No. 19 May 2017 €19 / SEK 165
ANDERS SORMAN NILSSON futurist We’re moving into a transformation economy THE RISE OF AI THE CODING OF ETHICS SEAMLESS PSYCHOGRAPHIC FASHION KELLERMAN
Unforgettable you can leave the islands, but never forget them
everything seems simpler at a distance, like your new strategy.
Creating a legacy International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) is now open. Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, Director of Convention Centres for AEG Ogden and President of the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), discusses how the industry-leading venue’s focus on performance is improving the health of delegates and supporting local communities. At ICC Sydney, we understand the importance of legacy. While our well-connected team is on hand to support with the legacy activities of events held at ICC Sydney, we’re also supporting the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) to track the legacy of knowledge sharing at business events globally and we’re creating our own legacy program, Feeding your Performance.
to fresh, seasonal produce is contributing to economic development, societal health and the environment.
ICC Sydney’s industry leading Feeding your Performance program is improving the health of delegates and visitors, as well as supporting regional farmers and communities.
We are also tracking key indicators for convention centre success such as delegate experience, CSR objectives, host city economic impact as well as an entirely new area – the economic impact on regional farming communities.
A University of Sydney case study on the program reported the venue and its approach
By creating nutritional, seasonal and authentic menus to energise the bodies and minds of our delegates, guests and speakers, ICC Sydney is raising awareness about the importance and provenance of local and fresh produce.
HOW IS THIS A LEGACY PROGRAM? For the first time, we are tracking the economic and societal impact the venue can have on its supply chain. We’ll be reporting on the success of our suppliers’ businesses but also the communities in which they’re located. In addition to supporting job growth and regional development, ICC Sydney’s program recognises the importance of farmers and the produce they grow. By raising awareness around healthy eating and therefore improving the lives of our delegates and guests, we may also drive behaviour change while highlighting to visitors some of the more undiscovered regions of New South Wales.
WHY IS THE FEEDING YOUR PERFORMANCE PROGRAM IMPORTANT FOR DELEGATES?
WHAT OTHER SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE VENUE ARE MAKING AN IMPACT?
While our dishes taste terrific, our menus are packed with fresh, seasonal produce and ingredients that boost concentration and sustain energy levels, thereby providing delegates with the best possible opportunity for professional development, collaboration and innovation.
Our performance driving philosophy is applied across each of our business units. A great example is the breadth and depth of knowledge within our technology team. To meet our always-on, multi-device world, our venue has been designed with robust infrastructure but it is our approach to delivery client performance that sets us apart. A technology specialist sits across every step of the event process, from the venue awareness phase, throughout the planning and of course the all-important venue delivery phases, where a dedicated contact is on site before each show commences.
It also means they’re energised to enjoy busy networking schedules during a convention as well as any post event touring. We are hoping the delegates will have the opportunity to visit the regional areas from where our ingredients are sourced to have a different Australian experience from what they have had in the city.
WHAT ARE CLIENTS SAYING ABOUT THE FEEDING YOUR PERFORMANCE PROGRAM?
Delighted with our approach to marketing ICC Sydney’s high quality dining options, clients are reporting the reputation of our food and beverage offering having a positive impact on their attendance at events for their conventions and the banqueting and networking events that form part of the program.
Kelly Maynard Business Events Distribution Development Manager Tourism Australia E: email@example.com
As well as enjoying spectacular Sydney views from across the venue, in-house fine dining experiences and event-wide catering is receiving rave reviews from clients.
Find out for yourself why there’s nothing like Australia for business events.
Book a world class experience at ICC Sydney today. Beverley Parker Director of Business Development T: +61 2 9215 7100 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Setia SPICE Convention Centre
EXPERIENCE PENANG, UNFILTERED
Convention Centre of the Future Billed as the world’s first hybrid solar-powered convention centre, the Setia SPICE Convention Centre
With over 15,000 plenary capacity across four
is the latest addition to Penang’s business events
convention centres and 12,000 hotel rooms,
facilities. The state-of-the-art convention centre has the
the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau
largest subterranean pillarless ballroom in Asia,
welcomes you to meet at Penang.
accommodating up to 8,000 delegates in theatre
Radiant Living Heritage Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, Penang’s potpourri of Asian cultures and world religions lends the destination
seating. With 13 function rooms to support international conventions and congresses, meeting planners can also utilise the 2,000-square-feet Grand Foyer and the sprawling 6-acre SPICE Roof Garden.
a magical charm. Penang was once an important
A Winning Business Events Destination
port city along the ancient spice trade, attracting
Penang hosted more than 1,250 MICE events in 2016,
the world to its doorstep. This saw the creation of
with an estimated economic impact of €172 million.
a uniquely Penang experience, a living heritage in
With a plethora of unique venues, convention hotels
which Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian
and centres, this coastal Malaysian state is fast rising
communities live, trade and worship side-by-side,
as a star meetings destination in the region.
just in the way their forefathers did.
Experience meetings set against the spectacular bird’s
A Legacy Preserved Indulge in Penang’s rich colonial charm preserved in its award-winning heritage hotels and buildings. The legacy of Penang’s prosperity from
eye view of Penang at the Rainbow Skywalk or revel in the splendour of one of the world’s oldest rainforests with gala events at The Habitat Penang Hill and the award-winning Tropical Spice Garden.
its days as a port city along the ancient spice
The world famous Penang Char Koay Teow
trade and as the first British outpost in Southeast
Matching business with authentically unfiltered
Asia is very much alive today in the halls and
experiences brought alive by its hospitable people,
rooms of the opulent heritage mansions and
vibrant culture, and rich heritage, Penang is a
pre-war buildings of George Town.
meeting planner’s dream come true destination.
Asia’s Food Capital Ravenous for gastronomic adventures? Then look no further. From the world-famous Penang street food to the decadent banana leaf cuisine and tantalising Peranakan cuisine, Asia’s great culinary traditions live on in Penang’s coffee shops, hip cafes and fine dining establishments. ADVERTORIAL
Learn more of Penang and its many experiences unfiltered at www.pceb.my or email email@example.com.
THE IDEAL PLACE FOR YOUR NEXT CONFERENCE
JCVB – YOUR ONE STOP SHOP The Jerusalem Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau (JCVB) tailors the perfect mix of what Jerusalem has to offer for your event or conference, while adapting to your needs, and helping to facilitate an event for all budgets, topics, and targeted audiences. Plan your next event here: jerusalemcvb.com For enquiries, please contact: Anat Landa | Convention Bureau Manager T 972 2 6298456 E firstname.lastname@example.org
הרשות לפיתוח ירושלים
THE JERUSALEM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
Jerusalem Where Inspiration Meets Innovation Imagine networking with global leaders in a 1,500 year old citadel, enjoying a gala dinner in an underground quarry dating back to King Herod's time, or grabbing a beer in the bustling Machane Yehuda market. Jerusalem is a special destination defying classification; best described as truly international. For conferences, Jerusalem offers the opportunity to blend 3,000 years of history with an incomparable ecosystem of knowledge, creativity, culture and technology. Jerusalem provides conference goers with a once-in-alifetime experience. It's diverse. It's unique. It's bold. It's truly unconventional.
Discover Jerusalem Jerusalem is the center of the world. The meeting point of east and west. The inspiration and innovation of the ancient and modern worlds. One of the oldest cities in the world, Jerusalem's story spans over 3,000 years. Its breathtaking historical sites can be transformed to amazing venues that will give your conference a unique added value. In the modern city center, Jerusalem's new neighborhoods offer visitors a vibrant nightlife and world class culture. Jerusalem offers something special for everyone. The city features myriad attractions, world class cultural institutions, 57 museums and hundreds of excellent restaurants. Participants can enjoy Jerusalem's culinary scene, a fusion of ancient and modern recipes and techniques, where ethnicities mesh together to create a unique tapestry of flavor in dishes that fuse together European, North African, and Mediterranean cuisines. From urban art, to the iconic Israel Museum, which houses diverse art collections from around the world, to annual festivals like Open Restaurants
that pays homage to the Jerusalem food scene, Mekudeshet, the four-day music festival, and the annual Open House weekend, which opens doors to some of Jerusalem's most stunning architectural public buildings and residences for public viewing, Jerusalem entertains and inspires. itraveljerusalem.com
Incentives in Jerusalem In addition to the city's attractions, the Jerusalem CVB offers conference organizers a financial grant as well as other incentives to help make any meeting in Jerusalem a stand-out success. Conference organizers can choose from an array of venues ranging in size and themes, including the state-of-the-art International Convention Center, five-star-hotels, or a more historical space like David's Citadel, known as the "Tower of David,â€? an icon of Jerusalem for generations and a historical and archaeological asset of international significance, which is just one out of many Jerusalem's unique venues for gala events or professional conferences. jerusalemcvb.com/jcvb-plnguide/
High-Tech Hub Israel earned its title as the â€œStartup Nationâ€? by having the greatest number of per-capita startups and venture capital investments in the world. In March 2017, Mobileye was acquired by Intel for $15 billion. A company that started as an idea in the halls of Jerusalem's Hebrew University, leveraged the city's knowledge, passion and resources to become the largest acquisition in Israel. Delegates can meet with major R&D centers and innovation hubs and benefit from access to Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical Center, two global pioneers at the forefront of groundbreaking medical and scientific research. biojerusalem.org.il SPONSORED CONTENT
Madrid a lively cosmopolitan city
adrid, a lively cosmopolitan and friendly city where everyone feels at home. A place for business and new trends, the capital of Spain offers a safe, comfortable setting where taking time out and doing business are equally enjoyable. Its rich artistic and natural heritage, cutting-edge transport network, quality accommodation, fine cuisine and the passion locals show when enjoying their city's day and night life make it one of the most attractive cities in the world.
Talking about accommodation Madrid's hotels are much more than just a place to sleep: they are a point of reference in Europe for their services, comfort, safety, accessibility and gastronomy. Almost 900 accommodations in the Region offer visitors a thousand and one ways of enjoying leisure time and doing business. There are hotels of all types and to suit all budgets, but they all share one thing: quality with “value for money.” Madrid has a modern and innovative hotel capacity which is in a constant process of renewal and expansion, providing a wide range of rates and categories to satisfy all tastes and requirements: from hotels that have been standing for over a century to ones that have recently opened and boast state of the art design, and from five-star hotels to the municipal youth hostel in the heart of the city. In this sense, Madrid is living a great moment of development of its hotelier sector: the refurbishing of some classical MICE hotels as NH Collection Eurobuilding, NH Collection Colón, Iberostar Las Letras Gran Vía or the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel and the opening of new small and boutique hotels like The Principal, Urso Hotel & Spa, Hotel Único or new stylish hotels like NH Collection Madrid Suecia, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, Only You Hotel SPONSORED CONTENT
Atocha or Barceló Torre de Madrid. Regarding the next future, Madrid is expecting the arrival of the first establishments in the Spanish Capital of international brands like Four Seasons or W. As there is nothing more enticing than combining rest and relaxation with the pleasures of fine dining, Madrid's hotels place particular emphasis on their culinary offer, to the point that many of the most emblematic restaurants in the capital are located inside hotels. That's the case of NH Collection Eurobuilding and the 3 Michelin Starred chef Daviz Muñoz's restaurant Diverxo, the cuisine of the 2 Michelin Starred chef Ramón Freixá in Hotel Unico and The Principal Hotel and the 1 Michelin Star chef Ricardo Sanz in its Japanese restaurant Kabuki at the Hotel Wellington, just to mention the most renowned cases. Excellent service, fine dining and outstanding chefs are some of the ingredients frequently found in the accommodation in Madrid. Pillow menus, jacuzzis in the bedrooms and courtesy cars and bycicles for touring the city are just a few of the complimentary services that top hotels provide for their most discerning customers. This fact is complemented with an excellent infrastructure, modern congresses facilities, highly specialised services and an economic vitality. But it is not just these competitive advantages that make the difference compared with other destinations, but the possibility that the capital offers to combine work and fun: Madrid has an amazing ability to make work meetings a pleasurable time with a wide offer of leisure activities. Take a walk on the “Paseo del Arte” and visit some of the most important museums in the World, or enjoy the nightlife of our vibrant City after a memorable day of work, shopping and historical legacy discovery. Read more on www.esmadrid.com/mcb
Run Better. In Boston. boston logan international airport
boston convention & exhibition center
Daily Non-Stop fromFlights more from more DailyFlights Non-Stop
INTERNATIONAL RUNWAYS . INTERNATIONAL RUNWAYS. So Your Event CanWhere Takethe Off! Boston. Crowds are Always within Reach. So Your Event Can Take Off!
Run your next global event in Boston â€“ a world-class city with non-stop airport service from 54 international locations and 75 U.S. cities. Compact and walkable, Boston has two convention centers with public transportation and endless attractions just steps away. So your event is easy to reach and hard to resist! Schedule a site visit or learn more at SignatureBoston.com or +1 617.954.2800.
Monaco, a country where you are not only at the top of your game on a tennis court Choose Monaco and opt for a sure value at the heart of Europe. Guarantee a fantastic welcome, top-notch service and a wide selection of venues for your event. Monacoâ€™s facilities can be adapted to suit any size of event. Above all, it offers a unity of place in a territory of two square kilometres, where all journeys can be made on foot, in complete safety and under the mild Mediterranean climate.
Choose Monaco and take advantage of our expertise to guarantee the success of your event.
YOUR EVENT NEEDS MONACO Convention Bureau
www.monaconventionbureau.com FOLLOW US
Monaco Convention Bureau
Monaco Tourist and Convention Authority's Convention Bureau launches its new Business Tourism campaign
estination Monaco has confirmed its excellent position in business tourism after the very good results published for 2016 and is launching a new 2017 campaign, the second phase and logical continuation of the previous campaign. This is a modern, dynamic and elegant campaign for demanding and ever-changing markets. The campaign is centred on a play on words that takes a new look at clichés in a humorous, quirky tone, highlighting the strengths of Monaco's Convention Bureau. The key words are “Expertise, Service, Talent and Tailor-Made,” deliberately retaining a human dimension with communication that focuses on visuals with the underlying theme of hands – the men and women who make up the teams, conveying the idea of welcome and creativity. The slogan, in keeping with the previous campaign, remains the same: “Your event needs Monaco,” “Choosing Monaco means benefiting from expertise to ensure the success of your event,” the strengths of
Monaco as a destination, its dynamism, economic diversity and financial stability, which remain major assets on which the campaign is legitimately based. This campaign will be unveiled to professionals at the Heavent trade fair in Cannes in April 2017, and at Imex Frankfurt in May 2017. The Convention Bureau is a department of Monaco Tourist and Convention Authority. Its mission is to promote the Principality of Monaco to all organisers of business groups. It facilitates the organisation of professional events, thanks to its expertise and knowledge of all the Monegasque players involved. It acts as a one-stop shop for requests and coordinates and facilitates contact with various establishments. On behalf of the Prince's Government, and therefore with complete neutrality and free of charge, it offers personalised support to all events organisers in Monaco.
Things happen in Brussels
isit, meet, discover, celebrate. A perfect cycle for any gathering taking place in the capital of 500 million Europeans, where beyond business and political decisions an exciting cultural, artistic and social scene at sensible prices offers more than leisure. All in a city with historical beauty and a multicultural soul. No wonder Brussels is the number one destination for congresses in Europe according to UIA ranking 2015. Brussels is no ordinary convention city. Counting with headquarters of International and European institutions, a large network of more than 1,000 press correspondents and the world's largest interest representation of regions, industry and civil society interests, Brussels has a unique environment for your meeting – close to decision makers and their staff, in the heart of Europe. It is no exaggeration to claim: “If you want to be heard, say it in Brussels!”
Brussels, capital of associations In 2016, Visit Brussels launched a new Association Bureau to serve as a one-stop-shop for anything associations need to set up or run their organization, from human resources to meeting facilities. The international dimension and the great network of associations and support services makes it a unique ecosystem to reinforce all daily and occasional activities. The international dimension is also very present in the different strong partnerships. The new Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP) links the European capital with Washington's “Destination DC” bureau, the Dubai Association Centre and Singapore Convention Bureau, giving associations a more global reach and presence, in addition to helping them grow on an international level.
The rich events landscape in Brussels allows to gain knowledge in all relevant areas. A perfect mix on items such as events and general management, campaigning, finance and leadership is the annual peer-to-peer European Association Summit – the premier networking forum for international association executives – taking place 30–31 May 2017 at Square. Adopting a long term association-friendly policy, Visit Brussels will be launching the International Association's Club providing associations with a place to meet, learn and network – this is where Visit Brussels’ Association Bureau will offer a permanent contact point and enhance its capital role.
A unique economic environment … with ambassadors Several evolving industries, from life sciences to media, have been emerging from the shadows. These industries are creating new demand and are turning Brussels into the go-to place for exciting new meetings and events in the sectors. Brussels hosts events from all kinds of sectors, although some of the more popular are life sciences and bio-pharmaceuticals, ICT and technology, green and clean technologies, creative industries, media and business services. Brussels has some incredible talents in these fields who showcase our city on the international stage through these dynamic sectors. The Visit Brussels convention bureau has a dedicated task force designed to assist these sectors in Belgium move into the spotlight on the international scene, by attracting existing congresses and conferences in their fields to Brussels. But they have dedicated ambassadors too. These ambassadors are influencers who, in front of an audience of academics, doctors, European
policy makers, deans of universities, chairmen and board members of international associations, scientists, hospital directors and other destination partners, have been compelling in making Brussels host major international events. The role of Visit Brussels convention bureau is to help Belgian academic and economic spheres focus on the importance and the advantages of having an international event on their specific field take place in Brussels. These ambassadors have organised, annually, 66 trade fairs, conventions and sports events, each with over 800 participants. These events, in total, welcomed 500,000 participants and 9,472 speakers over the past three years.
Social legacy and dynamism Enhancing its ambitions the Visit Brussels convention bureau wishes to develop the services further and increase the added value that they bring to your events … with a view of the social legacy. Beyond overnight stays or delegates’ spending the Region is very keen to measure the outcome of a meeting in terms of quality of care, and the lasting legacy for the future. The cultural and MICE tourism sector is extremely dynamic in Brussels, with countless venues being regularly renovated and new ones popping up all the time. The very recent Docks Dome, Train World, the Courtyard Brussels EU, the BEL, Euraffex, The Beer Temple and the House of European History, are all ideal starting points for seeing Europe in Brussels. Find out more and receive event support in Brussels, venue guidance and advice on how to make the most meaningful and successful decisions, thanks to the free services of our bureau.
“Brussels is an optimal city for holding international conferences and summits. It is easily accessible from all continents. Events facilities, hotels, food, and hospitality are attractive for international travellers on business trips. We have always been congratulated for all events organised in Brussels with the excellent cooperation of the Visit Brussels convention bureau.” Françoise Meunier, Doctor of Medicine from the University Libre de Bruxelles, holds a Master's Degree in Medical Oncology, in Internal Medicine and a PhD. She was Head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Jules Bordet Institute, Brussels before joining EORTC (European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer) in 1991. Françoise Meunier served as EORTC Director General from 1991–2015. She remains active as EORTC Director Special Projects and she is a driving force behind activities such as EORTC Cancer Survivorship initiatives
Read more on visit.brussels/en/lists/meetings-homepage
Looking to the Future Dubai Reimagined
s the fourth most visited city in the world and the number one business events destination in the Middle East, Dubai's status as a knowledge hub has helped it attract business, organizations and associations from across the globe. Now, a major ongoing project is set to further enhance its reputation and showcase the fast pace of progress it is capable of.
Museum of the Future Born four years ago as a small part of the World Government Summit, Dubai's Museum of the Future has since grown into the world's leading platform for design, technology, and foresight. Each year, a temporary exhibition gives visitors a SPONSORED CONTENT
preview of the permanent Museum of the Future, which will be opening in 2018. Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Museum will become a unique incubator for futuristic innovations and designs. “The Museum of the Future will be an incubator for ideas, a driver for innovation, and a destination for inventors and entrepreneurs from around the world,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. "The world is entering a new era of accelerated knowledge and great technological revolutions. We aim to lead in that era, not to follow and lag behind. The Museum of the Future is the first step of
many to come, marking the beginning of great achievements." In addition to becoming a major tourist destination, the Museum, which is being developed by the Dubai Future Foundation, will offer advanced courses and specialized workshops, as well as public talks and events. It is intended to offer a platform to demonstrate and test the latest inventions and prototypes from up and coming startups and the world's technology giants. It will also host innovation facilities and design studios with universities, companies, and research partners. “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. While others try to predict the future, we create it,” he added. “Museum of the Future will
be an integrated environment empowering creative minds to test, fund and market ideas for futuristic prototypes and services” The building will be built in part using 3D printing technologies, and will change over time to test and reflect the latest advancements in various fields.
Knowledge Hub In many ways, the development of the Museum of the Future reflects the evolution of the business events sector in the city, which is not content with resting on its laurels of excellent hygiene factors, such as its infrastructure and international transport links, world-class venues and a rapidlygrowing range of hotels. Dubai Business Events, the city's Official Convention Bureau, aims to attract international meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions that can help grow economic development, jobs and knowledge creation in the emirate. This strategy is fully aligned with the Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 and the UAE Vision 2021, aimed to help grow the city into a global knowledge hub by showcasing Dubai's dynamic business events offering and attractive hardware – made up of global connectivity, state-of-the-art facilities, firstclass infrastructure and great hospitality – in addition to the city's diverse knowledge base across all industry verticals, including healthcare, education, technology, transport, clean energy, water and space. In all these sectors, Dubai has already succeeded in attracting international businesses and academic institutions, as well as developing local talent and entrepreneurs. And across these sectors, Dubai's free zones, which offer concessions and incentives, including 100 % foreign ownership and zero taxation, are playing an important role in bringing in investment and fostering growth. Of course, Dubai has a history of knowledge exchange, with its origin in the Majlis, a cornerstone of Emirati civilisation. The Majlis, which means ‘sitting or top level meeting place’, has been the setting for business meetings from the heyday of the
silk route. Dubai's strategic location, excellent connectivity and extensive business services, which have all helped it become centre of trade and commerce for the Middle East, have also enabled it to become a knowledge hub. Today, international conferences and association events play an important role in both developing Dubai as a knowledge hub and attracting more business visitors to the city. They contribute to knowledge transfer and exchange of best practice between international and UAE-based experts and scientists. In turn, Dubai's business events industry can also benefit from the sharing and exchange of ideas, and knowledge, which ultimately helps in building a legacy for business events. As more associations and organisations recognise the advantages of holding their events in Dubai, the emirate's hotels, airlines and venue operators, as well as other stakeholders, stand to benefit from the increase in visitor numbers.
Tackling Challenges At this year's World Government Summit, held in February at Dubai's Madinat Jumeirah, the temporary Museum of the Future drew attention to three main challenges – water supply, food security and self-sufficient cities. The Museum proposed three new solutions, unveiling how countries can adapt to climate change and lead the future. It also underlined the importance of adapting to future implications of climate change. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid explained at the opening of the Museum, the UAE's strategy for building inspires people to innovate and come up with solutions for the future. "Leaders, decision makers and experts around the world are investing time, effort and resources to find sustainable solutions for climate change challenges. These endeavors help us provide food and water, and build sustainable cities. Climate change and food security require us all to work together and propose solutions
that effect positive change and benefit all economic and social sectors," he said. "The UAE has always put the vision towards facing challenges that affect the society. The Museum of the Future offers visitors the opportunity to explore ideas and best practices that serve to build a future that resonates with our leaders’ directives and vision, and that cements the UAE's position as a global hub for forecasting and planning for the future," he noted. He reminded attendees that the Museum of the Future will become a permanent fixture in Dubai, exhibiting the inventions and technologies of the future, and that it would be an ideal platform that embodies bold ideas and develop pragmatic solutions, as well an incubator for innovation. This edition of the Museum of the Future was a global platform where top-tier experts could identify the most prominent scientific and technological trends of the future. Furthermore, it was a catalyst for future forecasting and study efforts, and played a pivotal role in setting up policies and strategies that allowed the world's governments to benefit from the technologies of the future and their potential. While the Museum highlighted three key challenge areas in the summit itself – water, food and self-sufficient cities – studies reveal that the UAE procures 80 % of its drinking water through desalination, with demand for drinking water constantly increasing. Meanwhile, the global supply of potable water is projected to fall 40 % short of global demand by 2030. Studies also show that the UAE imports 85 % of its food, costing the country 15 % of its GDP. The Ministry of Economy predicts the cost of importing food to quadruple to 60 % of GDP by 2025, unless local, sustainable food sources are provided. The world will need to produce 70 % more calories than today to provide food for the population, according to studies by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO. In light of these findings, the Museum of the Future offered new concepts for farms that use cutting-edge technologies SPONSORED CONTENT
to produce food at home. The AutoFarms will be connected to FoodNet, an artificially intelligent social network for food that serves entire neighborhoods. AutoFarms will create personalized predictive menus and then harvest the ingredients, prepare them and deliver them right to people's doorstep. They will be integrated into the local food network, allowing them to synchronize data with the wider market, directly address health needs and solve city-wide nutrition problems. This will help produce food that is 100 times healthier and more nutritious, using 99 % less water and electricity. The Museum also conceptualized living organic freshwater factories made of genetically engineered jellyfish. It took visitors on an underwater tour to introduce them to this innovative solution to deal with the shortcomings of desalination. Jellyfish is one of nature's most absorptive living organisms. Meanwhile, mangrove roots are one of nature's best biological desalinators. With that in mind, a giant 350 m-wide jellyfish can be created by crossing the genes of jellyfish and mangrove trees to produce living freshwater factories that could serve an entire city. SPONSORED CONTENT
Again, rising sea levels are projected to displace more than 375 million people while global temperatures are set to rise by an average of 2°C. The Museum presented its City Kit – a "self-building" solution that uses biotechnology and robotics to construct 100 % self-sufficient cities in a matter of weeks. The invention can also produce electricity, grow crops, drain flooded streets, repair crumbling buildings and build sustainable infrastructure.
Innovation in Dubai The Museum of the Future may be a project that stands out, but it is by no means alone in signaling to the world Dubai's forward-thinking environment. At this year's World Government Summit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also announced the Dubai 10X initiative. Dubai 10X sets the Government of Dubai on a mission to be 10 years ahead of all other cities, hence the name 10X (with X symbolizing experimental, out-of-the-box future oriented exponential thinking). His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Dubai Future
Foundation, said: "The future belongs to those who affect radical changes, not those who make minor, gradual improvements. The future will not be as patient with us as the present. I am calling on all government leaders and employees to embrace disruptive innovation and find new, creative and truly disruptive approaches and technologies to delivering their mission rather than incremental and minor improvements.” He added that Dubai has a young and energetic government who want to be leaders in disruptive innovation and technology. “Succeeding in becoming the best government in the world requires all of us to adopt a culture of creative disruption, allowing not only our tools and systems to be enhanced, but also our mindsets, to be revamped, upgraded and open to embracing disruption,” he said. Among the government bodies leading the drive forward is Smart Dubai. It was founded on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, by embracing technology innovation across all city dimensions.
Established in December 2015, the Smart Dubai Office is the government office charged with facilitating Dubai's citywide smart transformation, to empower, deliver and promote an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city experience for residents and visitors. Working together with its strategic partners, Smart Dubai has developed an ambitious plan that is set to wield an immense positive impact on the city, its people, the economy, and the environment, and preparing Dubai to embrace the future now, not tomorrow. The Smart Dubai Office is leading the city's complete shift to smart technologies, using cutting-edge innovations to increase efficiency and improve services, and bringing Dubai closer to achieving its vision of being the happiest city on Earth. It is working with partners from the public and private sectors to implement an ambitious roadmap that takes all components of the city into consideration – including: government, companies, society, individuals, resources, and infrastructure – to achieve six objectives: High-quality, connected digital government; technology-based competitive global
economy; efficient and seamless services; streamlined smart transport solutions; a sustainable environment enabled by smart technology; and an agile city that offers smart living. Smart Dubai works diligently and ceaselessly to make everyone in Dubai happy; it conducts research and implements a happiness index to raise the level of happiness throughout the city. In the travel and tourism sector, for example, the "Happiness Hackathon" was launched with the intention of significantly improving traveler satisfaction. The Hackathon focused on different aspects of travelers’ experience, drawing on similar studies that were conducted in other sectors. An artificial intelligence assistant, virtual reality, bespoke services, and sentiment mapping were among the prototype solutions showcased.
world and will provide a platform to foster creativity, innovation and partnership. The event, which is expected to attract 25 million visitors over the course of six months from October 2020, will have three subthemes: Opportunity – unlocking new possibilities for people and communities to become successful contributors to the future; Mobility – creating smarter and more productive physical and virtual connections; and Sustainability – pursuing hopes for progress without compromising the needs of future generations. By then, Museum of the Future will already be well-established, with visitors to Dubai having the opportunity to truly embrace its motto: See the future, create the future. For more information and enquiries, contact Dubai Business Events on email@example.com or visit www.dubaibusinessevents.com
Aside from through the Museum of the Future, Dubai's evolution is set to come into sharp focus when it hosts the World Expo in 2020. Under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 is set to attract visitors from around the SPONSORED CONTENT
LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE EDITOR IN CHIEF Atti Soenarso
firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER Roger Kellerman
email@example.com INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF SALES Graham Jones
May 2017 Analogue Hearts – Digital Minds
EDITOR Pravasan Pillay
Atti Soenarso: AI is soon an everyday commodity.
TEXT Robert Cotter, Padraic Gilligan, Elling Hamso,
Roger Kellerman, Robin Sharma, Rohit Talwar, Atti Soenarso, Alexandra Whittington
PHOTOS Sara Appelgren (incl. cover),
Pietro Ballardini, Andrius Burba, Abby Cammerata, Roger Kenny,
Gazing into the future of the meetings industry.
Magnus Malmberg, Kasper Thye, Cristiano Vincenzo, Piotr Zabicki ART DIRECTOR kellermandesign.com
TRANSL ATION Dennis Brice
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Georges Simenon + Glasgow + Vancouver + Penguin Classics + The Casual Optimist.
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AI IS SOON AN EVERYDAY COMMODITY The products and services on show at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2017) (3,800 exhibitors in Las Vegas at the beginning of the year), covered nearly all global industries. From the latest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), smart homes, self-propelled vehicles, robotics, wearables, health and fitness tech and more, CES 2017 reveals the future of the online experience and what it means today. But above all what it will mean to consumers around the world within five to ten years. Things are developing at a rapid pace. The main attraction of this year's CES was Alexa and Google Home, inclusive of voice-activated light switches, thermostats, gearboxes, cars and much more. You can ask Alexa to do hundreds of things, like play your favourite tunes by your favourite artist, set a timer on ten minutes or wake you up at 7:00. You can also ask it to tell you a joke or ask how high Mount Everest is. We have finally reached a stage where “she” understands and answers in an exact and natural voice. Google has also recently announced
the availability of Alexa through their iPhone app. This voice interface proved to be simple and natural, and in many cases more convenient than typing in a search engine, turning on an app or getting up to turn a power switch on or off. Artificial Intelligence is quickly moving into our daily lives and even event companies are beginning to use AI in their products. For example, Grip.events uses AI to match members of a network with a Tinder-like typeface. Futuristic Elon Musk is known for his strong ideas and says that artificial intelligence will become an everimportant factor in our lives. When speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier this year, where he also launched Tesla in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), he said that over time, we will probably see a closer merging of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. “It's about bandwidth, the speed of the connection between your brain and the digital version of yourself, especially the output.” He explained what he meant by saying that computers could communicate with a
trillion bits per second, while people, whose main method of communication is texting on a mobile, maybe at ten characters per second − if they are extremely fast. “If the use of AI continues to expand at the present rate it could render many people useless, so we need to go arm in arm with the machines.” Parallel with this issue of the magazine we have penned a Meetings International Business Intelligence Report from Vilnius in Lithuania, a country with a population of three million that is experiencing rapid development in the areas of cyber security, laser and nanotechnology, games development and, not least, VR, in which they are world leaders together with Facebook and Google. You do not have to come from the United States to be well-educated, smart and successful in the new technologies.
Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for close to 40 years. She has worked for Scandinavia's largest daily newspaper, was TV4's first travel editor, has written for many Swedish travel magazines and has had several international clients. She has travelled the length and breadth of the world and written about destinations, people and meetings. photo
MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
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Robert Cotter PHOTOS
SÖR M A N N I L S S ON
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At some point we have all thought or spoken about what we might wish to do or be ‘in the future’, whether in our personal or professional lives. In doing so most of us will also have cast our thinking nets over a reasonable time span, perhaps into retirement, or the next major career change, or having started a family. Yet, with today's seemingly turbo-charged advances in technology along with seismic shifts in the world's demographic plates, any firm ideas we might have of the future and our place in it increasingly appear about as solid as a bubble on quicksand. For the year 2017 alone the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is anticipating major breakthroughs in self-driving delivery trucks, paralysis reversal through brain implants, face-detecting payment systems (already live in China), gene therapy to solve hereditary illness, and computers of a power unimaginable in recent years. This kind of accelerating change has many futurists emphasising the critical need to
microscopically scrutinise what is happening today and to harness the power of the winds of change blowing strongly about us. For some of them, such as Anders Sorman-Nilsson, a futurist and innovation strategist at Thinque Inc., it is also important to think from a future point with a rearview mirror perspective to understand how to grasp the full potential of today to maintain and drive business success. 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“ Think about your business not from a ‘post-mortem’, but a ‘pre-mortem’ perspective”
“A lot of the work we do with businesses is around getting people to think in a ‘pre-mortem’ style, so I often ask clients to imagine that it's a certain date in the future and that on their watch the company went belly up, so my questions are what were the trends that they missed, what were the signals that they chose to ignore, and what were the investment decisions that they delayed that led to this demise,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “I then follow it up with asking what change they are going to make now to prevent that from happening.” “Many of our clients do step up to the plate and do something different, not just as a result of that question, but I think that it's a provoking one to ask people – to think about your business not from a ‘post-mortem’, but a ‘pre-mortem’ perspective, assuming that things didn't go as planned and then taking steps to prevent a bad scenario from happening. We're all motivated by carrots and sticks, so sometimes we have to take the stick approach to things as well.” From the more traditional postmortem angle Anders SormanNilsson is equally happy to take the stick to himself in sketching out what prompted a Swedish schoolboy to become a scholarship-winning MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
graduate at an Australian university and evolve into a globally renowned futurist advising major corporations on how to wrestle the challenges of modern society and technology to ensure their enduring efficiency and success. “I grew up in a family very much of technophobes back in the 1980s in an era when technology was really making a splash, but whenever we were with my grandparents in the Lake Mälaren archipelago outside of Stockholm the central source of entertainment was the fireplace,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “It sounds really romantic, but they were against everything to do with technology and my grandfather was a man of silence, so as kids we were sort of bored, because it was sitting around and not saying much.” “I think this agitated me as a kid, because if we weren't going to have great storytelling we needed other types of technological entertainment, which they were against. My ambition and role as a futurist was probably born there, as a reaction to having grown up in a world where there wasn't much technology available, so I had to go and seek it out elsewhere, playing around with computers and watching sci-fi movies in the 1980s.”
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“The main course is the transformational event that you go to”
“Later on my father was lucky enough to have a posting to Canberra, Australia, as Swedish Defence Attaché, so as a family we moved there for three years,” says Anders SormanNilsson. “As the posting came to an end I had just finished school and was awarded a scholarship at the Australian National University to study a dual degree of International Relations and Law. During these studies, however, I lost the love of learning and started looking outside the world of law and international relations for what I really enjoyed, which had to do more with personal and professional development, business and entrepreneurship. Although I completed the degrees, I wanted to be an entrepreneur myself and I could see how entrepreneurial thinking could be quite empowering.” “I then had the opportunity to work for marketing consultants back in the early to mid 2000s and particularly focusing on generational trends, so we were looking very much at how to connect with the Gen Y consumer,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “This was at the time when social media and the likes of Facebook was just emerging, so the work was very much focusing initially on engaging Gen Y
and demographic trends. After that I then started up Thinque back in 2005, since then I've added a Global Executive MBA as well, so there's been more strategy work and scenario planning and this kind of stuff over the last six or seven years.” Starting the company was the launch pad into areas of innovative thinking that have led to Anders Sorman-Nilsson spending up to 240 days a year criss-crossing the globe and presenting to corporate executives his ideas on how people and businesses need to adapt to stay efficient, effective and, ultimately, successful in a world of mushrooming disruptive flux, both of the social and technological kinds. For some of his cutting-edge futurist ideas inspiration again stemmed from sources closer to home back in Sweden. “In terms of my mother being able to change her own business fortunes and development of the business back in Stockholm I could really see in first hand challenges that the root of all evil very much came from an aversion to new technologies,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “I could see how in the part of Stockholm where my mother's shop is, the consumption habits and demographics had
changed, which combined with technological changes led to a change in her business fortunes. For her it was about carrying on a legacy and doing the same thing, and I could see the deep inefficiencies of that in a world of digital disruption and changing consumption habits. She had ‘missed’ what was going on and preferred to complain about how the Gen Y and Gen Z consumers were ‘difficult’, so I told her that she had every opportunity in the world to change her fortunes in the business, but that she just needed to adapt.” “I think that as exciting as it is when technology changes, I get really excited when humans change, so it's equally about technology and anthropology. From my perspective, when the rate of external change around you trumps the rate of internal change, agility and innovation inside a company then the company is going to be in deep trouble. For me there is therefore this sort of urge to travel around the world and do scenario planning and help bigger companies.” Sharpening his innovative thinking through such personal experience took Anders Sorman-Nilsson into deep excavation on how these two worlds – that he prefers to label the
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“We're running the risk of letting AI do to our brains what machines and robots have been doing to our brawns”
‘analogue’ and the ‘digital’ – could be merged, an intellectual pursuit that even saw him manage to eke out the time to write a book on it. “We have the privilege that one of our biggest clients is Westpac, an Australian retail bank and one of the country's big four banks, and they have based their idea of ‘clicks meeting bricks’ – or the analogue meeting the digital – on the idea in my previous book called Digilogue: How to win the Digital Minds and Analogue Hearts of Tomorrow's Customers,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “They've very much used this idea of digilogue internally when it comes to really building the retail banking strategy of their clicks meeting bricks.” “For those of our clients who really embrace the excitement of a new world it doesn't have to be about throwing away the analogue baby with the digital bathwater, as I believe you can equally retain the heritage, the legacy and the good bits about history, but I also think that if you're so focused on the past and the history [of a company] then you run the risk of having no future in business. I've always said that to win the ‘analogue hearts and the digital minds’ of tomorrow's customers, including my MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
customers, I think that a large part of it is in acknowledging where people have come from. Many futurists tend to overhype the extent of change we'll see in 12 months time and then under-hype the amount of change we'll see in ten years time. I often step in and say that there's merit in some of the things that a company has done in the past and that tends to get some level of buy in when you say it isn't an either/or with the digital and analogue worlds, but that they can augment one another.” For the digital and analogue worlds to augment each other nevertheless implies a considerable behavioural shake-up in corporate practice and with consequences that will impact upon every line of business, the meeting and event industry clearly being no exception. “I think that for event planners and events of the future, looking at the younger demographic and in Asia in particular – whether that be Gen Y, Gen Z or even the Generation Alphas of this world – is really the future lab for this, in terms of how they're behaving and how they're using technologies,” says Anders SormanNilsson. “In the events industry specifically you can just look at the sort of duality of approaches and I
look, for example, at the compounded annual growth rates of 20+ percent when it comes to the growth of esports events and esports revenues around the world. These are of course digital natives who come together in a stadium or a forum to watch people play computer games, which is kind of an odd notion, but it's something that digital natives love doing, so there's still a social aspect to turning up to an event.” “We therefore need to make sure that future events are much more immersive and I think that too much focus has traditionally been placed on just the experience at the event and been very, very poor at follow through. I think that if we look at the event itself as a glue-building exercise whereby the magic still happens in the hallways and in the main sessions, taking a really creative approach as they do in SXSW or the TED conferences, or even something like what Burning Man is doing in terms of getting people to a place to really take them on a ‘pilgrimage’ and to immerse them for more than just the event, might be a way forward.” Reaching this meeting planner apex where the mindset of Gens Y, Z and Alpha are not merely to be understood, but also technologically
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“It doesn't have to be about throwing away the analogue baby with the digital bathwater”
catered for via the optimum communication tools for meaningful meetings and events will require something of a quantum leap in both the skills of future event planners and, quite possibly, also the demographic base that they will come from. Whilst such a transition might suggest turbulent times ahead, Anders Sorman-Nilsson has been categorical on the need for this kind of change, as well as many other corporate learning shifts, to be ‘seamless’. “By this I mean creating that seamless interweaving between the analogue and digital modes of communication and I think that some events are better at it than others which follow the old school formula that might not be that enticing for the next few generations, particularly when you see an innovation event but it has exactly the same structure of workshops, break out and plenaries as they've always had,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “I don't know if that structure is going to be the one for generations that have grown up with virtual gaming and leading virtual teams.” “For meeting planners this mantra of ‘digital minds and analogue hearts’ is then fairly apt, as they have to ask
themselves how they can connect with and add value to the increasingly digitised, mobilised, virtualised and rational minds of tomorrow's customers and event participants, but still enduringly connect with their analogue, experiential, emotional hearts. I think that's a very good starting point as well as just looking at how to both create a really amazing, immersive, physical experience when people turn up, because people value their time a lot more these days. So for us to invest in the time to go to an event you just want it to be world class and amazing, and transformational too. Looking at the digital mode as a way to get information across is therefore a good starting point, like an appetiser in some ways, but then the main course is the transformational event that you go to – the analogue is great for transformation, the digital great for information.” Future delegates expecting to be ‘transformed’ by events they have carefully chosen to dedicate their time to will clearly have to be served with transformed events, compared to the events of today, for them to achieve these goals. One of the tools at the forefront of how such transformation may be molded is the rise of
Artificial Intelligence (AI) alongside the widespread use of apps within and behind events. “At the moment we're running the risk of letting AI do to our brains what machines and robots have been doing and will continue to do to our brawns, so both blue collar and white collar work will be equally impacted and that can potentially be very divisive, with a number of skills and a lot of activities in our everyday work lives being outsourced to robots and AI,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “However, I think it can be used from a variety of different perspectives, such as the big data and analytics it can provide on how people move around [at events], and it can offer engagement levels that people have in the different sessions by reviews and ratings, and whether people have been on their mobile devices the whole time during a keynote, either tweeting about it or doing something else.” “These reams of data would be difficult for a human to sit down and plug into a spreadsheet, but of course through AI conference or convention organisers will be able to gauge whether to invite a speaker back, or what kind of speakers work with an audience, or what time of the day a
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“The rise of robotisation and automation can be fairly cyber dystopic”
speaker should be on, or should the day start and end with a plenary – so AI might be able to point to some flaws and actually puncture some commonly held beliefs and challenge some holy cows of the industry, just in terms of how they even structure their events.” “Of course it also allows them, in a much more psychographic fashion, to follow up with people who they know have been in particular sessions and who they've been able to geo-contextually track around their conventions, and it should make it easier for them to entice them back to the convention next year and also to utilise the attendees much better in terms of connecting with their social networks and then marketing to people who are like them,” says Anders SormanNilsson. “These are all things that in the past was very challenging for us to do when we couldn't have that level of insight, but now through cloudenabled technologies we'll be able to monitor that data and then make new analyses of it, which should be helpful.” Better understanding the movements, behaviour and connections of delegates in a hyper-digitised future and with decision-making potentially in the hands (or rather, MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
the robotic arms) of AI devices erodes the idea of ‘the human touch’ in the fundamentally people-centric meetings industry and raises the issue of whether similar levels of trust can then be had in such a brave new meetings world of a digital future. “In fact I think there are now a variety of different ways in which digital trust is emerging and there is a new sort of trust architecture that's emerging with it, so contrary to the common perception that the digital world is largely digitally de-humanised I actually think that it can be more humanised and more empathetic, and thus building greater levels of trust,” says Anders SormanNilsson. “Airbnb, for example, is all about digital trust, because you're giving up your home to a total stranger. Uber does the same thing based on a review and rating system. We're also going to have a new sense of digital trust through, for example, blockchain technologies.” “The other thing today is that trust used to be built at a 1–1 level, but we can now build digital trust at scale, with something like LinkedIn, an example of this in building a level of digital trust through the recommendations and verifications,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “Similarly
if you're a convention curator you can now build amazing amounts of trust in an amplified fashion using the likes of YouTube or Wistia, digital distribution of videos and via Twitter, via endorsements or via video testimonials. These aren't all new, but we can build that sense of trust to have people trusting in our conventions.” “Talking again about the rise of AI, I also think that when it comes to the coding of ethics into our devices and Internet of Things-enabled devices this will be absolutely critical, so we'll certainly see the rise of coding ethicists who will ensure that our technologies maybe even have a better moral compass than we as humans do.” This vision of a technologydominated future setting our moral compass, shifting a sense of trust from the personal to the crowd, and determining the events we attend and get invited to by our movements and contacts may seem to many to be a cyber utopia, but for those less ready to be tech-trusting and outside the generational pool immersed in such tech use there might be a sense of a looming storm of cyber dystopia ahead. “The rise of robotisation and automation can be fairly cyber dystopic,
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“As exciting as it is when technology changes, I get really excited when humans change”
because people derive a lot of meaning from their work and their career and people also get a lot of purpose and their identity from their jobs,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “For the people inventing the technology and who own the companies – the Silicon Valley elites of the world – it will be very much a cyber utopia, and of a concentration of wealth as well.” “I was speaking to one of my retail banking clients recently and pointed out that their profits were largely derived from the fact that people have jobs and can pay their mortgages, so what's going to happen in a world where people are in the gig economy, for example, and have become Uberstyle, on-demand workers for maybe five different companies, like microentrepreneurs, and where will the profits then come from and how will the business model shift to allow for people in the gig economy to service their mortgages? At the same time questions also remain around people spending their time in some amazing virtual reality in a world where robots are doing the jobs for us, but at the moment we don't have a tax base for robots or know how that will affect governments.” In whatever form the future materialises what is certain is that
technology is driving major transformation, including the forging of a transformation economy. Whilst the futurists are doing the analytical work for us, signalling what are the key drivers of change and what they will mean for us, the job of a meeting planner will be to learn and adapt to them, which will in turn mean shaping a very different meetings and event industry with very different events for a successful path into the future. “I think what consumers and customers are really looking for today is not just an experience,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “While the experience economy still matters we're moving into a ‘transformation economy’, where people want to deal with brands or organisations that are going to help them self-actualise in some way, shape or form, such as how Nike or Burning Man do particularly well, because people go there with an expectation to be transformed on some level.” “We can be nudged in a smaller or bigger fashion into making smarter decisions that will see us transform as humans and I think that's a really important development in terms of running events and wanting people to be changed in a bigger or a smaller
way,” says Anders Sorman-Nilsson. “I think we can learn from companies that have moved into that transformation economy, and look at how we design experiences, but also content that's going to both inspire avantgarde ideas for rational minds and also lead to a change of heart, which then opens us all up for learning that can be more seamless. The convention industry is already in the transformation economy – it's just that some conventions do it better than others.”
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“Europe is not a market, it is the will to live together. Leaving Europe is not leaving a market, it is leaving shared dreams. We can have a common market, but if we do not have common dreams, we have nothing. Europe is the peace that came after the disaster of war. Europe is the pardon between French and Germans. Europe is the return to freedom of Greece, Spain and Portugal. Europe is the fall of the Berlin Wall. Europe is the end of communism. Europe is the welfare state, it is democracy.”
Esteban González Pons, member of the European Parliament, reminds us on the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome.
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Today the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre presents the third phase of its expansion plans up until 2030. The planned expansion includes larger entrances, flexible meeting and event facilities and increased hotel capacity. In this third phase, focus will be placed on building a larger main entrance with a terrace and a hotel and office complex beside Korsvägen, a central hub in the events district of Gothenburg. The plans are ready and construction of the new entrances will start in 2017. “In the past two years we have achieved organic growth of 35 percent and increased our number of visits by 30 percent,” said Carin Kindbom, President and CEO of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, of which Gothia Towers is a part. “We need to speed up our expansion to maximise our potential to grow internationally and attract more visitors to Gothenburg. Our vision is to create Europe's most attractive venue by offering the best overall experience.” Because of the market's demands and the opening of Västlänken station next to Korsvägen, they are prioritising the construction of new, larger MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
entrances. Construction will start in 2017. “Upgrading our entrances will enable us to increase our visitor capacity, so that we can carry out a greater number and variety of events simultaneously. The enlarged main entrance onto Korsvägen will give us the space necessary to receive larger groups of visitors. The final phase of our expansion is now in place, including larger entrances, flexible meeting and event facilities and increased hotel capacity. We have now clarified our goals and plans up until 2030,” said Kindbom. The new hotel and office building next to Korsvägen, a central hub in the events district of Gothenburg, is expected to have over 30 storeys. “This will give us capacity for about 350 additional hotel rooms and more office and meeting rooms. The plans also include building another hotel and office building beside Mölndalsån at a later stage. We aim to achieve a total hotel capacity of roughly 2,000 rooms by 2030.” The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre is a financially independent foundation with no owners
or investors. All investment and funding is done on the Foundation's merits and all the surplus is reinvested in the business. “The Foundation's mission is to promote industry in West Sweden, and as these investments are gradually implemented, we will see increasingly strong spin-off effects on local tourism. This will benefit the whole city and local region,” said Roger Holtback, the Foundation's Chairman of the Board. The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre's plans were presented in a manifesto in 2015. The investment plan up until 2030 is estimated to cost SEK 4–5 billion. “Gothenburg is an exciting and fast-growing city, and this growth trend will continue for many years given the historic construction boom that is just beginning. With our expansion plans, we aim to contribute to Gothenburg's development as an internationally attractive destination. Our ambitious plans testify to our strong belief in the future. However, they may need adjusting along the way, depending on how the situation develops,” said Holtback.
Vision to Create Europe's MOST ATTRACTIVE VENUE
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Frankfurt 15–17 May 2018
Make a date with IMEX 2018 We’re already planning a great show. You’re invited to shape it and stay connected. Help us build the show YOU want to experience. Complete our (new) post show survey. Tell us what you think. We’ll listen and learn. Also, look out for our new IMEXfiles – a bright and daringly different monthly read.
Although it’s a year away, be among the first to register your interest 15–17 May 2018.
The worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
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ROI | 47
Why ROI for Meetings and Incentives IS A WASTE OF TIME TEXT
Padraic Gilligan Padraic Gilligan, managing partner Soolnua, Ireland, gives four reasons why the success of business events is hidden and mostly bears fruit after time. A colleague and I recently spoke with two corporate meeting and event planners about return on investment, aka ROI. It was a fascinating conversation with two highly experienced professionals from global organisations. By the end of the phone conversation, however, I knew we were no further down the line with ROI today than when it first “trended” in our industry over 20 years ago. ROI is still that bright elusive butterfly that bewitches, bewilders and beguiles us all. We can see it flapping, floating and fluttering about and sometimes we even get really close to it. However, just when we think we have it in our grasp it slips away from us and we're left with nothing tangible, just the inner conviction and certainty that our meeting or incentive or event had great value although we've very little to show the sternfaced, humourless bean counter.
So is calculating ROI on meetings and events a waste of time? At the risk of irritating my esteemed friend and colleague, Elling Hamso of the Event ROI Institute, I think it might be. Here's why: 1. Like comparing apples and oranges
Teachers’ unions in Ireland have been fighting for years against successive governments’ efforts to introduce “benchmarking”: the systematic measurement of educational success against pre-determined benchmarks or metrics. Their core argument is that it cannot be done as education is a holistic process connected with the social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth of the child. Much of its success is hidden, latent and unseen, maybe not properly emerging until years after it has taken place. Education, they say, is about information, formation and transformation and benchmarking is only capable of evaluating one of these. I think the impact of a meeting or incentive or event is akin to the
complexity of the educational process and, therefore, trying to properly measure its ROI is probably a waste of time. 2. ROI is bound by time and space
Any ROI calculation is bound by time and space, whereas the impact of a great meeting or event or exhibition is definitely not. I learned this a long time ago when I performed crude ROI calculations on my trade show investment using a version of Mr Micawber's model from the Charles Dickens’ book David Copperfield: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.” My version ran something like this: Cost of trade show participation: $5,500; Number of conversations had: Unknown; Number of leads received: 10; Number of confirmed
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“ROI is that bright elusive butterfly that bewitches, bewilders and beguiles us”
pieces of business: zero; Result: Awful trade show. What this neophyte trade show participant didn't realise, of course, was that the unknown number of conversations and the relationships built as a result of these would lead to confirmed pieces of business for years into the future. At my first SITE International Conference in Puerto Rico in 1994, I met an Australian DMC and we spent time chatting and exchanging bestpractice stories. More than six years later, having changed jobs and gone to the buyer side, that person brought a programme to me in Ireland that constituted 25 percent of our total revenues that year. Who knew? 3. We know instinctively that it works
Financial and insurance companies, in particular, have been investing heavily in incentive travel experiences for decades but most companies rarely, if ever, run the rule over them. That's because they know they work – the outcomes have all the external appearances of success so why waste time and effort trying to drill down and prove what your own instinct is telling you?
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The easiest way to measure return on investment on incentive programmes is to stop doing them. This happened involuntarily during the years of austerity and recession and the results were not pretty. The net result is that companies that paused or postponed their MICE activities in 2009 are back doing them again. In its white paper (May, 2010) on the Anatomy of a Successful Incentive Travel programme, the Incentive Research Foundation asked one CEO how his company measured ROI on business events. He replied: “We don't. We don't measure it exactly, relative to the investment. I think our return or measurement is when we look around at the 300 people there. Are those really the people that I, along with the senior management, feel are the movers and shakers and the drivers of our success? If they are and they're there, and they have a good time and they want to come back next year, then I think the investment's been worthwhile.” It's heartening to note such a “touchy-feely” response from the CEO of a major US corporation with obligations to report to the stock exchange. “If it doesn't have a number it doesn't count” might be a great motto with a
clever play-on-words but, somehow, it manages to miss the point: human relationships are at the core of corporate exchange too and these don't always add up! 4. ROI, or ROO, or ROE
In an effort to by-pass the potential tyranny of ROI, many event professionals use alternative acronyms such as ROO (Return on Objective) or ROE (Return on Effort or should that be Return on Equity?). I especially like Return on Objective as it implies that meetings or events have or should have objectives while allowing that these may be tangible or intangible. The two event professionals we spoke to, for example, both have wide and extensive metrics around event objectives. These include empirical and verifiable metrics such as attendee numbers, speaker evaluations, net promoter score etc. However, they are also concerned with less objective qualities such as changes in attitude, behaviour and more. Padraic Gilligan is a managing partner at Soolnua, Ireland, a business events and MICE consultancy. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on Padraicino.
TH NEW EUROPE EXHIBITION FOR MEETINGS, TH NEW EUROPE EXHIBITION FOR MEETINGS, RUNNING HEADER | 49 EVENTS & INCENTIVE TRAVEL EVENTS & INCENTIVE TRAVEL
24-25 JANUARY 2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia 24-25 JANUARY 2018, Ljubljana, Slovenia THE BOUTIQUE MEETINGS MARKET IS BACK THE BOUTIQUE MARKET IS BACK AND THISMEETINGS TIME IT’S PERSONAL AND THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL Once you’ve seen what CONVENTA Once you’ve seen whatinCONVENTA can do for you two days can do you’ll for you in two days never want anything else. CONVENTA you’ll never want anything else.
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2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
10 years. Explore. Meet. Create.
Explore the emerging destinations Explore the emerging destinations of Europe over a cup of coffee of Europe over a cup of coffee
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Why ROI IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME TEXT
Elling Hamso Elling Hamso, Managing Partner, Event ROI Institute, responds to Padraic Gilligan's piece Why ROI for Meetings and Incentives Is a Waste of Time. Thank you, Padraic Gilligan for your entertaining piece, I like your style. As for substance, I think you may need some guidance. Please allow me to shine some light on your path ;-). Cancel all Events! Whenever I have
an opportunity to speak to senior corporate management, I have only one message: Cancel all events. Don't just reduce the budget. Cancel. There is a good chance that your events have a negative impact on your bottom line, and even if they don't, you could probably get twice the value on half the budget. Then you start taking applications from those who had their budget cancelled and want it back, and require them to answer the following questions: What is the context of your event? What other initiatives does it support and how is it supported by other activities? Stand-alone events don't do the trick, and if you think you need a team-building or incentive to make up for everyday bad management, you will probably make things worse.
How exactly does the event connect to our bottom line? What will participants do differently afterwards to make me believe that the investment will return a positive ROI? How will you design your event to make them do that? This is all about event design, what does it have to do with measurement? In short, everything. Measuring results and designing the event that will achieve them, are inseparable entities. The Magic. To measure anything, you
need objectives. Otherwise you don't even know what data to collect. You need detailed and measurable objectives with simple and unambiguous success criteria (KPI's). Then you give your objectives to the event designer, whose job just got a whole lot harder. A big wow won't do the trick, neither will a room full of happy people, with an element of surprise thrown in. Now, certain messages have to be understood and retained, attitudes to your brand or management or whatever, have to improve with a measurable amount, and new relationships have to be forged between certain categories of participants. When the event designer has done that, your event just got a lot better.
That's the magic, you decided to measure results, so you need measurable objectives, and because the event is designed to meet those objectives, and nothing else, the results that you measure will be better. It is like a selffulfilling prophesy, and it is meant to be. It is not as if you measure results from one event and learn from that how to do it better next time. You do it better this time, instant payback on the extra time spent to set objectives and design a string of specific participant experiences to meet them. Apples and Apples. I agree with you
Padraic, that we need to measure what really matters, rather than just what is easy to measure. I agree that benchmarking schools by testing reading, writing and math, is to disregard the more important role of schools to nurture “the social, physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth of the child.” So why not measure what matters? Maybe not as easy as measuring maths, but not really difficult. And it is not as if these qualities will lay dormant for years and then suddenly erupt, it's a journey over time which you can measure over time. If you put a seed in the ground in the spring, you don't need to wait until the autumn harvest to find that the seed has died, you find 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“If I want to reap the harvest, I need to see the seeds sprouting”
that out after a few weeks when the seed doesn't sprout. The same for meetings. You want participants at your product launch to buy your product, some time in the future. But you also have some pretty good ideas what that journey towards a purchase looks like. Maybe it is a test drive, a total cost of ownership calculation, an RFI, an in-house presentation to decision makers, etc. If you are clever about it, you already have historical data or good estimates for the increased probability of purchase for every step in the buying process. Already at this point you may well be able to do an ROI estimate. The five cities hybrid FRESH Conference in January is a good example. Pre-conference research found that customers don't organise multicity hybrid meetings for three main reasons: a) the technology is a risk, b) participant engagement is harder and c) networking is less rewarding. These attitudes were measured during the opening session and again during the closing session two days later. Trust in technology increased by 110 %, concerns about participant engagement were reduced by 13 % and networking suffered an increased concern by 24 %. Apples and apples.
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And yes, I know these are crude measures of attitude change. I totally agree with David Ogilvy who said: “The problem with people is that they don't think what they feel, they don't say what they think, and they don't do what they say.” But even our crude tools of measurement (which you can replace with better tools if you have the time and money) give us good enough data for our purpose. ROI is bound by time and space.
Indeed it is. Serendipity happens in the long term, thankfully. That's a bonus. But if you ask me if I would like to invest a heap of money on the off chance that somehow, some time into the future I might get my money back, I would probably look for a better deal. A better deal would measure some behaviour, like a RFP I wouldn't otherwise have received, or a change in attitude, such as a greater belief in the new strategy, or some information retained, like the USP's of our new product, or something that I know is a step in the right direction towards a sale, or a better functioning organisation, or a reduction in suffering from cancer or whatever my ultimate goal
is. If I want to reap the harvest, I need to see the seeds sprouting. The Dead Duck Test. It may look
like a good party, sound like a good party and feel like a good party, but if that is all it is, I think it has just passed the dead duck test. What does success look like? What needs to happen for a meeting to be good, creating some real bottom line value to stakeholders? Although there are many different types of meetings, from exhibitions to X-mas parties, product launches, team buildings, kick-offs, congresses, incentives, and the like, they all have one single success factor in common: participants have to physically do something which they would otherwise not have done. There is no other way to create value from any kind of meeting. Never. It is not possible. And what they do, of course, must be something that you have reason to believe will lead to more sales or a more efficient organisation, or for a not-for-profit organisation in one way or another help fulfill its mission. A staff party to inspire and believe and engage and love management even more, has no value, unless they work harder, quarrel less, collaborate more, implement management decisions
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and other things that will oil the wheels of the organisation. The Rowannabes. ROI is a financial
measure based on real money values. How much money did I invest and how much money did I get in return? Every business event has its own profit and loss account. ROI is simply
ROO if you have to, is essential to any measure of business results for events. The road to ROI is paved with such objectives, measures of attitude change, learning, relationship building, behaviour, participant satisfaction and engagement, instructional design, target audience and the like.
4 3 2 1 0
“I know the mechanisms which will change staff behaviour and deliver bottom-line results” the profit as a percentage of the cost. So ROI and profit are essentially the same thing. The problem is not to calculate ROI, that's easy. The problem is to calculate the return, the profit from an increase in sales, for example. In particular when you have to isolate the effect of the meeting from all the other activities that could (and should) contribute to the increase in sales that you measure. Not that you can't do that, you can, but that is another story. I am not a big fan of all the RO acronyms. Like ROE, meaning Engagement, Enjoyment, Expectations or Effort or anything else starting with an E. I am not entirely sure why I don't like them, maybe because they pretend to be close relations of ROI, which they are not. I just think they look silly, as will probably also your CEO and CFO and other senior managers that you want to impress. They know that ROE is a financial measure for Return on Equity, and as a real money calculation, it is a close relation of ROI. Measuring the achievement of non-monetary objectives, call it
The ROI Methodology has been
around for almost half a century as a method for measuring the results of human behaviour. Thousands of trained professionals practice it every day, mostly in the training industry, but also in many other fields. It was first introduced to the meetings industry in autumn of 2004. I know, because I was there, at MPI's train the trainer course in New York with Jack Phillips who developed the methodology many years earlier. The ROI Methodology is a structured approach to setting objectives and measuring results at six different levels. You have probably measured a dozen or more objectives before you get to the ROI calculation, if you still feel you need it, given all that other data now in front of you.
ROI Impact Behaviour Learning
Learning Environment Target Audience
The basic concept is easy, as illustrated by the ROI Pyramid, just common sense really. In practice it much more difficult. And why shouldn't it be? Why should just about anybody be able to practice the profession of a meeting designer? They just need to know how to throw a good party? To become a professional teacher or nurse or doctor or lawyer, you have to study long and hard and learn how to do difficult things. Those are professions enjoying the recognition and respect that meeting designers crave for. The Reward. But when you have
studied long and hard and practiced with diligence and acquired the skill, your professional life will change. I spoke a while ago to one such meeting designer. She works for a large event agency and does mostly internal events, strategy meetings, kick-offs, team buildings and the like. Here is one thing she told me: “I feel so much more confident going to customer meetings now. I know the mechanisms which will change staff behaviour and deliver bottom-line results, I really know what I am talking about, I know exactly why and how my event will work and deliver the ROI.” I don't think that's a waste of time.
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ICC Sydney AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTOR TO INNOVATION A new study from Deloitte Access Economics examining Sydney's innovation and growth potential has highlighted International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) as an important contributor to innovation in the city – actively strengthening its local knowledge economy. Delivered in partnership with Sydney Business Chamber and University of Technology Sydney (UTS), the Imagine Sydney, Create report has included a case study on Australia's premier convention, exhibition and entertainment precinct. According to Deloitte Sydney Manager Partner, Dennis Krallis, ICC Sydney's ability to connect the city's knowledge hubs and attract global thought leaders to the nation's cultural and economic capital will deliver powerful, long-term benefits. “Innovation is key to Sydney's future prosperity and Imagine Sydney, Create is focused on recognising and exploring growth opportunities for the decade ahead. Large, established organisations such as ICC Sydney, which use the power of connections to facilitate fresh ideas, are essential to realising our city's social and economic potential. ICC Sydney will be central to attracting and driving conversations, research, investment and partnerships across sectors.” Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, says that the precinct is an important
component of the NSW Government's suite of infrastructure projects and through its role as a centre of creativity, is set to generate A$5 billion in economic benefit to NSW over the next 25 years. “As the A$1.5 billion centrepiece of the wider A$3.4 billion rejuvenation of Darling Harbour, ICC Sydney connects the city's financial districts, media and creative, cultural and student hubs. The precinct is also purpose-built to provide the ultimate platform for the world's leaders and thinkers to meet, collaborate and innovate. “ICC Sydney offers industry leading technology and 70 flexible meeting spaces, including three world class theatres, 35,000 sqm of exhibition space and a 5,000 sqm event deck, and will create new forums for knowledge sharing and ideation. The combination of location and facilities and an experienced, future-looking management team perfectly places ICC Sydney at the centre of NSW's future prosperity.” Geoff Donaghy notes that ICC Sydney's Feeding Your Performance philosophy is also delivering a raft of socio-economic benefits across the State. “ICC Sydney is driving business growth and economic development for regional communities by partnering with a network of local farmers. Their produce is helping us deliver
‘smart’ dishes designed to fuel both body and mind for our delegates, and through our menus we are also working to showcase the regional food bowls of the state to an international audience. “Our approach to creating a sustainable, local food and beverage supply chain is definitely an industry-first.” According to the Deloitte Access Economics research, if just 10 percent of the 138,000 ‘non-innovator businesses’ in Sydney made small incremental changes in best practice, process development, management methods and the like, Sydney's gross regional product could increase by A$25 billion. “We put innovation at the heart of our organisation and hope to be an inspiration for others, as we believe the benefits here are truly great. The future for Sydney is definitely bright and with ICC Sydney set to host more than 1,000 events annually within our first three years of operation, we are proud to be fostering continued innovation in the heart of the city,” adds Geoff Donaghy.
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PCMA RADAR ON PENETRATING THE EUROPEAN MEETINGS INDUSTRY TEXT
Robert Cotter The latter half of the twentieth century was an era of significant blossoming for the North American meetings industry. Vast improvements to transport connectivity and scintillating new meeting venues regularly coming on stream were bolstered by signature hotel chains expanding their portfolios to accommodate profile business gatherings from coast to coast, in both established and emerging destinations. All of this helped nurture an industry today clocking up more than 1.8 million annual meetings in the US alone, facilitated by a similar number of people working in it and with a combined direct, indirect and induced effect contributing almost $400 billion of GDP every year. Underpinning all of this has been an equally vast improvement in the calibre of the personnel making the industry tick, for which the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), formed in 1956, has played a pivotal role. Connecting and offering education to those working in the convention sphere, it has for six decades been instrumental in the advancement and success of those working in the North American
meetings industry. From their current HQ in Chicago, Illinois, the association has now set its radar on penetrating the European industry too, and the man they have tasked for this job is Luca Favetta, newly appointed as EMEA Regional Business Director. “The first time that I met PCMA was through its COO Sherrif Karamat, when we were both attending an APC conference in 2009 in La Coruna, and since then I collaborated with them and gave presentations at some of the events they organised,” says Luca Favetta. “I therefore had the opportunity of experiencing first hand the value of the assets and the education that PCMA provides, so when I'd heard about the opportunity that was available I decided to move out of the corporate environment I'd been in for 25 years and try new challenges, new ideas and a new world I know less about, but that is really interesting and appealing.” Whilst the association realm is a new world for Luca Favetta, he nonetheless brings to it a wealth of corporate event experience: ten years spent as Event Manager for Hewlett
Packard Italy, several years thereafter at the Hewlett Packard headquarters in Geneva with responsibility for strategy and event operation Europewide, a further twelve years at German software company SAP covering EMEA Event Strategy and Operations, before returning to Hewlett Packard for a global role. The temptation of growing PCMA in Europe, however, proved too strong to keep him there, but he is aware that his latest role carries with it a significant number of challenges. “Historically the associations engagement has always been focused on North America, but these days the industry is changing fast and is increasingly engaged in Global Meeting Management, so the industry is becoming global very, very quickly,” says Luca Favetta. “The vast majority of PCMA membership that is today in the US, Canada and Mexico is more and more engaged in global meetings, so these days PCMA already has members in APAC and EMEA. As our members and partners are searching more and more for global solutions, we thought that we also need to provide education globally and therefore 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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started to think about moving on and investing in other regions outside the US and North American base.” “I therefore have a mantra that I repeat to myself every morning: ‘We want to move PCMA in Europe, creating education from Europe, for Europe’,” says Luca Favetta. “This is our specific goal and the first step
is a very well known and respected brand in North America we are much less known in Europe,” says Luca Favetta. “My role for the next month will therefore be to work on grabbing the opportunity to make the association known in the region, attending events wherever it is possible, spreading the name of the brand and
“There is a strong need for education in our industry” that I am taking in these first months is really working on understanding the education needs that our region has that might be similar in some ways, but in other ways different, to the ones that we have in the US. What we don't want to do is throw assets at and try to implement a US-strategy in Europe. What we want to do is to really understand and talk with the influencers in our region, to understand geographically where we should focus, in which areas are the gaps in education in our region and country by country to understand which each really needs. Only at that point can we start to think about which kind of programmes or assets we have to develop, so right now we are really at the beginning of the journey.” Having formally taken up the reins of the job in early January this year the journey is naturally still in its infancy, but to have an early clear steer for PCMA's inroads into the European industry some defined objectives for the new role have already been established. “The first objective that I have is to create brand awareness for the association in our region, as whilst PCMA
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increasing our visibility in Europe.” “My second objective is to try to create engagement. There are assets that PCMA have already developed that are available even if you are not a member, so the second goal is to get people engaged and starting to touch PCMA first hand and seeing what we can deliver. Hopefully in the longterm this will translate into my third objective, which is a growth of membership, but for the moment that is not on my priority list.” Helping to fulfil his mantra and to crystallise these objectives a session of engagement and outreach has already been arranged in the form of a summer brainstorming workshop, from which the intention is to take PCMA's European vision towards the terrain of an informed and more formal strategy. “We have an invitation-only event planned for June where we will be gathering around forty influencers from all industry areas – corporation, association, Convention Bureaus, venues, universities, government and hotels – to have a think-tank for a couple of days where we will hopefully grab feedback and input,
and together we will start to build what will be the presence of PCMA in our region,” says Luca Favetta. “The leading concept of our development strategy will be to make it short, doing things ‘for Europeans, from Europeans’. For the moment we have a rough draft strategy that is in place, but we haven't yet defined in detail the programmes that we'll be deploying or developing in the region and which kind of content we'll be addressing.” “We're still in the searching phase and we will move on in the second half of the year to starting to develop that more in detail. More will come out from the PCMA influencers summit in June and after that we will have better visibility on what we will have to deliver – or what we want to deliver – and at that point I will have even more detail and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for myself as well.” Whilst much of the work is still in its embryonic and therefore optimistic stages, for the neutral observer there may also be a lingering sense of risk for a North American-centric association attempting to break into the European industry, particularly given previous difficulties encountered by other associations pursuing the same goal. “It will not be an easy path, as we know that Europe is a different beast to the US and we know that every single country has a different level of maturity as well as behavioural and cultural aspects that need to be taken into consideration, so there are a lot of issues,” says Luca Favetta. “If we build our presence in the region, talking and getting input from the industry, then I think that any risk of failure will be definitely mitigated. As I said, doing things ‘from Europeans, for Europeans’ is our basis, and if
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“What we don't want to do is throw assets at and try to implement a US-strategy in Europe”
we follow this path we will limit or reduce any risk of failure.” Attaching a heavily focused European string to a very North American PCMA bow might give further cause to ponder just how independent such a body can be from its US headquarters – and thereby US influence – at this outset phase and what level of impact transatlantic synergies of shared learning and resource pooling might have on the goal of penetrating the European industry. “I'm independent in the sense that I have a responsibility of developing the strategy and deploying the strategy, but of course this is a shared strategy that is agreed from the HQ and then deployed in the target country,” says Luca Favetta. “Of course, I'm working and walking hand in hand with the US team, reporting to the COO, having regular calls and regular contact with all the team and I am leveraging the support of the US team for delivering all the activities that we are and will be delivering in Europe.” “The relationship we have is great and I have the right level of autonomy, but on the other side I receive guidance and we share a point of view – sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't, but that's what makes
it interesting and in the end effective. There is a great mutual respect between myself and PCMA, so I've been hired with some objectives that I am fully responsible for achieving.” Wasting no time in getting started on achieving these objectives, PCMA will use the platform of its scheduled appearances at IMEX Frankfurt, collaborating on the Edu Monday and running a seminar on ‘critical thinking’ as part of the PCMA Business School Programme, as well as having sponsored presentations at The Meetings Show in London in June, being present at IBTM World in Barcelona in November and having a number of further events scheduled throughout 2017 to spread the word of PCMA in Europe and of the kind of education the association is positioning itself to offer. “If we are able to deliver education that is the best in class, then I think that this will already help us in starting our growth,” says Luca Favetta. “Creating a detailed digital strategy and creating a digital community and working on social media is one component that will be part of the overall strategy, integrated with an event calendar strategy that makes sense for different countries, and creating and having a constant dialogue with
the industry community. Those are the things that I will be focusing on in the coming months and over the next year.” “There is a strong need for education in our industry and we are all increasingly asked to do more with less – we have less resources, less budgets, less time and we need to do more things, so I see it becoming critical that we as industry players have access to the best education opportunities on the market. What we want is to provide customised education and a platform to enable industry leaders to connect and check their knowledge, and to create a new generation of business event strategists around the world. This is the new vision of PCMA.”
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The Rise of AI TEN CRITICAL HUMAN AND ORGANISATIONAL PRIORITIES TEXT
Rohit Talwar Alexandra Whittington Though it has the word “human” in the title, don't expect HR to remain immune to the impacts of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Technology is reshaping every aspect of society, and its potential HR implications are vast and still revealing themselves. Hiring, training and record-keeping are just some of the ways technologies are set to transform the HR function. The HR experience of the future is not predictable, but there are some solid indications of the direction things are heading. For HR, there are four key domains of impact: 1. The role of emerging technologies in transforming the business and helping the workforce adapt 2. The new ways of organizing people, working and learning that are enabled by technology 3. Addressing the broader societal impacts such as technological unemployment 4. The ways in which these technologies could transform the purpose, work and impact of the HR function itself.
Below, we draw on themes discussed in the book The Future of Business to explore ten key areas of potential impact of technological advances that HR directors and leaders need to have on their radars. 1. Rethinking Workspace – The Rise of Smart Cities and Buildings
As much of our environment becomes “smart,” this enables entirely different approaches to workforce and work space management. The smart city provides a digital infrastructure so traffic, policing, public transportation and crowd movement can be monitored and managed by a central authority in the interest of maximum efficiency and safety. In terms of preventing congestion around car accidents, for example, a stretch of road prone to fender-benders during rush hour could be patrolled, or have cars rerouted from the area. Such decisions are made based on an analysis of big data drawn from a range of sensors constantly monitoring their environment.
The same concept would be applied to smart buildings and their workforce occupants; elevator lines could be coordinated, or shift work scheduled, and adjusted instantaneously, based on patterns of activity and behavior reflected in the data. For HR, this could mean that the documentation of workplace incidents could become the domain of the surveillance systems embedded in smart buildings. Would this bring an end to the investigation of workplace disputes? If firms become part of the interconnected smart city, would they be required to feed in employee data? If so, then privacy, behavior modification, data profiling and surveillance are potential hot button issues that HR must handle. 2. Continuous Organization Redesign – Adapting to AI
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“Don't expect HR to remain immune to the impacts of automation, robotics and AI”
must be prepared to respond to the speed of change and the exponential improvements that become possible in customer service, product development and service delivery. It's too soon to predict how AI managers will conduct business, but they may well increase the pace and efficiency with which the organization functions. In response, organizations are moving into a state of near continuous redesign. Hence HR needs to think about how to ensure a rapid and effective response to rapidlychanging personnel and training requirements. An AI in the C-suite isn't far off, but how it might play out is hugely uncertain.
interact. A global gig worker collective called Enspiral, for instance, involves a combination of face-to-face meeting rooms, open-source technology and digital organizing as the foundation of a form of social safety net for freelance workers. Members can share ideas, meals, contacts and projects. As the 9–5 job becomes extinct, the rise of freelancing is revealing some increasingly unmet needs – social, emotional, intellectual, to name a few – that were once fulfilled in the workplace. HR professionals could play a valuable role in helping to organize gig economy workers around the common goals and interests they share.
3. Blended and Swarm Workforces – Gig Workers of the World, Unite
4. Team Focus, Rewards and Tools – HR by Algorithm
It is now common for firms to use a blend of internal and contract talents and adopt the swarm model to pull together teams of employees, partner companies and “gig worker” contractors to deliver projects – much like a film crew assembles and disbands when the movie is completed. Gig work is great for flexible hours and amassing a portfolio of non-routine experiences. However, lately freelancers have expressed a need to convene and MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
In the digital age, there is growing discussion about how to design teams and how to manage a workforce that might include humans, robots and smart software – each playing a key role. While we know the new technologies on the horizon can save time, money and resources, we don't yet know their limitations and there are still areas where humans are more effective. Google's two-year Project Aristotle study revealed that despite the
tremendous caliber of data analysts and data engineers, relying on data analysis alone was inadequate to provide a formula for team building success. No algorithm could form better work teams – it requires a human touch to select the best, most effective groups. As we become more technology-dependent and the geeks inherit the Earth, HR must ensure these new masters of the universe have the emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills to communicate with each other and the businesses they serve. 5. Talent Wars/The Alliance – Tours of Duty/Outsourcing HR
New patterns of engagement are required to motivate and retain talent. The idea of “tours of duty” in different projects and areas of the business will become more common. The ability to outsource almost any job, including HR, will also transform workplaces. For example, two leading Chinese startups, UR Work and Woo Space, don't just offer work space for shortterm and sporadic use; they also provide a network for smaller companies to exchange services such as HR for small companies and startups. As space-sharing morphs into new
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“Everything can and will be tracked, analyzed and commented on”
partnerships and opportunities, and technologies make it simpler to handle a fluctuating workforce, HR may require more flexibility. 6. Short Interval Scheduling – Managing Attention Deficit
Firms are finding that the new generations coming into the workforce want freedom and responsibility, but may lack the skills to navigate and prioritize open-ended work tasks. Hence there's a growing interest in the use of short interval scheduling to break larger tasks into more manageable daily or even hourly deliverables. This also allows for more regular feedback to a generation that has grown used to constant affirmation through Facebook likes and hearts. The scheduling process is being automated. Tools such as Work Fusion break high volume, complex data work into discrete tasks and algorithmically assign them to appropriate machine and human resources. The platforms look to improve human productivity by leveraging a combination of internal, outsourced, and crowdsourced workers. Customers control which types of workers contribute to crowdsourced work. Over time, humans are engaged only when algorithms face new obstacles or challenges for any particular task.
7. Continuous Feedback and Performance Review
The notion of the annual appraisal doesn't wash with a workforce that thrives on the 24/7 adrenaline rush of being liked, shared and retweeted. Employees want frequent and instant feedback. At the same time, performance monitoring has extended into the physical and cognitive realms. Everything can and will be tracked, analyzed and commented on. Wearable devices such as health and fitness trackers are increasing in power and popularity. These wristbands and tags can be worn as fashion accessories, and monitor multiple aspects of health and fitness. It seems inevitable that some employees will be required to wear these devices as a condition of employment, while others may expect employers to provide them. Additionally, brain scanning technologies are already in place to monitor rising and falling emotion levels, concentration and productivity. If used properly and ethically, these technologies could present HR with new opportunities to truly monitor workforce health and wellbeing. Data collected from wearables and brain monitors could be analyzed using AI to enable continual performance review and feedback. A range of predictions and research
surveys highlight the growing focus on physical and mental performance monitoring: Tractica predicts more than 75 million wearables will permeate the workplace by 2020. Gartner estimates that by 2018, two million employees will be required to wear health and fitness tracking devices as a condition of employment. A PWC survey found 49 percent believe wearable tech will increase workplace efficiency, while 37 percent expect their company to adopt the latest technology even if it doesn't directly influence their work. 67 percent of consumers said that employers should pay for their device. Only 25 percent of respondents said they would not trust any company with personal information associated with wearable technology. 8. Workplace Practices and Business Dress – Small Footprint Workplaces
As societal expectations and concerns shift, the workplace must adapt. As the modern workforce, millennials and younger (Gen Z) enter a societal age concerned with efficient use of talent, responsible practice, clean 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
70 | HR TECHNOLOGY
“We are witnessing the rise of the AI lawyer, accountant, doctor and stockbroker”
energy, conservation, ecological responsibility and a greater focus on mindful business, the structure and ethos of organizations will inevitably change. These concerns also drive questions about the external and internal design of buildings and the avoidance of ostentatious displays of corporate wealth and power. As workforces shrink through technological advances, firms must be even more mindful of their total physical, energetic and environmental footprint. HR has a critical role here in acting as the guardian of corporate conscience and as a conduit between leaders and employees. Technology can play a critical role in supporting the dialogue. 9. Flexible Benefits – Salary, Health, Discounts, Location, Hours, Opportunity
As new discoveries into brain science and human behavior are emerging – and companies are using analytics to achieve improved results – HR will begin to arm itself with the tools and insights of a scientist to achieve better performances from their workforces. As neuroscience can deliver high-level insights into the nuances of human behaviour MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
and performance, our notions and understanding of performance in the workplace will alter. Instead of managing a workforce with a onesize-fits-all approach, HR will treat each employee as a “workforce of one” with unique needs and preferences, and will customize employee incentives accordingly. Technology is also enabling a buffet-style approach to selecting the benefits package that works for each employee. While one may prefer purely financial rewards to help save for a new home, another may opt for access to significant discounts on critical purchases such as holidays and cars. For some, training and development might be prioritized while others opt for health insurance and gym membership. For example, millennials and Gen Z are increasingly citing work-life balance, security and stability as their priorities from employment, and employers must recognize the new expectations of them; providing value-laden service such as balance and security must be policy standard. HR strategy needs to consider well-being and work-life balance as an essential component of a broader engagement strategy.
10. Total Well-being and The Enhanced Employee – Insuring the Cyborg Worker
Changing expectations of young workers and increased neuroscientific knowledge are altering our perceptions of well-being in the workplace. We are witnessing the increasing use of performanceenhancing nootropic drugs in the workforce. Health and safety policies and company health insurance could be radically disrupted by the augmentation of human workers, the creation of cyborg workers or the development of synthetic beings to carry out work deemed unpleasant or dangerous. HR will need to continually review health and safety policies to meet the ever-changing physical nature of their employees. The blurring lines between human being, enhanced being and fully augmented being will require HR to have a cutting-edge view of the nature of a person and an adaptive take on health policy. The Most Critical Role of HR. As the world's obsession with digital transformation and AI increases, the focus inevitably shifts to the C-suite and the IT function as together they must deliver the necessary technological infrastructure and business transformation. However, these
HR TECHNOLOGY | 71
change programmes are doomed to undershoot their targets or fail completely if we don't take a step back and focus on the people dimension. HR has a critical role to play here in ensuring that change is managed properly and that our people genuinely are at the heart of the story. While technology can do more and more of our work, it will be a critical part of HR's role to ensure we are creating a very human future. Fast Future publishes books from future thinkers around the world to explore how developments such as AI and robotics could transform existing industries, create new trillion-dollar sectors and reinvent society, government and business over the next decade.
Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, keynote speaker and the CEO of Fast Future where he is applying the principles of exponential thinking to create a new model for publishing. He works with clients around the world to help them understand, anticipate and respond to the forces of change reshaping business and the global economy. He has a particular interest in Artificial Intelligence and is the editor and contributing author for The Future of Business, editor of Technology vs. Humanity and co-editor of a forthcoming book on The Future of AI Business.
“Technology is reshaping every aspect of society”
Alexandra Whittington, Senior Foresight Researcher, has researched and published on topics ranging from the future of mobile technologies and the blockchain to the future of families. She is an alumni and undergraduate adjunct faculty member of the Foresight programme at the University of Houston.
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SUSTAINABLE GROWTH | 73
Scandinavian SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE EXPANDS TEXT
The prize-winning grassroots Scandinavian initiative that evolved into the first-ever sustainability ranking for event destinations worldwide is growing. Initiated by ICCA's Scandinavian Chapter in collaboration with the MCI Group, the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) partnership was expanded in 2016 to include IMEX and ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association). The GDS-Index is a collaborative platform that aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. It looks to bring cities together to benchmark and improve the social and environmental performance of their city and its business events industry. In a world increasingly focused on responsible business and addressing our environmental impact, the GDSIndex helps destinations to engage clients with sustainability, align with
the UN Sustainable Development Goals and drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in their city. The GDS-Index will evaluate the sustainability performance of cities and bureaus in four key areas, including: city environmental strategy and infrastructure; city social sustainability performance; industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centres); and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives. The GDS-Index is designed to take account of the destinations’ existing sustainability initiatives and certification programmes and provide an objective, overall evaluation of the city as a sustainable events destination. “Our vision is to have over 100 cities benchmarking and collaborating together by 2020. Today we have 25 Scandinavian cities based in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden, as well as our first wave of global cities including Geneva, Stuttgart and Sydney,” says Guy Bigwood, 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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MCI Group Sustainability Director and GDS-Index project leader. “The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events industry has a unique role to play to help cities and businesses implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and create a more prosperous future for us all.” Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA: “The unique feature of the GDS-Index is
of sustainability initiatives across the Nordic region that continues to this day. The two-year project demonstrated impressive results, with nearly half of Convention Bureaux in the region developing a sustainability strategy, compared to only 20 percent before the Index was launched. Sustainability communication has improved by 50 percent, and eco-
“Our vision is to have over 100 cities benchmarking and collaborating together by 2020” that this is a bottom-up phenomenon, driven by the destinations themselves. The ICCA members in Scandinavia have invented a powerful engine to improve their destinations’ sustainability and business competitiveness, and we are delighted that they want ICCA to help them share this with the whole world, rather than keeping the GDS-Index to themselves. We believe this is an excellent platform for leaders in sustainability from every region to showcase their policies and good practices, and for any ambitious destination to swiftly improve their competitiveness.” “Our industry requires greater focus and efforts to make sustainable events easier, cheaper and totally widespread,” adds Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. “IMEX wants to support the development of our industry and this ground-breaking initiative to pioneer sustainability globally for meeting and incentive destinations.” The Scandinavian GDS-Index was first published in 2012 and 2013, and has stimulated a large volume MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
certifications across the region rose to include 60 percent of meetings industry suppliers, more than any other region in the world. The project was also honoured to receive the UN World Tourism Organisation Award for Innovation. Gothenburg was the highest scoring city when the results of the Global Destination Sustainability Index were revealed at the end of 2016. “This was fantastic news for Gothenburg as a city of meetings and events. We aim to lead the way and this is confirmation of our successful partnership between trade, industry and the city,” says Camilla Nyman, CEO at Gothenburg & Co. With a score of 83 out of a possible 100, Gothenburg took first place, ahead of several well-known conference destinations. The Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index compares cities to determine how well they meet a long list of sustainability criteria in four different categories: social, supplier, convention bureau and environmental. This is
the first year that the GDS survey has been completed. “This is the result of several years of dedicated sustainability efforts in collaboration between the city and trade and industry. It makes all our work even more worthwhile,” says Annika Hallman, Director of Gothenburg Convention Bureau. All the cities were benchmarked on their ability to meet criteria in four different areas, with a maximum score of 100 per cent. Gothenburg gained the highest scores in social sustainability and supplier sustainability. Environmental sustainability: 74 % Social sustainability: 100 % Supplier sustainability: 96 % Convention Bureau sustainability: 78 %. All aspects of sustainability are becoming increasingly important for organisers of large conventions. Achieving first place in the index is clear confirmation of the efforts of all the major conference facilities in the city. “Sustainability is incredibly important to us as an international meeting place, and sustainable development has been a natural part of everything we do for many years. First place gives us recognition that will reinforce our position and that of Gothenburg in the international market,” says Carin Kindbom, CEO and President of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, of which Gothia Towers is a part. But to gain a high ranking in the GDS Index it is not enough to ensure that the visitor industry, conference facilities and hotels are involved; the city as a whole must also be engaged in sustainability issues. “Almost all our hotels have environmental diplomas and all major
76 | SUSTAINABLE GROWTH
“The GDS-Index will evaluate the sustainability performance of cities and bureaus in four key areas”
conference facilities have the highest environmental classification, as well as Landvetter Airport,” says Camilla Nyman. With this project there are regional leaders from not only Scandinavia anymore but also from continents other than Europe. Scandinavian countries that share a vision of a better, smarter and more sustainable future. They have committed to taking action to measure and benchmark impacts, share knowledge, create products to help clients and develop socially responsible community action projects. The GDS-Index is a collaborative platform that aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations through benchmarking across four key areas: city environmental strategy and infrastructure; city social sustainability performance; industry supplier support (restaurants, hotels and convention centres); and Convention Bureau strategy and initiatives. Launched by ICCA, IMEX and MCI in March 2016, 35 cities in five continents have since joined the process of benchmarking and assessment, with many more looking to join in 2017. Through the continued benchmarking and sharing of these MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
best practices, the GDS-Index aims to drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices across 100 cities by 2020. Leading sustainable destinations on the GDS-Index have created and embraced a robust sustainability strategy for the meetings industry that supports the city's overall social, environmental and economic goals. Their strategy is reinforced through proper incentives and capacity training, strong local community and supplier engagement, and effective communication about sustainability initiatives. Looking ahead, it is clear that the meetings industry must embrace more sustainable practices and recognize that all of us – be it government, suppliers, corporates or associations – play a key role in enabling a more sustainable future.
Today the Index is measuring the following destinations:
Aalborg, Denmark Aarhus, Denmark Barcelona, Spain Bergen, Norway Cape Town, South Africa Copenhagen, Denmark Durban, South Africa Espoo, Finland
Frankfurt, Germany Geneva, Switzerland Glasgow, Scotland Gothenburg, Sweden Helsinki, Finland Houston, USA Jönköping, Sweden Karlstad, Sweden Kyoto, Japan Malmö, Sweden Melbourne, Australia Nantes, France Oslo, Norway Reykjavik, Iceland Rotterdam, Netherlands Sapporo, Japan Stockholm, Sweden Stuttgart, Germany Sydney, Australia Tampere, Finland The Hague, Netherlands Trollhättan, Sweden City of Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa Turko, Finland Uppsala, Sweden Västerås, Sweden Zürich, Switzerland
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2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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RUNNING INTERMISSION | 79 HEADER | 79
“This guy's walkin’ down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you! Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I'm down in this hole; can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. ‘Hey, Joe, it's me. Can ya help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are ya stupid? Now we're both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out.’” Aaron Sorkin & Peter Parnell The West Wing [s02e10: Noël] 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
More than five decades of doubling every ten years
This was another decade of great success for the sector as ICCA identifies more than double the number of association meetings in a decade: from just under 6,000 in 2006 to over 12,000 in 2016. This confirms the trend of exponential growth, as identified in ICCA's advocacy report A modern history of international association meetings: 1963–2013, published at ICCA's 50-year anniversary in 2013. ICCA's researchers also MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
spotted an additional 710 meetings for 2015, and 524 for 2014. The ICCA Association Database now includes 20,000 regularly occurring meeting series, 220,000 meeting editions and 11,500 international associations. 2016 City rankings: Paris reclaims the top spot
Paris, number one in 2014, takes over first place again with 196 meetings in 2016 – one more meeting than last year's number one Berlin. Even though the order is quite different,
this year's top five cities were also represented in last year's top 5. Vienna climbs two places to second and Barcelona remains third. Berlin drops from first to fourth place and London remains fifth. Singapore is the first Asian city jumping one place from seventh to sixth. Madrid drops two places from a shared fifth in 2015 to a shared seventh in 2016. Newcomers in the top ten compared to last year are Amsterdam, twelfth last year and now sharing seventh place with Madrid, and Seoul jumping from
ICCA RECORD NUMBER OF ASSOCIATION MEETINGS IN 2016
80 | RADAR
RADAR | 81
thirteenth to tenth. Like last year, Lisbon is ninth.
eighth to ninth and Canada remains tenth but is now joined by Portugal, which was twelfth last year.
2016 City rankings
1. Paris 2. Vienna 3. Barcelona 4. Berlin 5. London 6. Singapore 7. Amsterdam/Madrid
2016 Country rankings
1. USA 2. Germany 3. United Kingdom 4. France 5. Spain 6. Italy
“This confirms the trend of exponential growth” 9. Lisbon 10. Seoul 11. Prague 12. Bangkok 13. Dublin 14. Copenhagen 15. Beijing 16. Budapest 17. Buenos Aires 18. Stockholm 19. Hong Kong 20. Rome
7. China-P.R./Japan 8. Netherlands 9. Canada/Portugal 12. Austria 13. Republic of Korea 14. Sweden 15. Brazil 16. Australia 17. Poland 18. Belgium 19. Argentina 20. Switzerland
2016 Country rankings: France climbs one place
As one of the very few reports which compares destinations’ meetingsrelated performance on a global scale, the annual ICCA rankings are one of the most eagerly anticipated industry publications. Due to lack of global figures on other meeting segments, they are often mistakenly perceived as the destination rankings for the meetings industry as a whole, even though they only cover a narrow segment of the total meetings market: To be included, meetings must be organised by associations, must be held on a regular basis, have at least
The top 10 is made up of the same countries as last year, with some minor shifts and one newcomer in shared tenth place. USA remains number one with 934 meetings in 2016; nine more than in 2015. Germany remains second and The United Kingdom remains third. France and Spain swap places: France is now fourth and Spain fifth. Italy and Japan remain sixth and seventh, while Japan now shares seventh place with China-P.R., which climbs one place. The Netherlands drops one place from shared
50 delegates, and rotate between at least three countries. Whilst these ICCA rankings provide some evidence of a city or country's relative performance, it is only when all data on all the meetings taking place in a destination are considered – corporate, intergovernmental, non-rotating, etcetera – that a true, complete picture can be seen. “Once again our report provides clear evidence of the resilience and long-term continued growth of the international association meetings sector,” says ICCA CEO Martin Sirk. “Anecdotally, we hear that it is not just the traditional association meetings business that is in a healthy state: new association-type events are being created by groups of scientists and doctors, destinations are designing and hosting their own world-class STEM meetings and festivals (science, technology, engineering, maths), online discussions are migrating to the real world of concrete face-toface interactions, and even corporate events are evolving into community gatherings of suppliers, clients, partners, investors, users, and academics, blurring the lines between the forprofit and not-for-profit sectors.” “The Information Revolution and Knowledge Economy are experiencing continuing exponential growth, so it's hardly surprising that the entire association meetings community is responding in such a dynamic fashion. Traditional association meetings are growing strongly, but they are definitely no longer the only game in town.”
2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
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COLLABORATION | 83
The Importance of Legacy IS BECOMING A DRIVING FACTOR TEXT
Roger Kellerman One hundred percent delegate satisfaction sets the standard for future Best Cities events and inspires associations to move from the red sea into the blue ocean when planning future meetings. Dubai Business Events – the official Convention Bureau – in collaboration with the Best Cities Global Alliance and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), inaugurated the first ever Best Cities Global Forum in December last year. Dubai was host to the first event of its kind organized by the global alliance, set to pave the way for future collaboration among the industry. The first edition of the Global Forum was hailed as a momentous success by organizers and delegates. One hundred percent of delegates surveyed reported the Forum fulfilled
their main objectives in attending the event and would recommend it to other international association meeting planners. The ideal learning environment for association international event organizers, the Best Cities Global Forum provided a four-day session guaranteed to educate and inspire. Held in the surroundings of Dubai, the Forum featured relevant case studies, thought-provoking expert speakers, and close collaboration with association peers from around the world. In partnership with Dubai Business Events and PCMA, the Forum covered key topics such as advancing the purpose of international associations through long-term legacy development, improving event benefits to the host community, and 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“Best Cities Global Forum – unlocking the collective intelligence”
creating strategic partnerships with destinations. Thirty-five international association executives attended the Forum, including representatives from International Political Science Association, World Autism Organisation, International Menopause Society, World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and the International Academy of Periodontology. Along with Q&A sessions with associations sharing practical examples of best practice, one of the core take-aways from the Forum was the benefits for associations in focusing on simplicity when conveying their meetings and organization's brand values. Engaging workshops further armed delegates with the practical tools to help meeting organizers unlock the collective intelligence of their colleagues, in order to discover new creative and innovative ways of engaging with their association members. “As an international alliance of 12 premiere convention bureaus, The Global Forum is the ideal example of the collective strength Best Cities provide our clients as an Alliance, championing inspiring thought-leadership and practical and hands-on
MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
support in association legacy development. That we can deliver that support in a fun, informal and engaging environment, rich in education and networking opportunities, makes it a win-win for associations,” said Jonas Wilstrup, Best Cities Board Chair, Conventions Director of Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau. The workshops and sessions took place in the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel, and the Global Forum proved an excellent opportunity to showcase Dubai as a premier meeting destination, allowing delegates to experience first-hand Dubai's hospitality, while providing deeper insights into the city's rich heritage and ambitious future vision and innovation. In recent years Dubai Business Events has worked closely with a number of international association meetings to help develop long-term legacies, both for the emirate and the organization. Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events: “It was a pleasure for Dubai to host the inaugural forum and to partner with Best Cities Global Alliance and PCMA in creating an engaging agenda that reflects where we are headed as an industry. The importance of legacy is becoming a
driving factor, not only for destinations, but for associations and the meetings they host. The Forum provided an ideal platform to share knowledge on legacy creation and I look forward to taking those learnings forward here in Dubai.” Reflecting on the Global Forum's success, delegate Anna Davies, Training Coordinator for the International Council for Exploration of the Seas said: “The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to gain inspiration and ideas for my future conferences and events. I especially enjoyed the very high standard of content, which has given me something to ‘chew on’. I was also very impressed with the venue and the meeting forum, which facilitated good networking and lots of fun.” Natasha Joyner, Events Manager, World Obesity Federation: “The Global Forum is a fantastic experience that allows all involved to connect and learn from associations, destinations industry experts and to dive deep into key topics and trends happening in the business events industry.” The 2016 Best Cities Global Forum offered a packed program of speakers including tribal leadership expert Dr.
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COLLABORATION | 87
“We intend to build on those physical and virtual platforms to create an ecosystem that lives through legacy”
Tommy Weir, Speaker and Professor of Hult International Business School, Oliver Martin, a stakeholder engagement strategist, specialising in destination development, Philip Davies, President of strategic brand consultancy EMEA Siegel + Gale and Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operations Officer, PCMA. Marjan Faraidooni, VP of Legacy at Expo 2020's, set out ambitious plans to transform the Dubai World Expo's 4.38 square kilometre site into an ecosystem that connects businesses in key sectors of transport and logistics, travel and tourism, real estate, and education within a thriving knowledge economy of the UAE's diversified future. “Our legacy plans are wide ranging and ambitious. Our Expo will continue to foster innovation, and to create meaningful partnerships that will live beyond 2020 – not only for the UAE but for the region as a whole,” Marjan Faraidooni explained. The Expo 2020 Dubai would target its investment to deliver a long lasting legacy from the Expo site. “We have spent the past year working on developing our masterplan specifically to create a platform for the future. Over 80 percent of our investments will be retained following the event. This
includes the infrastructure, as well as the cutting edge technologies, the roads and public transport systems put in place to host the Expo. We intend to build on those physical and virtual platforms to create an ecosystem that lives through legacy. “We have dedicated considerable effort towards identifying how we could develop a place that will continue to attract everyone: businesses, students, and workers. It will be a place where people will continue to learn and take benefit from the plans and investment being made now,” Marjan Faraidooni concluded. Expo 2020 Dubai's theme is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The theme represents the belief that progress happens when people and ideas come together in new ways. And the theme celebrates the power of ideas, from anyone, to improve the lives of everyone. This is the guiding principle that lies behind all of Expo 2020's activities. Dubai Expo 2020 legacy plans are the product of over two years of research and development, following the successful bid to host the mega event in November 2013. Officials from the Expo organisers have looked closely at the UAE's national strategic priorities, and the planning for other
mega events, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Lisbon Expo of 1998. Both events stimulated investment which resulted in the successful regeneration of run down inner-city areas. Expo 2020 Dubai will, in contrast, be a driver of the development of an entirely new quarter within the Dubai South district. The Expo's ecosystem strategy uses physical proximity and an enabling environment to create competitive advantages, most importantly access to leading edge skills and capabilities. Expo officials believe that the merging of industries with related technologies will create a centre of excellence that draws in further related companies, enabling wider collaborations and innovations. Expo's legacy planners have identified four high priority strategic industries: education, transport and logistics, travel and tourism, and real estate. These sectors form the backbone of the current UAE economy, and are industries that have a major role to play in the nation's ongoing economic diversification. As part of the legacy plan, Expo has explored what technologies, including augmented reality, big data and the Internet of Things could 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“Our Expo will continue to foster innovation, and to create meaningful partnerships”
transform these industries. Expo has also identified education and cultural initiatives to complement the ecosystem envisaged by Expo organisers. Over 80 percent of the Expo site will be reused or repurposed in the legacy phase. The theme districts – which will host the majority of the country pavilions – will become collaborative work spaces to house companies of all sizes, along with social and cultural institutions. Expo's iconic theme pavilions – the designs of which were unveiled earlier this year – will also be reused under the legacy plans. The conference and exhibition centre, a key structure within the Expo masterplan will become a major event venue for Dubai, to be operated by Dubai World Trade Centre, and benefitting from the synergies that will be created as businesses and people develop the Expo site in the legacy phase. Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operating Officer, PCMA: “After being involved with the education content development of the Global Forum, we're thrilled to see such an excellent lineup of speakers. This Forum will be a great opportunity for all of us to learn from one another about long term legacy creation and strategic partnerships while experiencing all of MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
what Dubai has to offer for business events.” In doing so, Dubai Business Events gains ground in its goal to further develop and increase Dubai's share of the international business events market to spur innovation, create job opportunities and develop an economy that is prosperous and knowledge based. “The Meeting Format was very good and the group was small enough to understand who everybody was. The high level of knowledge was not to be forgotten. And to meet the local business events ambassadors was for me at this meeting the opportunity to again meet some of the very interesting people we met when we wrote our Business Intelligence Report on Dubai. These meetings also deepened and broadened our discussion and created space for new conclusions. Legacy requires a vision, leaving behind a positive impact, partnerships with multiple stakeholders being remembered,” said Atti Soenarso, Editor in Chief, of Meetings International.
28 - 30 November 2017 Incentives, business travel & meetings expo
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Reimagined for 2018 Imagine a centre of creative collaboration, in the perfect location, surrounded by everything you desire – beaches, fine dining, art, luxury rooms, and ideal weather all year long. It’s real. Unveiling in 2018, but open for business now. Reserve today. email@example.com | +1-786-276-2607 | MiamiBeachConvention.com
New 5,574 sq. m. ballroom • 81 breakout rooms with more than 17,650 sq. m. of space 46,452 sq. m. of renovated exhibit space
SHARMA | 91
In a survey of 22,000 business people ranking top leadership gurus, Robin Sharma was #2, with Jack Welch. Sharma's books have sold millions of copies in over 60 countries. His new book is “The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life” (Simon & Schuster). Robin Sharma founded the Titan Academy and his blog is at robinsharma.com. photo
My 23 Best Tactics FOR PERSONAL GREATNESS It is a spectacular spring morning in New York City as I write this for you. Now I'm hidden in my hotel room with everything on “do not disturb” so I can get this message right for you. And bring on my best. I've deconstructed 23 powerful tactics to promote your personal greatness. To feed your inner hero. To fuel the history-maker within. With great love plus respect, I encourage you to make the time right now to read each of the ideas with a thoughtful mindset – and an open heartset. We're all busy but I really do trust you'll find what follows enormously valuable. And as you know so well from our work together: the performer who learns to most wins.
Don't check emails or your social feeds first thing in the morning. Exploit your most pristine hours for your most valuable projects. That's what the Titans do.
Create your “victory move.” This is a physical pose you do at certain time of the day to kickstart your mental concentration and unleash your physical energy. Doing so often is a strong ritual supported by some very good science. Forgive anyone you haven't forgiven. It's a gift you'll give to yourself. (Hard to climb a mountain carrying someone on your back.)
Remember that the bigger you dream, the more important your team. You can't get to world-class with a low-performing support.
Read Peak by Anders Ericsson.
Stop being so hard on yourself. You're human. We each have our gifts and our flaws. Our hopes and our fears. You and I work in progress. Celebrate who you've become. And honor the progress you've made (instead of demanding perfection). Plan your week in intimate detail every Sunday morning. This removes the need to make multiple decisions each day (because you now have a beautiful blueprint in place). And that frees up your focus plus energy to dial into the few priorities that are most vital to your A-game.
Let go of the relationships in your inner-circle that steal your joy. Your highest life depends on this one winning move.
Get out into nature at least once a day. Tremendous benefits for your mindset, heartset, healthset plus soulset. 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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Travel more. You'll receive your most genius ideas and experience your happiest moments running through the streets of Paris, swimming with the dolphins in Mauritius and watching the sun set over the Taj Mahal in Agra.
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Read What Doesn't Kill Us by Scott Carney. Fascinating. Read Into the Magic Shop by James Doty. Moving.
Get enough sleep. Yes, I made The 5 AM Club famous but I've never
“Yes, I know I'm old-school on this. But I think we're living in a culture of oversharing”
Have good judgement. Yes, I know I'm old-school on this. But I think we're living in a culture of oversharing. People show up their pajamas on Instagram, reveal their intimate details on YouTube and have no boundaries on the internet. Go contrarian.
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Breath more deeply. Regularly. All elite producers do. Drink more water. And ginger tea with lemon in it.
Run my “Daily 5 Ritual.” It helped millions of people do amazing things in business plus their personal lives. Five small goals done with perfect execution every day makes 150 accomplished goals a month and 1,850 in a year. Life changer. Truly.
MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
evangelized sleep deprivation. You absolutely need excellent sleep to perform at otherworldly levels. And to be happy, healthy and strong. (And yes – I'm in year three of writing my new book The 5 AM Club. Yikes!)
Remember that your pain has served your growth. Your setbacks have strengthened your character. And your heartbreaks have helped your heroism. (Let resentments go. And trust life has your back.)
Find your Dream Room. This is a place you go where you have zero devices to distract you. Schedule chunks of time in here at least three times a week. To produce Michelangelo-level work. That wows the world.
Run my 2 Massage Protocol. Getting two 90-minute massages a week isn't an expense. It's an investment in your peak mindset, massive levels of daily energy (you can't inspire the world if you are exhausted), battleproofing against stress plus extending your life (a great key to legendary is longevity).
Respect time. Learning how to leverage your time like a pro is missioncritical to leading an epic life. So many people want gorgeous results but aren't doing the things required to have those rewards. You can't own your game without installing the core mentalities, routines, operating systems and life structures that the best use every day.
Protect your willpower. One of the most valuable of your performance assets is self-discipline. You can have a brilliant ambition, a sensational mission, exceptional talents and great products. But without the ability to execute on these – and translate your grand intentions into daily results, nothing happens. So understand that elite performance without regular recovery leads to depletion.
Be alone a lot. Solitude is where you get to remember your greatness. World-class performers spend a lot of time alone. Envisioning. Planning. Scripting. Practicing. Studying. Iterating. You should too.
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Kristina Schaefer © Imex
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Technology Key Element IN CREATING PURPOSEFUL MEETINGS “So many of the benefits that technology can bring to our industry are still untapped potential; we want to help event planners to see and understand what technology can do for them,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. Putting that policy into practice the range of opportunities for event planners to try out and learn about
event technology is greater than ever, so too the range of technology providers at show. “Technology is one of the five key elements in creating Purposeful Meetings, our talking point for this year. It is vital to the advancement of the meetings industry which we support wholeheartedly. But, taken as a whole, it can be confusing.”
Research carried out for IMEX by Meeting Professionals International (MPI) last autumn quantified the untapped potential. Ninety-two percent of meeting planners think they are not making the most of technology solutions. “Most of us learn more by seeing and touching so having technology demonstrated by experts face to face 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“Most of us learn more by seeing and touching”
and giving people the chance to get to grips with it is important. At IMEX this year we've created many more opportunities for this.” As part of its commitment to finding new ways to help audiences access and understand new technologies, IMEX has partnered with Berlin based start-ups ZEUS who will run their Event Tech Academy as part of the show's new Edu Monday programme. Tech experts and entrepreneurs will share personal and engaging insights into event technology today and anticipated tech trends over the next five years. The sessions will take place on Edu Monday and throughout the show in English and German. The technology area is the largest to date with many new exhibitors. The sector's leading businesses will be there with new products and services, many with larger stand space this year. The choice of potential suppliers is vast and covers every need and they feature innovative ideas using, for instance, hologram technology. At the heart of the technology section will be the Tech Knowledge Area, powered by The Meeting Pool. It is dedicated to helping buyers with advice and honest opinions from experts about the right tech for MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
an event and offering the chance to touch, test and try the latest gadgets such as wearables, virtual reality and more. What's more, throughout the show there will be 15 minute Tech byte mini sessions with tips, tricks and time for personalised questions. IMEX in Frankfurt has also created an initiative to help buyers sample a cross-section of technology solutions at the show through Event Tech Tours. Participants will receive a guided tour of a variety of exhibitors during the hour-long tours, which run throughout the show and are in both English and German. Each year the #IMEXpitch gives visitors the chance to see various technology start-ups compete for audience attention and votes. This year's line-up will include technologies dedicated to business networking, streamlining travel, audience interaction, crowdsourcing of content and the better and faster use of data through Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The finalists are …
1. Fly Another Day www.flyanotherday.com 2. Spacebase www.spacebase.com/en 3. Feathr feathr.co 4. SharedXP sharedxp.events 5. Showpiper showpiper.com
Each company has five minutes to put forward its product, including the concept, features and unique selling points, to a live audience. The winner, chosen by an expert judging panel, receives free exhibition space at the following year's show.
Meeting planners are the real stars in Berlin. We know all there is to know about arranging meetings.
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fox and rabbit Holo2buy.com Hotel Berlin, Berlin Hotel Palace Berlin InterContinental Hotel Berlin Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin K.I.T. Association & Conference Management Group Kongresshotel Potsdam am Templiner See
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Ellington Hotel Berlin Berlin and Berlin Marriott Hotel convention.visitBerlin.comEstrel Berlin / Estrel Congress & Messe Center rlin Our partners at IMEX 2017: AMANO Group fox and rabbit Messe Berlin Guest Events AMERON Hotel ABION Spreebogen Berlin Holo2buy.com MR Congress & Incentive GmbH ANDEL’S BY VIENNA HOUSE BERLIN Hotel Berlin, Berlin Römischer Hof - Palazzo Italia bc & a Hotel Palace Berlin Ovation Germany CAMONSITE Conference and More GmbH InterContinental Hotel Berlin Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz Conference & Touring Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin Tempodrom Betriebsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG Ellington Hotel Berlin K.I.T. Association & Conference Management Group The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin and Berlin Marriott Hotel Our partners at IMEX 2017: Estrel BerlinMesse / Estrel Congress Messe Center Kongresshotel Potsdam am Templiner Titanic Hotels Berlin AMANO Group See Berlin Guest &Events fox and rabbit AMERON Hotel ABION Spreebogen Berlin MR Congress & Incentive GmbH Holo2buy.com
Kristina Schaefer © Imex
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IMEX Frankfurt PACKED WITH OPPORTUNITIES “As we head towards the final countdown for IMEX in Frankfurt, there's a quietly confident attitude radiating throughout the meetings and events sector. Although the first quarter of this year has been marked by some extraordinary and unsettling events around the globe, the show will be a reflection of an international market that's extremely resilient, and well placed for solid, long-term growth,” says Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group. Yet again setting a record for the largest show to date; notable among the growing areas of this year's market-leading trade show is a 10 percent increase in space taken by exhibitors in Africa and Asia and a 9.5 percent increase from the USA and Canada. On the show floor the dedicated technology area will be the largest to date with growth of 15 percent, with many new exhibitors reflecting the show's increasing focus on event
technology companies. At the heart of the technology section will be the Tech Knowledge Area, powered by The Meeting Pool, offering the chance to touch, test and try the latest gadgets such as wearables and virtual reality. New exhibitors include Moldova Tourism, Meet Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kyoto Convention Bureau, Jeju Province and Choose Chicago. Exhibitors with expanded stands include Tourism New Zealand, Shanghai, Korea, London & Partners, Spain, Rocco Forte Hotels, Guatemala, Panama, Uruguay and NYC. “This increased investment not only reflects the underlying fundamentals of our industry, which are both strong and sound, but also adds up to a wider range of exhibitors for buyers to meet,” says Carina Bauer. “With the largest global array of exhibitors from every sector, this year's show is packed with
opportunities for planners to do business and find new suppliers – fulfilling our mission to help meeting professionals make powerful connections with the right people.” Alongside this is a packed programme of free education with over 200 sessions, including a full day of preshow education – Edu Monday, 15 May. Combined with over 200 networking opportunities including many with senior level meeting professionals, and social events including Site Nite Europe, CIM-Clubbing and the Gala Dinner.
“Yet again setting a record for the largest show to date”
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Roger Kellerman PHOTOS
G E EN S BUKAUSKAS
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The simple act of going online these days opens you up to cyber attacks that can come in the form of deploying datastealing malware on your system, deceptive and dangerous middle-man attacks leading to all kinds of infections, and many other guises, all with potentially crippling consequences. The allure of free, public Wi-Fi is an especial hazard for your data and personal security – banking information, passwords, birthplace, social security number, address, your browsing history … the list is endless. It seems that for the moment there is no absolute cyber security for regular people. It could, however, be on its way. As abstract as they may seem to most people, cyber threats can never be discounted and a successful cyber security professional has to understand a wide range of technological application, be intellectually curious and also be trustworthy. We met Jaak Geens, Director of Strategeens and Dr. Linas Bukauskas, Vice Dean at the University of Vilnius (Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics), who are together developing the geens.com platform that could be the next major advance in cyber security.
“In these times of elevator pitches (i.e. ‘explain in a minute what you are working on’), limited tweets or text messages, trying to quickly tell you what we aim for with geens.com is a nice challenge,” says Jaak Geens. “The platform is an environment that is totally yours; it is privacy itself, it is the anti-cloud, it empowers you and gives you all the decision power to show and to know what you want – completely anonymously.” “Moreover, the whole concept is set-up by you becoming a member 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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of it: geens.com is a European NonProfit Organisation (NPO). By law, you can become a member, similar to a shareholder in a ‘profit’ organisation. Our bottom-line is a highly professional environment – a guarantee for your privacy and owned by you. No hidden agenda – no strings attached; but also conceptually so designed that misuse is prevented and key.” In boardrooms intelligent people
unless you want to open well defined information to some external source.” The app collects all of your medical data on your phone (input by yourself ), which is then complemented by external input from, for example, health institutions or wearables, information that is ‘scrambled’ every time before reaching your app and vice-versa. Your medical records are therefore always in your
“The allure of free, public Wi-Fi is an especial hazard for your data and personal security” have traditionally got together to brainstorm and learn how to manage the respective behaviours and feelings. Nowadays social media and any kind of app is designed to learn from your online activity and the data generated then used to give you a better service or, increasingly, stream a product that you might need. “You'll be happy to get an offer for that pair of shoes that you always wanted, or even to find that shampoo that deals with your unpredictable hair, but most people also feel a bit offended when some kind of spy tool decides that you have a lazy eye or that because your father had hair loss a machine is suggesting pills against it for you,” says Linas Bukauskas. “The platform works via an app that you have to install on your smartphone, has its own database and is installed physically and working ‘offline’ on your device. Data is timestamped, backup and encrypted on the main server, but there is absolutely no way for anyone – other than you – to find out from whom the data is, MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 19 2017
pocket, or, as the initiators like to say, ‘it's all in your jeans’. The starting point of the platform is an offer of vast potential on the basis of holding sensitive information, which is why they have set-up an ethical committee in the NPO. The committee members are a mixture of guardians of society, including professors of famous technology institutions, who safeguard the members’ ethical and privacy principles. If any concern about the principles arises the ethical committee can be contacted directly. Yet a cocktail of sensitive information and an ethics committee begs the question of just what kind of potential the platform can actually offer. “The first goal is to offer you the power over your most intimate data and what it can tell you about the virus you caught last week, for example, or the one from years ago,” says Jaak Geens. “It is a data science tool and big data is a big issue. People are open to the right solutions and want to know – or don't want to
know – about everything that can be done with health. The platform doesn't focus solely on diseases, but wants to advise you as a person, not as a patient. All kinds of data collected will give you advice on what to look for, what to follow-up, where to go and whom to go to.” “If we make the right anonymous database and enrich it permanently with the newest technologies, you will get the best solutions and information – again with no strings attached,” says Linas Bukauskas. “Geens.com will not work with just user forums, but enrich these with the best technologies all the time. Needless to say, there is a huge need for objective and key information, which are all reasons why we decided to set up this concept.” Whilst getting the concept up and running has required amassing considerable amounts of important and confidential information, this material could at the same time prove highly valuable to a number of companies, some of which may not be so keen on having an ethical committee in place. “Absolutely true, and that is a very important part of the whole concept, in that we will create in a short time a huge database that a lot of big companies would be interested in buying,” says Jaak Geens. “Whatsapp was sold to Facebook for 50 dollars a user – could this happen with geens.com? Our answer is clearly: no. Geens.com is non-profit and cannot be sold at all – that's the law.” “However, if we do realise, together, the main goal of building an important big data warehouse, geens.com will be able to generate income comparable with the business plans of traditional social media. You could decide that you want to be part of a clinical trial or have a coupon for a new shampoo. And yes, it is
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“For the moment there is no absolute cyber security for regular people”
important – and in many cases even to your own advantage – for all kinds of providers to have the possibility to contact the right group. Even in this case, however, privacy will be fully protected, unless you decide otherwise, and all income will go back to the geens.com community, like with a Frequent Flyer Membership. As you are a member of the community you are empowered: it is you that will decide.” Along with ownership and decision power a further aspect of the platform is that members will also have the ultimate right of whether to remain with the community or leave it altogether, including bringing their data with them. “You will have your data of being a member and there is also your medical data, and the system will only know you by your aliases to make external communication,” says Jaak Geens. “You can delete that data any time and restore it under a new nickname, or just delete it forever. Data is on – and only in – your app and you can at any time store it on your PC's hard drive or a USB. The definition of the geens.com concept is that you are totally empowered. The platform by definition just focuses on the privacy layer itself.”
“Let us take a Taxi-app as an example: our platform is supplementary on top of all existing Taxi-apps. Why should the Taxi company know where you go or even who you are to deliver their service? Or even take the risk that an IT guy runs away with the customer database and starts his own Taxi-app? Unless there would be an accident or a payment discussion, then personal details can be provided to resolve the incident. And for a good understanding: geens.com will never offer a Taxi-app or any commercial application.” The NPO did develop though one free demo application for polling (geepoll.com). The purpose of the voting (on different levels) is to educate the public and to demonstrate the principle of how to tackle privacy protection issues. Not only are the members of the platform to be empowered, but the technology that has been developed for it and the people behind that technology have also been flexing their intellectual muscle for the full powers of what cyber security can offer and to make this platform a stand-out option. Geens.com uses the newest technology that has been recently developed together with the University of
Vilnius, one of the world's top university centres on privacy and internet security.” “The medical sector and new technology experts look for the newest concepts that are ready to use, so to become a full member of the platform is not a 1–2–3 process like creating an account on other social networks. That's because we did think very carefully about how to protect privacy and because, after all, you'll be a stakeholder of the platform itself,” says Jaak Geens. “We think that a good platform has to give you total privacy, as nobody wants to share his or her deepest feelings, medical information or feedback if not absolutely sure that future technology will be able to filter out your past. Although lots of people surf forums on medical issues, only a minority share their own experiences, mainly because they don't want to end up on a database that knows who they are and could start spamming.” “Geens.com will therefore enrich the user forums, investigate and perform data mining, share the best opinions and value them with ‘frequent miles’,” says Jaak Geens. “As privacy – and that includes digital security – are key to the system, we are convinced that we can become a 2017 No. 19 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL
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“The platform is an environment that is totally yours; it is privacy itself, it is the anti-cloud”
very unique community on medical issues; but even in simple ‘brainstorming’ on a project, individuals do not want that their out-of-thebox thinking is misused afterwards. Privacy is also about the right to be forgotten.” The platform also has the ambition to become a central point for other sites related to the human body or human interest, stating that case that whilst it is fine to use a wearable, that it is not necessary for the device company to know about your ‘nighttime activity’. This kind of situation makes geens.com a solution for both individual and the wearable device company that isn't keen on such private matters. Liability goes in two directions, and is also an issue for organisations. “This is just a first step, as all kinds of medical institutions, blood centres, donor centres, dentists, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, DNA-investigators, universities and so many others will look for the right platform to guarantee patients absolute privacy,” says Jaak Geens. “Health is also not the issue of one specialist or symptom; there is the lack of a tool that brings all the expertise together. A pain in your chest
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can mean so many things and needs expertise by way of several views.” Social websites are nowadays also aiming for the ultimate goal of a complete medical profile. For them, however, the purpose is to sell it to the relevant industries. Geens.com has the same goal of complete medical profile in mind, but not driven by profit motives. Their new levels of cyber security ensure it will only be with your membership and full agreement, and that any concept of profits will be of the kind that are ultimately for your own benefit. On the question of whether geens. com is like an alternative for the GDPR (General Data Protection Rules) of the European Commission: “Our governments – in this case our European institutions – are looking for general rules to protect the citizens. Let me use a metaphor here: GDPR pushes building owners to put strong locks and doors, blind some of the windows or explain a must to install cameras in the public hallway and garage, but forbid public cameras in the apartments. That is of course all excellent. Our platform on the contrary starts from the individual and provides a cocoon from where the user decides what window where, when and to who
will be open or closed to the external world.” “If there is no bottom-up approach like this, a non-intentional effect of a ruling like GDPR will be that – and let us continue on this metaphor – no new forms of living together will be created or explored. Too many rules block new initiatives or approaches. GDPR should not be like a new Year 2000 2-digit issue, but become an opportunity to add value and therefore a marriage with the geens.com platform is a perfect win-win.”
110 | KELLERMAN
Roger Kellerman Publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. Has over 30 years’ experience of the global meeting industry. Founder of Mötesindustriveckan. twitter.com/thekellerman photo
Cyber Security vs. PERSONAL SECURITY Some of the most important things right now in the world are how we can rely on our politicians, political institutions, global companies and governments. When using algorithms who know more about us than we seem to know ourselves, it's a hard time. Facebook, Google, Instagram and Wikipedia are used in more absurd ways. The spam spreads over all widths in my mailbox. I claim to have ordered LED lights from almost all manufacturers in the world, getting dozens of fake invoices every day. My friends at Apple are alleged to send grotesque error message about my Apple ID at least three times each day. Now is the time to improve online security. And create significantly higher security. Exit spam activists with a single click. It is time for higher cyber security. And we need it quickly so that we do not all get mad at all the trash that just continues to bombard us. I was in Vilnius to work on our latest Meetings International Business Intelligence Report and I saw the light and I met the jump. Young ambitious high-quality IT professionals who are not only involved in game development, but there are companies that are at the forefront of technology,
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surround us online. We have written about Safehotels Alliances for many years now. They are changing the world's hotels and meeting industry in terms of safety and security in hotels and meeting facilities. Let us help our friends in Vilnius to start seeing cyber security as something sustainable, environmentally friendly and extremely important. Help us stop the ever-increasing spam with meaninglessness that causes me to sit in front of the computer every morning for at least 30 minutes (soon it's probably an hour) and click away the junk before I can start working on the questions that take us forward. How we create better-designed meetings and events, and not least how we connect science and knowledge development. Let's simply create better conditions for cyber security that are as important as personal security. Now.
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