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Edition September 2013
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How are our Communication Professionals doing?
Colophon HQ or Headquarters is a niche publication for European and international associations headquartered in Brussels and all major European cities dealing with the organisation of worldwide congresses. Published 5 times a year. Circulation: 5,000 copies. Subscriptions 65€ (all incl.) in Belgium, 75€ (all incl.) in the EU, 95€ (all incl.) in the rest of the world. One subscription entails 5 editions of Headquarters a year, including HQ Meeting Trends Special. To subscribe: www.headquartersmagazine.com Editor in Chief Marcel A.M. Vissers T. +32 (0)3 226 88 81 firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Director Cécile Caiati-Koch T. +32 (0)2 761 70 52 email@example.com Account Manager – International Sales Kelvin Lu T. +32 (0)2 761 70 59 firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Rémi Dévé T. +32 (0)2 761 70 58 email@example.com Design & Print Press Point Poelstraat 167 - 9820 Merelbeke T. +32 (0)9 362 52 50 - www.presspoint.be Supported by ESAE, the European Society of Association Executives, and UIA, the Union of International Associations Address 59 rue René Declercq 1150 Brussels (Belgium) T. +32 (0)2 761 70 50 F. +32 (0)2 761 70 51 www.headquartersmagazine.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcel A.M. VISSERS Editor in Chief
In a sector where bringing the right message counts, PR managers must have something to say for themselves. Is this the case? I’ve noticed that not much is said during conferences about the meetings industry on the subject of how good or bad our internal as well as external communication is. Is there a reason for this? This subject had never caught my attention until I recently saw the findings of the ECOPSI (European Communication Professional Skills and Innovation Programme).
In fact, many interesting research projects, sponsorship programmes and educational programmes exist within the European Institutions that we are not aware of because we simply do not know how to gain access to them. So that’s why I’m ringing the European bell once again to draw the reader’s attention to another interesting European research programme. ECOPSI researchers conducted an intensive 15-month research programme based on survey data from more than 40 countries and 53 in-depth interviews with chief communication officers and professionals from important European organisations. Among the conclusions that were drawn from the EU funded project, the following are, in my opinion, the most important. 1. Social media knowledge is acknowledged as a weakness and people feel they need to improve in this field: ‘More specifically, the majority of practitioners feel they need a greater understanding of its strategic application.’ 2. The industry needs to look closely at how it can foster intercultural relationships and crosscultural working by setting up accredited and recognised programmes of exchange/secondment/internship with different companies in different countries. Existing student exchange programmes, such as Erasmus, are held in high regard. 3. The value of observing others and learning from them is noted. Networks and Forums are a recognised support for practitioners at senior and lower levels but there may well be a gap in the middle ranks where professionals are more guarded of sharing knowledge, experience and weaknesses. A bit more worrying is that researchers also concluded that ‘there is little organised life-long learning in public relations and communication management in Europe.’ Should we ring the alarm?
» More stories on www.headquartersmagazine.com Cécile Caiati-Koch
GENERAL Association Portrait AIPC 2013 Annual Conference IMEX America
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ESAE & UIA Emerging association markets
MEETING TRENDS ICCA & UIA Stats of the Year FAIB 2013 Socio-Economic Survey
SPECIAL FEATURE The Gulf States
DESTINATIONS China, an interview with Ping Liu Indonesia Shanghai, China Ostend, Belgium Lausanne, Switzerland Grimaldi Forum Monaco World Forum, The Hague
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HEADQUARTERS/ICCA Dress to Impress Awards in Shanghai Get Ready! It’s become an unmissable evening. Every year at the ICCA congress gala dinner, HEADQUARTERS MAGAZINE and the association join forces to create a memorable theme night, when guests have to dress up to the nine. This year’s theme:
SENSATIONAL IN SILK. The evening is sponsored by Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration. Typical, formal or over-the-top: you choose, as long as you dress up! A jury will select the best outfits and awards will be handed out. Shanghai will host the 52nd ICCA Congress on 2-6 November 2013. It’s going to be the first time for such an event to be held in mainland China. It will take place at Shanghai International Convention Center, next to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and across from the famous Bund.
> Association portrait
Specialty Committee Conference, Jilin, China
World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Established in 2003 and located in Beijing, the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) is an international academic Chinese Medicine organisation approved by State Council of P.R. China. At present, the WFCMS has 228 member societies from 62Â countries and regions. Jeffery Huang, deputy Secretary General of WFCMS and Secretary General of the World Congress of Chinese Medicine, tells us more about how the organisation operates.
HQ: What are the main objectives of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies? Jeffery Huang: The main objectives of WFCMS are to organise academic activities on Chinese medicine, to spread Chinese medicine culture, as well as to develop international communication on Chinese medicine. In order to achieve this, WFCMS has established three different conferences, the annual World Congress of Chinese Medicine, as well as regional international academic 6
conferences and academic conferences of specialty committees, and symposiums and working meetings. Annually, there are 80 to 100 meetings held by secretariat of WFCMS, together with local member societies. HQ: Can you tell us more about these events? Jeffery Huang: Since 2003, WFCMS has held nine World Congresses of Chinese Medicine (WCCM) respectively in Beijing, Paris, Toronto, Singapore, Macau, Melbourne, The Hague, and London, each of which attracted 750 to 1,200 attendees. Delegates from over 50 countries and regions attended the congresses, which shows significant international impact. Each
time, we received fund support from the government of the hosting countries. The 9th World Congress of Chinese Medicine, held in Kuching in 2012, received even more financial support from the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB). Regional international conferences and forums focus on the regional situation of Chinese medicine, liaising and communicating with local scientific research institutions, universities and governments, so as to provide importance information and policy reference to the Chinese government - we are serving as an important think tank.
> Association portrait
A history of the World Congress of Chinese Medicine (WCCM) 2004: Beijing, China - 3000 delegates 2005: Paris, France - 820 delegates 2006: Toronto, Canada - 810 delegates 2007: Singapore - 1030 delegates Academic conferences on different subjects are also annually held by different specialty committees of WFCMS. There were 54 academic conferences on 54 subjects in 2012, covering expertise on tumor, cardio vascular, dermatology, liver diseases, nephropathy and Aids, etc. A total of over 10,000 delegates from over 30 countries and regions attended these conferences. HQ: What is the association’s decision process concerning the organisation of your events? How do you decide where to go? Jeffery Huang: The World Congress of Chinese Medicine (WCCM) is bid for by the member societies or local DMCs in the organising country. The Secretariat of WFCMS then chooses the best one for venue inspection, then submits the report to the Council Board Meeting for final approval. The main criteria we look at include: • Conveniency and cost of transportation: Accessibility into a destination is the priority concern for holding WCCM. • Venue and hotel facilities: Hotels have to be within walking distance of the venue, if we have chosen for a non-residential conference. The closer, the better. • Affordability: We can afford the equivalent to four-star-hotel expenditure. So everything has to be within that price range. • Richness of tourism as well as academic study resources: Both have to be really strong as a conference delegate can also be a ‘traditional’ tourist. • Degree of support from local government: This can be diverse, ie financial or policy support. • Willingness of local institutions to cooperate with our conferences, like local Chinese medicine and acupuncture societies for instance. • Presence of Professional Conference Organisers and their service level. • City image and favourable climate conditions: It helps attract international guests!
2008: Macao - 1250 delegates 2009: Melbourne, Australia - 760 delegates 2010: The Hague, Holland - 850 delegates 2011: London, England - 860 delegates 2012: Kuching, Malaysia - 1096 delegates 2013: San Francisco, USA - est. 860 delegates 2014: Moscow, Russia - est. 1300 delegates 8th WCCM, London
For the regional conferences and forums, it is usually decided upon by the secretariat of WFCMS, depending on the terms and conditions provided by the local organiser, but we often prefer to co-operate with the local university/college. The academic conferences held by specialty committees are jointly decided upon by the Secretariat of WFCMS and the Secretariat of the specialty committee. HQ: How do you see the future of the association? Jeffery Huang: As to our conferences, I firmly believe they will grow better and stronger partly thanks to China’s economic development. The number of newly-established specialty committees keep increasing for instance, leading to more and more meetings every year. Financial support from the Chinese government to Traditional Chinese Medicine research has also increased in the past five years and led to more meetings to be held on different levels. But the government doesn’t support our organisation directly, so we need to raise money for our meetings ourselves - and that can be a challenge! In the future, there will also be more competition mainly due to China’s economic prosperity and its opening to the world. If the Chinese MICE industry is stronger, it will also create new dynamics worldwide, in every field of endeavour.
HQ: How would you summarise new trends in the association congress world? Jeffery Huang: Since 2001, China has benefited a lot from its participation to ‘globalization’, with international investments of all kinds making it an important economic power. With the rapid development of China’s economy, more and more associations have been set up. The MICE industry is here part of the ‘service’ industry, which is China’s focus for the future. The Chinese government is now strongly supporting the development of the MICE industry, and some local governments have also issued policies to encourage it at a more local level. With this, we are confident that the association congress world will enjoy a fast and healthy development and contribute to more social and economic welfare. I believe that the association world will be more professional in the near future, with more DMCs and PCOs, stronger ‘green’ commitment, more healthy competition. HQ: Any memorable destination for one of your events? Jeffery Huang: Definitely Kuching city, in Sarawak, Malaysia, a modern city surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest offering unique pre- and post-conference tour options and field trips for delegates. The Garden City par excellence, it also boasts world-class accommodation and meeting facilities like the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, while the people of Kuching are friendly and courteous. This is a destination to remember! www.wfcms.org 7
AIPC 2013 Annual Conference Convention Centres in Context For my very first AIPC conference, the association had selected Cape Town and its international convention centre as its destination and venue of choice. Held every year at the beginning of the summer, the conference usually aims to give a close and critical look at convention centres in a variety of contexts all around the world. This year’s program was no exception: from a business to an architectural perspective, the conference covered a wide spectrum of subjects, and effortlessly catered to every delegate’s need. Report Rémi Dévé
Some of you may not be familiar with the AIPC. A French acronym for ‘association internationale des palais des congrès’, it represents professional convention and exhibition centre managers the world over. With 172 members from 54 countries at the moment, AIPC is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention centre management, while at the same time providing the tools to achieve such high standards through its research, educational and networking programs, with the active involvement of more than 900 management-level professionals worldwide. Before I left, I was told I could expect a highquality, information-packed programme, and, in this area, I was not the least disappointed, although I dare say, even if there were not brand-new things I learned, it was good enough to put everything into perspective.
Inspirational Because the conference took place in South Africa for the first time, sessions about how conference centres can be social and economic drivers for a destination were held. In this respect, the first keynote speech was, according to pretty much all the delegates,
educational development but as integral parts of how a destination can pursue its overall long term objectives through the events and activities it hosts. In this way, they serve as ‘business schools’ and must be used ‘as tools to advance the interests of a destination in every area one thinks is fit.’
Because the conference took place in South Africa for the first time, sessions about how conference centres can be social and economic drivers for a destination were held ‘inspirational’: if the presentation by social entrepreneur, author, mentor and thought leader Wendy Luhabe was a bit dry, it became really interesting and informative when we got to the Q&A. She argued that centres need to be seen in the context of their local and regional communities not only as instruments of economic and
I personally found the presentation made by Daniel Silke, a political analyst and author and director of the Political Futures Consultancy quite inspirational as well. Captivating the audience like, at least to me, no other speaker could at the conference, he explained how emerging economies like Africa’s are gradually taking their places in
Rasheed Toefy, CTICC CEO
2013 AIPC Member Global Survey an evolving global economy. If new driving economic forces are seeing the light of day - I’m talking about countries here - he stated that women are in fact the new emerging markets, as they represent more than China and India’s workforce combined. Quite an unusual angle if you ask me!
More technical Some sessions were a bit more technical of course. If the findings of the 2013 AIPC Annual Survey were full of useful information (see sidebar), compliance and all the recent legal developments related to it were touched upon during a particularly arid session, especially when a delegate observed that, at the end of the day, centres can’t be held responsible for the non-compliance of an event - only an organisation, an association or a PCO for that matter can. AIPC also communicated about its brandnew initiative: partnering with well-known Ipsos, the organisation wants to make it easy for a venue to calculate its economic impact on the destination it’s set. To do so, the AIPC Calculator Pilot Project has been tested and is now available for member use. The calculation is essentially one of
surveying the spending patterns of organisers, delegates, exhibitors and suppliers in order to capture all the spending associated with an event. Pioneering partners include SQUARE-Brussels Meeting Centre, Adelaide Convention Centre and Bournemouth International Centre among others. Here it must be said that AIPC definitely plays its role as an advocate, making it easy for a venue to showcase its worth and business merits in a given destination! One more word about the association itself: after six years of service and hard work, Edgar Hirt, Managing Director CCH - Congress Center Hamburg, stepped down as AIPC president. He delivered quite a moving speech about what AIPC has meant and still means to him: a platform to network, of course, but also a place where knowledge is exchanged and best practices are shared, partaking of a better world in the end. Let’s hope Geoff Donaghy, CEO of International Convention Centre Sydney, Director Convention Centres AEG Ogden and AIPC’s new president, will follow Edgar’s deserving steps! More information www.aipc.org
Carried out between April and June 2013, the survey is largely reflective of 2012 performance with an outlook for 2013. It achieved a 65% response rate from members in 54 countries, the majority are European facilities. The key findings were: · Centres have seen 6-7% revenue growth in the past few years but are anticipating slower growth (1%) for 2013 in the face of ongoing stagnation in economic recovery. European centres are lagging other parts of the world due largely to economic conditions there. · Recovering corporate event business is driving growth in many areas while conventions, exhibitions remain stagnant. · Many centres are pursuing alternate revenue streams including event creation, sponsorship and advertising and enhanced services; they are also engaging in more risk sharing with clients to encourage more business. · Centres are challenged by rapid change in event formats and explosive growth in technology and connectivity demands, both of which require greater investment in a time of only modest revenue growth. · A growing concern this year is the fact that many governments and corporations are restricting meetings participation as budgetary measures, reflecting a lack of appreciation for their role in economic growth. Many governments are also reducing new investment in facilities at a time when this is required in order to compete effectively. · The top concerns noted by centres for future business growth: Strong global competition, a weak economic recovery and ongoing high unemployment; slow event business growth, challenges arising from hotel and airline capacity and pricing.
IMEX America’s Association Focus Learning for association executives Association Evening
Association Focus Networking Brunch
Even before buyers and thought-leaders gather from around the world and across the U.S. for the third annual IMEX America October 15th - 17th at the Sands Expo, association teams and leaders will find top-notch business opportunities and a full day and evening of customized education and networking just for them at the IMEX America Association Focus Event. ‘Association Focus’ will provide a pre-show ‘conference within a conference’ as part of Smart Monday on Oct. 14, which is IMEX’s preshow education day and is powered by strategic partners, MPI (Meeting Professionals International). Although similar to IMEX in Frankfurt show’s Association Day, both the types of attendees and, consequently, the educational topics strongly reflect and address the key issues and challenges facing those working in the US association market.
Kicking into gear… The free educational event is organised by and for associations through an active partnership with ICCA, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership and PCMA. Last year almost 200 association executives took part, with dozens more expected for 2013. Starting off with a networking lunch, the programme kicks into gear with a keynote address by ‘people-centric business expert’ Tim Sanders. Sanders is a former Yahoo! executive, corporate consultant and bestselling author of Love Is the Killer App, The Likeability Factor, and Saving the World at Work.
Afterwards attendees can tailor their afternoon learning experience to their individual and organisational needs, expertise areas and goals sessions from one of three tracks. ASAE heads the executive track; ICCA the global track and PCMA the meetings track. Session highlights include: ‘Culture Change:
‘Association Focus’ will provide a pre-show ‘conference within a conference’ as part of Smart Monday on Oct. 14, which is IMEX’s preshow education day Channeling Your Resources for Greater ROI’; ‘International Meetings are from Mars, Domestic Meetings are from Venus’ and ‘Creating and Curating Fun-Size Content’. Later in the afternoon the program will offer delegates a choice of over eight round-table discussions across all three tracks with hot topics including: ‘Strategic Alliances & the Role of Governments in
Global Expansion’; ‘Growing globally - Keys to Success’; ‘Building Partnerships in New Markets’; ‘Hybrid and Virtual Conferences - New Learning Formats’ and ‘Using Social Media and Viral Marketing to Promote Your Event’.
… and networking Come 6pm all Association Focus buyers will then attend the Association Evening reception sponsored by Sands Meetings where they can meet and network with exhibitors and association partners. The reception provides a friendly and informal setting for many hundreds of industry professionals to start the IMEX business week with purpose. Over the next three days Association Focus participants will then attend the third edition of the award-winning IMEX America trade show.
For more information on IMEX America 2013 and Association Focus including schedules and registration visit www.imexamerica.com or contact email@example.com. 11
2012 Country and City Rankings More and more meetings. If you thought the crisis badly affected the worldwide meetings industry, then the statistics ICCA released for 2012 strongly prove otherwise, as the organisation reports another year of continued strength in the international association meetings market.
In 2012, ICCA members and ICCA’s in-house research team identified more than 11,150 association events, over 1,000 more than in 2011. We can already guess that, because almost all international associations have a statutory duty to meet on a regular basis, their congress/conference have become a must-attend for critical members over the years.
Top 10 The top 10 countries showed little change in ranking: USA, Germany and Spain lead the way, followed closely by the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Brazil. After the aftermath of cancellations due to the earthquake and tsunami, Japan jumped back into the top 10 from 13th to 8th place. The Netherlands remained 9th and China-P.R. dropped from 8th to 10th place. Austria just falls out of the top 10 to 11th place.
When it comes to ICCA’s country rankings, it’s all a matter of perspective and proportions. It’s only normal smaller countries do not fare as good as bigger ones in terms of absolute figures. ICCA CEO Martin Sirk commented: ‘Economic strength in certain regions of the world is stimulating growth in regionally rotating association meetings, particularly in Asia and Latin America, but we now also see this trend starting to emerge in regions such as Africa and Middle East.’
Cities vs. countries But it’s in fact city rankings that might be a little more interesting. After all, when it comes to country rankings, it’s all a matter of perspective and proportions. It’s only normal smaller countries do not fare as good as bigger ones if you only at absolute
figures. In the city rankings, Vienna retained its number one status, and Paris is second again. Berlin climbs one place to third. Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona are respectively 4th and 5th and London and Singapore share 6th place. The biggest climber in the top ten was Copenhagen, taking eighth spot with 137 meetings. Istanbul and Amsterdam took ninth and 10th spot, displacing Beijing, which fell three places to 13th. The rise of Copenhagen and London in the rankings is easily understandable. The former benefited from the EU Presidency (just like Brussels last year), while the latter
> Meeting trends
surely enjoyed the ‘Olympics’ effect. But if you look closer at the stats and go back all the way to 2010, you will realize that, while it’s true there are more and more meetings for pretty much every destination (most of them have increased the number by more or less 50 meetings in just two years), there has been a few shifts among the ones leading the way. In this matter, Prague is the epitome of the dynamism of the meetings industry. From 85 meetings in 2010 and a 19th place, the city moved up to the 11th place with 112 events - and to our knowledge, there’s no outside reason, like a EU Presidency for instance, explaining the leap. Even if Singapore welcomed more meetings in terms of numbers, its ranking slightly dropped, leaving it out of the Top 5. Barcelona’s place also steadily decreased, from 2nd in 2010 to 3rd in 2011 to 5th in 2012. As for Stockholm, its rise, like Prague, is impressive. They were 17th in 2010 with 89 meetings and are now 12th with 110 events. www.iccaworld.com
Country rankings 2012 Rank
City Rankings 2012
Republic of Korea
International Meetings Statistics for the Year 2012 For the past 64 years, the Union of International Associations (UIA) has undertaken, for the benefit of its members, statistical studies on the preceding year’s international meetings. The statistics are based on information systematically collected by the UIA Congress Department and selected according to strict criteria maintained over the years. UIA’s International Meetings Statistics for the Year 2012 reported a rise in the number of meetings captured in its database. Some 392,588 meetings were held in 2012, compared to 376,381 in 2011. Meetings taken into consideration include those organised and/or sponsored by the international organisations which appear in the Yearbook of International Organisations and in the International Congress Calendar, i.e.: the sittings of their principal organs, congresses, conventions, symposia, regional sessions grouping several countries, as well as some national meetings with international participation organised by national branches of international associations.
Not included are purely national meetings as well as those of an exclusively religious, didactic, political, commercial, or sporting nature, and corporate and incentive meetings, the survey of these specific markets not being within the scope of activities of the UIA.
What counts No major changes seem to have taken place in 2012. Singapore remains #1 as a country and a city, Japan and USA have switched places. If France disappeared
from the Top 5, they have made way to the South Korea. South Korea and Australia, with 563 and 287 meetings respectively, are the other only Asian countries in the top 10 collection. South Korea takes fifth spot, up from sixth last year, while Australia holds its 10th position. Brussels is still strongly standing on the 2nd position, with almost 100 more meetings than last year. Copenhagen, Madrid and London make the Top 10 for the first time: the EU Danish presidency, the Olympics and a proactive approach seem to have yielded fruit.
> Meeting trends
What the UIA stats reveal is the strength of secondary cities. Take Japan for instance: 731 meetings were held in the country in 2012, but only 225 in the capital city Tokyo But what the UIA statistics reveal is the strength of secondary cities. Take Japan for instance: 731 meetings were held in the country in 2012, but only 225 in the capital city Tokyo. That means an outstanding 506 events took place in other Japanese destinations (including 84 in Kyoto). The same goes for Austria and Vienna, France and Paris, Germany (with Berlin nowhere to be seen in the Top 10): it’s not only the capital cities that helped secure a great number of events and a good position in the rankings, but obviously other, dare we say emerging towns… Of course Belgium and Brussels are an exception, but we can guess this is mainly due to the relatively small size of the country. One thing is sure: the UIA stats say a lot about the dynamism of ‘secondary’ destinations and regional convention bureaus… and maybe convention centres! www.uia.org
Top International Meeting Cities in 2012
Top international meeting countries in 2012
Different organisation, different criteria For ICCA, the city and country rankings cover meetings organised by international associations which take place on a regular basis and which rotate between a minimum of three countries, with at least 50 participants. For UIA, meetings are divided into 3 categories: meetings of international organisations, 3-day other international meetings and 2-day other international meetings. Meetings of international organisations are organised or sponsored by ‘international organisations’, i.e. international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) and intergovernmental organisations (IGOs) that are included in the UIA’s Yearbook of
International Organisations, with at least 50 participants. Three-day other international meetings are not organised or sponsored by ‘international organisations’ but nonetheless of significant international character, with at least 40% of participants who are from countries other than the host country, with at least 5 different nationalities, lasting at least 3 days, with either a concurrent exhibition or at least 300 participants. Two-day other international meetings have to be attended by at least 40% of participants who are from countries other than the host country, with at least 5 different nationalities, lasting at least 2 days, with either a concurrent exhibition or at least 250 participants. 15
> Meeting trends
Federation of European & International Associations 2013 Socio-Economic Survey The FAIB is the Federation of European & International Associations based in Belgium. Its membership currently covers around 280 International Associations (IAs), 23 associate members, offering their expertise in matters impacting IAs, such as fiscal (VAT & other), auditing & accounting, human resources, statutory & other legal provisions, public & EUaffairs… Report Danièle Vranken, Secretary General FAIB Early 2013, the FAIB launched its quinquennial enquiry amongst some 1.600 international associations based in Belgium, selected from the 2.200 IAs recorded in the UIA database corresponding to specific criteria. For the first time, an online (Fluidsurveys) questionnaire was used rather than the traditional paper questionnaire sent to IAs since the first edition of the survey in 1983. The exhaustive results - analysed with the support of Alain Costantini, Partner and Vanessa De Muyer, Accounting & Finance Manager, Bird & Bird - were presented at the 28 June FAIB General Assembly attended by some 75 participants. In his keynote speech, the recently appointed MinisterPresident of the Brussels Capital Region, Rudy Vervoort, referred on several occasions to data quoted in the survey. The major elements of the report are summarised below.
Basic Data: • The number of international not for profit associations (INPAs) based in Belgium is constantly increasing: 2.265 in 2013 vs. 1.972 in 2008 which ranks Brussels number one in the number of IAs hosted • 94% of INPAs are based in the BrusselsCapital region representing a 9% increase vs. 2008 • Most international associations (73%) have chosen the AISBL status • VAT registrations went from 35% in 2008 to 67% in 2013 • European Transparency Registrations reported by 57% of respondents 16
• Estimated direct employment: 31.400, including volunteers (paid staff: 13.400 FTE); • Place of residence of staff: 64% Brussels region, 13% Flemish region, 11% Walloon region; • Indirect employment (hotel, restaurant, service providers, etc.): +/- 1250 per association / year; • Office space occupied by INPAs: 205.000 m², of which 75.000 m² of meeting space; • Associations generate some 114.000 day visits to Belgium & approximately 260.000 overnights per year.
Income and expenses • Total estimated income / expenditure: 2.9€ billion. Income range from 100.000€ to 250.000€ for 28% of IA’s, 33% between 250.000€ and 1.000.000€ and 30% between 1.000.000€ and 3.000.000€, a minority of 9% income reported being higher than 3.000.000€.
Statistics show the number of international not for profit associations based in Belgium is constantly increasing Revenues mainly originates from ‘abroad’ for 84%, 5% from the EU and 11% from Belgium. Yet 84% of this income is spent in Belgium of which the breakdown is: personnel cost accounting for 56%, office running costs for 12%, events & meetings for 14%.
This results in a considerable transfer of external resources to Belgium and the Brussels Capital region in particular, given that this is where 94% of IA is established.
Evaluation of Belgium as a host country The survey also lists a series of questions pertaining to the perception of Belgium as a host country (bearing in mind that the large majority of IAs operates in the Brussels-region). Public transport (international as well as national) is generally considered ‘adequate’ whereas road infrastructures are assessed as “poor” by 46%. Availability of skilled staff, in 2013, was felt ‘excellent’ by 54% of respondents compared to 40% in 2008. Generally speaking, fiscal charges for employers and income tax for individuals are considered too high in more than 85% of responses, whereas the possibilities of compensating with non-fiscal benefits are felt adequate (pension plan, company car, mobile phone, etc.) for 74% of respondents. Availability and quality of outsourced services, including accounting and auditing, are largely rated adequate, accounting/ auditing having moved from (58%) ‘adequate’ in 2008 to (54%) ‘excellent’ in 2013. Quality of telecommunication is felt (90%) adequate, whilst its cost ranges between 51% ‘acceptable’ and 49% ‘very high’, representing a slight shift in appreciation compared to 2008; postal services were assessed for the first time and considered adequate in their quality (71%) at acceptable cost (71%). In 2013 the perception of Belgian administration, remains ‘adequate’ but varies between federal (62%), regional (45%) and municipal
> Meeting trends
(71%) administrations, the regional administration having dropped from 65% in 2008 to 45% in 2013, whereas municipal administration went from 64 to 71%. Appropriate conclusions can be drawn from these data. Under the heading « Quality of Life », the four criteria proposed for housing facilities are felt adequate by an average of 57% (value for money of private housing showing the lowest score of 49%) whereas environment, sport, shopping and cultural infrastructures score very differently: cleanliness of street regarded as poor by 66%, availability of green zones excellent by 48% and air quality adequate by 65%. Headquarters of International Associations
Office space is generally considered as excellent to adequate, both from the availability and the value for money, space for sale being felt as adequate in 70% of responses. Meeting and congress facilities assessment ranges from ‘excellent’ for 54% for meeting of less than 100 participants to ‘adequate’ for meeting sized between 100 and 2.500 participants (+/-52%), value for money of meeting & congress facilities being positively (adequate) perceived for 71% of respondents. Availability of hotel facilities, are considered as ‘adequate’ in the majority of answers (ranging from 55% to 69% depending on the number of rooms needed) as well as value for money (60% ‘adequate’”). Restaurants, also score between ‘excellent’ (39%) to ‘adequate’ (58%) and remain at the 2008 level. Amongst the most difficult and time consuming issues associations / individuals are facing in Belgium: obtaining visas, work and residence permits is put at the forefront as are the cumbersome relationships with various Belgian administrations that are considered ‘over-administrative’, demanding and providing contradictory information depending on issuing authority. The language issue in dealing with administrations is also underlined as well as the difficulties identifying the right interlocutors to obtain grants and support for non-commercial activities.
Income of International Associations
Source of income of International Associations
The intermediate report and/or the slides of the presentation of the survey can be obtained from the FAIB secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org. A printed version of the report and analysis is under preparation. 17
Associations in the BRICS countries Bricks to Clicks to BRICS
Many associations, based in Europe or the US, with a European or international geographical mission, have seen their activities grow in one or more of the ‘so called’ BRICS countries during the recent years. Some associations managed to define a successful approach. However, many failed and have learnt the hard way that the traditional business models might not always apply in different geo-cultural environments. Text Alessandro Cortese, President of ESAE and CEO of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO)
While it is not easy to make general statements, some common trends can be identified, when looking at how international associations have tried to meet the opportunities coming from the growth of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, as well as coming from other fast growing countries.
Incoming strategy Probably, the starting and common point for many societies is the growing demand for services and benefits coming from one or more of the BRICS countries. When offering relevant activities, education or professional standardisation, several societies observed an increase in the revenue generated form the BRICS. Some organisations are successful in structuring such a demand by creating a platform that facilitates the access to the ongoing benefits and activities, usually organised in the traditional markets. That is mostly achieved by creating different tools allowing agile access to the services and the benefits of the association. As an example, associations can define joint membership 18
agreements with the national societies in order to extend some benefits to the local constituencies. Others translate newsletters and journals in local languages, in order to have a reliable platform of knowledge dissemination. Efforts are therefore focusing on facilitating the demand to meet the existing offering, without, or with little, modification of it.
Outgoing strategy Usually, at a more mature level, at least from a business perspective, some societies try to maximize their potential in the BRICS countries. This often corresponds with the idea of bringing activities and products in the different markets. However, what works in a place, might
take place in order to reach the maximum market potential. In that sense, the concept of BRICS is often irrelevant as associations realise the need to define a specific business plan for each of the countries, often with very different assumptions, resources and objectives. Depending on the local geo-economical and cultural specificities associations can bring part of their services offering and adapt it to the specific local needs. Each country becomes an independent ‘business unit’, with specific objectives and dedicated offering of services and products.
From Bricks to Clicks Some years ago (well before the BRICS concept was conceived), with the fast advent of the Internet, as a way to communicate
The concept of BRICS is often irrelevant as associations realise the need to define a specific business plan for each of the countries not necessarily work in another one. A long process of adaptation of the business models to the different realities needs to
and do business, infrastructural costs to conduct business internationally started decreasing. That allowed associations to
look at opportunities at a wider scale, without necessary planning heavy investments to become accessible globally. At the time, the big buzz (as it would be called today, but not at the time) was globalisation. Knowledge started to circulate more freely. Many barriers were expected to fall, creating the conditions for an increased interdependence of economical and cultural factors. Almost every organisation was looking at investing in the web as a tool, which could quickly leverage the profitability by accessing new markets. Traditional investment in tangible assets (bricks) progressively opened into intangible infrastructures, usually web based, bringing more agility to connect to potential customers (clicks).
From Clicks to BRICS Globalisation progressively gained in disapproval. The perception of a worldwide business system, run by some multinational players trying to create consistent market conditions around the world, met increasing resistance. Many international players, including associations, understood the importance of respecting diversity and adapting, with their offering, to the specific needs. Each of the BRICS countries, while having in common a higher growth rate than traditional markets, has a unique environment that need to be understood, respected and encompassed in tailored business plans, often drafted jointly with expertise coming from each country. Some years later, the trend looks at moving back from investments into clicks to BRICS, now without a K. Investments are shifting form the need to create a standardised and global platform, to the necessity of understanding of how each separate market can contribute to the growth of a specific society. Associations are learning from the BRICS countries to diversify their offering and increase their sensitivity to different regional and national perspectives. www.esae.org
The case of ESTRO While the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) has its primary focus on Europe, it has observed during the last years a strong increase in demand coming from outside of the continent. In facts, in the field of radiotherapy, no international society exists. The demand for education and science dissemination therefore looks at providers, despite of their geographical focus. ESTRO over the years has developed a school with over 35 courses every year (over 3000 persons per year), has a scientific journal distributed globally and has defined a portfolio of meetings and congresses, some designed for a European audience mainly, some intended for an international audience. Also the membership programme evolved, allowing non-European members to fully benefit from the services and knowledge dissemination platform, while keeping the governance in the hands of European members, as indicated by the statutes of the Association. The approach for international growth followed a country based strategy. Each country is considered as a specific regional business unit, having different tools, objectives and needing different investments. With each country, and depending on the local needs, ESTRO has defined a specific approach, articulating a different products and activities offering. Each country has a specific adaptation of the business model of the Society. In the last years, agreements were signed with China, Japan, India, Australia & New Zealand, Russia and Canada. Activities, without a specific local plan, were conducted also in South Africa, Brazil and other countries in Latin America, and other areas in Asia. For instance in India, ESTRO has developed a long-term educational program, keeping into account the demand coming from the local members and customers. In order to sustain the efforts, a strategic dialogue with the industrial partners allowed generating the necessary resources to trigger the program. Also, when considering the journal and science dissemination, priority was given to printed editions and hard supports (DVD, usb sticks, etc.) instead of online platforms. As another example, ESTRO did not enter the Russian market alone, but made agreements with the International Atomic Agency (IAEA), in order to define the target groups and conduct an analysis to understand the needs and potential obstacles. 19
The role of associations in the BRIC countries What does the future hold? Although growth has slowed in recent years, particularly in Brazil, the four countries that make up the BRIC continue to play an important political and economic role in the world. Together they currently account for more than a quarter of the earth’s land mass, over 40% of the world’s population, and it is predicted that by 2030 the BRIC countries could account for 41% of the world’s market capitalisation. Accordingly, non-profit organisations in Brazil, Russia, India and China have an increasingly important role to play albeit within widely differing contexts. How are they structured and what impact do they have? How can new entrants navigate through the business and political environment in each of these countries? Bob Lewis, Partner and Association Management Chairman at Interel (www. interelgroup.com) discusses the issues with Interel’s International Network partners in the BRIC countries.
How well are trade and professional associations organised? Across the BRIC countries, associations are becoming increasingly well organised and recognised. For example, in India where a large number of trade and professional 20
associations are already active: ‘professional organisations like the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), the Federation of Indian Exports (FIE) and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) are well established with well-organised governance structures’ says Prabha Nair, Partner and COO at Interel India. ‘They are well staffed and function professionally with a clear aim to promote trade and business for their members globally as well as to provide information, advisory, consultative and representative services to industry and government,’ she adds. Conversely, sector-specific trade associations seem to be rather disorganised, relying on a secretariat of two to three people, with limited influence on the Indian government or industry.
Associations are far more established in India than in Russia where it is only in recent years that trade and professional organisations have been active in their own areas of expertise, with the introduction of international associations like the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP) or the Association of Factoring Companies. In China, the landscape is yet different with most associations being quasi-government organisations. ‘Associations are usually under the leadership of the government but may operate independently,’ says Li Lu, Principal of GM & Associates. ‘A number of associations, such as the Women’s Federation, the AllChina Federation of Industry and Commerce, and the China Association of Science and Technology, are essentially government organisations carrying great political weight. On the other hand, we have about 25 social
What role do associations play in the business and political environment?
groups such as the All-China Journalists Association, China Red Cross Society, China Disabled Persons Federation, etc., that are funded by the government and function like a government institute, but without as high political status as those I just mentioned above,’ she continues. In addition, due to a reform and government restructure, many government departments ended up being converted into trade associations. ‘For example the former Ministry of Light Industry, became the Light Industry Association, the Textile, Iron and Steel Ministries became the China Textile Industry Association and the China Iron and Steel Association, etc. As a result of this, associations naturally keep a close connection to the government,’ Li Lu adds. It is probably in Brazil, however, that associations are best established with a strong presence at national and state level. According to Eduardo Ricardo, CEO of Patri Public Affairs, ‘there is a wide variety of trade and professional associations in Brazil. In addition to a large number of national trade associations that represent specific industries (such as ABHIPEC for the cosmetics industry, ABECS for the credit card industry, ANFAVEA for the car industry), there are federations at state level that bring together the broad economic sectors of agriculture, industry, transport, commerce, finance, etc. These state federations are important as they reflect the
considerable power that states exercise in Brazil’s political system.’ He continues: ‘Some of the federations in the larger states, such as FIESP (Federation of Industries of Sao Paulo) are large organisations with a dense network of regional offices throughout the state, and have a lot of political clout. These state federations in turn belong to national confederations (such as CNI, the National Confederation of Industry) that represent them at national level. Whereas the national trade associations are independent, they often seek support for their issues from the state federations and the national confederations.’
For those associations with the resources, organisation and vision to seize the moment, the BRIC countries represent an opportunity for now and the future ‘Overall, associations in Brazil have witnessed a process of professionalisation and modernisation since the year 2000, but in many cases they are still suffering from the lack of adequate resources, qualified staff and efficient operational systems. The same can be said about professional societies in Brazil,’ Eduardo adds.
Considering the historical links between the government and associations, the impact of associations on government decisions is probably strongest in China: ‘Trade associations leadership is often composed of former government officials who usually still have good access and influence within the government. To give you an example, the president of the China Textile Industry Association, Mar. Wang, is a former official of the Ministry of Textile Industry,’ states Li Lu. ‘The Chinese government authorises big and influential trade associations to draft policy and standards proposals often ultimately adopted by the government.’ However, and this is probably what’s of importance to European and international players: ‘some private associations are also beginning to play important roles and now have a greater impact,’ Li Lu says. The influence of trade associations on policy is less obvious in Russia, although according to Maria Mordvinova, Director of International Affairs at CROS - Public Relations & Public Affairs, ‘some sectors like pharmaceuticals see associations becoming more and more influential as a result of extensive lobbying.’ In India, ‘the chambers play a pivotal role and have a strong political and business influence. Adopting a proactive and partnership approach at both central and state levels, associations work closely with the government and are considered the true representatives of Indian industry,’ states Prabha Nair. ‘The CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM taken together represent more than 16,000 member industries. They wield tremendous clout with the government and it is almost mandatory for all high profile visiting delegations to have meetings with these associations,’ says Prabha. ‘As in many developed economies, these industry delegations often accompany the President and Prime Minister of India on their overseas state visits.’ In Brazil, ‘associations play the same role in business and politics as they do in North America or Europe,’ states Eduardo Ricardo. ‘They collect information about their sectors, publish statistics, develop economic 21
projections, carry out studies, monitor policy and defend their interests politically.’
So how do international associations penetrate national markets? In Russia, ‘international associations are actually more active than national ones’ says Maria Mordvinova. ‘They are the ones that understand the power of representation and how to move issues forward because of their knowledge from their own countries of origin.’ Likewise, as Li Lu points out, ‘with more and more international companies coming to China, international associations are becoming stronger and stronger. They have evolved into independent social forces representing their members and some of them have become so strong that the government can simply not ignore their collective voices.’ She adds: ‘At the same time, international associations are making great efforts to strengthen their ties with government departments to promote the interest of their members.’
Brazil, however, appears to offer less scope to new market entrants. ‘The existing network of associations covers the wide range of economic activities and interests in Brazil, and as such it is difficult to imagine that there is much scope or space for international associations to penetrate the market,’ mentions Eduardo Ricardo. ‘In addition, Brazil has a history of protecting its markets from international competition, a policy that is accentuated by Brazil’s cultural resistance to globalisation. The global economic crisis has not done much to change this situation although the current inadequate supply of qualified workers and professionals in some sectors (i.e. medical doctors) is forcing the government to consider allowing foreign workers.’
What role for associations in the future? Prabha Nair believes that ‘the association market is at the cusp of exciting times in India’, while both Li Lu and Maria Mordvinova foresee the number of
international associations growing ‘in both in number and influence’ in their respective countries. In Brazil, potentially the most advanced but also the most indigenous of these four association markets, Eduardo Ricardo thinks that ‘partnerships with national entities’ may be the way for international associations to gain a stronger foothold. So, the role of associations is likely to strengthen as these economies grow. For those associations with the resources, organisation and vision to seize the moment, the BRIC countries represent an opportunity for now and the future.
Interel would like to thank its partners: CROS Public Relations and Public Affairs (www.cros.ru) GM & Associates (www.gm-associates.cn) Interel India (www.interelgroup.com) Patri Public Affairs (www.patripublicaffairs.com)
The Emerging Countries in the Association World Ever since the year 2000 we have been used to reading about the ‘BRIC countries’, referring to the four big emerging economies, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China. The acronym was coined by an economist and journalist. We should bear in mind that there is also reference to the ‘emerging markets’ in general and so when we use this new word, we should not necessarily be limited to those four countries. Let’s have a look at these countries in the context of our association world, and the meetings they organise. Since the late ‘90s we hear more and more about international meetings being organised in the emerging markets. They get a bigger share of the world market than they used to have. We now learn about congresses held in destinations with which we were not so familiar up until say fifteen years ago; Hyderabad, Hangzhou, Fortaleza might be examples. But this did not happen overnight and we therefore need to look at some of the numbers in the emerging world. We must remember however that, to begin with, a number of congresses were 22
already happening in these places, perhaps unknown to some of us. Brazil, just to mention the B in BRIC, has been an extremely active place for national and regional congresses for many years. ABEOC, its national association of PCOs and Event Organisers, was founded as long ago as 1977, and it currently counts close to 500 members. It is a very active association, which has launched its Quality Program this July; their membership continues to grow.
Back in the 1980s perhaps the very active marketing and the newly built facilities (conference centres and hotels) in Asia made many Europeans feel they were being faced with a new strong competition. And it was true. But everyone survived and maybe the internationalisation of the meetings industry just made ‘the cake’ larger and there was room for everyone. I believe we are now going through a similar period, but just with a change in the destinations.
We also hear that ‘two thirds of the growth in China will come from lower-tier cities’. I guess you put 2 and 2 together and it is easy to conclude that lesser-known cities will have a bigger share of our meetings market.
It is interesting to see and hear about the new facilities that opened in recent years not only in these four countries, but also in many more emerging destinations worldwide. Do these cities (and countries) represent a threat to the more traditional
According to the Financial Times, we learn that the emerging countries have outperformed developed ones in 10 out of the 12 last years
In IAPCO we have one third of our membership coming from outside Europe and this trend has grown. We receive far more applications from non-European PCOs than ever.
dramatically increased in the past ten years. According to a recent article in the Financial Times, we learn that the emerging countries have outperformed developed ones in 10 out of the 12 last years. Food for thought, isn’t it? Despite the occasional unrest that we can see sporadically in places such as Turkey or Brazil, there is a clear indication that these countries are moving forward. The second element is that their middle classes are also growing at fast speed. This only indicates the arrival of more professionals to the different fields and the need for the population within those countries to have better access to healthcare, to name just one - important - subject.
The number of meetings held in Asia and Latin America, according to UAI and ICCA has
All of the above should sound like music to the ears of the associations. It can only be
congress cities? I do not believe that this is the case. The good news is that many associations still follow a certain pattern, so they either rotate continents, or go to places they have not visited in a long time, but they keep going back to their traditional cities. In other words, Vienna or Paris will continue to be extremely popular meeting places, but we will see more and more conferences being held in a wider array of cities. In short, ‘the cake’ continues to grow.
good news for them when we know there are more people with access to healthcare, more people who need to hire the expertise of professionals (lawyers, architects, etc.). In short, when the demand increases, everyone benefits. At the end of the day associations are formed by individuals, and we all want the world we live in to be a better one. This article was provided by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, author Gonzalo Perez Constanzó, IAPCO President, and Managing Director, Kenes Latin America, Chile. IAPCO represents today 117 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 42 countries. email@example.com / www.iapco.org
The Globalisation of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Never say I don’t know buzzwords. Well, I don’t know many, but globalisation is a hot one right now in the American Library Association (ALA) and in the association world in general. Not to be left out, I am devoting this article to globalisation, or at least becoming more tuned in to the international market. Plus, I just went to a workshop on global growth, so I have some interesting tidbits to share. Text Charles Wilt, ALCTS Executive Director The workshop was presented by Terrance Barkan, who has worked both as a CEO of international associations and CEO of his own association management company in Europe. He is now a consultant specialising in globalisation for associations. Globalisation in association management has been getting a lot of press during the past couple of years. The general tone is that associations should be expanding their missions to include an international market. 24
There are, however, some caveats. It is important for an association to consider a number of questions before moving forward. For me, the two most important questions raised were: ‘Should you be international?’ and ‘How will you measure success?’ There is a good deal of evidence that the first thing associations think about is promoting membership, which is not the best way to proceed. The issues with ‘leading with membership’ are myriad: how do you
provide service to those members? Why should someone want to join your association in the first place? Another key to moving into the international market is a realistic understanding of the market. The lucrative market you envision may not be, either because you have nothing or little to offer that market, or else the competition is already stiff. Asking the question ‘should you be international?’ should address those issues.
What’s the Union of International Associations (UIA)?
A few more points also stood out. Social media can be used to reach markets that are particularly hard to reach otherwise. LinkedIn, the example used, has nearly 200 million users, about half of which reside outside North America. Developing a globalisation strategy is important. Having a
mind that countries like Belgium or the Netherlands might be potentially more important markets for us, even though they are smaller in population. As Barkan notes, ‘emerging markets are much more than just Brazil, Russia, India,
One key to moving into the international market is a realistic understanding of the market. The lucrative market you envision may not be group that is devoted to being international is worthwhile because, along with the strategy, this priority helps to provide focus for the association. Now back to the market question, and how it relates to ALCTS. According to Barkan’s research, the top challenges to reaching any global market are: • defining appropriate business models, • accurately estimating the market’s potential, • identifying partners (if that’s the way you want to go), • language, and • culture. He also points out that internationally, associations tend toward trade groups and federations rather than professional associations, which is more or less where ALA falls. We already have the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). I also mentioned that the supposedly lucrative market might not be all that lucrative after all. China and India are touted as the next big thing in global association expansion. It’s true they have huge populations, but do those populations really line up with the products and services of the association? In our case, maybe, maybe not. The other issue is existing competition in these markets. It’s important for us to keep in
China, and South Africa (BRICS).’ He breaks down emerging markets into advanced and secondary. Advanced include the likes of Brazil, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Taiwan, and Turkey. You can see that Eastern Europe is well represented. Malaysia and Turkey may be surprises. Of course, these do not necessarily translate into opportunities for us, but they might. Secondary markets include Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and the UAE. In terms of our own reach, we have had continuing education attendees from forty-seven countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe. We do much better in the secondary emerging markets with attendees from Chile, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, and the UAE. We have had only attendees from South Africa in the advanced group. We have an enormous opportunity for our own expansion into these areas. ALCTS international members make up only 2.5% of our personal membership, but international organization members make up 25% of our organisational membership. It seems clear that marketing not to individuals, but to organisations will give us our best return. Figuring how to do that is always the trick.
The Union of International Associations - UIA - is a non-profit, independent, apolitical, and non-governmental institution in the service of international associations. Since its foundation in 1907, the UIA is a leading provider of information about international non-profit organisations and a premium networking platform between international organisations and the meeting industry worldwide. Main activities: •
Yearbook of International Organisations - contains information on over 64,000 international organisations active in all fields of human endeavour, in all corners of the world, and over centuries of history. Available online and in book form.
International Congress Calendar with information on over 350,000 international meetings. Available online, in pdf, and on paper.
Annual Associations Round Table - features both open-space / networking and discussion oriented sessions as well as practical skills training sessions for associations. See www.uia.be/roundtable
Who can use the UIA’s research and networking platform? Everyone with an interest in international associations and cooperation: international associations, the businesses which provide services to them, media and press, research centres, universities, libraries, government offices. Associate Members have quick access to first quality material to benefit their business. To join, see http://www.uia.be/associate-members. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This article can be found at www.ala.org. All rights reserved. © 1996-2013 American Library Association.
The Gulf has arrived in Europe
The title sounds as if a new gulf stream has reached the shores of Europe. In fact, it’s all about a new wave of possibilities for planners who are after medium-long destinations. The Gulf states and the Middle East are new regions which, for the first time, are sending out the following message: they are ready to host you! From Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Qatar and Oman come the strongest signals. But where does the Gulf begin and where does the Middle East end? Text Marcel A.M. Vissers
From sandy countries to oil states Discoveries change the world drastically. I was able to prove this to my youngest employee who accompanied me on a trip to GIBTM in Abu Dhabi last March. I asked him what he thought these countries along the Persian Gulf looked like 50 or 60 years ago. I informed him that all you could see was sand, dromedaries, Bedouins and pearl fishers. Nothing more, nothing less. 26
And when I told him that Abu Dhabi was going to make a flag measuring 1km by 500 metres, he shook his head once again. Of course, this is on the condition that the Emirates (Dubai) are awarded the 2020 World Exhibition, but it would make quite an impression… We had a look around and saw wonderful architecture, major projects that seem to rise majestically from the clouds of sand, luxury, palm trees, and exclusive cars.
The MICE industry is no longer a novelty in this part of the world. The transformations are dazzling and fast. All these countries, where it seems construction cranes rule, as if they are building a totally new world from scratch. It all started in 1958 when the first oil and gas layers were discovered. Let’s now go over the list of new top destinations in the Gulf.
Pearl fishing in Dubai
Dubai as visiting card Often referred to as the capital of fun, Dubai is also the visiting card of the Middle East. It was also the first city in the region where a convention bureau was set up, whose example was followed by Abu Dhabi in 2012. Dubai is one of the leading cities for meetings and incentive facilities. Many Europeans know it like the back of their hands. There nothing is too big, too high or too expensive. There’s hardly any oil to be found but tourism and MICE have become a must. I wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to hotels because there are so many of them. They all offer luxury at excellent prices. It’s a goldmine for Europeans. Fairmont The Palm (381 rooms), Sofitel, Oberoi and Four Seasons are the new properties that opened in 2013. And let’s not forget the Palazzo Versace which is in the pipeline. Did I mention restaurants? There’s an abundance of them and they are of exceptional quality. There are some new activities too: you can explore the city with a seaplane (www.seawings.ae), go pearl fishing (www.jumeirah.com), and even gambling on the dromedaries at sunrise. As to large congress facilities, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) is quite reknown and hosts over 100 mega-events, more than 1.4 million visitors and 30,000 exhibitors from every corner of the planet every year. The city’s ﬁrst landmark in 1979, DWTC has played a central role in the growth of the
Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi
region’s international trade. Inside, Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre boasts the Middle East’s largest, most ﬂexible auditorium, seating up to 6,400 delegates. DICEC’s extreme flexibility brings together an array of customisable, fully integrated environments such as the region’s largest entertainment space, known as Trade Centre Arena, an outdoor plaza, a grand ballroom, 17 multi-purpose halls and 22 meeting rooms.
Abu Dhabi, the artistic capital The capital of the Emirates with the same name is much quieter than Dubai, and wants to be known as a cultural metropolis. It’s powerful and rich. At GIBTM, it was proudly announced that Abu Dhabi is ready to conquer Europe. A convention bureau has been set up, with Gilian Taylor at its
head, and they have prepared an exciting package for meeting planners. Known as the ‘Advantage Abu Dhabi initiative’, it has introduced 13 structured offerings designed to enhance the emirate’s appeal to the meeting planners. Wide-ranging social activities offerings now include: welcome dinners at host hotels, city tours, evening functions Emirati-style, ‘Speedster Specials’ at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, desert safaris and dune dinners, full day meetings packages, golf rounds on award-winning courses, tours of Abu Dhabi’s award-winning Falcon Hospital, tours of the emirate’s heritage heartland of Al Ain and its UNESCO sites, VIP tours of the Yas Marina Circuit; entrance to the Yas Waterworld waterpark; cultural education sessions and event logo development. To 27
qualify, organisers must hold an event in Abu Dhabi that has a minimum of 50 paid room nights during this year or next (more on this at www.abudhabi-cb.ae). Abu Dhabi’s ambition is also to become the top destination for art lovers. Five exceptional cultural institutions are planned to open between 2015 and 2021. The Saadiyat museum island (with facilities such as the Louvre, Guggenheim Museum, National Museum Zayed, Spectacle Centre and Maritime Museum) has been built especially for this purpose. Many excellent hotels and restaurants at good prices are available too. I recommend the Mezlai (an exclusive Arabian restaurant) for more demanding groups. For meeting planners, there are at least four locations that you can consider for extraordinary experiences: the leisure island Yas which is chockablock with attractions, Ferrari World
The MICE industry is no longer a novelty in this part of the world. The transformations are dazzling and fast (www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com), the largest indoor amusement park in the world, the Saadiyat Museum (www.saadiayt.ae) which I mentioned earlier, and the Large Mosque which is the most beautiful building of its kind in the world (www.szgmc.ae). I personally like the Corniche promenade along the sea. At sunset you will discover a totally different Abu Dhabi. Let’s not forget the ADNEC group that manages major congress facilities in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre is an ultra-modern building that can be recognised from far with its Hyatt Capital Gate, a building which leans more than the tower
of Pisa (more on Abu Dhabi and ADNEC on page 30).
Qatar: the younger big brother Such a small country with so much gas and oil. This is the latest newcomer in the MICE market in the Gulf. This miniscule country has big ideas - in all fields. Qatar is indeed an excellent example of a country where everything started from scratch. Lusail, the city of the future which is to rise a few kilometres from the Qatar’s capital Doha and is scheduled to be ready for the Soccer World Cup in 2022, is one of the symbols of this economic growth. Miracles are also happening in Doha: a new deep sea port and a new international airport have seen the light of day, while yet another new city, called the Pearl or Little Venice, where luxury is everywhere to be found, will be born soon. Qatar also wants to make its mark in sports events to promote the Qatar
About Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) Managed by AEG Ogden, QNCC is a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF). It aims to support Qatar on its journey from a carbon-based economy to a knowledge-based economy by unlocking human potential. It was established in 1995. QNCC is located on QF’s 2,500-acre campus, which hosts faculties from world-renowned universities such as Weill Cornell, Texas A&M, and Georgetown, as well as home-grown centres such as Sidra Medical and Research Center, Qatar Science & Technology Park, and Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. QNCC features a conference hall of 4,000-seats theatre style, a 2,300-seat theatre, three auditoria and a total of 52 flexible meetings rooms to accommodate a wide range of events. It also houses 40,000 m2 of exhibition space over nine halls, and is adaptable to seat 10,000 for a conference or banquet. The Centre’s architecture and cutting edge facilities are ideal for hosting local, regional and international conventions and exhibitions, gala events, theatrical productions and banquet functions. QNCC was conceived with a focus on sustainability. QNCC has already garnered the following awards: “Middle East’s Leading Exhibition & Convention Centre” by World Travel Awards 2012; “Best Congress and Convention Centre, Middle East” by Business Destinations Travel Awards 2012; and “Best Convention Centre in Middle East” by MICE Report Awards 2012. www.qatarconvention.com Qatar National Convention Centre
brand. And last but not least, it’s Qatar’s ambition to become the capital of Arabian culture. Things still need some organising in terms of MICE but Qatar is already very strong with regard to congresses. The Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), one of the most efficient centres in the region with lots of art, gastronomy and meeting facilities, is excellent proof of this (see box). As to social activities, they are mainly concentrated in three locations: the Museum of Islamic Art (www.mia.org.qa), the Mathaf Exhibition Centre, and Katara Village, the village of culture (www.katara.net).
A new convention centre for Oman Venue Manager, AEG Ogden, has commenced the recruitment process for a General Manager at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat. AEG Ogden Group Director, Convention Centres, Geoff Donaghy said: ‘The opening of the new centre will be the company’s seventh convention and exhibition centre in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The Oman & Convention Exhibition Centre is being built in two phases with the 22,000 m2 of exhibition halls completed in 2015 and auditorium, banquet halls and meeting rooms scheduled for completion in late 2016.’ He continues: ‘The primary purpose of the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is to host world-class congresses, its design flexibility extends to exhibitions, concerts, entertainment, banquets, functions and a wide range of special events to attract international and regional participants as well as a place for the Omani community to enjoy. Oman already has a sound reputation for hosting conferences and exhibitions; together with the Oman-based convention industry suppliers we will use our global expertise, to offer a memorable event that showcases the Omani hospitality that the country is already well-known.’ With 200 convention centres vying for the most prestigious world congresses, the point of difference with Oman and the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre is its location and supporting infrastructure. There are a limited number of convention centres that have been purposely
Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre
designed and developed within four kilometres of their city’s international airport, with direct road access (no traffic lights!), in a fully integrated precinct that accommodates all the needs of the international, regional and local delegates, exhibitors and participants. The precinct site is almost two kilometres in length and is in excess of one million square meters in size and will include a five-star, two four-star and a three-star hotel totalling 1,000 hotel rooms, a shopping mall and commercial business park within a natural parklands environment. Its elevated position overlooks a water-filled
wadi (valley) with 360 degree views of the Hajar Mountains, the Sea of Oman and city of Muscat. At the time of writing the four-star Crown Plaza Hotel is scheduled for completion by late 2015, with the international chain five-star hotel adjoining the Centre due mid 2016 and the remaining four-star and three-star hotels in 2017. Muscat International Airport currently welcomes around 29 international airlines and is being re-developed to double its capacity from six million to 12 million visitors in 2015 with further expansion plans for the future. (www.omanconvention.com). 29
> Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi on the rise Already listed among the Top 100 busiest meetings destinations in the last ICCA statistics, Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, boasts strong ‘meetings’ ambitions. With an expanded venue infrastructure, an increasingly competent support sector and highly competitive accommodation rates, Abu Dhabi is now competing with more established destinations. Having proven its mettle in February 2012 by hosting the World Ophthalmology Congress with upwards of 10,000 delegates, the city has sealed a number of mainline events.
Business tourism has been identified as a key economic diversification driver in Abu Dhabi Already on Abu Dhabi’s books is indeed the International Conference on Neurology & Epidemiology this coming November. One month later Abu Dhabi will host the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum. Next year’s calendar is filling up with the German Travel Association’s 64th Annual Congress in November - the first time the major gathering, will convene in the UAE capital. Another recent headline win is the annual KPMG Golf Business Forum, the leading golf business platform of its type in Europe, the Middle East and Africa which will be held in Abu Dhabi next year.
Tipped by the Russian Association of Business Travel as ‘a city which can become an international business tourism centre capable of competing with giants such as Paris, Milan and Boston,’ Abu Dhabi is laying out its stall with the convention bureau and a beefed-up incentive programme Advantage Abu Dhabi. ‘We are targeting six major business wins this year, a further eight next year and a total of 10 wins during 2015,’ explained His Excellency Jasem Al Darmaki, Deputy Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. No wonder, then, the city aims to be included in the Top 50 Meetings Cities in the next ICCA rankings! The new Convention Bureau - a one-stopresource-shop for meeting planners - has overhauled its Advantage Abu Dhabi initiative and is busy progressing significant bid opportunities. The heightened, pro-active approach is bringing dividends. ‘One aspect which is resonating well is our ‘One Destination’ approach where relevant stakeholders come together to ensure a seamless city-wide activation and significantly aid a successful outcome,’ added Al Darmaki.
In 2015 in Abu Dhabi • 20th Asia Pacific Congress of Cardiology at ADNEC: hosted by the Emirates Cardiac Society, the biennial scientific meeting represents the collegiate membership of 18 Asia Pacific societies.
• 16th World Congress on Tobacco or Health: a triennial gathering of international advocacy, public policy and health research experts working together to achieve the goals of the world’s first public health treaty, the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
• 70th Annual Conference of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums at the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort
Business tourism has been identified as a key economic diversification driver in Abu Dhabi. Research commissioned by TCA Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre suggests the business events’ economic impact to the emirate will increase by approximately 7% per annum on average up until 2020 based on historic performance. More information www.abudhabi-cb.ae 31
ABU DHABI NATIONAL EXHIBITIONS COMPANY Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) is playing a vital role in the Emirate’s ambition to become a leading destination for business meetings and events. In 2012 its two Middle East venues, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Ain Convention Centre, hosted a total of 360 events. That was a 55 per cent increase from the previous year. 2012 also saw a total of 25,000 participants attend 17 conferences including the World Ophthalmology Congress, the first UFI Congress to be held in the Arabian Gulf and the World Future Energy Summit.
TOP MEETING DESTINATION ADNEC’s Group CEO, Pieter Idenburg comments: “Abu Dhabi is certainly an exciting place to be right now and ADNEC’s performance is increasing in line with the ambition of the capital city. The recent rise in the ICCA rankings, from 234th position to 100th, definitely puts Abu Dhabi and ADNEC on the map as a place to do business.” The recent launch of the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau supports Abu Dhabi’s business tourism ambition. “With ADNEC’s strategy to increase the conference side of our business, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau to 32
bring more conferences and conventions to Abu Dhabi and ADNEC and in turn increase economic impact for the Emirate. A dedicated convention bureau satisfies the need for specialised industry knowledge,” adds Idenburg. Together with ADNEC, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority has set the goal to be in the ICCA top 50 by 2017. For the longer term, ADNEC is researching and developing their partnerships with the association industry with the target to host associations that travel abroad for their meetings.
AWARDS AND ACCOLADES ADNEC has received an impressive number of accolades and awards over the last years including Best Purpose Built Venue from Middle East Events 2012, the Middle East’s Leading Meetings and Conference Centre for the third year at the World Travel Awards 2013 and recently Al Ain Convention Centre has been voted Best Meetings and Conference Centre 2013 by Business Destinations Travel Awards.
Add in significant conference wins such as Asia Pacific Congress of Cardiology 2015, World Tobacco or Health Congress 2015, 2017 WorldSkills International Competition and the recently announced IATA Slot Conference 2014 and it is clear that ADNEC is manifesting itself as a venue that has firmly taken its place in the industry. With total indoor space of 73,000 square metres including three ballrooms, 20 meeting rooms, 11 halls and the multifunctional 7,920 square metre, 6000 seat, conference centre facility, the Abu Dhabi venue is well equipped to host various meetings and events. The venue’s quayside and central plaza open air function spaces further enhance the offering. Idenburg comments: “We have 1,253 rooms within
Abu Dhabi is certainly an exciting place to be right now and ADNEC’s performance is increasing in line with the ambition of the capital city
Capital Centre itself including two ADNEC owned hotels: the five star Hyatt Capital Gate and four star Aloft Abu Dhabi. The venue is just 15 minutes from Abu Dhabi cornice and is supported by 14,904 rooms all within 20 minutes of Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre. The international airport, which is connected to 49 countries, is just 15 minutes away. A new, mid-field terminal will open in 2017 which will serve even more destinations. The 700,000 square metre new terminal building will increase Abu Dhabi International Airport’s capacity to handle 47 million passengers annually.” ADNEC’s service offerings have been designed to make it easy to meet: “From first class catering solutions to in-house teams to assist with visa requirements, we ensure that doing business in Abu Dhabi is as seamless as possible,” adds Idenburg.
THE NEED FOR INNOVATION Idenburg believes in a three pillar model to ensure the venue stays in line with organiser and visitor expectations: “In order to stay competitive and meet the demands of an international client base, I believe in
a collaborative business model, championing operational excellence and encouraging innovation.” ADNEC understands that diversity is a source of strength and its team certainly is diverse, with over 30 nationalities all working for the company. ADNEC is becoming a fun organisation to work for, and one that revels in delighting its clients. “We are an outward facing company meaning that our partnerships and customers are the most important part of our strategy. We monitor the market to ensure that our venues offer the right services and options for the conventions and meetings we are attracting.” With the rise of digital technology and it’s capabilities, individuals expect to be able to readily access information on line. Idenburg explains: “Our clients and visitors want to be pulled into an experience that enables them to look, be involved in and give feedback at the event they attend. Technological capabilities such as digital signage solutions that can be tailored to the organiser, visitor and the venue are just one of the innovative solutions we are currently implementing or researching.”
EXCEL LONDON 2008 saw ADNEC acquire ExCeL London, the UK’s largest exhibition and conference venue. The partnership between the Abu Dhabi venues and ExCeL London enables industry knowledge sharing as well as an opportunity to develop ADNEC’s UAE National workforce. Idenburg comments: “Our ownership of ExCeL London enables us to provide on the ground training in a European city to our Emirati workforce. Last year was a magical year for ExCeL London. They played a critical role in helping deliver the successful Olympic and Paralympic Games and I am proud that two of our Emirati colleagues were able to work with ExCeL London during that exciting time.”
For more information, please contact Robin Miller - Director of Sales, email@example.com +971 (0)2 406 3673
MICE in China The views of Ping Liu A real pioneer, a humble woman and very seasoned professional, Ping Liu founded China Star in 2005. She joined Site in 2005 and was elected to the International Board of Directors in 2008, and is now in her second term of office. Todayâ€™s China Star is a DMC and PCO of international standard and competitiveness focusing on meetings and incentives. Here Ping tells us all about the way she sees the Chinese meetings industry and Ping Liu her involvement in ICCA.
About MICE in China There is no authority in charge of the meetings industry in mainland China. MICE falls in the category of high-end tourism, with no convention bureau, it is therefore natural for the tourism administration to manage the meetings industry in some way. But some cities in China have come to attach more and more importance to the development of the meetings industry, setting up subsidiary organisations that function as CVB, such as BCVB of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development for instance. There is almost no such concept as DMC or PCO in mainland China. In most cases, enterprises or the government would find a travel company or a PR company to do its conferences or events. The top 500 enterprises, large state-owned enterprises and government departments would entrust large state-owned or listed travel companies with conferences or events. Private travel companies like China Star need to work harder to gain the trust of large enterprises and the government. It is another story organising conferences of international associations in China. The China Association for Science and Technology, the Chinese Medical Association, the Chinese Institute of Electronics, the Chinese Mechanical
Engineering Society and the Chinese Chemical Society are the main organisations that manage the most conferences. Each of them has an internal meeting department and does not use an outside PCO in most circumstances. They have operated a large number of conferences, gained a lot of experience, and sometimes even call themselves PCO. For example, the China International Conference Center for Science and Technology which is affiliated with China Association for Science and Technology sometimes will bid for other international conferences as a PCO. It joined ICCA last year, which is really a new phenomenon in China.
About the specificities of the Chinese meetings industry For a long time, international conferences have been regarded as foreign affairs because of our unique administrative system. According to the policy, for scientific international conferences with Chinese participants over 800 and foreign participants over 300, as well as for other international conferences with Chinese participants over 400 and foreign participants over 100 to be held in China, approval from the relevant department of the State Council is needed. Only associations can apply to the higher-level departments in charge of hosting an international conference. PCOs are unable to do so.
the China Star team
About the 2013 ICCA Congress in Shanghai China Star joined ICCA in 2008 and I have attended every single ICCA congress since then. I am the only one from mainland China who has attended all ICCA congresses and this is why everyone in the international meetings industry seems to know me. ICCA membership benefits me personally and my company. Its educational services have helped me grow fast from an amateur into a real meetings professional. At the 2011 Congress in Leipzig, I made a presentation in front of about 1000 participants on behalf of China Star competing for the â€˜Best Marketing Awardâ€™. At the 2009 Florence Congress, six Asian companies united to form a PCO alliance to strengthen regional cooperation. China Star was lucky to be one of the initiators. Two years later, the Asia PCO alliance developed into a world PCO alliance. The ICCA Congress 2013 will be held in Shangha in November. China Star is actively responding to the call of the organising committee and has volunteered to be one of the sponsors for the congress. It is also the official DMC for the pre and post congress tours. www.chinastargroup.com 35
Jakarta Semarang Surabaya
Bogor Bandung Yogyakarta Solo
A congress lure to the world The advantage of being new is that it makes people curious. The trend for all industries is to try new things and to be modern. New destinations want to arouse the interest of potential customers. But what’s the best way to do that? You need a lot more than just the hype and cheering hurray. In the global MICE industry, Indonesia is a wonderful example of a destination that wants to grow through creativity. Report Marcel A.M. Vissers Is Bali the only well-known destination in Indonesia? Is Jakarta a booming city? There are many other destinations besides these locations that are worthwhile considering for organising a congress. HQ magazine has taken a peek into the changes which are occurring in the land of 17,000 islands.
Jakarta, an Asian tiger Capitals can really give a tremendous boost to a country. Jakarta, the immense capital of Indonesia, is an excellent example of this. The metropolis has 30 million inhabitants witnessing major economic progress. Within this climate of growth, MICE is receiving considerable attention from decision-makers in the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. And it’s not just Bali that’s benefiting: 14 other destinations in Indonesia will be put on the map in the future. Indonesia is an enormous country with more than 17,000 islands of which about a thousand are uninhabited. It’s said that
you would need fifty years to get to know Indonesia with its different languages and cultures. The Canadian composer Colin McPhee has a very good description of the spirit of Indonesia. In his book A House in Bali, he wrote that there’s a sound that you hear everywhere: the sound of the gamelan. And that music, storytelling, dancing, historic buildings, religion, costumes, make up, food and smiles are omnipresent.
some 4,000 hectares of agricultural land every year and the city centre welcomes 140,000 newcomers on an annual basis. And let’s be honest: the traffic situation is a nightmare for a conference organiser. The streets of Jakarta have to absorb fourteen million vehicles every day. They don’t have an underground system or any form of adequate public transportation. But the pain of traffic congestion can be soothed
Indonesia is an enormous country with more than 17,000 islands of which about a thousand are uninhabited. It’s said that you would need fifty years to get to know Indonesia with its different languages and cultures The country’s colonial past has also left its mark on everyday life. Nostalgia is never far away in Indonesia, but if you look around you’ll see major changes taking place. Jakarta for example is evolving at a staggering pace. The Indonesian capital claims
by police escorts for coaches that take delegates from one location to another in a relatively efficient way. Jakarta is also mad about social media and this increases consumption and has resulted in major economic growth. 37
Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre (BNDCC)
Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center
Meetings in Jakarta & Bali The Jakarta Convention and Exhibition Bureau is putting a lot of effort into maximising MICE-related business in the capital. Jakarta has five convention centres. The Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center (www.jcc.co.id) is the most well-known. In order for Jakarta to be a big player on the international scene, the city has decided to build a brand-new convention centre: opening in January 2016, the Jakarta International Exhibition and Congress Centre will be located on the outskirts of the city, not far from the international airport (www.jiexpo.com). It has been designed by famous American architect Larry Oltmanns. A lot of meetings are also held in hotels. More than 50 world-class venues offer facilities in their ballrooms and meeting rooms. A dinner in Jakarta is always a feast and always reminiscent of the past. You’ll find excellent dining for groups in the Dapur Babah Elite restaurant. This restaurant claims to be Jakarta’s hippest dining scene. Also Bunga Rampai restaurant has a refined colonial setting and serves more than just fine food. Bali also boasts an impressive range of international meeting venues and hotels, and has two famous purpose-built convention centres: Bali International Convention Centre and Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre. Jakarta is famous for its heritage: the Unesco Site of Borubudur Temple and the Prambanan Temples. Jakarta is also called 38
the Oxford of Indonesia due to a number of universities in the city and we should not forget the Conventions Halls such as Jakarta Convention Centre and Jakarta International Expo.
Worth considering Batam is less popular but has developed into one of Indonesia’s lucrative industrial, trade and commercial zones. Batam is also known as the Island of Resorts. Medan is the modern, planned capital of North Sumatra. It’s a city with abundant architecture and a pleasant venue for meetings. It’s promoting its reputation as a business destination extensively in order to increase MICE arrivals. Two 5-star hotels opened there in 2009: the Marriott and the Grand Swiss Belhotel. Surabaya is the capital of East Java and an important port and multicultural city. It’s said that Surabaya is Indonesia in a nutshell. This second largest city in Indonesia is known for Indonesia’s heavy industries. The Grand City Convention Centre opened in 2010 offers space for 15,000 persons in theatre style. There is also Yogyakarta and Solo (more on them pages 39 and 40), while two important MICE cities are located on the island Sulawesi. First, the capital of South Sulawesi, Mataram, with its brand new airport, Hasanuddin. The Word Ocean Conference was held here in 2008. Secondly, Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province and is located in the Bay of Manado, surrounded by a mountainous area.
The creative economy of Indonesia I believe there’s only one country in the world that uses the term ‘creative economy’. In Indonesia, the MICE industry is also referred to in this respect. And that’s good news for a country that wants to put MICE in the spotlight. The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy is active in the development of MICE products, more than ever before. The government has identified 14 priority destinations to be developed in the future. And there is more. The Ministry has granted 25% more to spend on its MICE promotions between now and the next financial year. The Ministry will also share intelligence such as Indonesian economic indicators and developments planned for airports, MICE venues and hotels. Indonesia is starting to develop eight new MICE destinations: Batam, Medan, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Solo, Mataram, Makassar and Manado.
Sapta Nirwandar, Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy
Prambanan Temple, Jogiakarta
Palace of Yogyakarta, known as the Keraton
Java, Lombok and Bali
Definitely on the meetings map In Indonesian, the island Java is called Jawa while Jakarta is referred to as Ibu Kota, or Mother City. The large sister island Sumatra lies in the west and the pearl islands Bali and Lombok are in the east. Bogor and Bandung are cities with major potential for congresses and conferences, and we mustn’t forget the special region called Jogjakarta where a sultan still lives. The other city of the sultan, Solo, and the city on the coast, Semerang, are also worth visiting. It’s highly recommended to travel by train from Jakarta to Bandung, and make a stop in Bogor to visit its lush Botanical Garden. Travelling by train in Indonesia is a unique experience, very comfortable and providing direct contact with the local population. Most people are not aware that Bandung is well-known for a conference held there in 1955. The Bandung conference brought together 29 countries from Africa and Asia, and the main theme was ‘Underdevelopment and Decolonisation’ – an historic milestone. However, Bandung
is not a city with a lot to see. The culture and music centre, Angklung Mang Udjo, is the big exception. It was the musician Udjo Ngalagena who made a musical instrument called the Angklung, which is fabricated with bamboo, so popular. Attending one of the performances guarantees to be a splendid evening with a programme full of emotions and special sounds. It’s a must for every congress delegate.
The Sultan of Yogyakarta and Borobudur Yogyakarta, Yogya for friends, has the reputation of being the refrigerator of Javanese culture. This culture (including batik, dance, music and wayang performances) is still controlled and promoted by the sultan and his court. And being engrossed in a local culture is the kind of thing that world travellers (i.e. congress delegates) always appreciate. Here lies a great opportunity for the creative MICE economy of Indonesia: to develop a concept based on open-air conferences in the palaces of the sultans. It doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.
The Mangkunegaran Palace in Solo is also suited for this idea. To visit the Borobudur is on every congress delegate’s wish list. The Borobudur is the largest Buddhist construction in the world and it’s located in the hills. It can be combined with a visit to the Prambanan temple, an impressive Hindu building. My advice is never to let an opportunity to attend a conference in Yogykarta pass you by. It’s a genuine experience in life.
Conference facilities in Bandug and Yogya Yogjakarta boasts a large conference and exhi bition centre. The Yogja Expo Centre has flexible rooms which can accommodate from 100 to 10,000 people (www.jogjaexpocenter.com). In Bandung, you’ll be in awe when you step into the luxurious Trans Hotel. It’s called the pride of Indonesia. The hotel is located in a large Studio complex and has its own Trans Convention Centre (accommodating up to 6,000 delegates). 39
Lombok is not Bali Did you know that Charlie Chaplin was an admirer of Bali? And that many followed his footsteps? In fact, one of the 17,000 islands succeeded in attracting the attention of the entire world for a long time. That’s quite an achievement in itself. Now many of us ask for how much longer, and wonder what Bali was like before it became fouled by tourism? You can find the answer to this question if you read books about Bali by writers and artists who lived there. Bali is praised for its joie de vivre and spirituality. Many believe that the island Lombok, which is located nearby, should become part of the Bali success story. Quite a challenge. Lombok is gifted by nature, and it’s an island with sumptuous green space, a coastline full of hairpin bends, and the big volcano Gunung Rinjani (3726 m). Lombok also shares the success of the three Gili islands which are situated between Lombok and Bali, a paradise for divers. But the scent of success is often followed by the domination of tourism and the smothering of a locality’s soul. Lombok also has more animals. It’s said that Bali if for fun and Lombok for rest. But don’t forget that Lombok could turn into a charming conference island with a focus on ‘relaxed meetings’. The place to be is Senggigi where Santosa Villas & Resort is located, a conference hotel with the ambition to become one of the leading hotels in Indonesia in
Balinese cooking class Eating in Indonesia is a combination of art and magic, with fresh herbs, spices and local vegetables. In Kuta, you’ll find the Anika Guest House where excellent cooking classes are organised in an attractive Indonesian setting. The fact that you can cook satay and grilled fish and curries with black rice pudding dessert makes a great story when you arrive back home. The morning and evening classes are organised for groups of up to 20 participants. A good address: www.cookingclass.anikaguesthouse.com
2020. This is a four-star hotel with 194 rooms but you can also call it a beachfront resort with 10 elegant and functional meeting rooms (www.santosalombok.com).
The secret of Bali We already mentioned Charlie Chaplin’s love of Bali. He actually made a very striking remark about the island. Fascinated to learn that the natives worked only a few months in the rice fields, devoting the rest of their time to culture, he wrote: ‘From these people one gleans the true meaning of life - to work and play - play being as important as work to man’s existence. That is why they are happy.’ And laughing children appeared everywhere he went. That’s also an aspect that world travellers appreciate: contact with happy children.
Here lies the secret of Bali: its inhabitants elevate everyday life to a spiritual feast. If this kind of mood is absorbed during a congress, it remains in a delegate’s memory for ages. Holding congresses in Bali is a tradition. It’s always a good idea to check the congress calendar of a country to see what kind of organisations are meeting there and what they say about the location on their website. In October, for example, the 13th APFCB congress will be held in Bali (Asia-Pacific Federation for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine; 16 countries; 1000 participants). Which venue did they choose? They selected the Bali Convention Centre (www.baliconvention.com), which was built more than 20 years ago and is connected to the Westin Hotel (334 rooms). The APFCB obviously wanted to grasp Balinese cultures, and the Bali Convention Centre will help to do so. Worth mentioning is also the BNDCC (Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre), a world-class facility with 20 breakout rooms and a plenary space for 2,000 delegates. Adjacent is a 5-star hotel with 100 rooms. IESCO, the International Ecological Safety Cooperative Organization, held a very successful event in 2012: the 2nd World Ecological Safety Assembly. It’s a very chic venue. More information on Indonesia at www.indonesia.travel
Rice workers, Lombok Island
Shanghai International Convention Center
ICCA in Shanghai
A definite boost
Shanghai will host the 52nd ICCA Congress in November. It’s going to be the first time for such an event to be held in mainland China. Everybody at the Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration is already getting ready to make sure the Congress will be a huge success. On this occasion, new horizons will be explored for the future development of the meetings industry in China. Hosting ICCA Congress 2013 will play an important role in promoting Shanghai to the international meetings and tourism market, attracting more international meetings to Shanghai, and giving a strong boost to the growth of Shanghai’s meetings industry. After the World Expo 2010, it’s of paramount importance to maintain and enhance the appeal of Shanghai as an event destination.
Strategic goal The 52nd ICCA Congress will also help make Shanghai and China as a whole better known in the international meetings and tourism industry. If the service industry is already well developed in the Chinese city, the congress will be the opportunity for the local industry to showcase its excellence and abilities. After all, Shanghai has set an ambitious goal for itself, as it wants to become a leading international meetings destination in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world. The ICCA Congress will also give industry professionals and experts
the chance to share information and best practices. The first impressions of Shanghai are those relating to its busy pace of life. As China’s most economically developed city with the highest record of urbanization, the city is impressive, always bustling with tall buildings standing side by side, the subways shuttling around, and the numerous business districts. The people in Shanghai make the destination unique as well: equally determined, confident and tolerant, they’re here to make things happen. Shanghai is the economic centre of China, where making business makes natural sense.
WOW effect Connie Cheng, vice chairman of SMTA, said: ‘Shanghai is a unique and attractive city which has been an important window for China to connect with the outside world. The brilliant combination of the best of Eastern and Western cultures has put the city on the map, with its distinctive urban landscape and
unique cosmopolitan flavors. For those who have been to Shanghai, their impressions are varied and all valid: amazing, wow, accessible, convenient, safe, modern, cosmopolitan, vibrant, efficient, inspirational… You name the adjective, we have it!’ No wonder then ICCA chose Shanghai for its 52nd congress. The event will take place at Shanghai International Convention Center, next to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and across from the famous Bund. Completed in April 1999 and renovated in 2010, it boasts a 4,400m2 Grand Ballroom, one of the largest pillarless banquet rooms in Asia, which accommodates 4,000 people in theatre style. The Auditorium seats 800 and is equipped with an advanced simultaneous translation system that can provide translation in up to ten different languages. The Conference Hotel, Oriental Riverside Hotel, has 260 deluxe guest rooms and several restaurants offering a rich variety of cuisines.
Contact Patrick Chen Deputy Director International Tourism Promotion Department Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration firstname.lastname@example.org www.meet-in-shanghai.net 43
Your conference city by the sea Kursaal Oostende
Is there any greater pleasure for a conference delegate than the taste of the salty sea air and a stroll along the beach after a day at a conference? Located in the Flemish province of West Flanders, in Belgium, Ostend will ravish the most demanding meeting planners with the right combination of infrastructure and leisure possibilities. The most striking feature of Ostend might well be its five and a half miles of sandy beaches, inviting you to delightful sunbathing and a refreshing dip in the North Sea. Ostend’s promenade, with its many shops, bars and restaurants, is also quite famous - especially on a glorious Sunday when the sun is out. All year round, many activities take place in Ostend, like Oostende at Anchor, Theatre by the Sea, Sparkling Mondays… and many more! Ostend’s gastronomy is also worth a detour: where else but there can you taste Sole, shrimp croquettes and ‘tomato filled with shrimps’? But what some of you might not know is that Ostend is also a compact, walkable meeting city with the right mix of hotels and convention venues. Kursaal Oostende has one of the largest and best-equipped convention and concert halls in Belgium. The City by the Sea boasts 43 hotels or 5,200 beds. Ostend has the widest choice of three and four star hotels on the Belgian coast. Many of the conference rooms are modern and boast an invaluable asset: sea view!
Ostend Convention Bureau on the ready Ostend has all you need to provide your organisation and guests with a truly successful event, no matter its size or format.
The city’s combination of beach and business is unique in Flanders and Ostend Convention Bureau is on the ready to help, serving as a one stop shop when planning a congress or a meeting. A personal account manager will give you free advice and assistance, as well as a comprehensive overview of service providers. You can be sure to be presented with a complete, high-quality range at the very best prices, saving time and money - Ostend Convention Bureau even boasts a free online hotel reservation tool.
The Egmont Group in Ostend The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and the Belgian FIU CTIF-CFI hosted meetings in Ostend at the beginning of this year. Over 200 delegates from all over the world attended these meetings. They said: ‘We would like to thank the entire team of the Ostend Convention Bureau for the advice and support they offered when we were planning this major event. The online resources they provided were valuable tools for the preparation. We also really appreciated the warm welcome by the City of Ostend when delegates were invited to the Town Hall. Ostend’s winter atmosphere made our meetings extra special. Participants could walk to the beach for a short break or explore the city to unwind after the meetings.’
Why Ostend? · A lively seaside destination which will encourage, stimulate and inspire · The widest range in terms of hotel and meeting accommodation at the seaside · A large selection of quality restaurants and trendy bistros · Fresh fish and maritime heritage · Unique locations with a historical character · All venues within walking distance · A good variety of museums and attractions · A year round events calendar · The city of James Ensor, Arno and Marvin Gaye · Optimum accessibility by car/train/ plane
Contact Ostend Convention Bureau T. +32 (0)59 255 317 email@example.com www.meet-in-oostende.be
Swiss Tech Swiss Tech Convention Centre
© Swiss Image
© Régis Colombo/www.diapo.ch
© 2011 EPFL
Federal Polytechnic School (EPFL)
Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau Presents
Lausanne, worldwide reference for research and training Located just 40 minutes away from Geneva international airport, the City of Lausanne stands out through the quality of education of its 200 private and public schools, as well as the technological innovations that stem from its internationally renowned research institutes.
Recent research and development projects, the Olympic Museum’s reopening after two years of renovation and the Swiss Tech Convention Centre’s inauguration in 2014 bode a prosperous future for congresses and conferences in Lausanne, particularly in the academic, medical and sports fields.
Universities of the highest calibre Lausanne is a worldwide reference regarding academic and vocational education, its University and Polytechnic School (EPFL) occupying top places in international rankings. Thus, more than 20,000 students representing over a 100 nationalities spend between a few months and several years studying on the Lausanne University campus, the second largest in Switzerland.
Capital of neurosciences and the fight against cancer The city’s research and innovation centres have resulted in revolutionary medical and technological discoveries. In January 2013, the EPFL’s Human Brain Project was granted a European subsidy of up to one billion euros over 10 years. This major funding aims to enable the collecting of all current knowledge on the brain, in collaboration with 90 institutes from 22 different countries, in order to recreate the brain in models and computer simulations, the main goal being to develop new and more efficient medical therapies targeted at neurological illnesses.
In addition to MCH Beaulieu Lausanne, the city will be home to a second congress centre as from 2014. Located on the Polytechnic School’s campus, the Swiss Tech Convention Centre will be the world’s first fully-automated congress centre. Containing multiple modular rooms and a total seating capacity of 3,000, it will be the ideal platform for future scientific congresses.
Contact Olivier Mathieu Congress & Meetings Manager T. +41 21 613 73 67 firstname.lastname@example.org www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/meetings www.lcvb.ch
During the same month, the opening in 2016 of the Swiss Cancer Centre Lausanne
Lausanne’s research and innovation centres have resulted in revolutionary medical and technological discoveries The city is also home to other prestigious training centres, i.e. a dozen colleges for managers, engineers, hoteliers, economy and administration executives, graphics arts and communication specialists, musicians and dancers.
A new congress centre, unique in the world
was announced. Gathering 400 researchers and medical doctors from the University, the Polytechnic School and the University Hospital (CHUV), it should enable the latter to become an international leader in the treatment of cancers.
Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau Myriam Winnepenninckx T. +32 2 345 83 57 email@example.com www.MySwitzerland.com/meetings