Page 1

headquarters Supported by ESAE, the European Society of Association Executives, and UIA, the Union of International Associations


Edition June 2014


Cape Town Meeting Media Company Meetings Industry Publishers HQ is published 6 times a year: March, May, June, September, November, December

Competitive Maastricht CSR in Malaysia


Defining association leadership

> Contents

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 6 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: Editor in Chief Marcel A.M. Vissers T. +32 (0)3 226 88 81 Managing Director Cécile Caiati-Koch T. +32 (0)2 761 70 52 Account Manager – International Sales Kelvin Lu T. +32 (0)2 761 70 59 Managing Editor Rémi Dévé T. +32 (0)2 761 70 58 Contributor Paula Vos Design & Print Press Point Poelstraat 167 - 9820 Merelbeke T. +32 (0)9 362 52 50 - 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

And the good news is... Marcel A.M. VISSERS Editor in Chief

They say that bad news attracts more readers than good news. So I’m afraid this editorial won’t be so popular. However, I’m hopeful that the good news I heard at the latest IMEX fair in Frankfurt will still be of interest.

On Wednesday 21 May, there was a sudden rush to the press room which soon filled up. Pier Paolo Mariotti, course leader of the renowned ECM Summer School, was speaking. I personally call it the ECM Summer University because they hold a very good three-day, intensive course for young people in the meetings industry. For the uninformed, the ECM Summer School has been an educational landmark for 28 years in the European meetings industry, with more than 1,500 students graduating. So what was the latest news then? Pier Paolo said: ‘It is with great pride that we now launch the ECM Academy, a product derived from the ECM Summer School, destined for students in emerging destinations. From next year on, a special training course will be available for students from Asia, Africa and South Africa.’ Many questions were asked during the press conference. Where will the first edition be held? This is yet to be decided. Who will be the lecturers? The Summer School has a faculty of experienced meetings professionals, who will be complemented for the new ECM Academy by lecturers from emerging countries. I saw Heike Mahmoud, ECM Vice President Meetings Industry, smiling with excitement as she looked across the room. Everyone agreed that this was the best news to be heard at the fair. A major step forward for the European meetings industry. And at last, Europe is giving instead of taking. I’m a candidate for the PR and ambassadorship of this new initiative because for it’s a dream come true. It didn’t take me long to find the ideal hosting destination for 2015: South Africa! I’m as happy as ever! » More stories on

Contents Cécile Caiati-Koch

Rémi Dévé

Kelvin Lu

GENERAL News 4 European Association Summit 5 Association Portrait 6 Viparis 9 Financial security in Holland 11 Lufthansa 13 SPECIAL FEATURE ESAE & UIA - Defining leadership


DESTINATIONS Shanghai, China 22 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 24 Macao 27 Malaysia 28 Brisbane, Australia 31 Sri Lanka 32 Holland 35 Maastricht, Netherlands 36 Switzerland 38


> News

Calabar International Conference Centre

Calabar International Convention Centre on track for opening in December The first dedicated international convention centre being built in Nigeria is on track for its official opening in December of this year. That was announced by the Governor of the Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke during a meeting with local and national stakeholders in April in Calabar. Construction of the CICC started already in 2012 after an international design competition that was won by the well-known Danish architects Henning Larsen. The CICC will be able to accommodate national and international congresses and any other type of meetings with delegate numbers for plenary sessions from 10 or 20 up to 2000. The total capacity of the centre will exceed 5000 seats in twenty different venues.

World Ophthalmology Congress in Tokyo becomes largest international medical conference ever in Japan The approximately 20,000 attendees of the World Ophthalmology Congress 2014 (WOC2014) and 29th Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO2014) recorded the largest-ever international conference to be held in the capital city - and the biggest medical conference in Japan to date. Some 9,000 guests from overseas were given a hearty welcome in Tokyo as they participated in the WOC2014 and the APAO2014 4

from April 2-6. The meetings also marked the first time ever for the facilities at the Tokyo International Forum and Imperial Hotel Tokyo to be almost entirely dedicated to this global event.

Paris the world’s leading city for the hosting of international congresses Paris has taken first place in the ICCA rankings for cities that welcomed the most international congresses in 2013. The ninth survey of congress activity in Paris and the Paris region carried out by the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau presents a record number of 1,055 congresses and 752,300 delegates for 2013. With 204 international congresses hosted in 2013, Paris is number one in the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) rankings, ahead of Madrid (186 congresses), Vienna (182) and Barcelona (179).

FCCI publishes study on the diverse impact of business tourism In 2010 Abu Dhabi, Durban, London, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney and Toronto devised the concept of the Future Conventions Cities Initiative (FCCI). With a focus on strategic research, collaboration and knowledge sharing, the seven cities


set out to position themselves as leading destinations for key knowledge economy related to business events. Acknowledging the enormous potential of meetings and business events, FCCI’s first official project expanded on earlier research completed by fellow member, Business Events Sydney. In 2013, FCCI commissioned the University of Technology Sydney to undertake a groundbreaking international study to lend further support to the global business events industry. The results can be downloaded here: More on this to come!

Over 1,500 pain experts from all over the world come to Maastricht In May, the seventh edition of the renowned World Pain Congress was held at MECC Maastricht. Over 1,500 experts from every corner of the world came together to share the latest developments and innovations in the field of pain management with one another. After cities such as Barcelona, Istanbul, New York and Miami, now Maastricht had the honour of hosting this event. Anaesthesiologist Professor Dr Maarten van Kleef organised the congress together with Professor Dr Kris Vissers (Radboudumc, Nijmegen, NL) and Dr Jan van Zundert (East Limburg Hospital, Genk, BE).

More news on

European Association Summit in Brussels in full sail For the second edition of the European Association Summit held at SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre in May, delegates worked under the theme ‘Shaping Your Association for the Future - Inspire, Connect, Empower’. As plenary sessions and workshops triggered their lot of discussions and debates, it became clear that EAS, now in its second year, was a success. Speakers came from a wide variety of sectors: while the keynote speech was delivered by Susan Robertson, President of the ASAE Foundation, the source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the North-American association profession, other association executives who were present included, among many others, Alexander Schubert, CEO of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Carlotta Besozzi, Director of the European Disability Forum, Michel de Bisschop, Executive Director of the European Society of Anaesthesiology, or Alain Flausch, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport.

to a recent study by the FAIB, which we covered extensively here. Their presence is undoubtedly an asset for the regional economy. But Brussels want to do more for them, as the Economy Minister, Céline Fremault, explained. In order to facilitate the arrival and stay of international associations in Brussels, a project, whose viability has been studied by VISITBRUSSELS, for an ‘Associations Bureau’ has been launched.

Brussels is home to more than 2,200 international associations, according

More on EAS  

In addition to offering a vital forum for discussions, EAS definitely provided association operatives a clear added value through a more complete understanding of the association environment today.

> Association portrait

European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) A talk with Titta Rosvall-Puplett European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises, EBE, is the European Trade Association representing the views of biopharmaceutical companies of all sizes. Titta Rosvall-Puplett, Executive Director, explains what challenges the organisation has to face.

HQ: Could you briefly present EBE? Titta Rosvall-Puplett: EBE was established in 2000 as a specialised group of EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, and acts as Europe’s expert voice for emerging bioscience & technology and leading platform for health innovation ecosystems. EBE’s 50 company members are mainly small or medium sized enterprises. Together with its members, EBE has recently reviewed its strategy and positioning as an organisation and how it can best provide added value to its members and stakeholders. Through this review, EBE has developed a three-year strategic plan, with measurable key performance indicators, supporting the organisation with seven working groups and dedicated leadership. To support its new mission, EBE has also announced a strategic partnership with the European Biotechnology Network (EBN), a fellow network dedicated to facilitating cooperation between professionals in biotechnology and life sciences in Europe. The partnership will open up EBN’s Funding Hub to members of EBE, and further the collaborative relationship between the two Brussels-based associations. HQ: What does it mean to be a ‘European’ organisation? Some struggle with a clearcut European identity... Titta Rosvall-Puplett: EBE is a typical European trade association, strategically 6

based in Brussels, whose mission is to advocate on behalf of the sector. As Roberto Gradnik, President of EBE, stated it: ‘Europe is a global leader in biopharmaceuticals and I am delighted to recognize the effort of the industry as the European Union is investing in supporting a thriving innovation ecosystem represented largely by SMEs.’ Biotech companies, which are represented by EBE, are important contributors to Europe’s growth and innovation agenda: 50% of medicines in the pharmaceutical pipeline and 20% of all marketed medicines come from biotech. Interestingly, 70 % of the 2,000 healthcare biotech companies in Europe have less than 50 employees. This means that these enterprises are very local and often EU affairs are not in their radar. It is therefore important that organisations like EBE are closely connected with local business clusters and members states in Europe to allow for a twoway dialogue - you cannot lobby Brussels if you don’t also lobby member states. HQ: What do you find most challenging to achieve as an association? Titta Rosvall-Puplett: Advocacy-focused associations need to be proactive and very quick, with simple communication packed with compelling evidence when it comes to influencing EU policy makers. Evidence is the new currency - and it requires a strong fact base, a great network of experts and, even more


so better access to multiple stakeholders. Managing this machinery is both complex and slow - the opposite to simple and quick! So here is the challenge; being able to mobilise experts and multiple stakeholders rapidly to build a strong evidence base for compelling campaigns. Supporting a strong organisational alignment, with members and leadership is key - this is our homework, which needs to be done at all times at all levels. External stakeholder relations need to be developed in parallel, this helps to bridge the gap.

> Association portrait

HQ: Can you tell us about the kind of events organise. How do you decide where to take them? Titta Rosvall-Puplett: Through EBE’s strategic revision it was decided to focus on smaller topical multi-stakeholder forums instead of larger scale annual conferences. We find on these occasions it’s easier to create dialogue for our biopharmaceutical industry

HQ: How do you see the future of the association? Titta Rosvall-Puplett: The future of EBE as an organisation is extremely positive as long as we stay tuned with our members, medicinal science and relevant stakeholders. You need passion for these issues and how could one not be passionate about medicinal science, which is evolving speedily?

Advocacy-focused associations need to be proactive and very quick, with simple communication packed with compelling evidence when it comes to influencing EU policy makers members. We organise these kind of topical forums and workshops according to EU Presidency countries. For instance, EBE’s flagship forum with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) took place in December last year with the support of the Italian Health Minister and Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) as Italy was getting ready for the EU Presidency starting in July 2014. Each presidency lasts six months so you need to work with three countries at the same time. At the moment we are getting ready to brief the Latvian Health Minister as well as the one in Luxembourg. We also link our topical sessions and workshops with other related major biopharmaceutical, scientific and investor conferences, which allows our small organisation to benefit from smoother logistics, bigger audience and greater visibility.

The population is aging, meaning that more and more people need care. For instance, according to a recent NHS study, there are ten different kind of breast cancers identified thanks to better diagnostic tools available - precision medicine is the future, it’s already here, and in order to make it a reality the healthcare system needs to adapt and allow for speedier delivery of treatment and cure for diseases. In times of economic downturn, health should be considered as an investment - not as a cost – so as to maintain a healthier workforce to lift Europe’s competitiveness and productivity. Health is growth and EBE works with the governments in the EU to discuss support systems for biopharmaceutical innovation ecosystem and sustainability. Within this healthcare biotechnology is cutting-edge

technology and our members develop some of the most advanced future therapies. I believe EBE’s role is to link these multiple stakeholders together and help them drive towards a more positive outcome for public health and patients. HQ: How would you summarize new trends in the association congress world? Titta Rosvall-Puplett: Virtual connectivity linked with face-to-face meetings is a strong asset for today’s conferences. It allows participants to better plan their attendance and be more efficient on site. Virtual connectivity for me means working with apps, Twitter walls, live streaming and post-conference communication packs: the life span of an event needs to last more than the actual duration of the event itself. It’s all about pre-comms, during comms and post comms… HQ: Any memorable event lately? If so, why? Titta Rosvall-Puplett: Re-encountering a few fellow members of the European Society of Association Executives (ESAE) at the European Association Summit in Brussels and the International Association Network conference in Paris made me realise how vibrant the association community is and certainly in Brussels which is a hub of more than 2,000 associations. With ESAE I am delighted to continue to share best practices and ‘unspoken failures’ with them.


> Viparis

Paris is the world’s most popular congress city

According to the 2013 ICCA rankings, Paris is the world’s number one city, hosting more international congresses than any other city worldwide. The year 2013 was one of continued growth for Paris: the city hosted 1055 congresses and 204 international congresses that fit the ICCA criteria (Source: Paris Convention Bureau).   The international congress market is a priority for Viparis, who manages the 10 conference and exhibition centres in Paris. Viparis contributes strongly to the overall Paris results, having hosted 237 congresses in 2013, and 26 international congresses that fit the ICCA criteria, but more importantly Viparis represents around 70% of the delegates coming to Paris. All of the large international congresses held in Paris in 2013, like the European Congress of Intensive Care Medicine (over 5000 delegates), took place at one of the 5 conference centers of the group.  ‘The success of Paris as an international congress destination is not new’ says Marta Gomes, Congress Sales Director of Viparis. ‘The ICCA rankings change from year to year. The long-term picture is more interesting to look at: whereas in the annual rankings Paris moves somewhere within the top 3 places, ICCA’s 50-year report released last year shows that Paris has consistently occupied

the top place for the last 35 years. It’s also important to take into account other types of events: our venues are home to many association congresses that don’t fit into the ICCA criteria, whether they are national congresses like the French Society of Anaesthesiologists (8,000 delegates), or resident international congresses like Euro-PCR (13,000 delegates, 80% of whom are overseas delegates from Europe and the world).’

Investing for the future Viparis has invested a great deal in new tools to help attract new international congresses to Paris, and to ensure they are a success. The Welcome Pack, with services like welcome banners at the airports, shuttle service to the venue, signage around the congress centre and a concierge service, help international congresses have a stronger impact in the city and ensure delegates’ comfort.

Marta continues: ‘In 2013, the number of international bids we worked on increased by 30%. This is a direct result of our reinforced strategy to promote Paris to the local ambassadors of international associations and to our business development team’s continued work in making our destination and venues known to the managing boards overseas.’   Viparis believes in the future of the congress market in Paris. With the opening of the major new convention centre in 2018, this success is set to continue.

Contact Viparis T. +33 (0)1 40 68 22 22

This year, Viparis also launched a the personalized city guide and website in collaboration with Le Monde, to help boost attendance at congresses and to make sure that the delegates make the most of their participation and experience the destination like a Parisian. 9

> Holland


Financial security for your conference Organisers of international conferences in Holland are offered two unique financing schemes. The Pre-financing Scheme is a free advance to cover initial costs. The Guarantee Scheme is a low-cost insurance to cover disappointing attendance. ‘These schemes are unique in Europe,’ says Paul Gruijthuijsen, Project Leader of the Pre-financing & Guarantee Fund VGF. ‘They are available to both Dutch and foreign organisers.’

Additional security ‘These tools offer conference organisers additional security and more possibilities for conferences. We hope these schemes will encourage even more associations to hold their conference in Holland,’ says Gruijthuijsen. The International Research Society for Children’s Literature held its 21st conference in Maastricht in 2013. ‘Even though we had excellent scientific sponsors and grants, we lacked a major commercial sponsor,’ says

co-organiser Lidwien Hollanders. ‘If we were not going to realise the expected number of attendees we would have a problem. The VGF Guarantee Scheme offered security. Fortunately, we did not need the guarantee eventually, the convention was a success.’

Advance for initial costs Not all associations have sufficient funds to cover their initial costs. The Pre-financing scheme can help out. Prof. Dr. J.A. Rauwerda organised the 7th International Symposium on the Diabetic Foot in Holland. ‘We had to pay a deposit to the World Forum well over twelve months prior to the event, before we had any income. We are happy that the VGF Pre-financing Scheme was available.’

Pre-financing Scheme

Guarantee Scheme

Even before you receive any registration fees you have to incur costs, such as a deposit for the convention venue or promotional expenses. In order to tide you over, the VGF can give you a cost-free advance, the Pre-financing Scheme. • Maximum advance per conference: €90,000 • Premium: free of charge

However good your conference is, it may attract fewer attendees than expected. The Guarantee Scheme of the VGF is a low-cost insurance to cover possible disappointing numbers of attendees. • The guarantee is capped at €90,000 • Premium: 2.5%

Paul Gruijthuijsen

Conditions • You organise a multiple-day, international conference, with a focus on knowledge exchange. • The conference takes place in Holland. • You have a detailed budget. • The convention is organised by a party with verifiable experience. We need to receive your application no later than eight months prior to the conference. The actual amount of the pre-financing or guarantee depends, among other things, on the size of the conference and the overall budget. For more information and all conditions, please visit our website.

About the Pre-financing & Guarantee Fund The Pre-financing & Guarantee Fund (VGF) was set up over 25 years ago by the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and some twenty organisations in the convention industry. The fund is non-profit and independent.

More information T. +31 (0)70 3705705 Your contact person is Paul Gruijthuijsen 11


Take the stress out of travel arrangements

MICE travel solutions from Lufthansa – for companies and event organisers Lufthansa complements its status as one of the world’s largest and most prestigious airline, with a firm commitment to the MICE market, placing a strong focus on offering the best possible deals for travel around the world. Whether you are looking to secure individual travel to a corporate event at short notice, or to block-book space for an association event a year in advance, the Lufthansa Meetings & Events product offers numerous advantages - not only for the organiser, but also for the participants to an event, congress, trade fair, sport event, cultural event, company conferences.. We are able to offer the flexibility and fare product to ensure a smooth outcome and to reduce travel costs.

Initiators or Organisers As an organiser or initiator, you will have the benefit of receiving an offer that meets your needs. Depending on the type of event, this could include discounted transportation or special conditions for travelers. Lufthansa

MICE product enables you to provide costsaving opportunities for either the host of the event, or to the travelers themselves. With access to a dedicated, event-branded Internet booking engine that is exclusively accessible by the hosting company, the organiser or participants to your event, you can make use of the worldwide Lufthansa Group network that connects more than 286 destinations in around 102 countries. Flights can also be booked conveniently via a travel agency of your choice.

Advantages for the Participants

Bookings can be done online, quickly and easily via special access code. Enjoy excellent service with high standards and the best possible connections, allowing you flexibility in your choice of travel times. Whatever type of event you are planning, no matter where in the world, for a few dozen participants or a few thousand. For Lufthansa MICE Belux Yves Vanhaack Key Account Manager 0032 474 28 12 07 You will find more information about the MICE services from Lufthansa Group, along with a practical enquiry form, online at

As a participant to an event booked via our MICE product, you will receive discounted fares from Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, SWISS and Austrian Airlines. 13

Defining leadership is a complex matter. It is a subtle combination of visionary thinking, behavior, credibility and competency. While it is possible to analyze what characteristics make someone a great leader, it is impossible to define a magic formula applicable to everyone. Text Alessandro Cortese, President of ESAE and CEO of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) Leadership is a profoundly inexact science: it is a two-end communication process between a person leading in a specific situation and another one accepting to be led.

2015. The Solvay Business Schools of Brussels, with the partnership of ESAE, UIA and FAIB, will launch an Executive Master programme in International Association Management.

Leadership is also not an option. It is an obligation. The persons accepting to take a leadership position in an organisation are obliged to project it in the future, creating the conditions for growth and sustainability. They also have the responsibility to align persons, possibly with different agendas, behind common goals and objectives.

This is a first educational programme dedicated to Association Management in Europe, with the goal to enhance the leadership skills to face the management challenges within international associations. Association leaders need perspective and skills in core managerial activities, as well

A new initiative will see the light in the next months, starting in January 2015. The Solvay Business Schools of Brussels, with the partnership of ESAE, UIA and FAIB, will launch an Executive Master programme in International Association Management Finally they have the responsibility to remain on top of their education and experience in order to have the best possible skillset to analyse the environment and determine organisational answers. Even if it may be difficult to define leadership, it is therefore possible to train leadership skills. In this context, a new initiative will see the light in the next months, starting in January 14

as the soft skills to continue to play the important socio-political role in Europe and to understand its continuously changing (global) economic, social and political environment. Leading a membership-based association requires today a constant balancing of current needs, external demands, and long-term vision. In order to further build the leadership capacities, strategic planning and management skills of the association managers and

鵃和alek AZOUG

Defining association leadership

Alessandro Cortese

thus enhance the reputation of the association management profession, ESAE, UIA and FAIB seek to develop a learning experience in Brussels with the Executive Education branch of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM). The Executive Master in International Association Management will be taught by academics from the Solvay Brussels School-EM and will feature regular intervention from prominent association executives sharing their insights and expertise with the objective to provide the association professionals. The programme is designed to provide training on leadership skills, get a broad coverage of the main fundamental strategic and functional areas in management, and understand the best practices across the association sector.

Leadership and Change in Associations

What’s next? For many years now, associations have begun to re-think what leadership means to them as organisations. Leadership is not a straight-forward construct to define and varies from organisation to organisation, from individual to individual. Are leaders born or are they made? Views and opinions differ greatly on these arguments and furthermore, the NPO sector begins only slowly to recognise the need to look beyond its immediate borders into a wider and more inclusive realm of management. Text Christoph Raudonat

In the academic world, leadership has been researched at length, however mostly related to the for-profit sector up until now. In the NPO sector, leadership has been addressed via established governance models and systems that would make it easy to maintain a clear direction, supported by statutes, by-laws and other underlying mechanisms that - in the past - often prevented associations from acting quickly to changing environments. Organisations that applied a more ‘business-focused’ approach were often looked at with scepticism, sometimes with envy and sometimes shunned as ‘aggressive’ organisations that looked after their own interests exclusively. The changing environment of the 2000’s and 2010’s is forcing us to look beyond established management practices and define leadership anew. What does leadership mean to us? How can we harness the energy of voluntary engagement with more

purpose and strategic direction? And, as association, where would we even begin to define leadership? As the traditional force of a single strong person at the helm of our organisations? As a collective - our board that, in an ideal case, is perfectly aligned to the organisation’s strategy and purpose and at all times perfectly informed?

Think again Whoever now thinks that this is too much management theory and has nothing to do with the real situation we find ourselves in today, think again. Leadership is as much a question of relevance and ‘raison d’être’ at organisational level as it is about the ability to guide through a minefield of strategic change tactics. It would be wrong to believe that leadership is only ever needed in times of change and when facing some sort of organisational challenge. Leaders are not trouble-shooters. They have that skill, yes, and a few more, like determination, a sense

Christoph Raudonat

of responsibility, seeing the long-term and the big picture. First and foremost, however, leadership must also be characterised through trust. Trust, that staff are empowered to excel in their work, trust that their reasons and actions are being understood and defended by colleagues as being the actions that are necessary to empower the organisation overall and thus being in the interest of the organisation and its environment. Thus, there has to be a considerable level of social responsibility present to justify decisionmaking processes.


This should not be mistaken as a strong person character. Traditionally, many of us still believe in the archaic form of ‘strong’ leader, the king that reigns his kingdom with a firm but fair hand. In this old-fashioned worldview, kindness has no space. Moving away from the traditional management view of leadership, from a time when the most popular HR managers still came with a military background, we now look at a world that is more complex and requires more diversity also from its leaders to motivate the world around them to jump on board their ideas.

In reality In practice, if an association believes that it has relevance towards its members and its (business-) environment, based on membership research, feedback surveys, and other mechanisms, chances are that some form of leadership is in place that works well for this association’s particular set-up. The existing division of leadership between board and management still causes some confusion that has mostly to do with questions of ownership. In a forprofit organisation, the board represents the owners and thus decisions are based on ownership. In the NPO world we

complement existing statutes and by-laws with an adaptable system of putting in place decision-making processes that can foresee and act upon the challenges ahead. A recent trend is to reduce the rift between board and management and to abandon the tendencies of accepting that one side hides behind the decisions of the other. Leadership ‘white flags’ (people that have no opinion and fly their flag according to the most popular vote) are no longer tolerated but a collaborative sense of togetherness and common achievement is slowly leading

If an association believes that it has relevance towards its members and its environment, based on membership research, feedback surveys, and other mechanisms, chances are that some form of leadership is in place that works well for this association’s particular set-up encounter the dilemma that while the board represents the members, do the members actually ‘own’ the association? Such questions are beginning to occupy the minds of progressive association leaders and more focus is put on establishing more flexible governance mechanisms to 16

the way to a successful future. While in the for-profit world making profit is the important driving force, non-profit association leaders recognise that in their world they have more possibilities to create something that is beyond immediate short-term goals, simply because they are not limited to making profit alone. The social needs

of members, constituencies, communities of practice and others are the paramount goals of associations and these can only be reached through a harmonious working relationship in the same direction. Common alignment between board and management is thus the trend we can observe in a new style of leadership in the NPO sector.

What is a good leader? What then makes a good leader? Are there educational programmes out there that help us build the leaders of the future? We probably can all agree that the NPO sector is as diverse as the sectors we all represent. People come from such a varied background that it is challenging to establish a ‘one size fits all’ approach to association management education and to leadership more generally. We are safer at this point to state that leadership requires skill. The skill of an association manager to interpret, translate and manage the ideas of volunteer boards, the skill of a board member to understand to see the relationship of the realistic needs of membership and organisational limits to achieve these needs, the skill of both to solve problems creatively and in a collaborative manner. Overall, the most useful skill to have, however, appears to be the skill to

remain composed and focused, with an eye on flexible adaptation of decisions in the best interest of the organisation, when communicating one’s view of the organisation’s long-term future. The beauty of the NPO sector is its emotional value in a multi-disciplinary working environment. A strong binding factor is the ability of the sector to do good and work in the interest of advancing society overall. However, this will require a level of focus on what it is that we are here to achieve and combine our dreams and ambitions with a sense of relativity and realism.

As we learn to make sense of the changing economies around us, the societies we represent, associations are themselves adapting to change and establish new forms of leadership and combine the best of both worlds, learning from the focus of the forprofit sector and the emotional capacity of the non-profit world. One thing has crystallised in the past years: characteristics such as a careful and hands-on approach as well as the ability to listen and build trusted relationships go a long way on the road to forming future leaders. We must not kid ourselves, conflict and political rivalry will be hard to overcome and remain part of the daily to-do list of

leaders but they are easier to manage if we have the other factors in place. To learn more about Leadership within the context of non-profit management, feel free to contact the ESAE for more information. ESAE - European Society of Association Executives President: Alessandro Cortese Av. d’Auderghem 63 1040 Brussels


PCOs, Associations and Leadership Leadership is a term that allows for many interpretations and angles, and therefore I feel obliged to start with setting a few parameters. Text Michel Neijmann, IAPCO President

We all face situations in life in which we have to perform as a leader, and in doing so we contribute to the rich and colourful diversity of leadership. Countless books and articles have been written about leadership in general, and even more on specific business cases with a focus on how individuals could best lead a group. As a result, there are many tips and lots of information on types of leadership available for free on the Internet. In this article I do not mean to provide any of such tips, but rather acknowledge a development in the relationships between PCOs and Associations, and the role of leadership therein. To start off, I choose a view on leadership described famously by Peter Drucker: ‘management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things’. Associations are about communities of minds and interests; they are about people. Associations provide leadership to their members by offering a platform to do the right things. PCOs are individuals, or groups of individuals, who have a drive to deliver professional services in areas where people come together. Facilitating opportunities in which life-saving knowledge is exchanged, or life-long contacts are established, is a shared passion for PCOs.

PCOS as leaders? When an association and a PCO become partners in organising a meeting, they 18

create an environment in which the members of an association come together, and thus share a responsibility. Although there may still exist a tendency to brush aside PCOs as mere suppliers in logistical support to that effect, in reality a PCO often has to take up a leadership role in the definition, the planning, the marketing and the delivery of the event. That delivery is crucial for the relevance of the association to its members, and as such the first beneficiary has to be the participant. So, who leads whom? That depends greatly on the position of the association in its ‘life cycle’. For example, a quick analysis of how an association is governed and how it is managed, should give an indication of its maturity in terms of strategic development. It is safe to assume that an association with a separated executive management structure has gone through several stages of development and learning. On the other side of the spectrum there are associations, which survive as a club of like-minded colleagues with very few formalised procedures and management in place. In either case a PCO is able to offer professional services, but taking up a leadership role comes to mind mostly in the latter case. In the last years we have seen a very clear shift in the way participants wish to engage with each other during events, and this

Michel Neijmann

development has created a real need for organisers to adjust their services. From an association’s perspective of course there are many different factors driving the decision to outsource services relating to a meeting, but improving the participants’ experience is certainly one of them, especially those associations with limited resources who realise the urgency to change their platform and require a tailor-made approach by providers of professional services. Now here is the moment where the PCO has to take leadership in defining the appropriate formats to offer the available content, as well as getting the message out there to the potential participants. The associations with little financial operating space that still have a valid and relevant content proposal to offer their members

are not necessarily looking for a costly solution to overwhelm their audience with the latest technical gadgets or experimental seating arrangements.

Looking for leadership In fact, these associations are looking for leadership. They are looking for a partner with experience in matching the right solution to the particular requirements of the association’s meeting. And these are not just solutions on the executive level, or in other words ‘doing the things right’, but also offering strategic solutions in the overall planning, marketing and delivery of the meeting by ‘doing the right thing’. There is a real opportunity for those PCOs, who invest in continued professional development and value high quality professional services, to offer ‘associations in development’ relevant assistance in providing their members the right platform.

their meetings, gain a valuable insight in what works, and what doesn’t. That experience can be used to advise other associations in achieving the best possible platform for their members. It is important to realise that the development of each association has its own time line, and needs to be seen within the scope of its contemporary requirements. The days that the registration and administration of participants were key selling points for PCOs are over. These are now commodity services, which are still part of the available service package,

In the last years we have seen a very clear shift in the way participants wish to engage with each other during events, and this development has created a real need for organisers to adjust their services There is a lot to learn from the development of associations that have a certain number of sponsors providing the appropriate resources to experiment with available technology and format solutions. The PCOs who have experience in assisting these types of associations with the delivery of

There will of course always remain a dilemma concerning the value proposition for both the PCO and the association. Not every PCO is able or willing to invest in longterm relationships without an immediate financial reward, and neither is every association willing to pay for intangible services such as strategic consultancy. It is therefore that organisations representing PCOs and associations need to seek platforms to meet each other and exchange their views. Together we are able to show true leadership to the meetings industry at large, with a clear focus on a shared mission to deliver the best meetings to each and every potential participant around the world.

This article was provided by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers, author Michel Neijmann, IAPCO President, Managing Partner, K2 Conference and Event Management Co, Istanbul. IAPCO represents today114 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 40 countries. /

but no longer ‘game changers’. PCOs have the ability to bring together a diversity of specific experiences in each sales argument towards a new association client, based on incorporating the latest developments in the market and understanding the relevance of them for that particular client. 19


A checklist for bringing out the best Leadership is what brings out the best in people: enthusiasm, courage, initiative, trust, loyalty, imagination… You can make your own list. But it can also bring out the worst in people: despair, fear, apathy, suspicion, blame, powerlessness… This is a checklist for bringing out the best. Text Tim Casswell, Vice President of the UIA and Director of CreativeConnection (

L is for Listening. If we stop and remember times in our lives when we became really inspired, involved and committed and not just compliant… a time when we really loved what we were doing… it will almost certainly be when someone listened to us. When leaders listen to the ideas, intuitions, imagination, and initiative of people it brings out the best in them. Great leaders do this. Great associations do this in our society. Listening is transformative.

and are sustained. True association is, of course, about listening. Recollect the times when you were pleased to be associated with a cause, an organisation or a person. It was when you felt your voice was heard. And making associations is the process we go through in making links between ideas, and therefore conceiving new thoughts. D is for Decision-making. The important part of that word is making. It is the gathering of

Making associations is the process we go through in making links between ideas, and therefore conceiving new thoughts


E is for Engagement. Great leaders engage people. Stop for a moment and think of a time in your life when you performed to the best of your ability… Wasn’t it a time when you were entrusted, encouraged and appreciated? Associations themselves exist as a means of expression and courage. Associations are the means of true engagement in our societies.

people together; gathering of information; gathering of hearts and minds and it is an art. It has the same daring as artists need to make their work. Leaders who have the true art of enabling the making of decisions will have the reward of profoundly committed people who will give everything to see the decision realised, because it was their decision… it all comes back again to listening.

A is naturally for Association in all its meanings: connections, links, partnerships, networks. Great leaders are hubs in the network of activity. Associations are the hubs of civil society - places where relationships grow

E is for Extraordinary. Great leadership looks for and finds amazing qualities in people and extraordinary challenges to take on. People don’t join associations to do something ordinary. A great leader dares to

Tim Casswell

dream the extraordinary, something as yet unseen, something considered impossible, and so provides an invitation for others to dream too. This is one of the key functions of civil society to encourage people to believe the extraordinary is possible. It is the mark of great international and grassroots political leaders too. R is for Recognition. Radical remembering of reality. Leaders see that the change they want has happened and then they live in that new reality. They don’t only have a dream, they see the dream in the hearts and minds of the people, they see the dream as reality. The status quo “normal” is revealed as weird and ridiculous. S is for Story. This re-cognition becomes the leader’s story - their understanding of the situation and what it demands, a dream of what is actually true. They inhabit that dream because it is their reality. The telling of this story invites people to be their part in a legend in the making. Recognising this changes everything.


What’s the Union of International Associations (UIA)? H is for Humility. Being part of a legend in the making can tempt people to self righteousness, pride and arrogance. Nothing of any importance is solved finally and forever. Any battle truly worth fighting can never be won finally and forever. Humility allows for vigilant curiosity, imagination and an authentic desire to listen to the ideas and dreams of others. Arrogance can appear to be confidence but it usually masks insecurity. Humility is the only authentic position in the face of complexity. Great leaders acknowledge their insecurity, uncertainty, and ignorance and therefore their genuine need to listen to people around them. I is for Invitation. Whenever you ask people how they first became involved in anything they almost always point to a particular point when they were specifically invited to become involved. We often forget that the most powerful way to enlist support and commitment is to ask someone in a way that recognises their qualities rather than

promoting the qualities of the association or the worthiness of the cause. P is for Power. True power is exercised when it is entrusted in others by leaders who encourage others to have and exercise power. Those who recognise the power of the passion and commitment of those around them are those with true power. International Associations provide a platform for ordinary people to discover, explore and exercise power. True Civil Society is the expression of the power of the people. Listen. Can you hear it? For over a hundred years the UIA has rigorously collected and collated the story of this extraordinary expression of leadership. You can see the results in our Yearbook of International Associations and the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential. We will be listening for where you take the story now.

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

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 For more information, please contact


> China

Ancient Watertown of Fengjing

Panoramic view of Pudong & Puxi

10 facts you might not know about Shanghai Shanghai has all the ingredients of an exciting destination: it’s old meets new, ageless and growing, where something is always happening. Below are 10 facts you might not know about the city.

1. Art Deco Hotel The Park Hotel, designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec and built in 1934 of Art Deco style, was the city’s tallest building (it’s a mere 84 meters tall) until 1988. Zero Center Point of Shanghai can be found in the hotel’s lobby. It is said that it was this building that inspired young I. M. Pei’s zest for architecture and his life-long pursuit.

This unusual event that takes place on weekends at People’s Square is jampacked with parents who have children of marrying age. Their mission: to matchmake their still single offspring. They show off their child’s best attributes by writing their details on a placard or piece of paper (a bit like a resume), and in the hope of getting a blind date for them.

Get your favorite suit, dress, jeans made in 24 hours. The tailors at the South Bund Fabric Market will make anything you fancy for a fraction of the designer price.

5. (Oriental) Pearl Tower

It wouldn’t be the Shanghai skyline without the Pearl Tower. Other buildings might come up around and above it, but this was the first building to define the Shanghai cityscape and it’s irreplaceable.

6. The Bund The Bund is well known for its grand exteriors, but a number of buildings have remarkably well-preserved interiors. If you step into the lobby of the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Building (former home of the HSBC building), you will be treated to its breathtaking dome with exquisitely designed mosaic frescos plastered over in 1954 and remain undiscovered until 1997.

3. Second tallest in the world At 632 meters tall, the Shanghai Tower is the second-tallest building in the world and is to be completed in late 2015, topped only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, at 828 meters tall.

Shanghai now has the longest metro system in the world, with 567km of track (352 miles) and 331 stations overtaking the London Underground’s 408km. It took London 140 years to build this length whereas Shanghai did it in 15 years.

4. The town that’s tailored for you

2. People’s Park Matchmaking Market

8. Commuting

7. Mag Lev

This is the fastest way to Pudong International airport and a fun ride at the speed of 431 km/h.

9. Entrepreneur city

Shanghai is a city of entrepreneurs. Whether selling new technologies or old crafts, there’s always a will and a way. Small shops often specialize in selling one fruit, implements for one trade or tools for one craft. Treasures can be found anywhere. There’s also a market for everything, from trophies and hair dye to electronics and retro specs.

10. Shikumen style Visitors consider Shikumen style houses an iconic example of local architecture, but Shanghainese feel like they are an example of East meets West. Why? Well, here’s the twist: most original Shikumen were actually built by foreign companies for Shanghainese residents.

Contact Patrick Chen Deputy Director International Tourism Promotion Department Shangahi Municipal Tourism Administration woya@ 23

> Dubai


The new frontier Dubai’s central location at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia offers international associations tremendous growth opportunities The emirate of Dubai, ranked consistently by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) as the Middle East’s top destination for meetings and events, is taking great strides to improve its business hub credentials by offering a base for international associations to serve the Middle East and wider region. As associations seek to boost their membership numbers and find new funding opportunities through strategic partnerships, Dubai, through the establishment of the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) earlier this year, has emerged as an ideal platform to help spur growth and provide access to untapped markets.

educational opportunities and establish local and regional chapters of existing organisations.’ Well positioned geographically for unparalleled access to nascent markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Dubai also has the benefit of being well placed to be an associations hub thanks to its central position between Brussels in Europe and Singapore in South East Asia.

One-stop shop DAC, which was launched by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) and the Dubai Chamber of

Well positioned geographically for unparalleled access to nascent markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Dubai also has the benefit of being well placed to be an associations hub Exciting offer Steen Jakobsen, Director of the Dubai Convention and Events Bureau (DCEB), said: ‘Dubai Association Centre has a very exciting offer for international associations that are looking for growth opportunities. Gaining access to this region is a huge opportunity to bring new members on board, liaise with private and public institutions who are looking for training and

Commerce and Industry (DCCI), is a onestop shop for licenses and permits required for associations to establish themselves, open bank accounts, secure visas, employ staff and open offices. What’s more, associations also have access to office facilities within the DWTC’s iconic Sheikh Rashid Tower from where they can manage their operations in the wider region.

Dubai recently launched an ambitious strategy called Tourism Vision 2020 to increase visitors to the emirate to 20 million by 2020 from the 10 million who visited in 2012. Business events serve as one of the strategy’s key pillars and the emirate’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Market (DTCM) has been actively leveraging the city’s world-class transport and hospitality infrastructure to attract the congresses of international associations to the emirate. So far this year, Dubai has a dozen association events booked including the International Symposium on Electronic Design, the International Tennis Federation AGM, the Asia Pacific Dental Congress and the 19th Conference of International Association of Prosecutors. The emirate also has a number of medical association meetings scheduled to be held in 2015 and 2016, including the International Association of Legal Medicine Congress, the International Society for Sexual Medicine Congress and the 34th International Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion.

Contact Karina Lance Head of Sales & Convention Service T. +971 4 282 1111 25

Experience Extraordinary There is a place where conferences are transformed from ordinary gatherings into extraordinary experiences. A destination, at the tip of the mighty African continent, where two oceans meet in the shadow of one of earth’s seven natural wonders. Here, creativity comes to life, today’s ideas and visions become tomorrow’s reality, and impressions and bonds are created that last forever. This place is Cape Town International Convention Centre. And to experience it is to experience extraordinary.

To transform your special event into an extraordinary experience contact CTICC: +27 21 410 5000

> Macao

Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre

A-Ma Temple

Fresh news from Macao Macao never stays at a standstill. When it comes to the MICE industry, there’s indeed always something new rising from the ground, some attractive social or support programme to consider. Let’s see how Macao can seduce you!

Hotels, hotels, hotels Major investment in hotels continues apace. The 3,896-room Sheraton Macao - the largest hotel in the city to date - opened in September 2012, offering 13 meeting spaces and three outdoor event venues. Launching in the Cotai area in late 2015, The Parisian Macao will have 3,000 rooms and suites, gaming space, a retail mall, meetings space, entertainment areas and recreated Parisian shopping streets, cafes, restaurants and bars. There will also be a half size replica of France’s most iconic symbol, the Eiffel Tower. The world’s largest JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton’s first all-suite hotel will begin operations in mid-2015, part of the Galaxy Macau resort expansion, while theme park Fisherman’s Wharf is undergoing a redevelopment to refurbish existing facilities and construct two new hotels and a dinosaur museum, expected to open by the end of 2015.

All in all, there are 28,000 hotel rooms available in Macao, including many of the world’s most famous luxury brands, such as Mandarin Oriental, Banyan Tree and Four Seasons.

Infrastructure Nowhere in Macao is more than half an hour’s drive from anywhere else but investment in transport infrastructure will make journeys around and to the city even easier. A new high-speed light rail system is being developed within Macao, linking the different parts of the island, while the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, scheduled to open in 2016, will make it possible to drive from Hong Kong to Macao in around 30 minutes. Additional infrastructure available for event planners includes designer shopping, worldclass dining and entertainment options. The Galaxy Macau expansion will create more than 40 new food and beverage outlets, with retail space spanning over 100,000 sqm to include 200 luxury stores, while the

meeting and events pace will cater for 3,000 guests.

Government support For 2014, to further boost the MICE industry, the Macao Economic Services launched “The International Meeting and Trade Fair Support Programme” to provide assistance and financial support to applicants organising events identified as international meetings and trade fairs.  Eligible organisers can obtain promotion-related assistance and financial support. The Programme provides a series of financial support, subsidies including food and beverage or Meeting Package for maximum MOP$800 (approximately US$95) per delegate and 30% of accommodation costs incurred at local hotels with a maximum of five nights’ accommodation being granted for qualified meetings and conferences.

More info Conventions and Exhibitions and Economic Activities Development Department Macao Economic Services T. (853) 8597 2601 27

> Malaysia

Meetings postcards from Malaysia

Located in the heart of Asia, Malaysia is steadily becoming the meeting place of choice for international event organisers looking to capitalise on its proximity to the largest and fastest growing economic region in the world. Strategically located between the booming economies of China and India, and right in the middle of Asia where over 55% of the world’s population reside, with direct access to/from over 100 destinations worldwide with 56 airlines, Malaysia has become just over a few years a meetings destination you can’t do without. The country’s assets are quite clear: politically stable, it offers excellent value for money and boasts state-of-the-art conference venues and facilities. With a rich cultural diversity and history, it’s also a dream come true for association planners in terms of pre- or postconference possibilities. No wonder, then, Malaysia has received many accolades over the last decade. Among others, it ranked 20th in the world for Meetings of international organisations according to the Union of International Associations (UIA) in 2012 and 5th Most Price Competitive Country in the World for Travel 2012 by the Travel & Tourism Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum. 28

MyCEB’s Kesatria wins another congress The Federation of International Surveyors (FIG) will meet at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre for its General Assembly and Teo Chee Hai International Congress in June 2014. It will attract 3,000 delegates and add US$11 million for the local economy. FIG International Congresses are hosted by FIG together with its local member association and held every four years. Malaysia’s latest international congress win was truly a great moment for the country as a whole as Teo Chee Hai, a nominee of PEJUTA was also elected the new FIG President for the period 2011-2014. He will be the first FIG President from Asia. CH Teo is an Executive Council Member of PEJUTA, a Past President of the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia and current FIG Vice President. Commenting on the pooled resources by the Malaysian bid committee, Chee Hai remarked: ‘It was a Malaysia effort and we

are privileged to bring home this win for our country.’ Malaysia has never hosted an FIG Congress or Working Week (which is held annually) although it had hosted its Commission 7 event in 1997 (Penang) and Annual Meeting in 2009 (Kuala Lumpur). The Kuala Lumpur congress, the first time an FIG International Congress is held in Asia, will take place at the award-winning Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Malaysia’s accolades • 9th Most Visited Country in the world (2009, 2010, 2011) as ranked by United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) in 2012 • 10th World’s Friendliest Countries 2012 – Forbes • Ranked 7th in meetings destination in Asia Pacific whilst Kuala Lumpur as a convention city makes top 5 (as ranked by ICCA) • 12th Most competitive economy in the world for doing business - The World Bank’s “Doing Business” report (2013 edition)

> Malaysia

Special Carbon Offset Programme - Let’s Meet & Green As part of its effort to help mitigate the green house effect and to address the issue of climate change, the Local Organizing Committee of FIG 2014 will be pursuing a home grown Carbon Offset Programme to plant trees in order to offset the price of progress by giving back to the environment. Aptly named “Let’s Meet & Green”, this programme is an extension of the green campaign launched by the Malaysia

Members and Head of Delegations, including the Director Generals / Surveyor Generals attending the XXV FIG Congress in Kuala Lumpur to participate in the planting of trees at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) ( on behalf of the congress delegates. Invitees will be transported from Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to FRIM in Kepong, 16 kilometres North West of Kuala Lumpur via the Middle Ring Road. FRIM was founded in 1929 and sits in a campus

This is further proof of the dynamism of a Malaysia as a prime host to international associations. Its success lies in the diversity of services and expertise it can provide Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) on 9 November 2010 and helps enhance the commitment made by the Malaysian Government to offset our nation’s carbon emission by 40% by the year 2020.

of 544.3 hectares of tropical rain forest and further surrounded by Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve. It is a haven for nature lovers to enjoy fresh, serene ambiance away from the city of Kuala Lumpur.

A Special Carbon Offset Technical Tour, in collaboration with MyCEB, a primary supporter of this event will even be set up. The organiser will invite the Presidents of Member Associations of FIG, FIG Council

All contributions will be channelled towards FRIM’s tree planting activity. The FIG President Teo Chee Hai will present this contribution to representative of FRIM on the

day itself. The trees will be maintained by FRIM and if for some reasons the trees are to be replanted, FRIM will undertake to replant them. Everyone are welcomed to view the progress of the trees through the years by revisiting the site in future. This is further proof - if it was even needed! - of the dynamism of a Malaysia as a prime host to international associations. Its success lies in the diversity of services and expertise it can provide, whether in the field of sustainable responsibility or meeting knowledge.

Contact to host your next association event in Malaysia Tai Lee Fen Association Development Manager T. 603 2034 2090

Help Save Our Earth!


> Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is blossoming Visitors to Colombo immediately notice that the capital is getting ready for major projects. The city is clean. If you travel further south, you’ll see major, new developments: a new airport, a new highway, new hotels and a new congress centre. Text Marcel A.M. Vissers

Colombo is not picture perfect In fact, most Asian-Pacific capitals are not the prettiest in the world. However, a city that has preserved some of its past and continues to appreciate its colonial heritage, can generally count on the visitor’s sympathy. Over the years, I have noticed that Colombo has really made serious efforts to improve its image. The city is cleaner and roads have improved. New, big-name hotels are being built and some of the old, colonial hotels are being renovated – in some cases, too drastically for my taste. The oldest colonial hotel, called The Galle Face Hotel (1864), is just one good example. Several striking attractions have also been added for the meetings planner. The Bandaranaike Conference Centre (BMICH), the first full purpose built convention centre in Asia (1970-1973), has been given a new facelift. It’s been transformed into an attractive and exotic congress centre where I would like to attend a conference myself. There’s also the new Nelum Pokuna M.R. Theatre (The National Performing Arts Theatre) which opened in 2011. This building is shaped like a stylish eight-petalled lotus flower and has an auditorium with 1288 seats. In Colombo, I’m still fascinated by the buildings of Sri Lanka’s most famous architect, Geoffrey Bawa. For example, I strongly recommend a delegate lunch or dinner at The Gallery Café, which is ranked in the list of the World’s Best Bars with the following description:

‘a unique fusion of gourmet, art and culture’. The restored Old Colombo Dutch Hospital is ideal for a social function in the city. It is now a heritage building and shopping and dining precinct. So Colombo continues to redefine itself on the international map of congresses.

November 2013) is referred to as ‘a beacon on the hills’. The main building includes the auditorium (1500 people), ballroom, committee rooms, a restaurant and a coffee bar. The centre is a joint project by Sri Lanka and South Korea.

The new south of Sri Lanka

An island in full development – and also new to the Meetings Industry – must be connected to the rest of the world. Sri Lankan Airlines operates from 4 different gateways in Europe: Paris CDG T1, London Heathrow T4, Frankfurt and Rome (Fiucimino). Regular domestic flights are also available from Colombo to Hambantota in the south. Sri Lankan Airlines is a partner of the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau that’s at the service of meeting planners (

Since peace returned to this country, new regions of the island are being rediscovered. The south of Sri Lanka is an excellent example of this. The superb A2 highway now connects Colombo with Hambantota, via Galle and Matara. The new Hambantotota International Airport opened in March 2013. It is also the first greenfield airport in the country. And that’s just for starters. The new Magam Ruhunupura International Convention (MRICC- opened in

Spiritual Development Sri Lanka is an exclusive island for incentives with a unique spiritual offering. The famous Barberyn Ayurveda hotels are ideal for individual incentive travellers (management level programmes) and provide spiritual freedom for busy bodies (

Landmark Muslim Mosque, Colombo

Top priority: accessibility


Janine Galjaard

CGR gives independent advice

Clear rules for advertising during medical events in the Netherlands Organisers of medical events in Europe must comply with European rules for advertising of medicinal products. How do you ensure that your convention does indeed comply? ‘It is not as difficult as it may seem,’ says Janine Galjaard, Director of the Keuringsraad (Advertising Control Body), responsible for the enforcement of Holland’s Code of Conduct for Advertising of Medicines (CGR). ‘Our pre-convention check offers additional certainty.’ Text Paula Vos Janine Galjaard continues: ‘Article 91 of the European Directive EU 2001/83 stipulates that advertising of prescription medication may only be visible to ‘professionals’, i.e. persons who are qualified to prescribe or supply medicines, such as physicians and pharmacists. The European member states have incorporated this directive in their national legislation. In addition, the European trade organisation EFPIA created a code of conduct for its members. In the Netherlands, CGR, established the Code of Conduct for Advertising of Medicinal Products. The supremacy of enforcement of the rules for advertising rests with self-regulation. This works well.’

Separate areas On behalf of the CGR, the Keuringsraad oversees compliance with the Dutch Code of Conduct for Advertising of Medicinal Products, and advises conventions on the application of the code. Galjaard says:

‘Advertising is allowed within certain parameters. There are two types of visitors, ‘professionals’ and ‘non-professionals’. Advertising for prescription medication may only be visible to the professionals. When delegates register, you can determine which of the two categories they belong to. You can create two separate show areas, one with visible advertising and one without. Alternatively, you have one exhibition area, and ensure that the stands that wish to advertise products are in a space that is accessible to professionals only.’

Relevant advice The Keuringsraad does not inspect venues, the Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate does. ‘In the past twelve months, inspectors visited several fairs and gave relevant advice,’ says Galjaard. ‘Strict security is not required. It is usually sufficient to have a clear division at registration, clear demarcation of the separate areas, and clear sign-posting.’

Tailor-made advice Every situation is different, of course. Creative stand design may result in advertising being visible to the general public. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between participants, because the definition of ‘professional’ may differ per country. How can you be certain that your event is pharma code proof? Galjaard responds: ‘Our site features a Q&A section with further explanation. In addition, every association may submit its plans for a convention or event to us in advance. We will check whether the exhibition and convention areas meet the requirements. Our advice is accepted by the Healthcare Inspectorate, provided, obviously, that the plans are executed in accordance with our advice; the execution is what counts. This check gives convention organisers the additional certainty that they will comply with the rules, prior to the event.’

Contact CGR/Keuringsraad T. +31 (0)20 4080686


> Netherlands

Competitive Maastricht A natural choice

Main entrance

Aren’t you fed up with big metropolises easy to reach but difficult to get around? Aren’t you tired of large capitals where it takes ages to go from one place to another? Then maybe Maastricht is your answer: this uniquely charming and epicurean city is often a major factor in clients’ decision to hold their event in Maastricht. Let’s see the 8 reasons making Maastricht staying on top of its game.


MECC and the city of Maastricht rank in the top 100 international non-corporate conferences worldwide (source: ICCA International Congress and Convention Association). Maastricht is the third city in the Netherlands to make this list, and is currently targeting to rise to the second place when it comes to large, multiday, international congresses.

dinner, transportation, organisational support, catering, social and partner programmes. And all this free of charge of course!

1. A warm welcome

2. Value for money

Maastricht can be considered a second-tier city. And more often than not, you’re treated better in second-tier cities. Convention Bureaus representing ‘secondary’ association destinations might be more eager to help than Convention Bureaus in larger markets. Whether you will bring a small or a large group, Maastricht Convention Bureau will surely give you the keys to the city. Maastricht Conventions Bureau offers professional, independent and objective information, advice and mediation regarding any aspect of organising business meetings: congress centres, hotels, venues for your party or

Meeting facilities and accommodation are usually more affordable in second-tier cities than in larger markets. This is definitely the case in Maastricht, and you will even have a vast array of top-notch accommodation options to choose from, with over 4,000 hotel rooms catering to every taste and budget.

hassles. Maastricht boasts no less than eight airports. You can get to Brussels in less than 1 hour, Amsterdam in 2, Paris and Frankfurt in 3, and London in 3,5. Is there more to say?

4. Compactness Given the relative compactness of the city, it’s easy to meet each other and to network without even realizing it in Maastricht. The destination, as an association venue, is well-

Maastricht is the third city in the Netherlands to make the ICCA Top 100 Meetings City List. It is currently targeting to rise to the second place when it comes to large, multiday, international congresses

3. Accessibility This is the key for a successful conference. Ease of travel is of paramount importance to convention attendees. Choosing a secondtier city can minimize travel times and

loved for its feeling of intimacy: it’s glamorously small, easy to navigate, and everything is at walking distance. As one of the top three Dutch conference cities centrally located in Europe and the Euregion Meuse-Rhine, it has a truly European dimension, and this is what sets it apart from other Dutch cities.

5. First-class venue As a state-of-the-art convention centre, the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre (MECC) has nothing to blush about when compared to sisters and brothers in larger destinations. Convention-goers accustomed to first-tier destinations will be

> Netherlands


duly impressed by it and will appreciate the change of scenery. MECC Maastricht indeed organises and facilitates conferences, exhibitions and events in a multifunctional facility with European allure, where customdesigned services are offered along with the chance for people to actually meet each other in an ambience so typical of Maastricht. MECC’s service, quality, atmosphere, and facilities have received the highest ratings for over 25 years now - you can expect nothing but excellence from their part!

events. And worth noting is that the fibreoptic connection between the Maastricht University Medical Centre and MECC Maastricht makes live streaming - and live operations! - possible. MECC is also active in a field populated by top players in sectors such as high-tech systems and materials, chemistry (including lifetec), food and the creative industry. In Maastricht and the region, organisations find solutions to problems which are applicable throughout the world.

6. Highly professional

As the municipality is presently the owner, tenant and lessor of a large part of the MECC buildings, continuation of the activities in the MECC is in its best interest. The MECC provides employment and economic spinoff opportunities and contributes positively to the image of the city.

The professionals at MECC Maastricht are specialised in making every aspect of an event easier for their clients. Thanks to the strength of the organisation, MECC offers speed and flexibility in satisfying its clients’ needs, 24/7. The combination of its staff with the compact nature of its organisation, building and environment enable them to offer personal attention and a highly solutionoriented approach. MECC professionals are, as they like to say, ‘Dedicated to your success’.

7. Knowledge The presence of the prominent educational institution Maastricht University and the Maastricht Academic Hospital are key decision factors for planners of medical


8. Sustainability

Congress centre

Contact Maastricht Convention Bureau T. +31 (0)43 32 80 838 MECC Maastricht T. +31 (0)43 38 38 383

Maastricht city


> Switzerland

Congress Center Basel

CERN, Geneva


An unrivalled concentration of expertise A wealth of world-class research institutions, pioneering enterprises and international organisations gives Switzerland a unique concentration of skills from across the globe. Add ultra-modern event venues, a central location and famously reliable meeting professionals, and you have the perfect location for association meetings and conferences.

International specialists Hundreds of international organisations are based in Switzerland, including the UN bodies coordinating global dialogue on health, medicine, telecommunications, protection of intellectual property and trade. Switzerland’s long-standing commitment to diplomacy, international cooperation and humanitarian involvement reflects values important to multinational companies seeking new business locations. Foreign firms and their well-travelled employees appreciate Switzerland’s culture of tolerance, and find a cosmopolitan, receptive atmosphere that encourages innovative thinking. Today, Geneva is home to more than 200 international organisations, including the European headquarters of the United Nations, various UN agencies and numerous NGOs, and is the world’s most active centre for multilateral diplomacy. The Red Cross movement, which originated in the city, is still based here, and the museum devoted to its work is one of many fascinating visitor sites that explore the city’s rich humanitarian tradition. Many sports organisations have also chosen Switzerland as their home, from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne to UEFA in Nyon and FIFA in Zürich.

Key clusters of skills Switzerland is a world leader also in other fields from biotechnology, pharmaceuticals 38

and medical technology to commodity trading, finance & insurance and information & communication technology. Globally important clusters of companies and research institutions are found throughout the country. A high concentration of specialist expertise in the area is sure to boost attendance for any conference or association meeting.

Tackling global challenges Ecochem 2013, the first conference on Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, brought together leading scientists, entrepreneurs, financiers and political leaders to

look at ways of boosting the development and use of environmentally friendly chemical products and processes. Nick Hawker, the Managing Director, chose Basel for its concentration of industry leaders, its transport connections and its flexible event venues In many other ways, too, Switzerland is at the forefront of the drive to develop eco-friendly solutions to the challenges facing our planet. Its track record in environmental protection is outstanding. As in other fields, Switzerland offers conference organisers countless possibilities for impressive site visits - from hydropower plants high in the mountains to the construction site for the world’s longest railway tunnel, deep under the Alps.

Pure professionalism

The power of innovation: • Switzerland has produced more Nobel Prizewinners than any country, relative to population • Ideas breed success: Switzerland ranks first in the Global Competitiveness Index (

Switzerland has long experience of bringing people together from all over the world to share know-how, dream up new ideas and develop strategies. The country’s central location, superb transport connections, state-of-the-art venues, skilled meeting professionals and commitment to quality at every level guarantee the success of any gathering.

Eco-friendly Switzerland: • Tops Yale’s Environmental Performance Index ( • Home to Solar Impulse, the most ambitious solar airplane ever

For more information on Switzerland for association meetings:

The science of life: • The greatest density of biotech companies in the world • Swiss firsts: organ transplants, cortisone, antihistamines, LSD

Myriam Winnepenninckx Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau + 32 (0)2 345 83 57

Headquarters Europe #60  
Headquarters Europe #60  

The #60 edition of Headquarters Europe