil Science 2010 - 1,000 delegates + International Society of Arboriculture Conference 2011 - 2,000 delegates + Asia Pacific Digestive Week 2011 2,500 delegates + International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences Congress 2012 650 delegates + 34th International Geological Congress 2012 - 4,000 delegates + International Congress on Archives 2012 - 2,000 delegates + World Green Infrastructure 2012 – 1,500 delegates + International Urogynecological Association Annual Conference 2012 600 delegates + 29th International Horticulture Congress 2014 - 2000 delegates

possible. It offers the services of a tailormade carbon calculator delivering clients the opportunity to stage carbon neutral events, taking into account room occupancy, menu selection, event services, wide-scale recycling and ever more efficient use of resources - with regular donations to Foodbank. No wonder, then, that Brisbane was chosen to host major ‘green’ events, such as Green Cities ’09 and the World Green Infrastructure Congress 2012.

IN TERMS OF CATERING We usually don’t emphasize catering in HQ magazine, but here I really have to make an exception. The BCEC’s kitchens are so impres-

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre has started a phase of expansion which is due to be completed by 2011. Called BCEC on Grey Street, the new building will have five levels of boutique meetings and event space sive, the range of what they can achieve is so striking that it’s worth being pointed out. Whatever your food and beverage requirements, with more than 40 awards to date, they have the proven ability to cater for basically any event and every taste. It’s really a ‘You name it, we cook it’ kind of thing. In fact, the pride of Kevin Gulliver, Food & Beverage Director, is almost tangible: he himself praised ‘BCEC’s high quality restaurant catering’.

IN TERMS OF FLEXIBILITY When you take a tour of the facility, you can’t but be amazed by the array of possibilities it offers. Everything is under one roof - including a graphic department, the only one in Australia - and like John Gaudin, Convention Centre Manager, says: ‘Operationally speaking, everything has been well designed and each room is laid out so that every bit of space is optimized.’ From 8 to 8,000 people, any congress is doable: it’s just a matter of finding the right multi-purpose meeting room or plenary hall within the venue. And because nothing has ever to be taken for granted Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre has started a phase of expansion which is due to be completed by 2011. Called BCEC on Grey Street, the new building will have five levels of boutique meetings and event space, thus establishing the BCEC as one of Austral-

ia’s most flexible event venues. With an iconic contemporary design, 5-star green rating and no less than 800 hotel rooms all at walking distance, the 24,000 m2 development will have a direct interface with the ‘outside world’, the retail and restaurant hub and the cultural and arts community right next door. On a personal note, I personally could feel the sense of commitment of all the teams working there. It’s no surprise that the BCEC takes pride in a really low turnover. Each and every staff member, including many who have been in the centre since its very first day of operation, is fully dedicated to a venue they’re really proud of. As Gail Sawyer, BCEC Communication Manager, puts it: ‘It pretty much is a spirit. There’s a deep sense of belonging, of being part of a bigger picture’.

CONTACT Brisbane Convention Bureau/Brisbane Marketing T : +61 7 3006 6200 F : +61 7 3006 6250 conventionbureau@ brisbanemarketing.com.au

WWW.MEETINBRISBANE.COM

HEADQUARTERS 39


The perfect conditions for picking up new skills

7HENYOUCHOOSE"RISBANEFORYOURCONFERENCE YOUAREGIVINGDELEGATESAUNIQUEOPPORTUNITY 4HEYlLLUNEARTHFRESHIDEASINONEOFTHEWORLDlSFASTESTGROWINGCITIESpAMODERN THRIVINGCITY LEADING THE WAY IN -EDICAL 2ESEARCH AND )NFORMATION AND #OMMUNICATION 4ECHNOLOGIES 4HEYlLLEXPERIENCESOMEOFTHEWORLDlSBESTCONFERENCEFACILITIES UNIQUEOUTDOORACTIVITIESAND WORLD CLASS CULTURAL FACILITIES !ND THEYlLL SEE AND DO THINGS THEY HAVE ONLY DREAMED ABOUT .ATURALWONDERS PRISTINEBEACHESANDTROPICALRAINFORESTSAREALLCLOSEBY Choose the destination where conditions are perfect.

MAKE BRISBANE YOURS www.meetinbrisbane.com

AUSTRALIA


HQ > MAASTRICHT

WHEN MAASTRICHT RHYMES WITH QUALITY

Hoeg Brögk

MAASTRICHT BELIEVES A SUCCESSFUL CONFERENCE HAS TWO ESSENTIAL CRITICAL FACTORS: THE QUALITY OF ACCOMMODATION AND THE QUALITY OF THE DESTINATION. IN THIS OLDEST CITY OF THE NETHERLANDS, THESE TWO FACTORS ARE COMBINED PERFECTLY.

Maastricht is often described as an un-Dutch city, maybe because of the contemporary atmosphere of the historic centre, or the joie de vivre of the city’s inhabitants, or its location in the green, hilly surroundings. Everyone agrees that the large variety of boutiques, the quality and richness of the cultural opportunities on offer, and the high level of gastronomy give the city an international flavour.

The mayor of Maastricht offers a welcome reception for international conferences in the town hall of Maastricht, a historical building on the Market Square in the city centre. After the congress programme your delegates can enjoy a lovely drink or dinner downtown, where the gastronomic opportunities are endless. The city boasts 5 restaurants with one or more Michelinstars, and more than 400 bars and cafés.

The city of Maastricht consists of 120,000 inhabitants, 5,000 of which are students, due to the large international Maastricht University, and the renowned academic hospital. It is known to be safe and compact. From the conference centre, delegates can easily walk back to their hotels. It has the best of both worlds: venues large enough to meet and a city centre small enough for you to bump into your colleagues and elaborate on the conference.

The surrounding area is perfectly suitable for various social or partner programmes: cycling around, visiting caves in combination with a cruise on the river Maas, wine tasting, or simply enjoying the astonishing beauty of the town during a city tour. Partners from delegates of an international conference get a free city tour during the congress programme! In addition, their overnight stay in Maastricht is also for free at the time of the congress in one of the many types of hotels that the city and its surrounding area has to offer: 591 rooms in *** hotels 2476 rooms in **** hotels 313 rooms in ***** hotels

GREAT DIVERSITY If you wish to organise a dinner or party during your congress, there is a great diversity of venues in Maastricht and surrounding area for these type of events, whether it be in natural caves, in a beautiful castle or in a 17th century fortress, all within 15 minutes from the conference centre.

from Brussels, Paris, London and several destinations in Germany. For international delegates who prefer to travel by airplane, the airports of Düsseldorf, Cologne and Brussels are only 1 hour away from our city. Professional transport companies can take care of your trip to and from the airport.

For more information, contact the Maastricht Convention Bureau! It is a foundation of several companies and service organisations from the meetings industry of Maastricht and its surroundings. They offer, free of charge, independent, objective information and advice on all topics related to organising events in our region.

EASY ACCESS Maastricht can be perfectly reached by train

www.maastrichtconventionbureau.com

HEADQUARTERS 41


> MAASTRICHT

MECC MAASTRICHT

Where you take your event to another level WITH A UNIQUE COMBINATION OF HIGH-QUALITY FACILITIES, EXCELLENT SERVICES AND A GREAT SETTING, MECC, THE MAASTRICHT EXHIBITION AND CONGRESS CENTRE, IS A DYNAMIC, MODERN SPECIALIST IN THE ORGANISATION OF CONFERENCES AND OTHER

tions and European multinationals. Their presence is another of MECC Maastricht’s attractions as a venue for international business meetings.

EVENTS. OUR VENUE OFFERS 30,000 M2 OF EXHIBITION OR EVENT SPACE, A CONGRESS CENTRE WITH TWO AUDITORIUMS AND MEETING ROOMS FOR BETWEEN 10 AND 1650 PEOPLE. DESPITE ITS SIZE, THE BUILDING IS INTIMATE AND EXTREMELY FLEXIBLE. WHETHER YOU ARE HOLDING AN EVENT FOR 50 GUESTS OR 5,000, MECC MAASTRICHT IS THE PLACE TO BE.

UNIQUELY CHARMING MECC Maastricht is the ideal meeting place at the heart of Europe. With a history stretching back some 2000 years, the Romans, Spaniards, French and Germans have all left their mark in Maastricht. The result is a cultural melting pot with its own uniquely exuberant personality – a place where everyone will feel at home.

Today’s Maastricht is a city of culture, learning and business. And one of the three leading conference venues in the Netherlands. Sometimes referred to as ‘Europe’s second home’, event organisers value Maastricht for an intimacy which is often lacking in larger meeting destinations. Famous as the birthplace of the euro, our city is also home to many international institu-

WE MEET YOUR DEMANDS, YOU MEET YOUR TARGETS A varied social programme is the perfect complement to your business meeting. Maastricht has plenty to offer, from traditional city tours to golfing or wine-tasting. To arrange

MECC, the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre, is a dynamic, modern specialist in the organisation of conferences and other events transport, book a hotel room, make a restaurant reservation or even organise an event, simply contact Maastricht Booking Service, a division of MECC Maastricht. With its years of support services for congresses, they know the city and region better than anyone.

HEADQUARTERS 42


> MAASTRICHT

FIBREGLASS CONNECTION MAKES EUROPEAN VASCULAR COURSE UNIQUE Strategic collaboration between Maastricht UMC+ and MECC Maastricht For all your culinary needs, MECC Maastricht has its own catering service. MECC@ table is our in-house restaurant and the MecCafé is the place to relax with a drink. We can also assist you with services ranging from multimedia technology and décor to security and cleaning. And much more. In fact, everything you need for a successful event.

A unique fibreglass connection between the operating rooms of Maastricht UMC+ Maastricht University Medical Centre - and MECC Maastricht is the next important step in a strategic collaboration between the two organisations. The aim is to increase Maastricht’s reputation as a centrally located city with optimal facilities for organising and facilitating medical conferences.

MECC MAASTRICHT: IDEALLY ACCESSIBLE

It was the first time that the European Vascular Course (EVC) successfully used the fibreglass connection during its first edition in the MECC in Maastricht which took place from Thursday 26 February until Saturday 28 February. Over a thousand cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiologists and specialist nurses from across the world exchanged experiences over the course of three days and watched no less than 21 unique operations broadcast live from the operating rooms of the Maastricht UMC+ to the MECC.

Maastricht lies in the so-called euregio, at the heart of Europe, close to where the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany meet, making MECC Maastricht easy to reach from anywhere. We have excellent rail links with all major European cities. With the completion of the new high-speed line, Brussels is now less than 75 minutes away. Moreover, the trains stop right in front of the congress centre. Maastricht is a key hub on the European highway network, too, with the congress centre practically on the motorway. And you can park right outside the main entrance, and the city centre is just a stone’s throw away. MECC Maastricht is close to numerous international airports, all less than an hour away.

CONTACT MECC Maastricht Forum 100 - NL - 622 9 GV Maastricht P.O. Box 1630 - NL - 6201 BP Maastricht Tel. 0031 (0)43 38 38 356 Fax 0031 (0)43 38 38 450 info@mecc.nl www.mecc.nl www.tastemaastricht.eu

The European Vascular Course is a cuttingedge post-academic training programme in which the latest techniques and medical products are discussed, displayed and utilised. Philips even built a complete operating room: the innovative ‘Hybrid Operating Room’. All these ingredients made EVC the largest cardiovascular medicine ‘course’ in Europe. The fact that the EVC took place in Maastricht for the first time was a result of the joint effort of Maastricht UMC+ and

the province of Limburg. The organiser and driving force behind EVC is professor Michael Jacobs, vascular surgeon and director of the Heart and Vascular Centre of Maastricht UMC+.

‘This conference is respected worldwide because it is not a ‘fancy circus’, but a demanding and innovative post-academic programme’, explains Jacobs. ‘Leading speakers from across the world give lectures, workshops and demonstrations. This year was the first time that we showed live operations. This way, specialists could see the latest techniques such as hybrid operations or the insertion of a heart valve through the groin. The conference is a good way of demonstrating the unique multi-disciplinary work method of the Maastricht Heart and Vascular Centre across the world.’

HEADQUARTERS 43


HQ > FLANDERS

Brecht Putman, Jan Wittouck and Evelyne Bardyn

NEW NAME PUTS FLANDERS ON THE MAP Belgium Convention Bureau for Flanders & Brussels ON A SUNNY DAY IN SPRINGTIME HQ MAGAZINE MET UP WITH JAN WITTOUCK, DIRECTOR OF THE FLANDERS-BRUSSELS CONVENTION BUREAU - MEETINGPOINT BELGIUM. BUT DON’T GET USED TO THAT NAME, BECAUSE THEY’RE MIXING THINGS UP IN THE UPPER PART OF BELGIUM. THE RESULT OF THE NEW REBRANDING WILL BE SHOWN TO THE

Bureau for Brussels and Wallonia? Of course we have informed them so they’re aware of the new name and chances are they might be changing theirs too. Obviously we’re open to the new direction they might be heading.

WORLD SHORTLY, BUT NOT BEFORE HQ MAGAZINE HAD AN EXCLUSIVE TALK ABOUT THE HOW AND WHY OF IT ALL. INTERVIEW STEVEN KINS

HQ: Of course, the first thing we want to know: what are the most important changes? Jan Wittouck: The name change is the most prominent thing. Meetingpoint Belgium is relegated to the history books. Too often it was perceived as a meeting place on an airport or train station, and we definitely wanted to avoid confusion. Most people in our industry know what a convention bureau is and what they can expect from it, so we wanted to include that in our new name. Furthermore, we see that Flanders is not exactly well-known and we he have to keep in mind that we need to calculate the economic strength of what we do, according to the agreement with the Ministry of Flanders.

HEADQUARTERS 44

It’s not the first time we notice people’s unfamiliarity with the name ‘Flanders’. During the EIBTM and IMEX fairs, we had 80 appointments about Belgium in our schedule opposed to 5 appointments about Flanders, so there’s definitely the need to bring Flanders to the fore. The ‘new’ convention bureau will still be part of the Flanders tourist office, but we want to explore the possibilities we get by using the ‘Belgium’ brand. In the Anholt index Belgium comes in somewhere in between, but Flanders is not known at all. Foreigners only know Brussels and Belgium, all the rest is far too complicated, that’s why we chose this new name and fought for it. You can ask yourself: what about OPT, the Convention

HQ: What will be the other changes? Jan Wittouck: In the next few months the new branding for the website will be complete and we’ll have a completely new brochure. Then we have the teaser brochure which will include info on how to reach every congress destination, what the infrastructure is like (capacity of the venues, hotels and their classification), and practical info and specific things about the town (for instance, ‘an ideal town for meetings of up to 500 people’). This will be available around June. That’s also the time we’ll be sending out a direct mail all over the world with our new logo. We have a new MICE assistant in the UK, and we’ll also have one in New York shortly. The most recent addition to our team is Marketing Director Piet Jonckers. I also would have liked to announce the name of the new general administrator but the selection


> FLANDERS

We’re aiming for a full-time assistant who’s only dealing with associations. I myself deal with associations in America, together with the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) procedure for this is still going on. As you can see, we’re not standing still.

HQ: What are you doing for the association world? Jan Wittouck: In reply to your editor in chief Marcel Vissers’ request to chart the associations, we’re looking into the 3,000 addresses in Brussels. What’s behind them? We discovered that certain associations that are headquartered in Brussels go somewhere else from time to time to hold meetings, to Antwerp for instance, and we’re really curious to find out more about this. Everywhere we hear that a lot of association headquarters are located in Brussels, but we want to know: that’s what they are, and that’s what they organize, these are their budgets and their expectations towards DMOs,… We’re cooperating with the UIA, the Union of International Associations, on this and the report should be ready by the end of the year. We’re aiming for a full-time assistant who’s only dealing with associations. I myself deal with associations in America, together with the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE). Bidding for an annual association conference is quite complicated and time-consuming - it also takes longer, even years in advance, but we don’t need only the big meetings, also the smaller meetings that have a less long decision-making process are of high interest to us. Those side meetings from associations are larger in number but smaller in number of delegates.

HQ: Then the inevitable question. How are you feeling the crisis? Jan Wittouck: The current crisis is not a cyclical but a structural crisis. The world economy has expanded enormously the past decades with new countries with large economic growth. Measures need to be and are already being taken by the local governments. The world economy has to be reorientated, and banks need to work in a different type of structure and atmosphere. I believe

we’ll see a totally rescaped framework in which the worldwide economy will operate. Crucial decisions were made at the G20, but such a complex process will take time. new meeting guide

Nevertheless, the crisis is hitting hard for many industries. In Belgium, statistics show that the hotel industry, airlines,… are losing business. Some say 30% less occupancy, which is enormous. But, we have to keep on going, even with smaller budgets, but maybe with a higher level of creativity. The intake of foreign visitors may have slowed down, Belgium-based corporations and associations still have to hold their meetings and want to save money by staying in Belgium, so the home country wins. Our international marketing plan currently has not been revised and we also keep investing in a cooperation with airlines and international partners. The growth of tourism in Flanders in 2008 is less then 1%, but many other countries in Europe have a decline of 8 to 11%. So we’re not doing that bad. I think this is because our tourism model is quite flexible and this makes it less vulnerable.

HQ: Any other projects? Jan Wittouck: Thanks to the Kunstactieplan and the corresponding budget that the Minister for Tourism, Kris Peeters, has reserved for it, four cities - Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp and Leuven - in close cooperation with Toerisme Vlaanderen have launched a project on green meetings. We’ll investigate how corporate clients think about sustainability – green meetings: what does it mean to them? Afterwards, we would like to communicate the results of the report to the suppliers and we intend to attach a label to their venues and products.

Meetings in Brussels have a very environmental aspect. For those holding a meeting in the heart of the city, the delegates can arrive by train and walk to their hotel. The SQUARE convention centre stressed the fact that no transfers were needed from the airport and between the hotels, which is an enormous saving and above all an environment-friendly solution. So it sold like hot cakes, but now we’re also stressing the green aspect and the fact that people can walk to their hotels. Once Antwerp has its renovated Flanders Congress & Concert Centre, it will be the same story. In a few years time you’ll be able to take the fast train from Brussels Airport to Antwerp Central, walk around the corner and you’re there. On top of that, all the hotels are at walking distance, so you save money and you’re environment-minded. One of the three pillars of the meetings industry product is accessibility, infrastructure and tourist product. Therefore we’re happy that Brussels Airlines has teamed up with Lufthansa and that they’ve joined StarAlliance, which has a strong official carrier programme. Belgium will be connected to the world better than ever. I hope more international flights will be added as well in a couple of years.

CONTACT

belgium convention bureau Flanders - Brussels

But don’t forget, we already have an important sustainability department. We’re very much into sustainability and quality care and we have a product that can meet those demands. The ‘groene sleutel’ is a project of Toerisme Vlaanderen in which a hotel or venue received an award for being sustainable.

Belgium Convention Bureau for Flanders & Brussels T: +32 (0)2 504 04 33 F: +32 (0)2 504 04 80 congres@meetingpoint.be www.meetingpoint.be

HEADQUARTERS 45


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8e\n[`d\ej`fe ]fi\m\iY\kk\ij\im`Z\ Colloquium, the specialist in congress organization and management of professional associations, is now present in Brussels. Thanks to this European-scale development we are able to boost our international expertise and assistance capacities. We are now even closer and more responsive to you, conďŹ rming our ambition to provide our clients with the best possible consulting services. To ďŹ nd out more, go to colloquium-group.com

HQ No.33  

HQ magazine No.33

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