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No. 22 Oct/Nov 2018 €19 / SEK 165

ANNA ROSLING RÖNNLUND Gapminder “ We're right, you're wrong. ‌ It's as simple as that.” . FEARSOME FORECASTS FOR FUTUREPHOBES OUT OF THE ORDINARY LONG TAIL LEGACY KELLERMAN


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No. 22 

Oct/Nov 2018 The Ideas Made Visible

10 INTRO

Constructive Journalism Atti Soenarso: Journalism that offers a fuller picture of our world.

12

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Anna Rosling Rönnlund, Gapminder

L E G A L LY R E S P ON S IBL E E DI T OR IN C HIE F Atti Soenarso

atti.soenarso@meetingsinternational.com P UBL IS HE R Roger Kellerman

roger.kellerman@meetingsinternational.com GL OB A L S A L E S DIR EC T OR  Graham Jones

graham.jones@meetingsinternational.com E DI T OR Pravasan Pillay

“We're right, you're wrong. It's as simple as that.” 28 LONG TAIL INSIGHTS

T E X T Robert Cotter,

Roger Kellerman, Atti Soenarso

The Power and Legacy of Conferences Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change.

T R A N S L AT OR Dennis Brice P HO T O S  Sara Appelgren

(incl. cover), Relmi Damiano,

Roger Kellerman, Magnus Malmberg, Per Pixel Petersson,

38 SMART DECISION

Atti Soenarso, Colette Taylor

Sustainable Meetings Vital Part of the New Strategy of Gothenburg Gothenburg has a clear plan.

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52 ECONOMIC IMPACT

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C ON TA C T Meetings

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Isn't It Time? The 13 Questions for Visionaries Robin Sharma hopes to help you win.

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A Futurist on the Future of Payments

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Our Knowledge Bank Is Growing Roger Kellerman: New knowledge flows to us.

8 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

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INTRO

Constructive JOURNALISM The work of Meetings International is based on the idea of constructive journalism. While this term is slowly getting more well-known amongst professionals, the concept of constructive journalism is still not very widespread. Constructive journalism takes journalism's democratic function seriously and seeks to facilitate public debate not only around important problems, but also around possible solutions to improve the quality and the tone of public discussions. Our magazine is based on a focus on progress, possibilities and solutions to the big challenges facing our industry today, adding perspective and looking at global trends – telling stories through examples, showing people who take action, building relations with our readership by inspiring hope and belief that we can change the world. Constructive journalism is reporting about responses to problems focusing on how those problems might be solved. Rather than only investigating what's going wrong, constructive journalism explores what's going right too, offering a fuller picture of our world. Journalists look for evidence of why responses are working – and also not working. This approach aims to spark constructive dialogue and collaboration, it is

forward-looking and shows change is possible. Constructive journalism is not about ignoring negative news or covering feel-good stories. On the contrary, it covers stories with importance to society. Constructive journalism is also an umbrella term for journalism that takes a solution-focused approach rather than the traditional negative approach and empowers audiences to respond constructively. This could be range from full-fat solutions journalism, which explores one or more solutions to a problem in an in-depth way; incorporating constructive elements into a report, or solutions-lite stories that look at a particular solution less exhaustively. Solutions-focused journalism is the term used by the BBC. Positive journalism is not the same as constructive journalism. It is less serious or rigorous and often tells stories of heroes and individual events which do not have high significance to society, but that's not to say these stories do not have a useful role. Transformative journalism provides actionable solutions to the issues covered. A growing number of major news organisations across the world practice constructive journalism, including the BBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, Economist and Time

Magazine, and many other European and US media. Among online media the Huffington Post led the way inspired by its founder Arianna Huffington, and was followed by outlets such as De Correspondent, Upworthy and Spiegel Online. Constructive journalism is critical, objective, and balanced. It is tackling important issues facing society, not trivial. Unbiased. Calm in its tone and does not give in to scandals and outrage. Bridging, not polarizing. Forward-looking and future-oriented. Nuanced and contextualised and based on facts. Facilitating wellinformed debate around solutions to well documented problems. An important part of the constructive journalism movement is Restorative Narratives. These narratives offer a balanced approach to covering news. Restorative narratives move beyond the “what happened” stories and show what is possible by highlighting how communities and individuals are rebuilding a recovering after difficult times. It is encouraging to see people's growing interest in constructive journalism and restorative narratives, and other forms of storytelling that move away from the “if it bleeds, it leads” approach to storytelling.

Svensk-indonesiska Atti Soenarso har arbetat som journalist i över 30 år. Hon har bland annat jobbat för Skandinaviens största dagstidning, var TV4s första reseredaktör, har skrivit för många resemagasin och haft flera internationella uppdragsgivare. Hon har rest i stora delar av världen och skrivit om destinationer, människor och möten. photo

10 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

Magnus Malmberg


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A

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ROSLING RÖN N LU N D TEXT

Atti Soenarso PHOTOS

Sara Appelgren

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

In January 2016, Professor Hans Rosling was told by his doctor that he only had three or four weeks to live. Sweden's superstar of the lecture circuit, known throughout the world for his passionate lectures, had incurable pancreatic cancer. Hans Rosling exceeded all forecasts and survived a whole year before he died in early February 2017. Together with his son, Ola Rosling, and daughter-in-law, Anna Rosling Rönnlund, he worked on a book entitled Factfulness, which was published in April this year. The book gives ten ways to help us to understand the world and explains why the world is in better shape than most of us think. It is based on their intense discussions spanning across eighteen years. During our interview with Anna Rosling Rönnlund it became clear that although the book is published, it is far from finished. Quite the opposite, in fact. The book describes how the authors visualise creating a tool for the socio-economic assessment of how the modern world map corresponds with the view of knowledgeable people. “Statistical facts don't come naturally to humans. Quite the opposite! Most people form their opinions on

sweeping generalisations based on personal experiences. The media will sensationalise an event if it is unusual,” explains Anna Rosling Rönnlund. “Not much attention is paid to gradual, stable progression as part of a large trend. People often rely on outdated facts that they probably learned at school and which may have been outdated even then.” Over the years, the Gapminder Foundation has used statistics from bodies like the World Bank and WHO, as well as from the government agencies of individual countries. These figures are available to the public but nobody has previously tried to make them easier to understand like the Roslings. Gapminder has used the statistics to compile a survey on the state of the world to test public knowledge on the subject. The depressing findings showed that we ordinary people have a view of the world that is systematically wrong. Of the 12,000 respondents in 14 countries tested in 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 15


BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

“The book gives ten ways to help us to understand the world”

2017, 15 per cent failed to answer any of the twelve questions correctly. The average was two out of twelve. The fact that the respondents were highly educated scientists, teachers, CEOs of multinational companies, journalists, students and politicians made no difference at all. Chimpanzees with random answers would have averaged four out of twelve. In other words, intelligence does not come into it. Microsoft's founder Bill Gates had this to say on the book cover: “One of the most important books I've ever read – an indispensable guide to thinking clearly about the world.” But let us retrace our steps. On a Danish TV show called Deadline in 2015, Hans Rosling said, “You don't look to news media if you want to understand the world.” He was invited to talk about world population growth. The interview began with Rosling giving the presenter, Adam Holm, a sharp retort in answer to his first question about Europe being under pressure from the refugee crisis. “We're not under pressure,” he said. “Our part of the world has enormous resources. It's about deciding how much you want to help. I'm well aware of the political debate in the Scandinavian countries, and perhaps throughout Europe, about 16 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

refugee policy, but Europe has only taken a handful of refugees in relation to what it can actually take.” When the Danish presenter put forward the theory that a rapid population growth in Africa in the coming years will lead to an increased refugee flow to Europe, Rosling continued on the same path: “No, it will provide Europe with new export opportunities. They have a glittering economic future.” During the live broadcast, Hans Rosling also said that the western world greatly misunderstood global development, and the notion that the world is divided into poor and rich people is basically wrong. “If you think that the majority of the world population is extremely poor, that girls don't go to school and that poor people try to flee to richer countries then you're far removed from reality. You have to understand there are countries at all levels, and most countries are somewhere in the middle.” Hans Rosling also spoke of the press corps not always giving a true picture of events. “You don't look to news media if you want to understand the world. Facts relating to actual events are fine, but you're poor in that respect,” he said to the Danish presenter when he tried to discuss statistics, which he felt could be


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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

“ We ordinary people have a view of the world that is systematically wrong”

manipulated for political ends. But Rosling did not want to hear about statistics. “I'm not talking about statistics but real people who exist,” he said. Neither did Hans Rosling accept the notion of a massive difference between the western world and the rest of the world. “You're completely wrong. Of all the people in the world who can afford to fly on holiday, half live outside the western world.” When the presenter asked him to explain that statement, Hans Rosling referred him to the UN and the World Bank: “This isn't controversial. There's nothing to discuss. I'm right and you're wrong.” This is how the world got to know Professor Hans Rosling, whose appearances soon became legendary. Gapminder was founded in Stockholm in 2005 by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling. It is an independent Swedish foundation with no political, religious or economic affiliations. It began as a spin-off from Hans Rosling's teaching at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm where he was confounded by the level of ignorance among his students and peers of the rapid improvement of health in Asia.

He began to measure ignorance among students and professors and presented the surprising results of what he called the “chimpanzee test” at his first TED talk in 2006. In the test question, Hans Rosling divided countries into pairs. Each pair had one Asian and one European country. He asked the students to select a country in each pair that had double infant mortality compared to the other country. If the country names had been written on five bananas, chimpanzees would have averaged 2.5 correct answers. To Hans Rosling's surprise, his Global Health Students performed worse than chimpanzees, that is to say their answers were worse than random answers. This means that their wrong answers could not have been the result of guesswork but of preconceived notions. Only preconceived notions, which systematically create, underpin and maintain ignorance, could give a result that was worse than random. When Hans Rosling repeated the test on professors at the university he found that their results were equal to that of chimpanzees. Since then Gapminder has presented many types of data to many different people and 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 19


BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

“In other words, intelligence does not come into it” encountered many preconceived notions and outdated terms for our modern world. One could say that Gapminder is a fact bank that combats devastating misconceptions on global development. The Foundation publishes free educational resources to make the world easier to understand based on reliable statistics and promotes a factual view of the world that everybody can understand. Gapminder collaborates with several universities, the UN, government agencies and NGOs. Today the focus is on making educational material available free of charge to as many people as possible. Fact sheets have already been distributed in 24 languages, which testifies to the ambition level. A year after Gapminder was founded, Hans Rosling gave his first TED lecture on “The best statistics you've never seen.” His special combination of knowledge testing, bubble diagram animations and global development narratives made it one of the most watched TED lectures ever. The animated bubble diagram is done with software called Trendalyzer, developed by Gapminder to make global open data understandable. In 2007, the software was acquired by Google and the team of developers moved to Google's headquarters in California. For three years they improved the user experience of searching for and researching global 20 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

open data. In 2010, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling decided to leave Google. They returned to Gapminder to develop free educational material. To collect content to include in the educational material, they began measuring public knowledge – or rather the lack of it – with the Ignorance Project, but soon realised that publishing plain facts was not enough because the problem went deeper than that. People had a dramatically incorrect view of the state of the world. The Factfulness Project arose from the need to give people a factual picture. The Roslings also started the Ignorance Project to look into public knowledge of basic global patterns and macro trends. They use questionnaires to give representative groups of people simple questions on important aspects of global development. When they find a great lack of knowledge they know which educational material to use. The first findings were published in the UK and Sweden in 2013 and they plan to add many more countries as the project progresses. Anna Rosling Rönnlund says that through the Ignorance Project they have now decided to begin a systematic search for ‘extensive ignorance of the state of the world’. “Our priorities have been ruled by such ignorance. We're interested in working closely with the social

sciences and we want to become a knowledge centre. Gapminder is the ultimate tool for asking questions like “What were you thinking when you thought wrongly?” “Factfulness is a handbook for understanding the world – and for keeping dramatic instincts in check,” says Anna Rosling Rönnlund on the book's relevance to politicians. “When we measure knowledge, no amount of intelligence or higher education appears to be sufficient to answer our questions correctly. Most of those we question get the answers systematically wrong. The three most common misconceptions about the world – that we work with in everything we do and which we take up in the book – are: “The gulf between rich and poor is getting wider”, “Everything is getting worse” and “The population just keeps growing.” The true facts are in the book and we recommend that politicians read it too. You learn to handle your dramatic instincts and understand the world around you much better, and this is just as relevant for politicians as anybody else. The most important thing is to be humble when confronting ignorance because most of us don't know that we don't know.” Regarding the source of this ignorance Anna Rosling Rönnlund explains, “Partly it is a lack of knowledge. Media reporting makes events look more dramatic than they


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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

actually are. This is partly because the brain gives precedence to dramatic or sensational information.” Don't we want to know or aren't we intelligent enough to take in the knowledge you put forward? Anna Rosling Rönnlund says, “We think we already know, but we've been given an over dramatic picture of the world. And when we think we already know, it's difficult to relearn.”

get all their employees certified so as to set a precedent of having basic knowledge of global trends.” Factfulness is written as a handbook with no academic jargon at all says Anna Rosling Rönnlund, which means that anyone can read it. She says, “I hope the book gives them practical tips on modifying their approach to gathering knowledge and that it provides them with a solid

“Their wrong answers could not have been the result of guesswork but of preconceived notions” “Ignorance makes us base our world picture, our feelings and our decisions on incorrect grounds. If we dedicated more time to checking facts we'd have a more factual world picture and be less stressed. Much of the world is better than we spontaneously believe, and we should be making better decisions.” Anna Rosling Rönnlund thinks it's worrying that so many respondents could get so many questions wrong, but says, “But as it's a systematic error, people do it regardless of IQ and educational level. It's also easier to put right and the information that replaces the incorrect information is not particularly difficult. It gives us hope that we can put it right quickly and easily.” Anna Rosling Rönnlund says that it's a basic necessity for business people to understand that this is what the world looks like. “We hope they read our book and take our knowledge test. We would like companies, educational bodies and public agencies to take our one-day course and 22 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

platform from which to view the world.” Anna Rosling Rönnlund thinks that you have to show what's wrong to get people to understand what's right, because when people think they already know then they're not motivated to learn. “The book should also be used in social sciences, placed next to the world map. The book teaches source criticism and self-criticism, which are equally important for understanding the world.” Regarding challenges facing Gapminder Anna Rosling Rönnlund says, “Being a small, independent organisation gives us the liberty to do things in the way we feel is important and right. One challenge is attracting more Gapminder ambassadors to help spread the word to larger groups, another is in standardising the Factfulness certification.” Anna Rosling Rönnlund returns to the Ignorance Project, explaining that it identifies the specific global statistical trends that have not reached out to the broader public. The issues

surrounding the large trends and patterns. Issues that cover vital aspects of global development, such as environment, health, energy, gender, economy, demography and control. “The most time-consuming part of the work is formulating the questions and response options. They must be exact, clear and not at all complex. The questions have to be based on well-documented facts of great significance but still be concrete enough to warrant one correct response. The questions and response options must be intelligible for everyone, especially for people with no great interest in the subject.” She says that the first surveys in Sweden and the UK were in close cooperation with market research company Novus Group International. “When we encounter ignorance, we try to find a remedy. Facts sometimes just have to be delivered. But in many cases, facts can be difficult to accept because they don't tally with the misconceptions. They appear contra intuitive. In those cases,we find simpler ways of explaining them. These improvements are the core of Gapminder's new and free teaching material that makes teaching and learning true facts easy and highly enjoyable. On top of explanations and data, we also provide facts about ignorance itself along with our questionnaire and links to our data sources.” “This paves the way for others to measure world knowledge among students, colleagues, employees, applicants and website visitors without needing to search for data sources and writing questions themselves. One of the things we're striving for is a knowledge-based certification that should ring just as loud on a person's CV as a Harvard education. The test is on Gapminder's homepage and is free. Anyone who passes before reading Factfulness receives a diploma.”


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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

Anna Rosling Rönnlund compares the globalised world with a traffic system where you have to renew your driving licence every five years. “Or you won't be allowed to drive 120 km/h on the motorway. But we don't have driving licences for the world, which means there are drivers in large bodies like foreign offices and UNHCR who don't understand the regulations. We have politicians and a public who have a fixed world view

Factfulness, rules of thumb

1. Reality is not often polarised. The majority is usually somewhere in the middle. 2. Positive news about improvements does not have the same news value. Bad news gives an unproportionately negative picture of the world. 3. Do not expect a straight, upward rising curve to continue that way. Curves change shape.

Source: Factfulness. Ten ways to help you understand the world.

“When we encounter ignorance, we try to find a remedy” that is no longer relevant. Who says we're exaggerating? Can we really say that everybody is wrong? Yes, unfortunately. Then what can we do about it?” Within the global meetings industry, the message sent by Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Ola Rosling needs to come across in channels such as ICCA, PCMA, The Iceberg Project, Best Cities, European Cities Marketing, MPI and Site, among many other organisations and networks. An injection of new knowledge is needed if the meetings industry is to continue developing at a global level. But we start here and take one step at a time.

4. Frightening things that are reported are not necessarily the most dangerous. Conduct a risk assessment. 5. A figure that looks impressive will give the opposite impression when compared to another impressive figure. 6. Question how you pigeonhole the world so as to avoid incorrect generalisations. Look at the differences and similarities within and between groups. 7. A lot of things seem constant due to slow change. Remember that even slow change is change. 8. Consider a problem from many different angles to get a better understanding and to find practical solutions. 9. Laying the guilt onto a single person will often sway attention from other possible explanations. Don't look for scapegoats. 10. When a decision seems acute, bear in mind that it usually isn't. Take small steps.

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 25


INTERMISSION

“I should have told her everything. Mom loves these kind of stories. It's not so bad if you think about it. It could have been worse. Just think how bad things turned out for that guy who had to go to Boston to get a new kidney. He became famous and was in all the papers, but died just the same. And think about Laika, that space dog. They put her in a Sputnik and sent her into space. To find out how she was doing they bolted wires to her heart and brain. I don't think she was doing all that well. For five months she spun around up there, until her doggy bag was empty. She starved to death. It's important to have stuff like that to compare with. I should have told her everything, while she still had her strength.

photo

26 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

My Life as a Dog by Reidar Jönsson, Lasse Hallström, Brasse Brännström, Per Berglund

Photofest

Stories from life, that's my mom's favourite thing. She collects them. You have to have stories to tell.”


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Basis for Business


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LONG TAIL INSIGHTS

The Power and Legacy OF CONFERENCES

photo

© iStock.com/RudyBalasko

This is an excerpt from the book The Power of Conferences – Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change, supported and co-funded by Business Events Sydney. The ten stories demonstrate that conferences are shared social contexts which take people away from their established routines. Within this social context, knowledge and ideas are shared and common goals are developed through such interactions. It is not surprising then that these stories demonstrate a direct connection between the staging of conferences and an extensive range of benefits and outcomes beyond the tourism spend. The heritage now developed by stories like them in the book, is not only beneficial for personal growth but also improves, for example, the meeting and event industry, universities, cities, regions, and countries as a whole. Through business events that work with obligations, engagement and legacy in a sustainable way, we all contribute to a better world. Business Events Sydney's long research partnership with the University of Technology Sydney has shown that conferences deliver knowledge, innovation and best practice. However, the full legacy of

an international conference can often only be measured years after that event has taken place. There will always be a short-term boost to the visitor economy of the host city, but it's often the longer term (or ‘long tail’) benefits, beyond tourism, that increase the overall value of the event long after it has finished. That's because research shared, innovations explored and connections made are often just the initial catalyst for breakthroughs and global collaborations that come to fruition years later. That was the case for the individuals profiled in the book for whom conferences have played a seminal role in the development and evolution of their achievements. When Business Events Sydney partners with organisations bidding to bring their international event to Sydney, we ask what their long-term ambition is. What does success look like for their organisation 5–10 years down the line? Having that clear vision of how a conference can help to achieve a wider objective is invaluable and provides a framework with which to measure the impact on a much wider scale than just delegate numbers or direct expenditure. Yet, sometimes the most important and exciting legacies come from

unexpected encounters – the ones that lead to unlikely collaborations or opportunities to take research from one field and apply it to a totally different area. At other times genuine progress is made simply by bringing people with a common cause together and uniting them behind a clear and compelling purpose; whether to accelerate a cure for disease, raise money for a particular cause, or secure greater profile and support for a campaign to create real and lasting social change. With the internet providing a wealth of information at people's fingertips and bringing communities together remotely, and technology constantly advancing research capabilities, we are often asked “Will conferences ever become obsolete?” The experts in this book unanimously agree that there is still no substitute for the power of congregation. They believe conferences have a bright future, and so do we. “Whether you organise, attend or support conferences, we hope that the book and the stories in it will inspire you to think big and give you the courage and passion to use these events to help drive social change and create a lasting legacy,” says Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO, Business Events Sydney. 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 29


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we plan and design conferences to allow for the full range of potential benefits and outcomes? For the purpose of this book, a conference is defined as a formal meeting in which many people gather in order to talk about ideas or problems related to a particular topic, academic discipline or industry area. For example, the conferences referred to in the following case studies include (inter alia) medical, engineering, science and education conferences. Conferences may also be referred to as congresses, symposiums, meetings and business events; however, throughout this book we will use the term conferences. Conference attendees usually include a mix of academics (including postgraduate students) and industry professionals, with occasional community involvement; for example, patients, careers and advocates sometimes attend medical conferences. Many conferences also feature exhibitors who may have a business or research stake in the topic area of the conference. Most conferences are linked to a national or international professional association. Some are held in the same destination each year. However, others, like the International AIDS

Conference run by the International AIDS Society, move around to different destinations, often raising global awareness of sector-related issues. Some are carefully designed to leverage particular outcomes linked to the mission of the association(s) organising the event. Others are run on a more ad hoc basis, without specific objectives other than to provide a meeting point for attendees who each have their own related but distinct agendas. Conference outcomes, then, can range from the planned to the serendipitous; from the tangible to the intangible. Typically, conferences are evaluated in terms of their short-term impact, both individually and collectively. Individually, most conferences have some level of post-event evaluation and this is often focused around delegate satisfaction with various aspects of the event (such as venue, program, speakers). Collectively, conferences are evaluated by governments and industry, mostly in terms of their financial contribution by way of visitor expenditure. Governments are aware of the significant influx of new money that can result from hosting an international or domestic conference, and cities around the world compete to be the preferred

photo

A chance encounter at a conference sets up a series of unfolding events. In 1982, immunologist Ian Frazer attended his first international gastroenterology conference in Canberra, Australia. After his presentation on genital warts, a colleague, Dr Gabrielle Medley, discussed with him the potential link between the human papillomavirus and cancer. This meeting proved fateful, as it helped to put him on the path that would ultimately lead to the development of the HPV vaccine. This vaccine is now used across the globe, and may eradicate cervical cancer within a generation. This book seeks to explore and understand these long-term outcomes: what we loosely refer to as the ‘long tail’ of conference impact. By doing so, we hope to add to an increasingly complex picture of the value of conferences. For, despite the costs and effort involved in hosting and attending conferences, despite all the online communication options for the circulation of knowledge and commentary, many thousands of events, involving many thousands of people coming together, take place around the world each year. What makes them so worthwhile? How can

Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO, Business Events Sydney

Introduction

Narrative Post

“We wanted these stories and an understanding of the power of conferences to be accessible”


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2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 31


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LONG TAIL INSIGHTS

destination site for conferences. However, there is a growing recognition that the value of conferences extends well beyond tourism and should not be measured merely by direct financial contribution (Dwyer, Mellor, Mistilis & Mules 2000). In this book, they argue that new money, attractive as it is, is just one of the contributions that a conference can make to individuals, industry, government agencies and the wider

outcomes, innovative and collaborative projects, international relations, trade and networking opportunities, education, and enhanced businessto-business relationships. Similarly, industry reports (such as those produced by The Business Events Industry Strategy Group 2008), which have offered evidence-based examples of the economic benefits that conferences can bring, have also noted their potential to “promote

“The full legacy of an international conference can often only be measured years after that event has taken place” destination community. The primary audience for this book are those who work in the conference industry, educators and students who will go on to work in this field. Re-thinking The Value of Conferences

A number of studies have pointed to a lack of recognition of the full value of conferences in traditional evaluations (Carlsen, Getz & Soutar 2001; Wood 2009; Foley, Edwards, Schlenker & Lewis-Smith 2013). As such, there is a clear need to consider conferences in more sophisticated ways that take us beyond traditional short-term economic impact measures (Pickernell, O'Sullivan, Senyard & Keast 2007). Evaluating conferences without taking account of the wider and longer-term benefits seriously underestimates their value to all stakeholders. Previous research (Jago & Deery 2010; Teulan 2010) has identified a number of opportunities that conferences can provide, including knowledge expansion, community

and showcase Australian expertise and innovation to the world and attract global leaders and investment decision makers … to Australia.” A peer-reviewed academic Australian study sought to examine the broader legacies of conferences (Foley, Edwards, Schlenker & LewisSmith 2013; Foley, Schlenker & Edwards 2010). Drawing on a range of conferences from across industry sectors, the authors collected data using in-depth interviews and secondary data analysis (Edwards, Foley & Schlenker 2011; Foley, Edwards & Hergesell, 2016; Foley, Edwards, Hergesell & Schlenker 2014; Foley, Edwards & Schlenker, 2014; Foley, Schlenker & Edwards 2010; Foley, Schlenker, Edwards & Lewis-Smith 2013). Through the analysis, six core themes emerged, reflecting the benefits and outcomes that can arise from conferences: (a) knowledge expansion, (b) networking, (c) relationships and collaboration, (d) fundraising and future research capacity, (e) raising awareness and profiling,

and (f ) showcasing and destination reputation. Within these core themes, it was argued that there were more than 45 possible benefits, tangible and intangible, including the exchange of ideas, building of professional reputation, and strengthening of relationship bonds and resource ties. Application of new techniques and technologies, improved skills, and relocation to the conference destination to live and work were among the tangible benefits. Through this and subsequent research, our studies identified a ‘long tail’ effect (Edwards, Foley & Schlenker 2011): participants reported that not only were the benefits and outcomes felt during the conference or within 12 months following the conference, they were also experiencing the benefits three to five years after the conference. Some added that the benefits and outcomes were still to be realised. These findings suggested to us that more needed to be known about the benefits and outcomes that occurred well after the conference had finished and that we needed to understand the quality of the impact, to understand the full value of conferences. The idea of the long tail was popularised by Chris Anderson (2004) to explain an anomaly in the music industry. He noticed that infinite shelf space in the form of the internet, combined with real-time information, led to sales that collectively grew to become a large share of total sales (Brynjolfsson, Hu & Simester 2011). Such was its importance that Zhu, Song, Ni, Ren and Li (2016) suggested that the long tail was itself a new market. According to Anderson (2004), the long tail describes a frequency distribution pattern in which the number of events in the tail is greater than the 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 33


LONG TAIL INSIGHTS

“Sometimes the most important and exciting legacies come from unexpected encounters”

number of events in the immediate high-frequency area. In the context of our research on conference impact and evaluation, the idea of the long tail presented us with a novel way to conceptualise and capture those outcomes that come to fruition years, and even decades, after the event has taken place. We asked ourselves: how can we measure the long tail? This was a slippery problem, and after much consideration we realised that a qualitative approach to data collection was going to be more meaningful than a quantifiable measurement approach. Conferences: Providing ‘Out of The Ordinary’ Experiences

The treadmill of daily existence in contemporary societies has been identified as a less than ideal environment for forming meaningful relationships, sharing knowledge or stopping to think with the people around us (McDonald, Wearing & Ponting 2008). Busy people often find it difficult to let go of their ‘to do’ lists for the sake of spending time with companions (Foley 2017). However, in order for meaningful social interactions to occur, ‘out of the ordinary’ opportunities are needed to encourage people to take time out from 34 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

their busy schedules and established routines. A conference is one such ‘out of the ordinary’ experience that gives attendees a break from everyday demands and facilitates shared social contexts (Small, Harris, Wilson & Ateljevic 2011) which are conducive to knowledge sharing. Such experiences provide opportunities for delegates to become part of a network of lifelong professional and personal friends – a network which can increase exponentially over time (Hickson 2006); they provide a temporal context for intensified knowledge exchange and social interaction (Maskell, Bathelt & Malmberg 2005); and they offer the chance to build relationships with other regular participants, which can result in improved performance (Bahlmann, Huysman, Elfring & Groenewegen 2009). Conferences also provide unique opportunities to showcase, construct and brainstorm new ideas, strategies and technologies. Face-to-face communication and live presentations at such events can create a special impetus for developing new professional relationships and research collaborations. Bathelt, Malmberg and Maskell (2004) suggest that innovation,

knowledge creation and learning are all best understood when seen as the result of interactive processes where people possessing different types of knowledge and competencies come together to exchange information. Such exchanges and interactions can occur in different ways, including via social media or video conferencing, but the camaraderie and sense of community that can develop around conferences, the appeal of engaging face-to-face with peers, and the relationships that are developed and enhanced contribute to both personal and social legacies that other forms of online communication cannot match. In this social context, the sharing of knowledge and creative ideas occurs and common meanings are developed through interactions (Edwards et al. 2011). Diagram 1 was developed as a result

of our previous work, where we established that conferences are catalysts for thriving economies, with benefits accruing to individuals and communities immediately and over time. This latest research seeks to expand upon this conceptualisation by dramatically expanding the perceived time frame in which the outcomes of conferences are realised.


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LONG TAIL INSIGHTS

DIAGRAM 1 Conferences – Long-Term Catalysts for Thriving Economies

DURING

AFTERCUMULATIVE

Source: Foley, Edwards & Hergesell (2016)

APPLICATION

KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY

ƒƒ Innovation in professional practice and research

ƒƒ Spiral of knowledge ƒƒ Industry innovations ƒƒ Global talent ƒƒ Communities benefit from cutting-edge technology, insights and practices

TRANSFORMATIVE SOCIAL NETWORKS Camaraderie Trust Relationships Friendships

ATTITUDINAL ƒƒ Media attention

INTRINSIC

ƒƒ Showcase greater awareness of global issues

ƒƒ Delegates share and gain new knowledge and skills

ƒƒ Great place to do business – trade and investment

INDIVIDUALCOMMUNITY

36 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018


LONG TAIL INSIGHTS

“Conference outcomes that reach fruition years and even decades after the conference is held”

To do this we decided to look backwards; to look back at conferences from the end of the long tail. We interviewed a range of people who had realised major achievements in their careers. We asked these people if and how their work had been influenced by conferences. What we explore through the stories in this book are the long tail legacies: the conference outcomes that reach fruition years and even decades after the conference is held. The HPV vaccine mentioned in the Introduction is an example of a long tail legacy. While conference research has established a comprehensive understanding of how legacies are facilitated by conferences over the short term, this book tells long tail stories from the field. We present the roles played by conferences in the diverse careers of influential innovators, researchers and thought leaders from across government, industry and academe in a wide range of fields. Collecting the Stories

The stories presented in the book provide clear evidence of the ways in which conferences allow delegates to network, learn and innovate, and to co-create value as they forge new relationships and common agendas.

Participants were selected from a diverse range of fields to represent the influence of a broad range of conferences (medicine, physics, applied science, agriculture, social policy). We looked for high achievers in each field (Nobel Prize recipients, industry and community leaders). We chose people who had attended their first conference well before 2007, to ensure a suitably long tail of conference influence for the research for this book (conducted in 2017). A list of potential participants was drawn up and each was contacted by email and phone and asked to participate. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, recorded and transcribed with those who agreed (65 per cent). How to deliver these stories was an issue we needed to consider. If we structured the stories for one type of audience would we alienate another? The stories were so personal that we decided to keep them engaging and accessible. Further secondary research was conducted to add to each case study. Interested readers will find a bibliography that provides further information and reading at the end of the book. The stories were then returned to participants for verification. A decision was made by the authors to

deliver the stories in an informal tone rather than use academic language and style. We wanted these stories and an understanding of the power of conferences to be accessible, not just to academics and their students, but also to government, industry and the broader community. Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change are relevant to us all. The stories are presented in no particular order; rather, the authors invite the reader to start with whichever story is of most interest to them. “The Power of Conferences – Stories of serendipity, innovation and driving social change” by Deborah Edwards, Carmel Foley and Cheryl Malone. UTS ePress, University of Technology Sydney. The excerpt is published with permission.

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photo

Per Pixel Petersson

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G

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G OTH EN BU RG

TEXT

Atti Soenarso PHOTOS

Per Pixel Petersson Atti Soenarso

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SMART DECISION

Sustainable Meetings VITAL PART OF THE NEW STRATEGY OF GOTHENBURG

photo

Atti Soenarso

For the third year running, the winners of the Global Destination Sustainability Index Awards (GDSIndex) were announced during the Closing Ceremony of the ICCA Congress, held in Dubai. The prestigious awards showcase the remarkable sustainability initiatives of convention bureaus and destination marketing organisations from across the globe, with the aim of sharing best practices to inspire the meeting and events industry. The industry is increasingly beginning to recognise that even though tourism has an important impact on a country's economy or destination marketing, it equally impacts the environment through its extensive use of resources needed to sustain the needs of its visitors and local communities. The Global Destination Sustainability Index works with convention bureaus and destination marketing organisations to address this issue, allowing them to maximise

the positive effects of tourism while balancing the negative impacts through a sustainable approach to strategy. The GDS-Index is also a very useful partner for associations who wish to understand to what extent a destination will be able to support them on their sustainability journey. For the third year, Gothenburg Convention Bureau in Sweden won the Leadership Award and is still leading the way, setting the pace as well as sharing best practice in the industry. Göteborg & Co are pioneers and have inspired the Index with their integration of sustainability into their business practices. This is a part of the strategy that's being more and more recognised as a part of the future of the Swedish west coast city. One thing is for sure: Gothenburg has a clear plan. Meetings are of vital importance for the destination. With a vision to create a more dynamic meetings destination, the city council assigned its destination 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 41


SMART DECISION

marketing organisation, Göteborg & Co, to develop a strategic plan to support efforts to attract scientific congresses. Together with numerous decisionmakers and stakeholders from the city, academia and the local business community, Göteborg & Co including Gothenburg Convention Bureau has drafted this plan to improve conditions for local research, entrepreneurship and sustainable growth.

ƒƒ Utilise scientific congresses as tools for further education and continuous learning in the workplace. ƒƒ Increase the involvement of young people. ƒƒ Attract specific meetings identified as strategically important for the business community, academia and the city. ƒƒ Meetings shall contribute to student recruitment.

“One thing is for sure: Gothenburg has a clear plan … [that] builds on extensive collective efforts” The plan builds on extensive collective efforts. Advancing to create even more benefit together. Gothenburg faces its most significant development in modern times. By the year 2035, the city plans to grow by almost a third and to provide space for the population to increase with more than 30 per cent. The meetings industry contributes to national and international collaboration by bringing academia and the business community together. It also provides excellent conditions for knowledge dissemination and improving skills. It attracts talent and decision makers. Gothenburg, as a knowledge hub, creates social and economic benefits. In short: meetings make Gothenburg even better. From the strategy we read: Ten initiatives to make the city made for meetings better

ƒƒ Strengthen Gothenburg's ability to innovate by promoting interdisciplinary meetings.

42 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

ƒƒ Raise international awareness of Gothenburg. ƒƒ Utilise Gothenburg's ongoing development in marketing the city as a meetings destination. ƒƒ Develop the process for organising public events to coincide with meetings. ƒƒ Utilise the driving force of the younger generation. ƒƒ Make Gothenburg a place for global debate, through meetings. Seven Gothenburg success factors:

1. Effective collaboration between the business community, academia and the public sector. 2. Sustainable, appealing and outstanding experiences. 3. Innovative ways to maximise delegate attendance. 4. World-leading research and motivated meeting ambassadors. 5. High availability and efficient infrastructure. 6. A diverse choice of meeting facilities and hotels.

7. A neutral convention bureau markets the entire meeting destination. Gothenburg will gain by finding new ways of providing services in a strong relationship with planners. Developing new innovative meeting concepts in close collaboration with organisations and planners, which also stimulates the innovation pace. And helping organisations to leave a legacy. The public sector, academia and business community have collaborated to develop this strategic plan. The inclusive work process and great commitment mean that many different perspectives were put forward, creating a strong foundation and understanding for the initiatives that now will be taken. Göteborg & Co will, in its role as the city's collaboration platform on issues relating to the hospitality industry, drive the process forward and establish contacts with the necessary external parties. We met Annika Hallman, Director of Gothenburg Convention Bureau, at the ICCA Congress to discuss the new strategy. Which are the most important challenges now when the strategy is approved by the politicians? “Still, it's a big challenge to put Gothenburg on the international map. The competition is getting harder, and there are new convention bureaus all over getting more professional, and more destinations which means that we must also continue to develop. We have no Eiffel Tower, but what we have instead is very important cooperation between the academia, the private sector and the city,” says Annika Hallman. It was the city council of Gothenburg that initiated the new strategy and gave Gothenburg Convention


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SMART DECISION

Bureau the mandate to develop a tailor-made meetings strategy. “We have shown the broader benefits that meetings mean so much more than just hotel nights. That this benefits research, that we have been able to recruit world-leading researchers, thanks to our congresses.” One of Astra Zeneca's three globally strategic Research & Development centres is located in the

IAPCO, INCON and MCI have been in Gothenburg and became impressed of “the all under one roof” business model which is a key USP concept. Another important thing is that the organisers of international conferences find that Gothenburg succeeds in attracting more delegates than many cities. Region Västra Götaland is the county council governing the terri-

“What we have instead is very important cooperation between the academia, the private sector and the city” Gothenburg region. At this site, the focus is on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity. The company has pointed out which congresses within these research areas that they would like to see in Gothenburg in the future. Being able to attract global talent is one of the reasons why the company engages in this collaboration with Gothenburg Convention Bureau. “This is just one example from one private company, and then we try hard to get these conferences to Gothenburg which also attract leading researchers from all over the world to come to Gothenburg. It benefits Astra Zeneca so clearly, and of course, both the academia and the city, as well.” At the moment there are several new major hotel projects on the agenda. The Gothia Hotel, which already has 1,200 rooms will expand with yet another tower, the fourth. In the future, it will have 2,000 rooms. International organisations such as

tory Västra Götaland in Sweden. They aim to provide conditions for a good, meaningful and healthy life. One of their primary missions is to ensure that the population in Västra Götaland has access to medical care. Their other main purposes are to develop and administer culture, public transport and sustainable development. “The success in getting more participants is partly because of our cooperation within our region. It is important to use this for knowledge and skills development for researchers. When we have an orthopaedic congress, we can offer almost all our orthopedists in the region to come to the conference. This way we create a win-win situation for the organiser, the region and the city,” says Annika Hallman. “We maximise the number of participants, also thanks to easy logistics and good central premises, but the most important thing is about the competence development and skills supply. When we get a site inspection, and the organiser is still unsure of

having a meeting in such a relatively unknown destination as Gothenburg, compared to Paris or Barcelona, we can show that we are sometimes having a bigger audience than London thanks to the simplicity of our city.” “We have just signed two important congresses to come back to Gothenburg thanks to a high number of participants even to what they had in London. We usually say: ‘A wellrun congress is important to get back. And to recruit others.’ It is the same for both national and international meetings. Next year we have a great congress The European Human Genetics Conference (ESHG), that was here in 2010 and will be back next year.” Next year in April, Gothenburg will be the host city for the 12th Association World Congress & Expo which in many ways is like a big site inspection. The congress is expected to attract around 400 delegates. The following are involved in the process of the new strategy: Göteborg & Co, City of Gothenburg, Business Region Göteborg, Region Västra Götaland, University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sahlgrenska Academy, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Astra Zeneca, Essity, Dentsply Sirona, Cochlear, Mölnlycke Health Care, Volvo Group, Volvo Car Group and Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. The following are also represented on the steering committee for Göteborg & Co Convention Bureau: City of Gothenburg, Business Region Göteborg, University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Academy, Chalmers University of Technology, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre, the hotel associations Storhotellgruppen and Göteborgshotellen, Gothenburg Restaurant Association, Swedavia/Landvetter Airport, SJ, and MCI Group.

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 45


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46 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018


RADAR

African Convention Bureaux WILL LEAD THE WAY

photo

Colette Taylor

The aspirations of Agenda 2063 reflects the voices of Africa “through a people-driven process for the realisation of our vision for an integrated, people-centred, prosperous Africa at peace with itself.” Agenda 2063 is a call to action: to diversify the African economies. To glean skills and accelerate an entrepreneurial revolution. To unleash the latent creativity. Intangible, unpredictable – the concept of human capital is arguably the most valuable asset in creating a convention bureau. It is the collective value of individuals – their intelligence, knowledge, talent, EQ and experience – that represents a form of wealth that can be guided to achieve a destination's goals and to realise its strategy. Everything begins with a meeting. The concept of a national convention bureau of Africa began some two years ago, with a meeting for gaining political support for MICE at the highest level and encouraging government to take the lead in creating an effective institution and coordinating mechanisms to maintain a dialogue with all stakeholders. The Business Tourism Company (TBTC) has since ignited a raft of focused future-fit strategies designed to advance Uganda's professional fields and disciplines across the meetings sector. These are crucial

to changing the conversation from leisure to business, encouraging the exploration of new perspectives and consequently elevating Uganda “the pearl of Africa” (Winston Churchill) towards another economic dimension. With greater comprehension of the meetings sector comes greater responsibility – that is to own the opportunities and steer the strategies and outcomes originated to help re-frame the industry's thought processes and join a new dialogue towards designing a new African economic sector. “The campaign TBTC drove defined outcomes via human-centric handson experiences creating moments of economic meaning,” says Doreen Katusiime, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities. “We are at the end of the second decade of a century of change. The decisions we make going forward on trade, infrastructure, population movements and dealing with climate change will set the agenda for the next 100 years. The roles of meetings in Uganda and Africa in this space is crucial.” An industry that brings large numbers of decision makers to a continent is crucial. Successful continents and countries of the future will be those that make meetings a component of the way ahead.

Africa is the world's second largest continent and the next meetings frontier. The continent's competitiveness is increasing, and there is a sense of economic liberation as destinations scale up their economic development agendas. “The Lions are on the move, readying to roar. There is a lot of Africa to discover in a world suffering from a plague of sameness,” says Rick Taylor, CEO of the Business Tourism Company. “Business events remains one of the most lucrative yet least well-acknowledged segments of the African tourism industry. And talking of second-tier cities – and over tourism – Africa has a string of market-ready candidates that are world-class and provide meeting buyer choice galore. Africa is a story waiting to be told. The continent oozes opportunity: the asset has yet to sweat as convention bureaux of the next decade emerge as economic and product development incubators,” says Rick Taylor. African Convention Bureaux will lead the way as brokers of innovation and share this revenue channel with the industry at large, the private sector in particular. The technicalities required to deliver the institutional values as an importer/exporter of knowledge will be learnt in time as the likes of organisations such as 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 47


RADAR

“Agenda 2063 is a call to action: to diversify the African economies”

SITE, ICCA, MPI, PCMA, IAPCO, Destinations International envelop Africa as a component of their international strategies. Africa is a long-term strategy, and independent strategies are called for. It will not be good enough to cut and paste what may work in the USA and shoe-horn the plan for Africa. It does not work that way. Global meeting buyers going forward must be encouraged via harder working messaging to step outside their comfort zones and explore the new experiences awaiting their delegates in Africa. Liberalising air transport and ongoing relaxation of visa rules, easier currency convertibility, Afrooptimism and business events development is mushrooming. Africa has the numbers. Over 70 million Africans were flown by African airlines last year compared to 40 million ten years ago. Africa is taking off. Governments in Africa appreciate the meritorious import of the business tourism sector. And Uganda is the latest destination on the continent to open its MICE doors. “An ongoing objective is to convince a world trapped in a confused future that Africa and Uganda, in particular, have the market ready MICE services. Until the continent has the 48 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

credentials, it's going to be ignored, thus the significance of alliances via SITE, MPI, ICCA, IAPCO …” says Rick Taylor. The centre of gravity of the subSaharan meetings economy will move by 2030 to consolidate around East Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia), West Africa (Nigeria) and first mover advantage beneficiary South Africa. The rippling multiplier effect will when leveraged cascade handsomely to neighbouring economies. Africa is a long-term play, and the vision for the continent has to be way beyond a short-term strategy. Uganda is the next frontier momentarily and the latest business event destination to ring-fence the sector as a propeller to elevate the economy. The great news is that the government, via the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities, has begun to fully understand the theory and eco-system of the meetings industry. “The sector is far more strategic and technical than leisure,” says Rosemary Kobutagi, Acting Uganda Convention Bureau (UCB) Head. “The sector is going to be the oil that is going turn this propeller.” Uganda is awaiting the meeting planner's deeper dive and discovery:

infrastructure development is evident in world-class hotels with conference centres, iconic magnets such as the source of the Nile, the Equator, the lakes of the Rift Valley. “Lake Victoria is as large as Lake Michigan,” says Rosemary Kobutagi. Uganda, presently eighth on the 2017 ICCA Africa ladder, has a future capability of a top 5 ranking. The Uganda Convention Bureau will be strategically focusing on marketing and promotion to provide optimum ROI. The private sector has recently established an industry governance association (UACII) and plans to train a strong service ethic focused industry and constituency thereby laying a strong commitment to annual research and data, establish an appropriate approach to budgeting and funding related to marketing, sales and service implementation. “We have to move towards our goals with an outrageous sense of urgency,” says Rick Taylor.


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RADAR

IBTM World Announces TECH WATCH AWARD SHORTLIST IBTM World has announced a shortlist of nine finalists for its prestigious IBTM World Tech Watch Award. The winner will be announced on 28 November at IBTM World 2018, which takes place at Fira Barcelona from 27–29 November. In addition, this year sees the introduction of the ‘Tech Watch People's Choice Award’, which gives the meetings and event industry the opportunity to vote on which event technology they're excited to see breakthrough into the industry and which new technology they believe would add value for their businesses. The shortlist has been decided by a panel of well-known experts from the events and technology industries and includes an AU event marketing and analytics platform, facial recognition systems and cloud-based event tech products. All finalists are technology companies with new products or services relevant to the meetings, incentive, conference and events industry. This year's finalists are Kubify, an interactive eposter system; Cadmium CD, a meeting room scheduling/ resource management system and event logistic management platform; Radario, an AI event marketing and analytics platform; Event Tech Tribe, group marketing of cloud-based event tech products, including Hubb, which provides an appointment management system and app, and Meeting

Select, a venue sourcing site; Zenus, Inc and Fielddrive, facial recognition registration; Spacebase, which provides direct booking of special venue meeting space; IVvy, a direct meeting space booking system for hotels; Spice Factory, a speaker management system and intuitive chatbot; and finally Eventfolio, a multi-event management system.* Corbin Ball, Chair of IBTM World Tech Watch judging panel, comments: “Innovation is alive and well in the events industry as evidenced in this year's award. A large number of entrants point to several emerging event tech trends including facial recognition, artificial intelligence, advances in analytics, novel eposter options, creative cloud-based alliances and more.” Each entry is scored against innovation, concept/business model and value to the meetings industry. From the nine finalists, judges will now vote for a winner in each category, one of which will be named Tech Watch Award 2018. Shane Hannam, Portfolio Director, IBTM, says: “IBTM World is this year centred around the theme of technology and how it can enhance every aspect of producing great events. The standard and breadth of entries we received this year was incredibly high, and the addition of our People's Choice award this year gives our

attendees the chance to have their say in which cutting edge technology they feel could really make a difference to their business.” The Tech Watch Award is the industry's longest-standing award of its kind, and is extremely well recognised across business events, thanks to the exposure winners receive during and post the event, as well as its high-profile judges. Entries are being judged by a panel of well-known experts from the events and technology industries. Corbin Ball will chair the judging panel which includes Michelle Bruno, President of Bruno Group Signature Events; Dahlia El Gazzar, Founder of DAHLIA+ Inc; Ruud Janssen, Founder of TNOC.org and co-founder EMG; Pádraic Gilligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua; James Morgan founder of Event Tech Lab, and Michael Shapiro from Northstar Meetings Group. Voting for the People's Choice Award will take place via the IBTM World website and social media channels in the run up to the event. * Event Tech Tribe, Hubb, and Meeting Select are being judged as one entry. Zenus, Inc and Fielddrive will also be judged as one entry.

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 51


RUNNING HEADER

52 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018


ECONOMIC IMPACT

Incheon FORWARD-THINKING METROPOLIS TEXT

Robert Cotter

photo

Incheon CB

For more than four millennia the seaboard settlement of Incheon, on the western edge of the Korean peninsula, existed as a tranquil, sparsely populated, coastal haven. As the cloak of industrial progress steadily spread to envelop the entire globe, however, the late nineteenth century construction of an international port was to forever transform the fortunes of this region, triggering Incheon's advent as one of the major gateways to Korea for global trade and industry. Fast-forward to a little over a century later and to a population that mushroomed from a mere few thousand to more than three million in that time, making Incheon Korea's third biggest city after Seoul and Busan. Today it stands as a mighty and forward-thinking metropolis at the south-western fringes of the capital Seoul. Just as the port once heralded the first major economic blossoming of this erstwhile pastoral land, initiatives currently under way at both the national government and the Incheon Tourism Organisation (ITO) level are planting the seeds for the city's next industrial revolution of the 21st century kind. “The ITO was newly launched on September 3rd, 2015 and has a vision to be ‘the number one public enterprise leading Korea's future tourism by creating a city that everyone wants to visit’,” says Nam-choon Park,

Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City. “The vision that we have is based on four main strategies: strengthening of Incheon tourism leadership, advancement of core business areas, enhancement of Incheon tourism competitiveness, and the establishment of future growth foundation.” “The ITO is itself an acting organisation of the Incheon Metropolitan City MICE Industry Division, one hundred per cent funded by the city. It has four departments – Administration & Planning, Tourism Business, Marketing, and MICE – with altogether sixteen teams to take care of everything. Incheon City sets the MICE related policies or regulations, such as working on getting necessary approvals by the Korean government, and the ITO convention bureau does all of the field work, such as FAM tours, sales and roadshows.” As a recently launched organisation with lofty ambitions, the ITO is blessed by a hugely solid business platform to build upon, as in 2003 Incheon became Korea's first officially designated Free Economic Zone. Following significant deliberations at the National Assembly and the garnering of public consensus, an Act on Free Economic Zones was passed setting out clear objectives for a business environment for foreign investors and living conditions for expats. Incheon instantly became

the test bed for these objectives and in the intervening period the city has taken major strides in attracting some of the foremost names of the global business community to take up a presence there, as well as generating significant economic returns in its formative years. “To lay a solid foundation to build an economic hub nation in Northeast Asia, the Korean government formulated a plan to designate FEZs in advantageous locations to attract global leading companies and utilise them as momentum for a new economic launch. The Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) – consisting of Songdo, Yeongjong and Cheongna, each of which promotes investment in different areas and covers a total of 123.47 km², including Incheon International Airport and Incheon Port – was the first FEZ designated in Korea in August 2003 as part of the government's key projects to realise this vision, backed up by material and spatial strategies as well as policy and environmental support.” Songdo focuses its investment promotion on the cutting-edge knowledge and service industries, attracting companies such as Samsung Biologics, Celtrion, and Amkor, whilst Yeongjong fosters the multiintegrated tourism industry, with companies such as Paradise City, Inspire IR and a number of others. 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 53


Convensia, positioning itself as a special city for international conferences. It aims to realise a global hub city for the MICE industry by discovering new MICE content and promoting a strategy to nurture the MICE industry in consideration of Incheon's own features, and in doing so it would like to secure a comparative advantage and competitiveness against other cities. The core strategic

“In 2003 Incheon became Korea's first officially designated Free Economic Zone” IFEZ has laid the business foundation for the effect of investment promotion and company invitation to have a positive impact, not only on other parts of Incheon but also on the Korean economy as a whole.” With an economic impact rippling outwards from the IFEZ to the wider Korean economy, the presence of profile multinationals and the economic pulse of Incheon has also generated its own ripple of demand for meetings and business events. Currently this is serviced by the city's flagship Songdo Convensia convention centre, Asia's first to receive LEED-NC certification. With Incheon targeting continued growth and along with that an anticipated heightened demand for more large-scale business events, ITO has further plans for Songdo to respond to this and to become the binding agent for the meeting needs of a leading global economic zone. “Songdo Convensia started in 2008 and has grown along with the IFEZ ‘Global Business Frontier’ vision, so the city plans to develop Songdo as a centre for international conferences focused on Songdo 54 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

business to realise this long-term goal is to build an ‘International Conference Complex’, which will be deemed a Special Tourist Zone in accordance with the Tourism Promotion Act, offering benefits such as financial support, mitigation of restrictions on floor area ratio and exemption of traffic inducement fees all available.” “In particular, Incheon has selected 24 tasks in six areas, including ‘Global MICE Songdo, growing together with businesses', installation and improvement of conference facilities, creation and development of tourism resources, invitation and hosting of international conferences, and the fostering of the international conference industry and exhibition business. In the long-term Incheon plans to link the International Conference Complex in Songdo with integrated resorts to be ready by 2022 and Yeongjong international city, in order to establish a world class MICE cluster. When complete this would be the ‘Incheon MICE Belt’, connecting Yeongjong – the location of the international airport and the integrated resort – to Songdo,

a home to convention facilities and shopping malls. Incheon expects that this would greatly contribute to the growth of the MICE industry in Korea by building the infrastructure for the city to emerge as the world's leading MICE hub and establishing the complementary relationship between the two areas.” Contributing to the growth of the meetings industry has also been the decision of major organisations to locate in Incheon, in particular the Green Climate Fund (GCF ) Secretariat established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The GCF decision to base itself in Incheon is a reflection not only of the quality of the city's infrastructure, but also of its strong commitment to sustainable development, which is a key factor in the city and the country's future evolution. “When inviting the GCF Secretariat to the Republic of Korea and to Incheon, it was expected to raise the national standing of Korea and strengthen its position as the world's leader in global green growth, driving fiscal and financial industries and serving as the opportunity for Incheon to emerge as a global green city to spearhead global governance. Incheon's historical image has been mostly related to that of an industrial zone, and efforts were made to burnish the city's image and make Incheon a sustainable city for citizens to enjoy a pleasant living environment. Incheon Metropolitan City itself published the sustainability report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting guidelines in 2013 for the first time among all local governments in Korea. It has taken the lead in sustainable development, developing and managing 78 indices in the four areas of environment, society, economy and administration.”

photo

Cheongna develops international finance and distribution, having invited Shinsegae Complex Shopping Mall and Hana Financial Town. “Statistics from 2015 have shown that whilst IFEZ accounts for a mere 11.6 per cent of the entire Incheon in terms of size, it accounts for 50 per cent of its total GDP, greatly contributing to the local economy,” says Mayor Nam-choon Park. “Moreover,

© iStock.com/aomam

ECONOMIC IMPACT


RUNNING HEADER

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 55


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ECONOMIC IMPACT

Songdo international city, which successfully invited the GCF, features all of the strengths of a planned city, such as sufficient green spaces, parks, state-of-the-art technology and the Songdo Convensia with its remarkable construction techniques, and indeed the Songdo IBD has been cited as the Best Practice across Korea

Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2018 and The UNFCCC Forum scheduled for April 2019 being two such cases. We are convinced that many other international events will also be held in Incheon under climate change related themes. It will foster Songdo as a hub for the green climate industry and green climate finance

“The economic pulse of Incheon has also generated its own ripple of demand for meetings and business events” in terms of urban development and cityscape differentiation. “The GCF Secretariat is the largest international organisation headquarters in Asia and a crucial finance mechanism for the international community. It holds its Board Meetings and Direct Access Workshops in Incheon and it recently promoted a ‘Private Investment for Climate Conference’ to attract the private sector's investment in the field of climate change, which Incheon plans to collaborate on in the future. The city also hosts the annual International Conference on Climate Finance and Industry to discuss the ways to enhance the regional capacity to address climate change and develop a business model utilising the GCF.” “The GCF is therefore one of the great assets for Incheon's MICE industry and alone it hosted 14 events in 2017, and is recently expanding this in collaboration with relevant institutions. Incheon has also invited other international events in connection with the GCF, the 48th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on

in a bid to brand the symbolic meaning of Incheon as a city of the GCF, which will lead to further sustainable development.” Complementing the city's sustainable credentials and commitments are equally impressive smart city attributes, of both the hard and soft variety, which strongly equip Incheon to capture the attention of not only enterprises keen on establishing a commercial base there, but also meeting planners eager to become acquainted with new destinations offering world class facilities and supporting infrastructure, and that also offer a formidable economic environment for cultivating new business connections. “IFEZ Smart City complies with the international standards technologically, but what makes it smarter than Seoul, Tokyo or Singapore is that, firstly, the entire IFEZ was built based on broadband network from the development phase; secondly, that it is operated by a single centre with the integration of technologies existing in the three separate

districts; and thirdly, that it offers smart services for transport, crime prevention and environment, all for the safety and convenience of residents. IFEZ has the organisation exclusively for Smart City business with its vision of ‘Global Leading Smart City, IFEZ’ and it plans to be the world's leading smart city based on the 4th industrial revolution technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI).” “Incheon has also continued its effort to create a more Englishspeaking environment to expand the English-speaking population and it has also made administrative efforts to ensure English is spoken more commonly by refurbishing English signage and operating English services for foreign expats. IFEZ has seen the number of foreign expats increase by 72 per cent on average for the past 15 years, during which time K-12 international schools opened in Songdo along with five foreign universities in the Incheon Global Campus as part of Incheon's effort to nurture excellent global human resources through quality education in English. In addition to this, fifteen UN bodies and international organisations based in IFEZ, as well as foreign universities, continuously host international conferences on their research areas.” As the nascent ITO continues to evolve and to launch Incheon towards its stated aim of becoming the world's foremost economic zone, there are a number of further attributes the city has at its disposal, but also a number of challenges that it faces along the way, including its close proximity to the capital Seoul. “Incheon and the IFEZ provides an excellent educational environment, being home to world renowned universities such as George Mason University and Utah University, as well as the Cheongna Darlton School and 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 57


ECONOMIC IMPACT

“Contributing to the growth of the meetings industry has also been the decision of major organisations to locate in Incheon”

the Chadwick International School. Furthermore, IFEZ operates language services at the IFEZ Global Centre and provides a safe medical environment in a bid to improve the living conditions of expats. In addition, IFEZ offers various investment incentives to locate businesses in Incheon, including tax reduction, support for settlement, and other subsidies as part of the efforts to improve the living environment.” “However, as a relative latecomer compared to Singapore or Hong Kong, IFEZ does have challenges such as a relatively low awareness, the denuclearisation issue on the Korean peninsula, and change in the ecosystem of the global economy, although the business environment around Incheon is very favourable. To address this, we need to develop a new form of vision and model to showcase Incheon's exclusive features and advantages, with one of the ideas being to combine Korea's outstanding IT prowess to the IFEZ model. We also need to find ways to further capitalise on our geopolitical advantage as a gateway to regions full of development potential, such as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), East Russia and Mongolia. Peaceful settlement between 58 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

the two Koreas and declaration of the end of the war would also be a boon for IFEZ business.” “With Seoul, although the two cities are physically close, each one has invited and hosted events more suitable for the respective fields, size, characteristics and needs. They have grown as rivals at times, but also as benchmark partners. As competition between countries and cities is getting more fierce in the MICE industry, both Seoul and Incheon fully agree on the need to establish a cooperation system to utilise the strengths of each city while complementing each other's weaknesses. Incheon will accordingly establish cooperative ties with the surrounding cities such as Seoul and Gyeonggi-do, and jointly utilise convention, natural, and human resources with them in order to create a synergy effect for the MICE industry.” Harnessing these challenges alongside channelling their ambitions for the future of Incheon has required the ITO to take a structured and strategic approach. For this they are working on a vision that refines their targets for the coming years, a vision that puts meetings and business events clearly at the core of growth.

“Incheon is currently implementing Vision 2030 to focus more on substance than size and to enhance its competitiveness,” concludes Mayor Nam-choon Park. “The vision envisions IFEZ as a Global Economic Platform, a Hub of Service Industry, a Hub of Convergence Industry, and a Compact and Smart City. To do so it is promoting seven strategies, including fostering an economic region for airport and seaport, inviting excellent R&D centres, transforming into a city of marine leisure tourism, creating a MICE integrated resort cluster for Northeast Asia, building the key base for the 4th industrial revolution, nurturing start-ups and venture companies, and exporting the smart city model.”


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RUNNING INTERMISSION HEADER

You Are Not Safe “I, ‌ Ryan Ray, released the MacMillan Utility source code. I acted alone. No one helped me, and no one told me to do it. I did this because “security” is a myth. Contrary to what you might have heard, my friends, you are NOT safe. Safety is a story. It's something we teach our children so they can sleep at night, but we know it's not real. Beware, baffled humans. Beware of false prophets who will sell you a fake future, of bad teachers, corrupt leaders and dirty corporations. Beware of cops and robbers … the kind that rob your dreams. But most of all, beware of each other, because everything's about to change. The world is going to crack wide open. There's something on the horizon. A massive connectivity. The barriers between us will disappear, and we're not ready. We'll hurt each other in new ways. We'll sell and be sold. We'll expose our most tender selves, only to be mocked and destroyed. We'll be so vulnerable, and we'll pay the price. We won't be able to pretend that we can protect ourselves anymore.

image

© iStock.com/mattjeacock, © iStock.com/royyimzy

It's a huge danger, a gigantic risk, but it's worth it. If only we can learn to take care of each other. Then this awesome, destructive new connection won't isolate us. It won't leave us in the end so … totally alone.” Ryan Ray's note, Halt and Catch Fire s03e08 You Are not Safe

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 61


RADAR

62 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018


GLOBAL INDEX

Gary Grimmer, CEO, Gaining Edge

photo

Roger Kellerman

Gaining Edge Launches GLOBAL COMPETITIVE INDEX A new index which ranks cities in terms of their competitive strength for attracting international conventions was launched at the ICCA Congress in Dubai in the beginning of November. Gaining Edge CEO, Gary Grimmer says that the index will help destinations gain insights into how much convention business they should expect to host on an annual basis. “ICCA Statistics provides a great source of information on how many meetings are being held in cities around the world. But, until now, destinations had no standard reference for how many conventions they should reasonably expect to have.” Grimmer says that the purpose of the new index was to help cities in their goal setting and also to provide a meaningful new resource for use in their strategic planning processes. The index scores cities based on their strengths in relation to 11 key drivers that Gaining Edge says influence association decision making during destination selection processes. The first three are the “hygiene factors” (the essentials)

including convention centre capacity, hotel capacity and air access. These account for 45 per cent of the weighting on scores. The next three are “competitive advantage” factors including the size of the destination's association community, cost and destination appeal in both a business and tourism sense. These account for 30 per cent of the weighting. The final 25 per cent of the possible points relate to what Gaining Edge calls “key differentiators” which include logistics, market size, economy, business environment and safety and stability. The database which underpins the index was developed through both primary research and use of 29 third party indices and data sources, including ICCA Data, all of which are used to score the relative strength of destinations in relation to each of the drivers. The index uses a 1,000 point scale and each city's score out of 1,000 determines its place in the ranking. Paris, France, took top marks in the new competitive index, while it came in second in the ICCA list of busiest convention cities in 2017.

However, Gary Grimmer says that there is not a direct correlation between the ICCA numbers and those in the Competitive index. “Our index really has nothing to do with which are the most successful cities. And, we are also stressing that this is not a qualitative study. This is not about which cities are the best choices for international conventions, this is about which cities overall have the most competitive products.” “There are many reasons why different destinations are chosen for a given convention. This is an assessment of how destinations compare in general, in terms of their product offerings as well as other factors that are most frequently considered in destination decisions.” As part of the index, Gaining Edge has also created a scenario model which plots the cities based on two considerations, first whether their business is growing or declining and second whether they are hosting more or fewer conventions than the competitive index suggests that they should.

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 63


GLOBAL INDEX

“One of our points in the index is that bigger isn't always more competitive”

“We think that the scenario model will help destinations to gain insights into where they are and whether they should be in market share building mode, or market share protection mode.” Gary Grimmer says that the index should have a lot of useful applications for bureaus and destinations. These include: ƒƒ Competition analysis – the index provides useful metrics on each of the cities that can be incorporated into a given city's market planning. ƒƒ Goal setting – helping cities and their stakeholders better understand realistic business expectations. ƒƒ Performance measurement – over time the index can help cities track their performance against competitive sets. ƒƒ Strategic visioning – helping cities to set visionary goals that are attainable over time. ƒƒ Strategic planning – providing useful insights into developing strategies and more importantly distinguishing the competitive factors that are needed to drive success in reaching strategic goals. ƒƒ Strategic resourcing – support in evaluating the resource needs that align with strategic aspirations. 64 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

ƒƒ Strategic product development – offering information that helps them identify the product issues that require priority attention and validating to policy makers and stakeholders what needs to be done. ƒƒ Communications and branding – helping them identify key issues that need to be addressed in a destination's communications processes. Gary Grimmer says that in many cases the findings are counter-intuitive. “Some people may be surprised that the index shows certain cities to be more competitive than others. One of our points in the index is that bigger isn't always more competitive. The issue isn't always how much capacity a city has but rather if it is adequate for market needs. For most meeting planners the issue is more about adequacy of capacity than it is about scale.” Gaining Edge has introduced the concept of fair share into the equation. By factoring the competitive strength of destinations against the total business being produced in their competitive sets, the index can give them an indication of whether

they are ahead or behind where they should be. “We think providing a means of calculating fair share will be very powerful for cities as they seek to align government expectations with the resources required to get the job done.” “If governments want to hold bureaus and their industry stakeholders accountable for results, then governments need to also be accountable themselves on making sure that the bureaus have the resources and the destination has the favourable policies needed to get the job done.” The initial index included the 54 cities that ICCA lists as having hosted 150 or more international conventions in the three year period between 2015–2017. Gaining Edge plans to expand that list on an annual basis so that more destinations are included in the project in the future.


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Allan Trolle

RADAR

IACC Confirms 63 NEW MEMBER VENUES IN DENMARK The new venues are part of Danske Konference Centre, a national sales and marketing consortium of more than 100 conference venues in Denmark. All of its gold and silver tier member venues – 63 in total – will become IACC certified venues from 1st January 2019, making it the largest country collection of members outside of the US. Mark Cooper, CEO, IACC says: “Building our Scandinavian membership has been a real focus for us and I'm excited for what the future holds for IACC in the region as we continue towards our goal of representing the top one per cent of meeting venues globally.” IACC's European Chapter President Lotta Boman adds: “Conferences, meetings and training events

are ingrained in the culture of the Danish and as a result, there are excellent venues available. We are excited to bring the Danish perspective into our communities and into our research and trends.” The membership will provide the 63 new venues and their teams with important access to trends, research, global learning as well as events, conferences and being a part of the organisation's continued programme of educating meeting planners globally. Marlene Horsbøl Sylvester–Hvid, CEO, Danske Konference Centre comments: “This new relationship is exciting because of the differing strengths of our two organisations coming together to serve the Danish members to the fullest.”

Flemming Jakobsen, Chairman, Danske Konference Centre highlighted that while Danske Konference Centre has a strong brand presence nationally, IACC's well known profile internationally was an important factor in the board's support of the alliance.

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 67


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SHARMA

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

Sara Appelgren

Isn't It Time? THE 13 QUESTIONS FOR VISIONARIES 1. Isn't it time you transcended all your usual excuses? 2. Isn't it time you embraced each of your largest fears? 3. Isn't it time to let go of toxic associations? 4. Isn't it time to insulate your sublime talents? 5. Isn't it time to get ultra-fit? 6. Isn't it time to find both real fortune and sustained fulfillment? 7. Isn't it time to take more epic travels and enjoy more adventures? 8. Isn't it time to produce poetic work that utterly dominates your domain? 9. Isn't it time to rest and recover more? 10. Isn't it time to forgive those who've hurt you? (They were doing the best they knew how to do, just like you.) 11. Isn't it time to let go of the past? (You cannot construct a glorious future if you're stuck in 1993.) 12. Isn't it time to model the highest of human decency?

13. Isn't it time to become the hero of your life? You know, one of the most human of weaknesses we all need to wage war with is the absolute sabotaging seduction of “putting off.” ƒƒ It's so easy to put off our inner work so we become the finest versions of our most luminous selves. ƒƒ It's so easy to put off investing the sweat equity that will help us reach mastery at our chosen craft. ƒƒ It's so easy to put off fortifying our health and making time for relaxation [so you hack the inflammation that causes disease and physical destruction]. ƒƒ It's so easy to put off doing our dreams, growing in love and carving out the kind of life that will leave a phenomenal legacy.

Pro Tip: The smallest of actions is always a hundred times better than the noblest of intentions. Today, no matter what it is, do something to raise your standards, escalate your talents and magnify your native heroism. Please … because the price of reaching for higher is always far less than the heartbreaking cost of profound regret. And if what I've just shared resonates with you and you really are ready to live this message as a daily way of being as well as discover exactly how the most successful people in the world think, set up their daily rituals, install peak habits, grow financial fortunes and elevate the world, then … Hope this text helps you win. And handcraft a life you absolutely love.

My urgent, and encouraging, suggestion for you? No longer postpone

leading the existence that your destiny holds for you.

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 69


RUNNING HEADER

70 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018


THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

photo

Relmi Damiano

A Futurist ON THE FUTURE OF PAYMENTS Anders Sorman-Nilsson is the founder of Thinque, a strategy think tank that helps executives and leaders convert disruptive questions into proactive future strategies. He is a global futurist and innovation strategist who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what's next and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. With an average of 240 international travel days a year, Anders' view is that the future and the now are converging in a city or start-up near you, giving the curious, the creative and the courageous a competitive and sustainable edge. At the same time, that same future contains fearsome forecasts for futurephobes. This Swedish-Australian futurist has shared the stage with Hillary Clinton, Nobel Laureates, and European and Australian heads of state. He is an active member of TED Global, has keynoted at TEDx in the United States and Australia, is nominated to the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders in 2019, and was the keynote speaker at the G20's Y20 Summit in Australia. Anders Sorman-Nilsson thought leadership has been featured in international media like Monocle, Business Insider, Sky News Business, Financial Review, CIO Magazine and Boss. He is the author of the books Seamless: a hero's journey of digital disruption, adaptation and human transformation (Wiley, 2017), Digilogue: how to win

the digital minds and analogue hearts of tomorrow's customers (Wiley, 2013) and Thinque Funky: Upgrade Your Thinking (Thinque, 2009). He recently spoke at a PULSEsponsored event, where he shared insights with financial institutions and processors. The third-largest debit/ATM network in the U.S., PULSE is a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services. We caught up with him afterward to ask some questions. You are a futurist, what do you foresee in terms of payments?

“When it comes to the future of payments, it tends to be an evolution. Suddenly, sometimes things will roll over a bit faster, but even in the current era of Bitcoin and blockchain technologies, old-school forms of bartering still exist. So, when it comes to the future of payments, the advances tend to be additive. Certainly, where we're seeing growth, it is about digital forms of payment – particularly those that are frictionless, or what I would call seamless. They remove the kind of friction that we often experience at the point of sale. Even in a businessto-business environment, we all know that procurement processes can be very lengthy and not always seamless.” What do you believe is essential for PULSE participants to think about?

“First, examine what the customer or client journey looks like and then determine the types of traditional and technological modes of payment that

you need to make available to connect with what I like to refer to as digital minds and analog hearts. Winning both digital minds and analog hearts is really the key thing for organisations moving forward, in terms of cultivating brand loyalty.” You gather insights globally. What can U.S. financial institutions learn from other parts of the world?

“Asia today is a future lab. It took Alipay 12 months to reach $100 billion in payments. In contrast, it took the Development Bank of Singapore 280 bank branches and 50 years to reach that level. Alipay, with no bank branches, now has a lower cost of credit than any bank in the world, and they're the largest payment company in the world. Payments is such a critical part of any customer journey that innovating on payments and making them frictionless is so important for brands – particularly when the expectation of the consumer today is that instant gratification is nearly too slow.” Can you walk us through what a typical customer journey looks like?

“It used to be quite linear in the good old days. It used to move people through five stages – moving from awareness to engagement, to an evaluation of your brand compared to other financial institutions, to hopefully a decision in your favor, and then finally to usage and loyalty. That's evolved to skipping between analog and digital touch points at 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 71


THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

each of those five stages, all the time comparing rates, mortgages or whatever it happens to be. Brands have to be aware that, when it comes to the moment of moving from evaluation to decision, and really making a purchase or investment decision, that final piece of the puzzle has to be seamless. It has to be frictionless because the payment part of the customer journey is so critical. And we

both legacy and innovative players. As a result of open banking initiatives around the world, the APIs of some banks are opening up. In Australia, the government is driving this new regulatory sandbox, where a lot of the data that the banks hold on customers has to be made accessible to fintechs. It's moving from a competitive space to one of collaboration between fintechs and banks.”

“What are those moments of friction, and how do we make them seamless?” all know what comes after a decision: usage, loyalty, word of mouth recommendations – maybe even brand advocacy if we get it right.”

When you work with financial institutions in the U.S., what questions are you asking, or encouraging their leadership to ask?

“Generally, companies in the financial industry have legacy technologies. Without that old legacy tech and the focus on regulation, the fintechs can focus on innovation. And, where innovation is ripe, it's usually where there's a point of friction. A really good analysis if you want to innovate and be more creative and launch new services, would be to ask the question: Where does a customer suffer from frustration or friction along their customer journey from awareness to engagement, evaluation, decision, and usage? What are those moments of friction, and how do we make them seamless?”

“If everyone can be a challenger bank or a fintech that taps into the ecosystem, what does it mean to actually be a bank? Are fintechs just technology companies with a banking license? Does this fundamentally mean that a bank is going to be sort of a ‘dumb pipe’ through which money flows in the background? Does it mean that somebody else owns the customer relationship at the front end with the customer? Is my loyalty really to the bank or is it more to the app? For instance, does it mean that my loyalty is to Acorns (a micro investment app) as opposed to an aggregation that Acorns is responsible for? These are important questions for any financial institution to ask themselves.”

Do you consider fintechs a threat to financial institutions or an opportunity?

When you spoke with financial institutions, you encouraged them to imagine their future selves. Why?

Do you think fintech startups have been able to leap ahead of traditional financial institutions? If so, why?

“I think there's a lot of crossfertilisation that can happen between 72 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

“Yes. Imagine that it's 2021 and, on your watch, your bank or credit

union went belly up. What were the trends that you missed? What were the signals that you deliberately chose to ignore, and what were the investment decisions that you chose to delay that led to that demise? And, most importantly, what change will you make today to prevent that from happening? Those are big questions that are sometimes uncomfortable questions to ask. However, engaging in this analytical method of prospective hindsight, or a ‘pre-mortem’, can drive important exponential investment decisions, today.” Where do you think is the greatest opportunity for financial institutions?

“Digital knows no bounds, and that's the opportunity here, even for community banks or credit unions that have historically had a very local base of operations. All of a sudden, you can be a digital bank on a national level – pending regulatory hurdles and all the rest. That's also the risk. People in your community, courtesy of digital, are being exposed to new players such as Zelle or Venmo (peerto-peer payment apps). The idea of having a physical bank account or a bank vault might not be such a meritocratic idea in an age of cloud.” Any final thoughts?

“I think these are exciting times, and I think these are also times when we need to look externally, not just within the banking industry or the payments industry, but globally, to determine what the customer expectation is and what it will be. We know that today's luxury is tomorrow's expectation. Therefore, if we've experienced real-time payments today and it's seen as a bit of a luxury, tomorrow it's going to be the expectation.” Published with permission from PULSE ­Payments & You.


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74 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018


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IBTM World

RADAR

Tips FOR MEASURING ROI Knowing why you're holding a particular event, and then being able to objectively measure the results against your initial criteria, is a crucial element of event organisation, and yet it is the one part that's often overlooked after the excitement of the event is finished. Ahead of IBTM World 2018 in Barcelona, two ROI experts, who will be at the event this year, answer the following question:

2. Engage with your targets before creating the event Find out what

Q: What are your top tips for measuring Return on Investment at events?

3. Follow up, follow up, and follow up Consider getting real time feed-

David Chalmers, Senior Marketing Director, Cvent, Europe 1. Be clear what you want to get out of the event Is your aim to increase

awareness of a new product? Or to boost new leads and develop prospects? Whatever the reason, clarity is vital at the outset.

the audience really wants from an event so that you have a set of criteria against which to measure your event success afterwards. Research via email and social media too. What format elicits the best reaction? What will excite them about attending a future event, is it with key speakers or a panel discussion?

back by sending a form via a mobile app. This allows you to assess afterwards how well your attendees felt their needs (which you have already pre-defined) were met by the event. 4. Make sure the data you captured on your attendees is sent to your CRM system so your sales team can

follow up on leads with personalised information. This kind of detailed

information can provide useful nuggets of information to help you hone future events to ensure an even better ROI. 5. Monetise the ‘nos’ Even if del-

egates cannot attend an event, it is important to find out why and see this as a perfect opportunity to engage with them and even create new business leads. Ensure the registration system is integrated with the company's CMS system. By doing so you can start collating personalised information about customers and prospects which can help you tailor future events and means that even those who cannot attend your event can still contribute to a positive ROI. Ilka Dzeik, Senior Partner, Event ROI Institute Europe Event planners typically know their planning and execution processes of 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 75


RADAR

“Events are all about changing or reinforcing participants' behaviour”

event logistics inside out and often measure the satisfaction with the programme and overall organisation. But it still challenges them to prove the contribution to the business goals of their organisation. Here are some tips on how to prove the true value and ROI of meetings and events. 1. Know how to calculate the Return on Investment ROI is a measure

showing the profitability of your event. It is calculated by subtracting the total cost of your event from the total monetary impact and then divided by total cost of the event. The result is expressed as a percentage. ( Total Monetary Impact – Total Cost of the Event ) ÷ Total Cost of Event × 100 = ROI Most corporations either want to increase revenue or decrease costs by running or joining an event. But there are other events where the ROI might be expressed by its contribution to a certain mission, for example of a nonprofit organisation or association. 2. Define measurable objectives before measuring  Many event plan-

ners measure event success after the event has ended. But measurement 76 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

starts with defining measurable objectives. Be precise and set concrete success criteria as a benchmark. 3. Set business impact objectives first Identify the primary business

impact of your event, together with your client or internal stakeholders. Which role does your event play within other initiatives to achieve this? Does it increase sales or decrease costs or will it for example raise funds by increasing awareness for your mission? 4. Define what you want your participants to DO for a positive ROI Events are all about changing or

reinforcing participants' behaviour. Emotions are not enough, they have to do something which creates value for the stakeholders. You probably have several categories of attendees, so you need to make a list of actions that you want each of them to take. Then ask yourself: ‘Why don't they do it already?’ 5. Define the required learning that leads to the desired action What are

the barriers preventing your participants from showing the desired behaviour? Do they need information, or to connect with your staff

or other attendees, or do you need to change how they think about your brand? Collect participant feedback to find out if they learned something new of value to their job, changed their attitude or developed relationships.

C

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6. Create an experiential learning environment for good learning results The learning objectives can't

be separated from the environment in which learning happens. Room ambience, food, time to network, relevant content and interactive presentation formats are important influencing factors for a good learning environment and measured by the satisfaction level of your participants. Learning through all five senses opens minds and helps your participants to understand, remember and finally apply what they have learned for a positive ROI.

MY

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London, Europe, Middle East & Africa #1

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CWT

CWT FOR ECA ST

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FORECAST

Shanghai, Asia Pacific #1

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© iStock.com/MarsYu

CWT Meetings and Events Forecast 2019 DATA-DRIVEN INSIGHT AND EXPERT ANALYSIS TO MAXIMISE YOUR RESULTS “We ‌ have been examining the global and regional outlook for the year ahead, and the industry trends that will shape 2019 and beyond. Our goal is to offer insight and ideas that will drive even greater success for your meetings & events (M&E),” says Cindy Fisher, Senior Vice President and Global Head, CWT Meetings & Events. “The trends show more events of every size. Whether your meeting is for 20 or 2,000, this report aims to be your guide for getting maximum return on investment, attendee engagement and value creation. There's a palpable buzz around the technology that feeds into enhancing delegate experience, data capture and simpler logistics. Online booking tools for venues and group transport are set to boom in 2019, while almost half of you are taking advantage of CWT Meetings & Events' expertise in strategic meetings management (SMM). All the pieces of the puzzle

combine to create events that will bring a real return on your strategic business objectives. I wish you every success with your meetings and events program in 2019. The growth in demand for meetings and events There has never been a

more exciting time for meetings and events. The increase in sophisticated venues across the globe and innovation in tech is making boundless creativity a reality. And smarter ways of using data to fine-tune the value around meetings programs are in full effect. The digital revolution and use of social media as a key channel for sharing messaging are reinforcing the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking – all areas where meetings and events triumphs. Face-to-face is valuable – and with the latest ‘CMO Survey 2018’ from Dentsu Aegis Network finding that six in ten marketers expect budgets to

rise in 2019, and Cvent's Global Planner Sourcing Report 2018 showing numbers and size of events expanding year-over-year, it's evident that demand is set to grow in 2019. Meanwhile, a pipeline of hotel and venue openings outside major cities is bringing additional choice at a reduced cost – sometimes up to 40 per cent less – for meeting planners who can be flexible on location. “Demand for meetings far outstrips supply of venues and hotels as the number of meetings and budgets increase in North America, in response to the strength of the economy. It causes challenges and we're seeing more hotels declining to respond to request for proposals (RFPs), which is encouraging clients to increase their lead times to get the properties they want for their events.” Tony Wagner, Vice President, Americas, CWT Meetings & Events

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FORECAST

“The key message is to plan ahead”

On the demand side, the tech and retail industries are investing heavily in the power of live experiences. These industries will be the ones to watch for innovation around destinations, venues, facilities, social media engagement, gamification and augmented reality. Savings are certainly possible – but the key message is to plan ahead. Our research shows that the optimum time for booking meetings and events activity for small groups is 30+ days, while for large groups the sweet spot is 75+ days. Outside of these booking times, potential savings dip by 5–10 per cent. Consolidation of a meeting program can help with pricing. Our data shows strategic meetings management (SMM) can save 22 per cent less time on sourcing and an average 19 per cent additional negotiated savings on room nights. The possibility of finding savings amid high demand is there for the taking – it's just a matter of planning ahead for a year of events that will motivate, drive knowledge, and ultimately lead to business success. 82 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

North America

Economic growth fuels the industry. North America's buoyant economy is driving meetings growth. Tech companies, in particular, are adapting to demand for more customised, experiential events by holding smaller meetings of 20–50 people in multiple cities on a six-monthly loop. Increasing regulation on transparency in the pharma sector is impacting on budgets, but the cyclical nature of the global industry means that some companies – with new product launches – are investing in their meetings and events programs, while those with products coming off patent are looking to make savings of up to 30 per cent. Overall, the North America meetings market will continue to be driven by robust economic growth in the United States, with projections from the Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) / Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) 2019 Global Travel Forecast suggesting growth of 2.8 per cent in GDP in 2019. Strong economic growth in the US was fueled by President Trump's tax

cuts in late 2017, but there are fears that potential trade wars with China, the European Union and even neighbouring Canada and Mexico could severely hamper economic growth. Hotel rates on the rise Average hotel

prices are likely to rise by 2.8 per cent in North America in 2019, which will push up costs for meetings buyers. Average daily rates (ADRs) have been on the rise for the past five years. Demand is already exceeding supply for hotel venues – particularly for larger meetings and conferences. The buoyant US market is expected to see a 14 per cent increase in group sizes in 2019 as organisations use their meetings and events program to spur further growth. The US pipeline for new hotels is strong with an estimated 5,300 properties currently planned, adding more than 630,000 rooms across the country (source: Lodging Econometrics). But despite the high overall numbers, there are very few “big box” properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built. This is not expected to change given the business models of the major hotel firms concentrate on expanding their “select service”, mid-scale and budget brands, which typically have limited meetings and events facilities. “Demand continues to outpace supply of meetings-eligible hotels. The demand for meetings, which includes accommodation, is going to be significantly challenged by a lack of inventory. Continuing industry consolidation means fewer options for buyers and that will push prices up.” Nathan Brooks, Senior Director and Global Lead, Supplier Management, CWT Meetings & Events

© iStock.com/Onfokus

ƒƒ Optimum time for booking small meetings: + 30 days ƒƒ Forecast global average increase in hotel rates: 3.7 per cent ƒƒ Forecast global average increase in air prices: 2.6 per cent ƒƒ Forecast growth M&E demands: 5–10 per cent ƒƒ Fastest growth in meetings of the size: 101–500

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5 fast facts concerning 2019

Las Vegas, North America #1

“Return on investment (ROI) is still not fully embedded in the industry. While the practice is continually spoken about, ROI has not yet taken hold in a significant way, so our challenge is to get event planners and CMOs thinking about their programs and individual events at least six months in advance.” Ian Cummings, Vice President, EMEA, CWT Meetings & Events


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FORECAST

Top 10 cities in North America 2019 (2018)

1. Las Vegas (San Francisco) 2. New York (New York) 3. Orlando (Dallas) 4. Boston (Orlando) 5. San Antonio (Philadelphia) 6. Dallas (Phoenix) 7. Seattle (Atlanta) 8. San Francisco (Chicago) 9. Chicago (Seattle) 10. Vancouver (Las Vegas) Average Group size 2019: 88

introduced by 2020. Also, the US $1.5 billion expansion of the Javits Center in Manhattan, will add 1.2 million square feet of new exhibition and meeting space from 2021. One major city seeing a hotel capacity squeeze is San Francisco, which will keep prices high – particularly as the city is already the number one meetings destination in the US. The impact of commission cuts Mar-

riott's move to cut group sales commission from 10 to 7 per cent for

“The US pipeline for new hotels is strong with an estimated 5,300 properties currently planned” Lead times set to increase With a

tight market for meetings in 2019, lead times will increase in the US, as clients have to act earlier to secure their desired venues and dates. Lead times for events of 100-plus attendees, which require a ballroom and breakout spaces, are now being booked between four to six months in advance, while events for 400–500 delegates are being planned six to nine months ahead. Booking more than one year in advance is becoming the norm for major conferences and conventions. North America: Key destinations A

surge in the opening of new hotels across New York City has helped moderate rates and make the city a more attractive meetings destination. New York has added 45,000 rooms over the past ten years taking the total up to 118,000 rooms. This upward trend is expected to continue with another 18,000 rooms due to be

bookings in the US and Canada was swiftly followed by similar commission cuts by rivals Hilton and IHG at North American properties. This reduction in commission means organisations now face the prospect of higher costs for their meetings and events programs. Rachel Lunderborg, Global Director, Solutions & Analytics, CWT Meetings & Events, explains what clients can do to mitigate the impact of these commission cuts. “Commissions are a way for us to keep costs down for the program. The commission cuts will force the buyer to become more strategic to make up for these increased costs by looking at control management strategies,” she says. “This includes putting in place preferred agreements with suppliers and focusing on other terms and conditions. It's really about negotiating hard over the business terms to make up the difference from the reduction in commission. Organisations have

to refocus their volume and spend to those suppliers who have not cut commission. That's where you can make a difference.” Asia Pacific The forefront of growth for 2019 Asia

Pacific is expected to continue growth in 2019, with the average meeting size up 3 per cent and China seeing consistent expansion year-on-year. This is set to continue in 2019. Countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines are seeing a meetings and events buzz as multinational companies establish their presence, with more inbound and outbound travel from these markets predicted for the coming year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF ) is forecasting GDP to rise by 5.6 per cent next year. And the major economies of China (+6.4 % in 2019) and India (+7.3) will stay in the lead. Travel is growing hugely in China across all sectors – it is already the world's largest business travel market, while Chinese tourists spent a total of US$258 billion on international tourism in 2017 (source: UNWTO). This sustained surge in demand for air travel and accommodation will continue to push up prices in the region. We are predicting airfares will rise by 3.2 per cent in 2019 with hotel rates set to go up by 5.1 per cent. With such strong growth throughout the region, there is an increased willingness by organisations to spend on meetings and events. A critical factor With hotels playing

host to around 90 per cent of meetings and events in Asia Pacific, the sector's development will be crucial. More than 4,200 hotels are being developed in Asia Pacific, which will add more than 900,000 rooms. This ranks behind North America in terms 2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 85


FORECAST

of new hotel projects and number one in total new rooms.

number one meetings destination in the region.

on 2017's arrivals, with plans for 60 million by 2020.

China A region in its own right.

“Fast growing markets in the region, such as Myanmar, need to work on developing and training more meetings and events professionals to support the increasing demand flowing into the market.” Sam Lay, Senior Director, Asia Pacific, CWT Meetings & Events

Top 10 cities in Asia Pacific 2019 (2018)

China has its own market dynamics and regulations. Tier one cities such as Shanghai and Beijing have a strong regional and global presence, allowing them to compete for international conferences with other major Asia Pacific destinations such as Singa-

“China has its own market dynamics and regulations” pore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Sydney. Prices in cities like Shanghai are now on a par – or even higher – than other major cities outside China, despite the scale of hotel growth in the destination. Meanwhile, second and third-tier Chinese cities, such as Chengdu and Chongqing, are more popular for domestic meetings and events as well as international exhibitions and trade shows. Sanya on the vacation island of Hainan in southern China is growing as a destination for annual meetings, particularly in winter when it is seen as a warm weather alternative to Shanghai and other more northerly cities. China accounts for more than half of Asia Pacific's new hotels (59 %), which will add more than 500,000 rooms to the country's portfolio. Shanghai will see the biggest rise in hotels with 125 projects set to introduce 25,750 rooms. Expect this to strengthen the city's position as the

86 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

Mature vs. developing markets The

more mature destinations in the region – Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul – are leading the way when it comes to hosting conferences that focus more on thought leadership and the exchange of ideas rather than real commercial activities. In developing markets such as Vietnam, Philippines, and Cambodia, exhibitions and trade-shows take centre stage in promoting trade activities in the markets. Domestic events are a huge part of the market in more isolated parts of the region, including Australia and New Zealand. Sydney and Melbourne still attract regional and global conferences, despite long travel times. Japan: A sporting hotspot Japan

will be a hot destination in the next couple of years as it hosts the Rugby World Cup tournament in 2019 followed by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The country's government wants to increase visitor numbers to 40 million in 2020, a 40 per cent rise

1. Shanghai (Shanghai) 2. Singapore (Singapore) 3. Beijing (Schenzhen) 4. Bangkok (Beijing) 5. Sydney (Sydney) 6. Tokyo (Bangkok) 7. Hong Kong (Taipei) 8. Melbourne (Tokyo) 9. Mumbai (Guangzhou) 10. Chengdu (Hong Kong) Average group size 2019: 81

“Border control in the UK is a concern post-Brexit if tighter measures lead to longer queues at airports. Paris, France, will win over the UK if it's tricky for attendees to come into the country, especially from Asia.” Ian Cummings, Vice President, EMEA, CWT Meetings & Events Europe, Middle East and Africa An industry expands The industry

remains positive, with mature European markets demanding enhanced engagement and innovation – making events an ideal showcase for the power of face-to-face in a digitallyfocused world. In the Eurozone, inflation hit 2.1 per cent in July, according to the European Commission's statistics bureau, Eurostat, above the European Central Bank's target of keeping price rises below 2 per cent, while in the UK the Bank of England has raised interest rates for only the second time in a decade. While safety and security are always a priority when planning any meetings and events activity,


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FORECAST

it seems the terrorist attacks in the UK, France, Spain, and Germany in 2016 and 2017 have not significantly dampened demand in London, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin. However, secondary cities like Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool continue to see growth. Non-traditional event venues such as sporting arenas are tapping into the income possibilities from meetings and events, offering greater choice for planners.

Hotel rates on the rise Like with airfares, hotel prices in Western Europe are forecast to see the highest increase of any region globally, rising 5.6 per cent next year. A supplier's market means there's little room for negotiation on rates, as occupancy hit highs of 82 per cent in London and Amsterdam despite additional supply, while terms and conditions are becoming the golden ticket for any added value. In Eastern Europe, there's a

“A supplier's market means there's little room for negotiation on rates”

to 3.8 per cent in 2019, and hold firm through 2020. The increase in growth is expected to be driven by a favourable global economic environment, stability in the oil market at slightly higher prices, and post-conflict reconstruction. Top 10 cities in Europe, Middle East & Africa 2019 (2018)

1. London (London) 2. Moscow (Paris) 3. Barcelona (Istanbul) 4. Berlin (Amsterdam) 5. Hamburg (Barcelona) 6. Vienna (Moscow) 7. Stockholm (Dubai) 8. Cologne (Berlin) 9. Paris (Madrid) 10. Frankfurt (Cologne)

Average group size in 2019: 48

As Greece has made progress towards political stability, we have seen a re-emergence of demand for Athens for meetings and many of the Islands for incentives. Islands such as Mykonos have become hot incentive destinations and are now being positioned as an excellent alternative to Ibiza, south of France and other popular Mediterranean destinations. Mykonos has rapidly emerged as one of the coolest destinations in Europe. Despite ongoing Brexit negotiations casting uncertainty over how the deal will play out for airlines, visas and border control, the popularity of London as a destination has not abated. The city was propelled to the number one spot in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) this year. Russia's hosting of the FIFA World Cup 2018 is likely to have impacted on the appeal of Moscow as a meetings and events destination, while Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and Madrid remain perennially popular.

projected decrease of 1.9 per cent on hotel rates. In the Middle East and Africa is expected to go down 1.5 per cent.

Selected extracts from the annual CWT Meetings and Events Forecast. You can find the report in full at www.cwt-meetings-events. com/2019metrends.

European airfares – East vs. West  Airfares in Western Europe are

predicted to be the fastest-growing worldwide, with a projected increase of 4.8 per cent in 2019. However, it's a different picture in Eastern Europe, where rates are projected to decrease by 2.3 per cent, while in the Middle East and Africa there's a similar downward trend of 2 per cent. Surging oil prices – which rose to $78.77 a barrel in June, up from $46 the same time last year – have now stabilised at around $70, but the availability of low-cost carriers is expected to moderate the aviation market. Growth in the Middle East The CWT/

GBTA 2019 Global Travel Forecast projects regional growth to increase

2018 No. 22 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL  | 89


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

Sara Appelgren

Our Knowledge Bank IS GROWING The world has changed beyond recognition since I took my first tentative steps into professional journalism some 40 years ago. I began at a small Swedish local newspaper and wrote about anything and everything, from accidents and sport to the arts and social issues. It was an ideal way to learn about the society we lived in. In 1984, fortune smiled upon me and I was able to start my own magazine. It was here I began writing about the meetings and events industry. It gave me the opportunity to travel the world, which opened my eyes early to the fact that not everything was as cosy as in safe and secure Sweden. Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the USA became important knowledge centres, from which I gained new broader and deeper insights into how their meetings industries functioned. Later on, economic surveys were conducted which showed that everything I believed about the economic size of the meetings and events industry was true. It is a large and significant industry that develops individuals, associations, organisations, companies, colleges, universities and whole societies. Too bad that so few politicians understand 90 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 22 2018

this. But this issue is also up to the industry representatives. Several years ago, we finally added Africa to our knowledge bank, most recently Rwanda and the eastern part of the continent. At the end of the year we are travelling to South America to learn more about developments in Colombia, among other places. Slowly but surely, we have become better at reporting on events in different parts of the world. Our knowledge of the meetings and events industry we have mainly acquired from the people we have met over the years. Representatives and members of various networks, companies and organisations such as ICCA, PCMA, MPI, INCON, IACC, JMIC, AIPC, IAPCO, SITE, IMEX, IBTM World, Best Cities. New insights and knowledge have also been shared by all the people throughout the world who make up our network. People who regularly report on the latest events and developments. This may seem obvious but is far from it. At the same time, information pours into our computers that can be categorised as dross that is almost impossible to protect yourself against. The debates on the less than positive merits of social media have

brought the social channels down a peg or two during the year. What can we expect in the next five years? We may know more this after the Best Cities Global Forum in Bogotá in December. An ever-present source of new knowledge flows to us from across the globe. We work on it and continue to create and develop constructive journalism.


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Meetings International #22, Oct/Nov 2018 (English)  

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