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Unforgettable you can leave the islands, but never forget them



everything seems simpler at a distance, like your new strategy.

Penang Gears Up for International Meetings


enang – Southeast Asia’s leading medical, engineering and life sciences hub welcomes associations and corporates to meet for a truly unfiltered Asian experience.

Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town and some of the best street food in Asia, Penang has long been a favourite leisure and incentive destination. With its rise as an international city, a leading medical tourism destination with 11 world-class medical facilities, and a hub for technology & engineering with over 470 multinationals, Penang is Malaysia’s top business events destination after Kuala Lumpur. In 2018, Penang hosted 233 international business events and 109,250 delegates. International association meetings accounted for 31% of the business with a total of 20,601 delegates from around the world, while international corporate meetings accounted for 35.8% of total business with 86,664 delegates. 2020 is set to be an exciting year for Penang as the state pulls out all the stops for its global experience campaign. The next 18 months will see some leading international meetings coming to Penang. Among them is the World Congress on Information

Technology 2020 which is expected to attract 4,000 delegates from across 100 countries. As Penang sets the stage to welcome international corporate and association meetings, Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) is rolling out its Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered campaign. Penang 2020: BE Unfiltered celebrates Penang’s rich Asian diversity, heritage and hospitality. To enhance events hosted in Penang and elevate delegate experience, PCEB has collaborated with key industry partners to curate exclusive support packages for organisers. The most comprehensive support programme curated for business events hosted in Penang, ‘Privilege Penang: Penang 2020’ introduces various support structures from PCEB worth up to €20,000 with additional support from industry partners including special rates for meetings packages, rooms, ground handling, tours, and much more. Planners and organisers interested in hosting their events in Penang can email PCEB at to know more about how to qualify for ‘Privilege Penang: Penang 2020’.

For more information, visit

Event 2019 Global Leadership ­Conference (GLC) Venue Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel Date 12–15 April 2019 Event size 1,300 delegates Organizer The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a Global business network of over 14,000 leading entrepreneurs in 193 chapters and 60 countries. Interviewee Priscilla May D'Souza, Director of Communications, ­Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)

2019 Global Leadership Conference in Macao

Entrepreneurs Experience Macao Hospitality The Global Leadership Conference (GLC), an annual meeting organised by the Entrepreneurs Organization, (EO), is a leadership and training conference for chapter officers from all over the world. In 20 years' time, the Global Leadership Conference has grown from a little over 100 attendees to an unprecedented 2,000 attendees. The event objective is to teach the members how to fulfill their role within their chapters. The conference organisers choose a different location each year so that members can get together to network with each other and also immerse in the culture of the event destination. GLC is an ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) recognised event. It was previously held in Thailand, Germany and Canada. This year, GLC was open to all members to attend, not just EO chapter officers. For the first time ever, GLC did include not only training content, but

expertly curated content to offer a well-rounded learning and educational experience. The event had featured a full agenda of learning with keynote and EO version of TED-Talks focusing on technology, innovation and totality of the entrepreneur. In the general session EO introduced a new technology, with one of the speakers projected as a hologram. Apart from the conference, there were lots of offsite activities, including Macao sightseeing tour, cooking classes, Cantonese classes, morning run, Tai Chi classes, etc. This is the first time EO hosts the event in Macao. According to Priscilla, Macao is an exciting destination where all delegates can stay in one hotel with ample rooms and meeting venues. It is very convenient for conference organisers and the delegates.

Priscilla May D'Souza's remarks on Macao's different qualities as an event destination on a scale from 1 to 10: 9

Accessibility to/from Macao


Food and beverages

9 Accomodation


Ease of entry


Social programme



Accessibility within Macao


Tours and attactions


Event venue


Local event management service


IPIM services and support “With close to 1,300 members in attendance from over 60 countries we have found Macao very hospitable and welcoming. The mix of old and new offers a wide range of experiences, with something for everyone.” Priscilla May D'Souza Director of Communications, EO

Why is Macao an extraordinary conference stage? With a land area of less than 32.9 km², everything in Macao is close and convenient to get to. It is also well located and easy to get to from Mainland China or via Hong Kong. Delegates can fly directly to Macao or through Hong Kong International Airport and take a short transfer via the Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge (the longest sea crossing bridge in the world) or by ferry. Meeting planners can choose from a wide variety of hotels and integrated resorts in Macao, many of which are close to each other. This minimises logistics, travel time and cost.

Multi-cultural experiences in one city Delegates who visit Macao will find ­themselves immersed in a very unique destination that combines Portuguese and Chinese cultures. For instance, Macao's old town, which is one of UNESCO's World Heritage sites, showcases a unique mixture of Portuguese and Chinese architectural arts. Such harmonic merge is also evident in Maca­nese cuisine, which is born of African, Chinese, and Portuguese food. In total contrast to this is the futur­istic skyline and high tech entertainment options such as spectacular shows, musical fountains and a Ferris wheel built into a skyscraper. There is no end to activi­ties that can be experienced in Macao. Other options include dining at Michelin star restaurants, duty free shopping, spas, tai chi or cooking classes. +853 8798 9616


A Room With a ZOO

Proves the Added Value of Venues Going ‘Beyond Space’


landers Meeting and Convention Center Antwerp, better known as A Room with a ZOO, is not your average venue. It offers the lush green gardens of the Antwerp ZOO as a place to be inspired or relax in between meetings. It is so much more than its 25,000 square metres. The venue offers meeting experts the opportunity to get close to nature, and supports animal conservation worldwide.

Social programme infiltrated with nature When attending a conference or meeting at A Room with a ZOO, you are able to enjoy the extraordinary surroundings of the ZOO and indulge in nature. You can participate in inspiring social activities, such as a morning run in the magical sleeping ZOO, a sunrise Tai Chi session or a gastronomical Aquarium experience. All 30 breakout rooms and halls are bathed in sunlight. The Atrium has no doors, and forms a seamless transition towards the magnificent Marble Hall, where attendees often hold their coffee and lunch breaks, looking out at the flamingos. The natural surroundings of the ZOO are integral during conference and events. A unique experience and an important one as we all know nature nurtures.

Instant CSR through conservation A Room with a ZOO is owned by the Antwerp ZOO Foundation. Every cent spent at the convention centre contributes to the Foundation's efforts in the field of animal welfare, heritage, breeding programmes, research and nature conservation worldwide. By hosting or attending a conference, meeting or event at A Room with a ZOO, you immediately support nature conservation worldwide.

For more information please visit

Proximity The ease of travel to A Room with a ZOO is a delightful surprise to many as the venue is adjacent to the international railway station of Antwerp. And ‘adjacent’, in the case of A Room with a ZOO, truly means close. It only takes you two minutes to get from the train platform to the venue entrance. On top of that, there are many hotels overlooking the venue. As travel and congresses can be taxing on one's personal ecology, the accessibility of A Room with a ZOO is a major advantage. Hotels, shops, museums – everything is walkable.

Antwerp Antwerp is a meeting destination you can easily fall in love with. What is not to love about this maritime metropolis with its magnificent railway station, architecture, Belgian beer and of course … food?! This harbour city is one of the international capitals of fashion and is the most important diamond trading centre in the world.

The venue A Room with a ZOO can welcome up to 2,700 guests and has a plenary hall, The Queen Elisabeth Hall, that seats 2,000 people. The venue strives to amaze all of its visitors with one of the first scientific zoos in the world and a rich legacy. The natural surroundings of the ZOO make meetings better. More sociable, more creative and more productive. It is common knowledge that nature nurtures and does good things for your brain. This unique combination of a conference hall embedded inside a living and breathing 19th century monument truly makes Flanders Meeting and Convention Center Antwerp ‘A Room with a ZOO’.


Let's meet in Zagreb!


agreb – the capital of the Republic of Croatia, is a classic, historic, Central European city featuring a distinctive Mediterranean way of life. The Franjo Tudjman International Airport and its new passenger terminal connect Zagreb directly to around 50 European and non European destinations and is served by 30 airlines, including Croatia Airlines – the national carrier. The airport is a convenient 20 minute ride away from the city center.

What's Zagreb famous for? ƒƒ The administrative, economic, diplomatic, scientific and cultural capital of Croatia – locally tagged “city of a million hearts.” ƒƒ The busiest meetings destination in Croatia. ƒƒ It houses 35 museums, 79 art galleries and collections, 26 theatres and 6 concert halls; the highest concentration of cultural institutions on a relatively small area in this part of Europe. ƒƒ The Zagreb University, one of the oldest in Europe, celebrates its 350th anniversary and presently boasts of 33 faculties and 70,000 students. ƒƒ The historic core of the city, the Upper Town and the Lower Town districts are packed with Gothic churches, Baroque palaces, Art Deco buildings offering a perfect historic set up for an unforgettable meeting, incentive or event. ƒƒ 30 elegant urban parks, some of them centrally located, stage numerous festivals and events all year round, as well as downtown squares and pedestrian zones. ƒƒ More than 1,500 festivals and events per year are held in the city such as Advent in Zagreb – the best European Christmas market for three years in a row, Zagreb Festival of Lights, International Flower Festival, Promenade Concerts, International Folklore festival and many others. ƒƒ More than 50 different thematic sightseeing tours, ranging from classic to more unusual ones such as discovering Zagreb's own solar system, taking part in Zagreb mediaeval legends, segway tours, nocturnal sightseeing tours, etc. ƒƒ Total of 67 hotels, some of them brand new. ƒƒ Various hotel chain properties and a couple of fascinating heritage hotels. SPONSORED CONTENT

ƒƒ 4,500 restaurants and bars, serving exciting gastronomic adventures from local delicacies to international dishes. ƒƒ Unspoilt nature and tranquil landscapes, romantic mediaeval castles, wine roads, spas and picturesque small towns in the surroundings. ƒƒ Less than a 2 hour drive is the Adriatic coast area ideal for a memorable incentive or a pre or post tour. ƒƒ World famous Plitvice Lakes National Park included on the UNESCO World Heritage List is only a couple of hours drive away.

Some must-see attractions ƒƒ The Zagreb Cathedral's twin neo-gothic towers and a heritage from the 12th century. ƒƒ The picturesque and vivacious Dolac food market in the open. ƒƒ The shortest world's funicular, part of the efficient Zagreb public transportation, connecting historic Upper and Lower Town. ƒƒ The noontime cannon fired from the Lotrscak Tower every day since the 13th century. ƒƒ The Stone Gate – the only preserved entrance to the old city and the shrine of the saint patron of the city of Zagreb: Blessed Virgin Mary of the Stone Gate. ƒƒ St. Mark's Church with its colourful roof, overlooked by the Croatian Parliament and government buildings. ƒƒ Museum of Broken Relationships which welcomes new lovelorn contributions. The secret recipe for a successful Zagreb meeting or a conference, memorable incentive or a fascinating event includes a rich variety of carefully selected historic and modern venues, world class hotels, top quality PCOs and DMCs, highly professional staff and excellent service. Combine them together according to your preferences to get a unique tailormade Zagreb experience. For more information please visit

M. Gašparović

M. Vrdoljak

ZAGREB D. Rostuhar

D. Vurušić

S. Kaštelan

M. Vrdoljak


Zagreb Convention Bureau

D. Rostuhar

J. Duval

S. Kaštelan

J. Duval

D. Rostuhar

T +385 1 4898 555 F +385 1 4814 340

L E G A L LY R E S P ON S IBL E E DI T OR IN C HIE F Atti Soenarso P UBL IS HE R Roger Kellerman GL OB A L S A L E S DIR EC T OR  Graham Jones E DI T OR Pravasan Pillay T E X T  Corbin Ball,

Roger Kellerman, April Koury, Maria Romero,

Matthias Schultze, Atti Soenarso, Anders Sorman–Nilsson, Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, Alexandra Whittington T R A N S L AT OR  Dennis Brice P HO T O S / IM A GE S  Sara Appelgren,

Vigfús Birgisson, Aleksei Derin

(cover), Roger Kellerman, Kim Leal (cover), Magnus Malmberg, Albert Normandin, Claire Palmer, George Peters, Sander Stoepker, Nick Turner, Guy Wilkinson, Bingfeng Wu DE S IGN E DI T OR I A L R AY S OF S UN S HINE  Bimo +

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No. 12

C ON TA C T Meetings

INTRO Atti Soenarso: “Long live the

‘both/and’ world in which purpose reigns.”

18 Decoding Tomorrow


Nilsson delivers ten trends to get you thinking like a futurist.

28 Ottawa and The Hague Reveal Joint Association and Event Marketing Partnership


strengthening the value proposition of both cities.

30 From Climate Change to Climate Crisis CHANGE IS INCRE ASING What Are Our

Options Now?

36 Economic Success and Social Impact Go Hand in Hand HUMANITARIAN ACTION Jill Wilkinson on

the The Hague Humanity Hub.

­w P R IN T ING Trydells, Laholm

40 The Human, Smart, and Sustainable Future of Cities FUTURE CITIES How might they

best reflect our prevailing social and economic priorities and take advantage of technological possibilities?

46 Study on Europe as a Destination for Meetings and Conferences Identifies Growth Potential in a Complex Market

International Publishing

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16 Define Purpose



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58 Reykjavík Plan on Becoming Number One on the GDS Index STR ATEGY Wants to be a leading

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70 The Importance of Business Intelligence KELLERMAN Let's expand our brains


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When heart meets business. It seems possible to enfold the whole world in an embrace. Your ideas start to feel at home expressed in 305,407 m2 of space. 19 trade fair halls swell with all the new opportunities you can envisage. Somehow you know you’ve reached the right destination:

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Define PURPOSE “Is the world falling apart? Do religious and authoritarian movements risk weakening democracy and global cooperation?” The Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and author Steven Pinker shows in his book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, that health, prosperity, peace, knowledge and happiness is increasing throughout the world. Not as a result of any cosmic power, but thanks to the ideal of enlightenment: reason and science. Here are the arguments we need to face the world's problems and to continue humanity's development. As a magazine, we are purposeoriented. That is why we are working on our Business Intelligence Reports. We are trying to discern, understand and link the patterns of who and what is shaping and creating current and future business events. The most basic definition of purpose is the question of why. Why someone is working on a task, why a task matters to a job, why a job matters to an organisation. With a solid sense of why people feel as though the task, the job, the organisation is meaningful. Purpose helps keep you grounded in the sense of gratitude and meaning in a way that financial metrics or quarterly targets don't.

Here at Meetings International, two of our keywords are reason and science. We need new knowledge about what is happening within our field, and to apply this knowledge to create new and improved conditions for a better world. And we need it soon. Simply alleviating symptoms does not solve the underlying problems. We have to get to the bottom of issues, and under the skin. We have to find our way into that which creates the best conditions for developing the world in a continued positive spirit. Purpose-centred people and organisations that create what they feel they were born to create is the only antidote to a world without meaning, where artificial intelligence will replace millions of jobs, biotechnology will create super-charged people, and climate change will affect billions. We want to help foster the developing of visions, ways of thinking, business models and roadmaps leading to a sustained positive flow, and leave a lasting legacy for the future. The global meeting industry has a lot of developing to do. The old world of ‘either/or’ is dead. Long live the world of ‘both/and’ in which purpose reigns. According to Gallup Inc.'s latest State of The Global Workplace Survey, only fifteen per cent of employees

globally are engaged in their work. That figure drops to ten per cent in Europe and six per cent in East Asia. Employees are disengaged for many different reasons, but the underlying cause is always the same. They feel disconnected from their work because they don't feel a sense of ownership over it, and that has far-reaching knock-on effects way outside of the affected organisations. When you contribute and create value for your organisation your work is going to have more purpose. This is our sixth global Business Intelligence Report and we have created additional reports focusing specifically on the Netherlands, the Faroe Islands, and Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. We have also produced no less than three reports on Dubai and are currently finalising an upcoming one on Australia. The purpose of these reports is simple: to increase knowledge about who is successfully developing what kinds of business events around the world. And you will most likely find the same keywords repeated there: reason and science.

Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for close to 40 years. She has worked for Scandinavia's largest daily newspaper, was TV4's first travel editor, has written for many Swedish travel magazines and has had several international clients. She has travelled the length and breadth of the world and written about destinations, people and meetings. photo


Magnus Malmberg

boston logan international airport

boston convention & exhibition center



of Attendees to Your Next Event

Direct Flights to Boston from 58 Global and 76 Domestic locations. Boston is an international destination that your attendees can reach with ease. It is the closest major U.S. city to Europe! In addition, Boston offers direct access to 31 countries and global destinations such as Beijing, Bogota, Dubai, and Tokyo. Boston Logan International Airport is only minutes from our two award-winning convention centers, adding to the worldwide appeal of our world-class destination! Schedule a site visit or learn more at or 877-393-3393.

Boston. Bringing Great Events to Light.





Claire Palmer, Dynatrace

Decoding Tomorrow TEN TRENDS TO GET YOU THINKING LIKE A FUTURIST Imagine it is now 2022, and on your watch your company went belly-up. What were the trends you missed, the signals your ignored, and the decisions you delayed which led to this demise? What change will you make today to prevent this from happening? Anders Sörman-Nilsson is a global futurist and innovation strategist, who helps leaders decode trends, decipher what's next and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. He is an active member of TED Global, has keynoted at TEDx in the United States and Australia, was 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 Sörman-Nilsson's 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.


Startups: Creative Destruction

Make no mistake about it; we are in the midst of a revolution. Not so long ago, technology used to be thought of as an industry in its own right. Now it's simply a part of the fabric ingrained into almost every industry you can imagine, from InsurTech, RegTech and FinTech, to AgriTech and EduTech. When you take a step back, it's fair to say that every company is now a technology company with a license in your old vertical. As the potential applications and implications of these new technologies continue to unfold, swift and nimble startups continue to transform the business landscape. Take Australia, for example. As James Alexander, co-founder of Galileo Ventures, recently pointed out, in 2013 VC funds raised a mere $155m, Atlassian had recently raised $60m at a $460m post-money valuation, and you could count the number of accelerators on one hand (four). Oh, and the biggest exit in tech was just $46m (software company Distra).

Fast forward to 2018 and over $1.8bn was raised by VC funds in the previous two years, there are 25 accelerators & incubators, and Atlassian's valuation sits closer to the $13bn mark. And there have been multiple billion-dollar exits in the last 12 months. It's a similar story in the United States. According to the American Enterprise Institute, thanks to creative destruction, of all the firms that made the Fortune 500 list in 1955 only 60 remained on that list by 2017. In a note to investors, Credit Suisse's analysts point out that “the average age of a company listed on the S&P 500 has fallen from almost 60 years old in the 1950s to less than 20 years currently.” Innosight's 2018 Corporate Longevity Forecast predicted that “at the current churn rate, about half of S&P 500 companies will be replaced over the next ten years.” In other words, the business landscape is changing … and fast. The rate of change has never been this fast and will never be this slow again. Entrepreneurship is exploding, with



“Smart companies are looking for ways to think like futurists and to learn from, and partner with” startup Dave will help advance you up to $75 at 0 per cent interest. Think your brickle is moving a bit slowly? Get in Hadrian, a robotic bricklayer. Smart companies are looking for ways to think like futurists and to learn from, and partner with, these game-changing startups. For an example of how to do it right, check out LumenLab launched by our client Metlife, with the aim of breathing new life into the insurance industry. This exciting incubator is ushering in a new era of open innovation and collaboration with InsurTechs. In 2018, the incubator directly led to Metlife's ‘Vitana’. It is the world's first automated insurance solution that harnesses blockchain tech to offer women with gestational diabetes financial protection without them even needing to make a claim.


We're Starting to Go a Little More Hands-Free Voice

assistants have well and indeed reached the mainstream. Bain research found that in the U.S., 33 per cent of 18–24-year-olds, and

Bain did in 2018 showed that voice assistants are being adopted at a far quicker rate than smartphones were (3.5 years to 30 per cent adoption compared to 5.5 years). That 27 per cent are already open to using a voice assistant for everyday banking. The rate of change is going exponential. Wherever you look, companies are looking to remove friction in the purchasing process. Again, looking at Amazon, 2018 saw the public launch of their first payless supermarkets. Customers can literally walk in, throw their shopping in their cart, and walk straight out the door. In Asia, payless stores are even taking it a step further by offering you discounts for smiling as you enter. We're witnessing a fundamental shift in the way we interact with products, and it's raising some serious questions. We're so close to smart mirrors that purchase your wardrobe for you, smart fridges that plan your meals and order your shopping based on what you've got hiding inside it,


but most humans aren't thinking of the implications. How is the rate of conversational commerce adoption likely to influence how we make decisions? Consumer brands need to start looking beyond Google search rankings and start thinking about what it would take to be the first name on their customer's voice assistants' lips or voice search rankings. In a world where Amazon has the power to recommend everything from Amazon Prime to Amazon private label batteries, this isn't going to be an easy battle. This is a wake-up call not only to be thinking of how to remove friction but to completely reimagine how your brand's voice is going to be heard.


Learning to See People as Digits We're fast learning

the real power of data. The trouble is, we're not always great at getting it right. According to Gartner, a staggering 85 per cent of all Big Data projects fail. In 2018, Cambridge Analytica hit the headlines and showed the world just how powerful data can be. In fact, in 2012 Computational Psychologist and Big Data Scientist Michal Kosinski proved that based on an average of 68 Facebook ‘likes’, you could predict a person's skin colour with 95 per cent accuracy. And their sexual orientation with 88 per cent accuracy, and their political affiliation to 85 per cent, along with a whole range of other information like drug and alcohol use, religious beliefs and whether their parents were divorced or not. In 2018, it became popular knowledge that using a similar methodology, Cambridge Analytica reportedly played a significant part in both the Brexit vote and Trump's election. In the case of Trump's campaign, the company helped to segment, target, and tailor messages

Nick Turner, Gartner

nearly a quarter of 25–44-yearolds, already have a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Home. From telling you the time to turning on your Christmas lights, you name it, and you can bark out the order and consider it done. And for those of you thinking that most people will still be too reluctant to use it for sensitive information like banking – think again! Another piece of research


an exciting breed of young entrepreneurs leading the charge. Yet, in Australia, Aussies have over 70 startup programs affiliated with universities and half of the nation's most active accelerators are university backed. This has seen startups tackle almost every conceivable pain point for every industry you can think of. Think banks are evil for charging excessive overdraft fees? FinTech




Each year IMEX disrupts and transforms to lead and unite the entire business events industry. There’s a constant though. The core values we use to plan and deliver the IMEXperience:

Quality – It underpins everything you’ll see, use and experience at IMEX.

Inspiration – It’s everywhere from the Discovery Zone to 250 free seminars including dedicated programmes for inhouse, association and agency event profs.

Collaboration – A dynamic melting pot where event strategists, suppliers, your peers and industry influencers gather and create.

Register your interest at EduMonday 11 May, IMEX in Frankfurt 12-14 May, 2020

The heartbeat of the global business events community


“Companies are looking to remove friction in the purchasing process”

to an alarming degree at the level of psychographics. It says that on the day of the third presidential debate with Clinton in 2016, Trump's team tested 175,000 different ad variations for his arguments via Facebook. In the end, Alexander Nix, former CEO of Cambridge Analytica has gone on record saying “pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven.” Claiming to be customer-centric without being datacentric is no longer plausible. In sport, data has clubs and codes looking for advantages wherever they can find it in true Money Ball style. In 2018, Arsenal welcomed Mikhail Zhilkin to their backroom staff to help them overcome recent fitness and injury issues. His background? Mikhail is a Russian data scientist, who played a key part in the success of Candy Crush. How successful has Candy Crush been? The series of games reportedly brings in close to US$4m a day, with the original 2012 Candy Crush Saga responsible for an astounding revenue of US$930m for the 12 months ending July 2018. It's not just about predicting ­success. Smart companies are using big data to predict, prevent and minimise the impact of failures too. Oil giant Shell, for example, built an analytics platform that allows

them to anticipate when over 3,000 different oil drilling machine parts might falter. No longer were they in the dark when it came to the state of parts and machinery across its various global facilities. Instead, as well as reducing their inventory analysis from over 48 hours to less than 45 minutes, they now had a clear and compelling picture that allowed them to plan their operations effectively. In an industry where minutes matter and downtime costs millions of dollars a day, big data is now a huge deal. With all the amazing possibilities afforded by these vast swathes of data, how is your company handling it? And how confident are you that you're doing all you can to harness that data to provide actionable insights to help you work smarter and create more value for your customers?


The Quantified Self and Tales of Transformation It was

2007 when Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly coined the term 'Quantified Self’, and now it seems everywhere you turn there is a new app or device to help us keep track of a new aspect of our lives, from sleep to sun exposure, to breathing, you name it. According to a study from Juniper Research, there are already over 40,000 health-related smartphone

apps, and estimates show 60 per cent of U.S. adults are using some form of device to track their exercise, diet or weight. It's no longer about being able to log our data and use it as a yardstick against yesterday's scores, and we're now using it to get a rich and in-depth view of what is really going on, and using it to predict our future selves. The data is starting to tell stories, in turn creating science fact. And brands need to be looking at ways that they can tell us these stories. This is becoming so important because we're not just talking about a shift from a ‘transactional economy’ to an ‘experience economy’ anymore. We're witnessing a shift to a ‘transformation economy’. Brands like Nike and Lululemon understand that when you partner with consumers on that journey, you create deep and meaningful connections. Whether it's energy savings, muscle gains or share profits. How are you using data to create rich, visualised and compelling stories? And proof points of personal/business transformation to your clients?


From Compliance and Keeping It Safe to Doing the Right Thing There's a flip side to

all this data though. A recent report showed that close to 90 per cent of



people attempting to log in to online retailers' websites are hackers using stolen data. And KMPG showed that 19 per cent would not use a retailer if they had been breached, and 33 per cent would take an extended break before they would use them again. With large scale scandals like the Equifax hack rumbling on, it's more important than ever for brands to ensure that they have their house

Unilever's CMO describing them as “little better than a swamp” in terms of transparency.


Trust and the New Gatekeepers of the Truth Are we living

in a post-truth era? If so, how do brands prove themselves to be authentic and trustworthy? Trust and truth is such a hotly debated topic right now. And when

“Claiming to be customer-centric without being data-centric is no longer plausible” in order when it comes to keeping data safe. As Gartner put it, as customers become increasingly aware of both the value of their personal information and how it is being used, the conversation is shifting from 'are we compliant?’ towards 'are we doing the right thing?’. We need to start coding our business models for ethics. And when it comes to ‘doing the right thing’, brands are being held to a higher standard than ever before. No longer is Corporate Social Responsibility about taking ownership of your impact, each partnership and platform you are using is coming under the spotlight too. Even the seemingly untouchable ones. At Thinque, with our work in the marketing industry, we've seen this increased scrutiny up-close. In 2018 our client Interpublic Group was presiding over Unilever's marketing activities as the world's second-biggest advertising spender (at the time) publicly threatened to withdraw its advertising from online platforms like Facebook and Google, with

you look at the U.S., it's easy to see why. According to The Washington Post, by November 2018, Trump had told over 6,000 lies or misleading claims during his presidency. In the seven weeks leading up to the midterms, he averaged 30 per day. Spotting a liar is getting even harder too. With AI tools now able to create compelling ‘deep fake’ videos, as we learnt when the video of Obama's words being utterly convincingly (and terrifyingly) manipulated went viral. So where does truth reside? Who can the public trust? Have we reached the stage where big data companies like Facebook and Google have so much power that they are, as distinguished essayist and author Rana Dasgupta put it during his 2018 piece on “The demise of the nation-state”, “the primary gatekeepers of social reality”? The arbitrators of truth. Maybe. But maybe not for long. With a ‘techlash’ escalating (the U.S. saw trust in social media platforms drop a huge 11 per cent between 2017 and 2018 to a paltry 30 per cent) and the 2019, Edelman Trust Barometer


is showing that globally 73 per cent of respondents worried about fake information or fake news being used as a weapon. We're witnessing a new breed of savvy and sceptical consumers, wary of ‘fake news’ and ‘fake search’ who crave transparency and accountability. Of course, social media is still going to remain a vital storytelling tool for a while yet. But companies can no longer rely on glitzy photos and catchy hashtags to win over increasingly shrewd consumers. Enter blockchain and the digitisation of trust. From smart, self-executing contracts, to plugins like Trusted News that verify how biased an article is likely to be, to be able to trace the site where your diamond or your lettuce came from. We're starting to see companies shift away from the hype around bitcoin toward efficient uses of the technology, in turn ushering in a new era of distributed trust. It's no longer enough to try to tell your customers an authentic story. You need to be able to prove it beyond doubt.


Consolidation of Power and the Giants Want More Pie

If someone would have told you a decade ago that a site started by a group of friends at Harvard to rate the attractiveness of girls would soon have the power to swing elections, I doubt you would have taken them very seriously. But that's where we have found ourselves. In fact, in March 2018 we saw one of the most powerful examples of just how unintended, far-reaching, profound, and previously inconceivable the influence of modern-day tech companies can be as Facebook was directly called out by the UN and blamed for playing a leading role in inciting genocide in Myanmar.


While it's true that on the one hand, we need to be vigilant to the threat of the myriad start-ups flooding the business landscape, the giants also pose more of a risk than ever. It seems no matter where you look, from healthcare to entertainment, security to education, FAMGA (Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Google,


Shopping Is Talking on a Whole New Meaning Figures

show that we are spending less money on buying ‘stuff’ and more on ‘doing things’. James Wallman, author of Stuffocation: Living More with Less, sums it up nicely when he says “if you think about the 20th Century, the big dominant value system

“Smart companies are using big data to predict, prevent and minimise the impact of failures too” Amazon) are extending their claws into all kinds of new flavours of pie. They're so big that Inc. reported that when combined (and taking Alphabet, Google's parent company, into account) they are worth more than the entire economy of the United Kingdom. The same threat is present in the East, with companies like Tencent and Alibaba beginning to feel like the equivalent of a snowball that's being rolled from sector to sector, picking up momentum, removing friction for consumers, and gathering size and customers wherever it blows through. Verticals are converging, and industry boundaries are disappearing. Is your industry their next target? This consolidation of power means companies need to be increasingly vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves from a potential onslaught from these giants. With that in mind, anyone working in a retail environment should be asking themselves what it is that differentiates themselves from the pack, and what they are uniquely offering that can't only be sold on Amazon?

was materialism, the belief that if we had more stuff we'd be happier … the big change to what I call experientialism is more about finding happiness and status in experiences instead.” For retailers, this means a few things. Firstly, shopping needs to become more than transactional. Whether that's relatable direct-toconsumer brands like Casper, and Warby Parker looking to cut out the middle man and give back to society in the process, or brands like Virgin, North Face, and Krug using in-store activations, hosted events and festivals, bands need to be looking for ways to elevate their offerings. China's biggest retailer, Alibaba, is a staggering example of what's possible in retail. Their decade-long association with China's National Singles' Day has seen them take almost complete ownership of the day. On 11 November 2018, their 'See Now Buy Now’ fashion event sold $30.8bn in gross merchandise reaching the $1bn mark by one minute 25 seconds. That's double the amount U.S. consumers spent online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in 2018.


Secondly, brands need to makes it even easier for consumers to say ‘yes’. They need to create seamless user journeys that not only engage and delight, but that reduces friction at every pain point. From payless stores to next hour food deliveries, 3D printed prescription glasses while you wait to curb-side sneaker pick up. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Expect 2019 to see brands push for new and exciting ways to augment and simplify the user journey.


Equality No Longer Just a Buzzword Equality in society

has long been on the agenda, but some signs may be the time for talking is over. The #MeToo movement has not just lifted the lid on the dark underbelly of show business, it has forced society to stand up and start taking action. In December 2018, KPMG disclosed that over the last four years, seven UK partners had left the firm because of inappropriate behaviour, including bullying and sexual harassment. In the same month, Deloitte disclosed they had fired 20 UK partners for inappropriate behaviour over the same timeframe. Fast forward a month to January 2019 and Gillette's attempt to show the world that they stand for more than just manufacturing shaving products saw them put up a front runner for the most controversial ad of the year. Turning their famed “Best a Man Can Get” slogan on its head, their “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” ad, imploring men to “say the right thing” and “act the right way”, amassed 23 million views, over 330,000 comments, 650,000 likes and 1.1 million dislikes within just over a week of being uploaded to YouTube, dragging the debate on gender stereotypes well and truly into the mainstream in the process.


“How are you using data to create rich, visualised and compelling stories”

While many quarters are pointing towards a general feeling of negativity regarding the ad, independent research by Persky focused on younger millennials. Gen Z found that of the 3,500 US men and women aged 18–34 that they surveyed. Eighty-four per cent of women and 77 per cent of men responded positively or at the very least weren't offended by the 47 ads. Thirty-three per cent of women and 20 per cent of men who responded positively even said they loved the campaign. This, coupled with the fact that 70 per cent of male and 85 per cent of female respondents, said they felt brands should participate in culturally relevant campaigns, shows how precarious world brands are living in. Consumers expect brands to stand for more, but opinion is often divided across age, sex, and all manner of demographic and psychographic boundaries. What does all this mean for how brands interact, both internally with their teams, and externally with their customers? How can you become part of the solution without alienating people or being labelled as inauthentic? The current reality appears to be that for brands to continue to

reinvent themselves and genuinely resonate with their customers, and they will have to risk dividing opinion. One thing is for sure. Culture has never been so paramount. In 2019, expect a further emphasis on diversity and inclusion and a shift away from a society where “culture is King” to one where “culture is King and Queen.”


The Boundary Between the Real and the ­Virtual Is Disappearing

AR and VR are starting to gather pace. Consumer products are becoming so advanced (and affordable) that in 2015 Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab decided to replace their $40,000 VR setup for a consumer version of the Oculus Rift valued at $350. While it's true that public hype surrounding VR and AR has dipped from its peak a few years ago, continued advances point to it having a substantial part to play down the track. According to May 2018 forecasts from Statista, the global AR and VR market is about to explode with the market size worldwide set to skyrocket from US$6.1 billion and US$14.1 billion in 2016 and 2017 to US$209.2 billion

by 2022. If those figures sound farfetched, a 2017 survey by Statista in the States found that half of the respondents would be willing to get a VR headset if the price was right, with 27 per cent planning to bite the bullet within a year. Along with upticks in coworking, we've seen coliving emerge as a genuine trend with companies like We Live (of We Work fame) aiming to create a ‘physical, social network’, in turn, reimagining what it means to live in today's urban environment. With 3D bioprinters building custom organs, smart toilets that analyse stool samples for you, robo-advisors taking over the role of financial advisors, ‘social credit scores’ punishing bad drivers with travel restrictions or slower internet in China, we are entering a brave new world. One in which the rules of engagement are completely rewritten. What are you doing to redefine your future brand interactions? Standing still is not an option. To make the uncertain a little more predictable, and to set yourself up for success you need to take action. You need to learn how to start thinking like a futurist.






Sander Stoepker

Ottawa and The Hague REVEAL JOINT ASSOCIATION AND EVENT MARKETING PARTNERSHIP The association destinations, Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at strengthening both cities' offering to the global meetings and event industry. During an Ottawa Mayoral Mission to the Netherlands in September, His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa met with his counterpart Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague. They signed the agreement at an event that celebrated 75 years of friendship between the two nations. This MOU is the culmination of a bond created and developed over the last five years by the two convention bureaux. It, however, reflects more than 75 years of collaboration and friendship between the two cities, which was particularly strengthened during the Second World War, when the Dutch Royal family sheltered in Ottawa. Between the two political capitals and international cities, there are many synergies and opportunities for collaboration. Ottawa and The Hague have a like-minded approach on a broad spectrum of issues, including a shared commitment to multilateralism and rules-based international order. The collaboration will open doors for both cities to meet new clients through knowledge sharing and exchange. Just one example is support given by Ottawa Tourism in the run-up to The Hague hosting One Young World in 2018. As one of the world's most significant and most

complex events, the Canadian capital was able to share its experiences from hosting in 2016. Key objectives from the first year of the partnership include: ƒƒ Creation of joint sales activity. The first part took place when a group of association buyers joined Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau for an evening of education and relationship development. ƒƒ Creation of research and intelligence documents focused on the security, governance and defence sectors. ƒƒ Identification of clients where both cities would be of interest followed by the creation of a joint proposal/bid highlighting synergies between the two destinations. ƒƒ Identification of historic Hague clients that would be interested in Ottawa and vice versa. Bas Schot, Head of Congresses & Events, The Hague & Partners: “The Hague and Ottawa have so much in common, and we look forward to working more closely with them over the coming months and years. The Mayoral Mission to The Hague and the signing of the MOU represents significant opportunities for both cities.” “I am delighted that the value of the relationship has been recognised at the highest levels of city governance in both destinations. Working together as CBs is innovative and

industry-leading. Doing so with both Mayors' support, and enthusiasm ensures we have the investment and infrastructure to make this project a long-term success. “This partnership will strengthen the value proposition of both cities and provide a platform to explore a host of new opportunities, particularly in the sectors where the two destinations already achieve significant success,” adds Lesley Mackay, Ottawa Tourism's Vice President, Meetings and Major Events. “The launch event to industry buyers demonstrated the appeal of our collaboration, as key buyers were able to understand the similarities and benefits of hosting events in either Ottawa or The Hague.” Thomas Atkinson, Future Host Manager from Routes, UBM EMEA says: “It's great to see destinations coming together creatively to find solutions for association events around the world. In particular, as an organiser, I appreciate and will undoubtedly benefit from the effort these destinations are putting in to learn from each other, as they develop their offerings based on their differing experiences.” “Ottawa and The Hague have identified key similarities that allow them to work together and identify opportunities that will be of benefit for all. I hope to work with them both in the future,” says Thomas Atkinson.





From Climate Change to Climate Crisis WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS NOW? TEXT

Rohit Talwar



Critical Human Systems The near-

term economic impact of climate change is complicated by the range of potential variables and assumptions. Studies have placed the figure in the range of 2–20 per cent of global GDP.1 The Australian Reserve Bank recently announced that it will be taking climate change impacts into account when setting interest rates.2 The economic losses could be highest for manufacturing industry, transport and energy sectors. Furthermore, climate changerelated water shortages and pollution could undermine the economic performance and health conditions of populations worldwide. Migration could take place as people seek out a better quality of life, and the increased movement of people may lead to a growth in disease outbreaks. The UK public health system, for example, is likely to face potential

climate-related changes to disease epidemiology among citizens and visitors. Rising disease levels may require more increasingly sophisticated monitoring mechanisms, drawing on social media, disease notification systems, and artificial intelligence visual analysis tools to assess tourists and immigrants arriving from high-risk locations. Growth of Environmental Activism and Risks of Inaction Awareness of

climate change is increasing, particularly amongst younger generations. Technology and cyberactivism provide activists with the ability to connect on a global scale and share ideas and information easily, leading to the formation of a worldwide environmentalist movement. International treaties and pressure from civil society may encourage many governments to act on climate 2019 No. 12 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR | 31


change. However, we may see continued political resistance and resulting inaction in several countries. This may be because they argue with the science, lack the funds to make the required national investments, put short term economic priorities first, or are reluctant to pressurise business and the community to change behaviour.

of economic activity. The second and third-order effects could see global financial volatility, the closing of national borders, and drastic action to deter migrants. Investment in Geo-Engineering

A wide range of geo-engineering or climate engineering ideas have been proposed to help combat climate

“Pressure from civil society may encourage many governments to act on climate change”

The combination of adverse climate effects and increasing consumption is expected to deplete natural resources. In such circumstances, countries will be challenged to balance short term necessities to feed their populations with long-term priorities to address the implications on both the health of the planet and its citizens. For example, almost half of the world already live in regions of water scarcity. These regions could become even more adversely affected with climate change increasing the occurrence of drought and food insecurity. Persistently rising sea levels and extreme weather could increase the vulnerability of coastal cities, in particular, rendering a number potentially uninhabitable.3 This is, in turn, could lead to mass migration of populations, particularly from the south to north on the planet. Such developments would test the ability of nations and global governance systems to cope with mass migrations and the decline of key centres

change by intervening in the Earth's natural systems – oceans, soils, and atmosphere. The two main categories of solutions focus on reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth or capturing Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere. Possible solutions include cooling the Earth by injecting sun-blocking particles into the stratosphere, afforestation, carbon air capture, and iron fertilization of oceans. However, these measures are likely to be expensive and will, at best, act as temporary solutions to dangerous climate change. They will not eliminate the need to deal with the problem at source by reducing CO2 emissions.4 One practical solution under consideration is to increase the amount of solar radiation reflected from the planet's surface, which is called its ‘albedo’. This can be done through a range of small to geoscale measures such as whitening roofs, better landuse management, overlaying reflective sheeting on large land areas such as glaciers and deserts.5


Marine cloud brightening is another proposed climate engineering approach to solar radiation management that could help offset anthropogenic global warming. The approach would brighten clouds to help them reflect small amounts of sunlight into space.6 A key candidate solar radiation management solution is to engineer a global dimming effect using stratospheric sulphate aerosols. This approach would use artillery, aircraft, and balloons for atmospheric release of sulphide gases such as sulphuric acid, hydrogen sulphide, or sulphur dioxide.7 Cloud seeding is an approach which seeks to alter the microphysical processes within clouds to change the amount and type of precipitation that falls. The technique has already been tried by many countries with varying degrees of success. By 2035, the approach is likely to become commonplace to increase rainfall in drought regions.8 This reflects the relatively low cost of conducting cloud seeding compared to other weather and climate engineering techniques. Estimates suggest cloud seeding could boost precipitation by 5 to 15 per cent.9 Weather engineering could reduce the impacts of severe weather events such as hurricanes and hail. Response Strategies  Wind, solar,

and other renewables could account for about 30 per cent of the world's electricity generation capacity by 2040. In regions such as Europe, the figures could reach 50 per cent10 or higher depending on the speed of transition to renewables, enabled by government commitment, energy sector investment, and local energy solutions. Many climate analysis organisations have come together to define a set of Mission 2020 goals and milestones11 to help deliver on the


“Climate change-related water shortages and pollution could undermine the economic performance”

long-term objectives of the Paris Climate Change agreement. These milestones cover energy, infrastructure, transport, land use, heavy industry, and investment in climate action. A vital enabler of the Mission 2020 targets is for coal and fossil fuels to be removed faster from the global energy mix than the current rate of progress. The EU has set a target of reducing GHG emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. To meet its target, the EU must reduce primary energy production by 3.9 per cent.12 Figures suggest that the EU is on target to exceed its goal. With the right support, these response strategies can form a comprehensive challenge to the climate crisis, bringing planetary ecosystems back from the brink. Although the situation is dire, keeping up to date with the latest developments is one of the best ways to remain calm and carry on, which is exactly what we must do for future generations to have a fighting chance.

References (accessed Feb 4th 2019) 1 full/10.1029/2018EF000922 2 3 news/feature/2013/08/19/ coastal-cities-at-highest-risk-floods 4 5 www.geoengineeringmonitor. org/2018/05/surface-albedo-modification-technology-factsheet 6 news/2017/07/25/could-spraying-particles-into-marine-clouds-help-cool-theplanet 7 geoengineering-treatment-stratospheric-aerosol-injection-climate-changestudy-today-2018-11-23

8 9 health-science/cloud-seeding-may-makeit-snow-but-will-it-reduce-droughts-inthe-west/2018/02/23/88efeafe-167511e8-92c9-376b4fe57ff7 _story.html 10 business/2019/feb/14/ renewable-energy-world-power-source-bp 11 milestones-alternative-energy 12 Europe_2020 _indicators_-_climate_ change_and_energy#General_overview







Malaysia Locks Down FOUR GROUND-BREAKING ECONOMICIMPACTING BUSINESS EVENTS Malaysia continues to prosper ahead as one of Asia's most competitive destinations to host renowned global business events. For the first half of the year, Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (My CEB) an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia, successfully won a total of 301 business events with an estimated 570,741 delegates comprising 208,555 international delegates and bringing in an estimated RM3.9 billion in economic impact. These events will happen between 2019 and 2028. Among the winning bids are the University of Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS 2019), the 7th Asia Pacific Urban Forum (APUF 7) 2019, the 19th East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Teachers' Conference (ETC 2021) and the Conference of International Society of Travel Medicine (CISTM 2021). Highlights of these four bids won include the University of Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS 2019) which was held in August that gathered a total of 1,500 delegates comprising 1,200 international delegates as well as an estimated economic impact of RM42.6 million. This was followed by the 7th Asia Pacific Urban Forum 2019 (APUF 7) in October that garnered 1,500 international delegates amidst 5,000 total delegates, and an estimated economic impact of RM25.2 million. The 19th East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Teachers'

Conference (ETC 2021) will take centre stage on 24 March 2021, inviting 800 international delegates and accumulating an estimated economic impact of RM16 million. The spotlight for 19 May 2021 is on the Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine (CISTM 2021) that is expecting to welcome over 1,600 international delegates and contributing RM37.5 million in estimated economic impact. For the upcoming Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM 2020), Malaysia has lined up 37 business events as of July 2019 which anticipate the convergence of more than 44,600 delegates primarily from healthcare, telecommunications, science and technology industries. Delegate experience will be amplified with a multitude of splendours – cultural, heritage, natural, geographical, historical alongside festivities and attractions throughout the year. Simultaneously, VM 2020 promises the best of Malaysia's products and services as a compelling business events hub. My CEB together with its industry partners have secured an impressive record of 1,100 international business events over the last eight years comprising of international conferences, corporate meetings, incentive travels and trade exhibitions which have substantially contributed an estimated economic impact of RM8.5 billion to the country. During the same period, My CEB provided support to 2,278 events

resulting in an increase of delegate average attendance, the length of their stay and spending. This, in turn, directly benefited Malaysia's local businesses and communities as well as powering the knowledge and creative economy. My CEB was established in 2009 by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia to further strengthen Malaysia's business tourism brand and position for the international business events market. A non-profit organisation, My CEB, serves as a central hub to assist meeting and event planners in bidding for and staging international business events in Malaysia and acting as a conduit for national product development. My CEB's goal is to improve its rankings as an international meetings destination within International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and to grow business events arrivals to Malaysia. In December 2016, My CEB mapped out the way forward for Malaysia in business events with the launch of ‘Malaysia's Business Events Roadmap: Charting Malaysia's Journey to 2020 and Beyond’. In helping to power Malaysia's knowledge and creative economy, the business events roadmap will lay the groundwork, set up and manage the platforms for collaboration and support the development of strong local hosts.







Roger Kellerman

Atti Soenarso The Hague Humanity Hub in The Hague is a unique platform where a diverse community of organisations and people in the fields of peace, justice, development and humanitarian action meet and share best practices to cocreate innovative projects. It's an ecosystem which includes NGOs, academia, commercial enterprises and intragovernmental bodies. Today the hub has 69 member organisations. Members include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The Centre for Humanitarian Data is focused on increasing the use and impact of data in the humanitarian sector, and Youth Peace Initiative includes youth from conflict areas in peace processes to give them a voice in their shared future. Crime Stoppers International mobilises to provide information on reporting a crime anonymously. INSO, the International NGO Safety

Organisation, supports the safety of aid workers in high-risk contexts, and World Resources Institute, alleviates suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Some of the other members are UN Women, an association dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. City of Hague, City of Peace and Justice. Peace Innovation Institute coordinates the Peace Innovation Lab at Stanford and the City Lab network around the world. Their mission is to increase positive peace via digital and real-world urban-scale innovations. Sawa World aims to create a world where one billion people will lift themselves out of extreme poverty by having access to locally produced and practical solutions within their communities. The Halo Trust is the largest humanitarian landmine clearance NGO in the world. They are creating safe and secure communities in over 2019 No. 12 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR | 37


20 countries and territories. Finally, the International Justice Tribune is a source for independent journalism on justice issues around the world. “The Hague became the City of Peace and Justice, and the city competes with other cities. They want to be a good City of Peace and Justice and continue to have that role. And also, to expand that role as a host city to organisations that are working

meet in The Hague even if they are neighbours down the street. Over 200 associations work in the area, in the city alone. “There are big organisations like the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice and Europol. But also, the smaller ones, or the satellites of other ones.” The idea was – inspired by the impact hubs and the whole idea of

“We can be the ‘doing good and doing business’ capital of the world”

towards making the world a better place,” says Jill Wilkinson, CEO of The Humanity Hub. A couple of years ago, and as a part of the city's strategy, the city asked their hosted organisations: “What else could we do to be a better host city for you?” The answer was: “You could help us to meet each other more often. And you could help us to be more innovative.” “The city told them that is not usually our job as a city to do that. And how do we do it? They were inspired partly by the impact hubs. It's a worldwide network of coworking spaces for social entrepreneurs,” says Jill Wilkinson. “They were inspired and said: ‘How can we apply that to these organisations? We have these people to meet and innovate, and do we organise a specific conference for them, shall we set up a network for them, what do we do?’” Jill Wilkinson says that they had a private network meeting, but it was not very helpful. These organisations meet each other in other cities, in Nairobi or New York, but they do not

coworking spaces as a new real estate concept – to create an area where the people can get together. And they worked with the organisations: “If we created a space for you, would you use it? How would you use it?” And the answer was: “Well, yes, we would probably put a few people to work in that space, but it has got to have excellent coffee!” They started the project and were able to get five organisations to commit in the early stages to a long-term commitment, two of them being the United Nations Centre for Humanitarian Data, and the World Resources Institute. The five organisations were willing to rent the offices, and once they were five, they said they could commit to renting for a longer time. That was the beginning. “We opened in January 2018 with four office renters, and one year later we have 69 organisations who are members. So, it has this ‘natural’ attraction. We need to be able to meet, and what you find, if you look at the thing behind all of this, is that the organisations are working in peace


and justice. All of them are working on the same kind of challenges.” Jill Wilkinson says they do different specific things but have challenges like, “What are we going to do with ‘big’ data?”, “What are we going to do with less sustainable funding models?” For geopolitical reasons, local, national and international funding is changing. “I just learned that it used to be that even the UN was funding projects for up to ten years, but now they fund the money yearly which makes everybody's future quite unstable and uncertain. On top of that, you have the Internet and big data which is disrupting every industry. It does not matter whether you are not for profit or profit. It is also disrupting your industry.” The issue of Internet data and new technologies, the question of changing business and funding models, and also political changes, affect almost all the organisations that are working in peace and justice. They have to reexamine: Where are we going? What do we do? Jill Wilkinson shares one example of the biggest disruptions taking place at the moment. It used to be that emergency aid associations in humanitarian aid were providing shelter, clothing, blankets and food. What is happening now, because of data and technology, is that it's easier, cheaper and more effective to give people cash. “You can give them a cash card. You don't have to give them money. The money doesn't get lost to corruption anymore. You give it directly to the recipients. With a cash card, you can buy whatever you need, and the market can respond faster than any other organisation. If you're in the business of providing shelter, blankets, clothing and food to


“The Hague wants to be a city where innovations for a better world take place”

organisations, cash assistance is the new normal. Your entire business is disrupted.” Another example is the ability to reach very remote populations because of cellphones. Even if people have terrible cellphone reach, or even if they don't have smartphone Internet reach, it's still easier to get information about what populations need. All that is required is access to an old text phone. Some technologies are still using text phones to collect data, so they know what they need. “They are even using that to collect information about conflicts so it's easier to figure out where the heat maps are, because local populations can anonymously provide data to organisations that are collecting it. It's changing everything! All of these abilities. “The typical NGO-population comes from a humanities background. The biggest changes are changing the financing model and how to deal with data, and you can imagine that they do not necessarily have the skills to do that very well.” Jill Wilkinson explains that if you want to innovate and sustain your services or provide better services, then you need to connect to others to

bring in expertise to do that kind of innovation. “That is what this is all about. This is connecting actors from different perspectives so you can look at: What do we do to make this place a better world? How do we create a better world in the future bringing all of this expertise together? And knowing that in your little silo, with your background and expertise, if you continue to look at it that way and don't collaborate with other people because you are threatened, then you are probably not going to be around for very long. “That's the whole background behind why this place started. It's an ambitious experiment of the city, and there is certainly a city marketing background to it. To be an attractive place for these kinds of organisations and businesses who want to contribute to being in a better world as well.” According to Jill Wilkinson, The Hague is a super soft environment to land in and to promote your business. One example is that the city is the first Impact City in the world. It is the startup and scaleup community that helps innovative entrepreneurs to start successfully and to grow their business. Impact City believes that economic success and social impact go hand in hand.

“The Hague wants to be a city where innovations for a better world take place. Not just from the point of view of peace and justice, but humanitarian action. It is an attractive place, and the city is very supportive of social enterprises that are doing good things for the world. “We are not going to be the fashion capital in the world, it doesn't make sense, but we can be the ‘doing good and doing business’ capital of the world. It fits with the DNA of the city. We are connected to this entire network, and we are working on networking all these kinds of organisations so they can help each other. We're always working on connecting the various actors whether they are members here or part of the broader community.”






Sustainable city Shenzhen, China photo ©

Rohit Talwar, Steve Wells, April Koury, Alexandra Whittington, Maria Romero How might future cities best reflect our prevailing social and economic priorities and take advantage of technological possibilities? The city of the future is a symbol of progress. The sci-fi vision of the future city with sleek skyscrapers and flying cars, however, has given way to a more plausible, human, practical, and green vision of tomorrow's smart city. Whilst smart city visions differ, at their heart is the notion that, in the coming decades, the planet's most heavily concentrated populations will occupy city environments where a digital blanket of sensors, devices, and cloud-connected data is weaved together to build and enhance the city living experience for all. In this context, smart architecture must encompass all the key elements of what enable city ecosystems to function effectively. This means

everything from the design of infrastructure, workspaces, leisure, retail, and domestic homes to traffic control, environmental protection, and the management of energy, sanitation, healthcare, security, and a building's eco-footprint. The world's premier cities and architects are competing to design and build highly interconnected smart environments where people, government, and business operate in symbiosis with spectacular, exponentially improving array of technologies from artificial intelligence (AI) to renewable energy and the Internet of things (IoT). The architectural promise of future smart cities is to harmonise the benefits of these disruptive technologies for society and provide a high quality of life “by design.” Some have already implemented smart city architecture and, as the concepts, experiences, and success 2019 No. 12 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR | 41


“The pursuit of ‘smart’ will become a key driver in the evolving future of cities”

stories spread, the pursuit of ‘smart’ will become a key driver in the evolving future of cities as communities and economic centers. Here we explore some of the critical trends, visions, ideas, and disruptions shaping the rise of smart cities and smart architecture. Smart Cities. Purpose, Engagement, and Vision The evidence to date from

smart city and smart architecture initiatives around the world is that the best results come when we have a clear sense of what the end goal is. However, in a fast changing world, it can be hard to develop a clear future vision and strategy when stakeholder goals are not aligned, where every sector is being disrupted, and all our planning assumptions are being challenged. A city vision might take 5–15 years to roll out, but for many businesses and individuals it is almost impossible to think about their needs 24 months from now. However, the challenge must be overcome. City governments have to work together with architects to create inclusive processes that inform citizens about the forces shaping the future and the possibilities on the horizon. The next step is to engage

the population in dialogue concerning the kind of future city we want to create. We have to explore what a livable city means to its people and be clear on how we will design and build the structures to support that vision. Alongside this, we need to articulate a clear vision and direction around education, environment, public services, access to justice, city administration, and civic engagement. These pillars then provide the guiding requirements which will, in turn, influence the design of the physical, digital, and human elements of the infrastructure and building architectures that enable a smart city. Big Data: Smart Architecture to Power a City Smart cities are

designed to inform decisions by capturing massive amounts of data about the population and its patterns, such as water use and traffic flows. This information gathering results in big data, which is essentially gathered via different forms of surveillance. The ease and affordability of cameras, sensors, AI, and advanced analytics in the future will mean this data gathering function may become completely automated. Indeed, the data will be collated from a constantly evolving and expanding


IoT, encompassing traffic lights and cameras, pollution sensors, building control systems, and personal devices, all literally feeding giant data stores held in the cloud. The ability to crunch all this data is becoming easier due to rampant growth in the use of predictive algorithms and AI application software that run on networks of high performance computing and storage devices. Singapore is a leading example of a smart city, and is constantly evolving its ‘city brain,’ a backbone of technologies used to help control pollution, monitor traffic, allocate parking, communicate with citizens, and even issue traffic fines. Singapore's ‘brain’ is also attempting to modify human behavior. For example, one system rewards drivers for using recommended mapped routes, and punishes those who do not. Now imagine expanding this use of big data to human foot traffic around and within the buildings of a city. For some time now, companies like Pavegen and Veranu have been developing flooring that harvests the energy of walking and converts it into electricity. By analyzing foot traffic patterns, smart architects may be able to design entire buildings

A SPACE TO SHAPE IDEAS Sandton Convention Centre is a world-class multipurpose venue Sandton Convention Centre is South Africa’s preferred multipurpose venue for any event, large or small. Ideally located in the heart of Johannesburg’s vibrant business and commercial hub, it offers direct access via skywalks to upmarket shopping malls, numerous restaurants, bars and hotels, and easy access to the Gautrain Sandton Station, OR Tambo International Airport, and further afield. The SCC is host to more than 600 events annually, with 22 000m2 of flexible event space comprising 17 venues, of which 13 can be used as breakaway rooms. It has the capacity to host large-scale banquets for up to 2 200 guests in the luxurious Ballroom, 4 500 cocktail guests in the Pavilion, 10 to 250 people in a range of smaller meeting rooms, and a total of more than 10 000 people in the centre per day.

The two main exhibition venues host a wide range of world-class B2B and consumer expos, conferences and confexes for international and local organisations and industries. Every event at SCC can be tailormade to suit specific requirements, with an excellent range of services, amenities and facilities to cover all needs that include audio-visual, décor, IT, security, freight and drayage services. SCC is also renowned for its exceptional food and beverage services and wide range of menu options designed to suit any occasion, event and dietary requirement, and up to 4 000 plated dinners can be served in one evening, across the venues. SCC’s sustainability initiatives are backed by an effective environmental policy and include strict waste management, water and electricity saving measures, reduction in the

use of plastics, menus designed to embrace sustainability, biodegradable packaging, composting, and more. Shaun Bird, GM of SCC, says, “SCC is a world-class multipurpose venue backed by a strong team of professional and experienced staff and experts who ensure that the planning and implementation of every event and expo runs smoothly.”

Let Sandton Convention Centre be your next venue of choice!

Maude Street, Sandown, 2196 Contact: or +27 11 779 0000 @SandtonConventionCentre @SCC_Joburg #SCCExperience


“The city of the future is a symbol of progress”

powered solely by their inhabitants' movements. Internet of Things: Redesigning Spaces Smart cities rely on advanced

technology to make sense of massive arrays of data. Indeed, the amount of information on the internet is expected to grow exponentially as a result of the Internet of things. Essentially IoT means that everything (‘things’), and potentially everyone, will form a network of beacons and collection devices, gathering data on ambient and behavioral patterns from our surroundings, feeding this information to the city brain in the cloud. Hence, after data, the IoT is the second driving force behind the rise of smart infrastructure: For everything from air conditioning to parking meters to function effectively and seamlessly in a smart city, microphones, sensors, voice recognition, and all sorts of other hi-tech gadgetry must be hooked up to the IoT. Architects and planners are already exploring the possibilities, indeed, technology players like IBM, Hitachi, and Cisco are all betting big on IoT-enabled smart buildings. Exhaustive monitoring of internal building conditions offers the

potential to provide future occupants with seamlessly and continuously optimised living conditions while reducing energy and space wastage. Today's smart sensors can recognise occupancy patterns and movement to switch on the air conditioning or lights for a person before they even enter a room, and shut off these systems as they exit. The more we know about the specific individuals, the more we can tailor those setting to their personal preferences. In the near future, buildings will potentially be built on a smart IoT grid that monitors, controls, and automates smart lighting and intuitive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning to create the perfect environment while drastically decreasing energy wastage. Furthermore, IoT devices combined with big data analysis may help architects redesign and readapt buildings to minimise energy wastage, and maximise space usage, both shrinking resources in our ever-growing cities. Single use facilities like meeting rooms, traditionally unused for periods of time, may be redesigned as multipurpose spaces that support a whole host of day-to-day business activities based on analyses of data gathered via the IoT. A smart building


may even take on the management of meeting rooms to sell vacant space to third party users on a per minute basis: For example, a row of meeting rooms by day could become a nightly pop-up market. Sustainability: Smart Building Materials Finally, from an architectural

design perspective, all this data and awareness should enable decisions that make the best possible use of material resources with an emphasis on sustainability. This is a very logical outcome and benefit of the merging of big data, AI, and the IoT feeding into the rise of smart architecture. Given that the UK has recently broken energy use records with solar meeting almost a quarter of energy demands, there is significant potential for the sun to become a mainstream power source in current and future building designs. There is also a new scientific forecasting tool to predict solar weather, which will make the rollout of solar on buildings (and in homes) a more feasible option. Eventually, with a growing array of such distributed power solutions, a centralised energy distribution grid for homes and businesses may not be necessary.


“In a fast changing world, it can be hard to develop a clear future vision and strategy when stakeholder goals are not aligned”

Additionally, the exponential growth in, and reduced cost of, solar technology may lead to entire cities designed to generate their own electricity. Rather than glass windows, skyscrapers could be covered in transparent solar panels that, through IoT monitoring, turn slightly opaque as the sun moves over them throughout the day. This would allow the darker panels to not only gather more energy, but also shade the building's inhabitants and decrease cooling costs. Researchers at RMIT University in Australia are currently working on a solar paint that absorbs moisture from the air and turns it into hydrogen fuel, one of the cleanest sources of energy available. Soon, architects may begin designing buildings based around maximizing the benefits of these next generation ‘smart’ materials. Cities Get Smart The smart city

movement has the potential to transform the organization of people, materials, and physical objects in a way that transcends urban development as we know it. The shift to smart architecture is not simply fashionable or aspirational; in many ways, it appears to be a critical enabler of the future sustainability of cities. It can

be argued that the future of human life on the planet rests on a smooth transition to cities that are more efficient, less wasteful, and more conscious of the impacts of the individual upon the greater good. It is now possible to create and deliver a city vision with citizens at its heart, and that is enabled by forward thinking infrastructure coupled with judicious use of enabling technologies. A well thought through vision, enabled by robust and well-executed smart architecture, could provide a foundation stone for the next stage of our development, where science and technology are genuinely harnessed in service of creating a very human future. Which social values would help ensure a very human vision of tomorrow's smart city? How can we encourage people, businesses, and governments to create human-centered cities? What are the critical infrastructure elements required to enable a smart city? This article is excerpted from the book Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity.





Study on Europe as a Destination for Meetings and Conferences IDENTIFIES GROWTH POTENTIAL IN A COMPLEX MARKET TEXT


German Convention Bureau

Matthias Schultze The Organisation Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe releases results of research into challenges and opportunities for European meetings business. “Europe as a Destination for Meetings and Conferences” is in the focus of a recent study supported by nine members of the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe. The study looks at challenges and opportunities in a changing environment as a basis for developing hands-on recommendations for action. Alongside the GCB German Convention Bureau as lead research partner, the Austrian Convention

Bureau, Convention Bureau Italia, Croatian National Tourist Board, Meet Denmark, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, Poland Convention Bureau, Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus and Visit Norway collaborated on the project that was supported by industry partners Simpleview and PCMA. In an age of complexity, creativity and flexibility are key With the aim

of analysing Europe's medium-term to long-term market potential as a meeting and conference destination, the research identified different economic and socio-political factors, tech trends as well as general industry trends that affect the 2019 No. 12 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR | 47


“Sustainability and an increased focus on ROI are two major industry trends”

European meetings community. Detailed results including recommendations for action can be found in the white paper. Highlighting the key results, Eric Bakermans, Director Marketing Meetings, Conventions & Events, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, and GCB managing director Matthias Schultze point out: “While we can see that the worldwide economic and political situation creates a general sense of complexity in the meetings and conference sector, the opportunities to be seized by European market players still provide considerable scope for growth and development and Europe's current standing as a hub for international meetings can be further enhanced. “What is now needed is a creative and flexible approach that not only harnesses technology to add value to events and to improve sellers' own marketing and communication capabilities but that also homes in on the requirements of specific target groups to provide customised experiences.” Apart from the overall global economy, state of the EU or general security concerns, Brexit is one of the factors adding uncertainty that was addressed during the research in interviews with international

meetings buyers and sellers from different industries as the UK is an essential source market for many major venues in Europe. Technological and industry trends providing opportunities for growth

Among the technological development influencing the industry, the increase in budgets for virtual and hybrid events that was established in the research means that sellers investing in state-of-the-art tech equipment will be best equipped to benefit from the growing spending power in this area. Alongside the increase in internet speed, the rollout of 5G networks and IoT applications, in particular, AI emerged as a key tech trend with many planners interviewed already using AI matchmaking tools and/ or chatbots. Apart from the need to make events more experiential and personalised to counter the effects of a crowded market, sustainability and an increased focus on ROI are two major industry trends established in the Europe study. Relevant industry research The

PCMA and Simpleview as industry partners supporting the project both stress the importance of the research


as an essential guide in the context of Europe's position as a key market for business events: “Europe is a critical economic engine to the world. Understanding the importance of business events and the importance of business events to economic and social issues can only help us and benefit us,” says Sherrif Karamat, CAE, President and CEO of PCMA. Rich Reasons, President of Simpleview, adds: “Europe is one of the largest markets and a growing market. Strength, weaknesses and opportunities are critical for us to understand.” For further details on the study's findings, see the white paper, at­ The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe was launched in 2014 as an initiative of 17 convention bureaux to strengthen the position of Europe among global meeting and event planners. The Alliance now has 28 members.






Expo 2020

Soaring high above the rooftops of old Paris, the Eiffel Tower is recognised around the world as the iconic symbol of the City of Light. Film, music, clothing, sporting clubs and even global sales of the revered French baguette have all been boosted by its instant recognisability and captivating charm. The unmistakable landmark is also an enduring testament to the power of what can happen when people from around the world come together, having been erected to celebrate the Exposition Universelle of 1889 that was hosted in the city. More than 130 years after Paris created such a lasting legacy through a major event, Dubai is now aiming to have the same effect when it takes on the role of host city for Expo 2020 and opens its doors to the world for what is shaping up to perhaps be the best Expo yet. As a latecomer to and underdog in the bidding process, Dubai managed to eclipse its challengers and scoop the award back in 2013, which was a major moment of national pride for the UAE and seen as a result of the leadership's efforts in making the country a world leader in economic and social progress and realising its far-reaching vision. It also gave the country more prominence on the global stage and galvanised its collective effort to achieve the goal of hosting an exceptional World Expo.

To help achieve this goal a theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ was established, designed to encourage participants and visitors to share ideas and work together in new ways, to spark innovation and progress that will help build a better future for generations to come. This better future focuses on the three key sub themes for the Expo: opportunity, mobility and, most significantly given the times we live in today, sustainability. Stretching over an enormous 438-hectare site and preparing the ground for pavilions from 190 countries from around the world, Expo 2020 Dubai has ample opportunity to showcase its thematic areas and their relevance and importance to the world of today, but in advance of all this going live there is still the not insignificant job of finishing off what will become an entirely new zone in the post-Expo city. “This is a very complex project as we are building a city [here] and we expect to reach around 37,000 workers, and then there's the equipment, the laydown areas, the access roads, the food and the waste management,” says Ahmed Al Khatib, senior vice president for real estate at Expo 2020. “It will become more and more challenging as the countries start coming in, but we are taking all measures to make sure this is a

very smooth and easy experience. The infrastructure and the power in any development are the most critical items and we are finishing them ahead of time.” Getting the ground works completed early is offering more time for the pavilions to come on stream, with Expo 2020 Dubai being the first time that a policy of ‘one country, one pavilion’ is in effect and also that the pavilions are being arranged according to their chosen subtheme rather than by the usual geographical layout – nurturing greater symbiosis in collaboration, creation and innovation in achieving solutions for the challenges of the future. Holding an important position at Expo 2020 Dubai and the fulcrum of all of the innovation that will permeate the entire new city zone is the Sustainability Pavilion, which has been developed using the latest green building technologies and sets the highest standards for efficient use and reuse of energy and water, making it a place where visitors will be able to uncover the (often hidden) impacts of the daily choices that they make relating to consumption and take the opportunity to reflect on how they can change these. “The Sustainability Pavilion takes visitors on an emotional and spectacular journey that reveals the wonders of the Earth, highlights the madness



of our destructive behaviours and showcases innovative responses to environmental challenges around the globe,” says John Bull, Director, Sustainability Pavilion, Legacy Development and Impact, Expo 2020 Dubai. “It encourages us all to reconnect with the natural world, empowering self-reflection and aims to motivate every participant to become a change maker in creating a more sustainable future.

system installed will ensure reusable water is available; building technology engaged will generate enough energy to charge more than 900,000 mobile phones; almost ten tonnes of reclaimed wood will be used to cover the auditorium walls; and alongside a host of further features its grounds will feature technology, innovative irrigation techniques and local plants that reduce the amount of water needed by 75 per cent.

“The three key subthemes for the Expo: opportunity, mobility and, most significantly given the times we live in today, sustainability” “Our sustainability KPIs are very high and very challenging, and the Sustainability Pavilion defines the model from all perspectives,” says Ahmed Al Khatib. “From power generation, to water generation, to harvesting humidity from the air, it will be a benchmark for future sustainability practices.” Alongside KPIs such as diverting 85 per cent of waste from landfill, reducing water consumption by 40 per cent in Expo buildings and achieving LEED Gold Certificate ratings or higher in the buildings that will remain after the Expo, as a benchmark for future practice the Sustainability Pavilion has a number of other striking features: its 130metre wide canopy will use energy from the sun to generate electricity during the day/collect water from the air at night; the more than 2,800 solar panels on it are designed to produce four Gigawatt hours per year of electricity; the greywater recycling

Not only is sustainability at the heart of the pavilion and the seed of many other pavilions throughout Expo 2020 Dubai, but there are also a number of other initiatives in place to promote greater levels of sustainability. One of these is the Global Best Practice Programme, which highlights initiatives that localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can be adapted, replicated, and scaled to achieve an enhanced global impact. Another initiative to boost sustainability is Expo Live, a USD 100 million innovation and partnership programme that awards grants to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving our world. Whilst the six-month duration of Expo 2020 Dubai will generate many solutions to help deliver a more sustainable and more efficient world, it will also bring direct economic benefit to Dubai, with economic activity estimated by an EY report to equal


some 1.5 per cent of UAE's GDP. Yet, much greater economic benefit will come through another key pillar of what is set to make Expo 2020 Dubai extraordinary, and that is its exceptional focus on legacy. Economically, the same EY report suggests that Expo 2020 Dubai and its legacy will boost domestic economic activity by AED 122.6 billion between 2013 and 2031, supporting more than 900,000 full-time equivalent job years, helping put the UAE firmly on track towards its goal of creating a sustainable, resilient and diversified economy, a key outcome of UAE Vision 2021, a set of national priorities to mark the country's Golden Jubilee. “This independent report demonstrates that Expo 2020 Dubai is a critical long-term investment in the future of the UAE, which will contribute more than AED 120 billion to the economy between 2013 and 2031,” says Najeeb Mohammed AlAli, Executive Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau. “Not only will the event encourage millions around the world to visit the UAE in 2020, it will also stimulate travel and tourism and support economic diversification for years after the Expo, leaving a sustainable economic legacy that will help to ensure the UAE remains a leading destination for business, leisure and investment.” Supporting this legacy is also the forward-thinking approach that has been adopted for the Expo 2020 Dubai site right from the outset, as 80 per cent of the buildings on site will be either repurposed or reused, and the site itself will become Dubai's latest neighbourhood branded as ‘District 2020’, a carefully planned area to support the UAE's future vision by supporting sustainable, diversified economic development, moving towards an innovation-driven economy and creating a business



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environment that directly encourages key growth industries. “My team and I spent a lot of time trying to build a vision for the city after Expo 2020 Dubai and we did that,” says Marjan Faraidooni, senior vice president for legacy development at Expo 2020. “We have a strategy, we know the type of industries we want to bring in, we know that we need to bring technology companies because

an example of sustainable practice and design to spread the sustainable living message to locals and tourists, again linking to the UAE government's strategy to be a global leader in sustainability. Alongside the Exploratorium the Conference and Exhibition Campus for the Expo duration will become a new major event and exhibition space for the city and the Mobility Pavilion will be converted

“The fulcrum of all of the innovation that will permeate the entire new city zone is the Sustainability Pavilion”

that's how the world is progressing, but we also know that there's something special about the site, that it did host a mega event that was important for the history of our nation, so we also wanted to retain some of the elements that made it special. “The challenge was also how to create buildings that suit the future real estate market,” says Al Khatib. “So, we looked at maximising efficiency, we looked at how to make our designs as modular as possible so we can expand the buildings based on market demand. [The result was that] more than 80 per cent of whatever we construct for the Expo will remain as a legacy.” One of the key structures to remain once Expo 2020 Dubai has closed its doors to the public will be the Sustainability Pavilion that will be developed into an Exploratorium. This is a science and education centre for children and adults which will continue its immersive and educational mission and serve as

into high-end office accommodation. Around these converted buildings, District 2020 is being designed to be a destination to ‘Connect, Create and Innovate’, bringing together original thinkers, innovators and pioneers, and enabling them to share ideas, learn from each other and unlock inspiration. The area is setting out to create a vibrant and inclusive community that celebrates diversity and carries the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai for generations to come, one that houses flexible offices and collaborative workspaces, adaptable to future work trends, as well as residential communities, social and cultural attractions, parks and business and leisure amenities. The new city zone is also set to be embedded with 5G technology, the latest smart infrastructure and cutting-edge digital connectivity to create a sustainable and connected city, all of which has already attracted the likes of Siemens and Accenture to commit to establishing global

logistics and digital hubs at District 2020, with more scheduled to follow suit. Further attributes that elevate the legacy of the Expo 2020 Dubai site are its connectedness, as it is connected to four major UAE highways and only 20 minutes from Jebel Ali Port, the largest marine terminal in the Middle East. It is also close to the Al Maktoum International Airport, which is set to become the largest in the world, and within 45 minutes of two additional international airports. The Route 2020 Dubai Metro link is being extended to the door of District 2020. Prolonging the spirit of the world coming together in Dubai will be the state-of-the-art Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) which will sit at the heart of District 2020 and is the fruit of the conversion of the Expo conference and exhibition campus. This is set to be a pivotal hub for the entire region's meetings and events industry, furthering Dubai's reputation as the go-to place for major conferences in the region and beyond and driving business growth. The year 2021 will be the 50th anniversary of the formation of the UAE. In closing a successful Expo and then later in the year unveiling a new and cutting-edge district of the city that will be a template for other cities around the world, Dubai will certainly be celebrating this landmark in style.







Convene Returns TO VILNIUS 2020 On February 12–13, the 9th edition of Convene will be arranged, and this time with Meetings International as media partner. The registration for those exhibitors who want a guaranteed place has already opened. The Convene Fair is organised annually by Go Vilnius, the city's official Convention Bureau. The promise is to deliver first-class networking and B2B opportunities to bring attendees more value. Inga Romanovskienė is the CEO of Go Vilnius: “We are proud that the latest Convene was so well received. We got feedback from both exhibitors and buyers where everyone was mostly positive and enthusiastic about how our regions meeting, and event industry is developing. “The city of Vilnius saw an increase of 30 per cent in terms of international congresses last year, which increased to a value of EUR 57 million. That is is a very positive indicator for the whole region.” With the growing partnership between the public and private sectors, Go Vilnius has appointed Baltic Travel Group as the event's official PCO. “We had been a supportive partner for Convene since the start eight years ago. We are proud to take on this role and contribute to the region's premier B2B meeting

industry event,” says CEO Vlad Koriagin, Baltic Travel Group. The latest Convene fair attracted over 1,000 participants, including 165 buyers from 30 countries and 80 regional suppliers, who together participated in 2,640 B2B meetings. The show also included 11 different training sessions, and half of all buyers joined in post-tours after the event to experience one or more destinations in the Baltic Sea region. The two-day exhibition brings together industry suppliers from the Baltic region. Buyers from all over the world meet under one roof to facilitate valuable professional contacts, as well as the exchange of knowledge and best practices. As usual, Meetings International arranges a Hosted Buyer trip for Scandinavian planners. In the first place, they will learn more about Vilnius and the other Baltic countries. You can only be invited as a Hosted Buyer if you already have done some international meetings and events around the world. Would you like to join us and learn more about Vilnius, maybe on a posttour? Build your network and acquire new knowledge? Do not hesitate to email and let him know that you want to be a part of this learning journey.

“This is a pretty small workshop, but it allows the visitor to learn from many of the exhibitors”, says Roger Kellerman, publisher of Meetings International. He has been a speaker at Convene and involved to create parts of the educational programme in parallel with the exhibition. To be invited as a Hosted Buyer means that the organisers pay flights, hotels and meals. “A Hosted Buyer gets first-class accommodation, meals, and is also invited to participate in the cultural programme at the official reception. In my opinion, it is among the best Europe has to offer in this way. “The educational program is not ready, but I recommend you to subscribe to Convene's newsletter so you can take part in the emerging agenda. I am looking forward to seeing you in Vilnius in February”, says Roger Kellerman.






Vigfús Birgisson

Reykjavík Plan on Becoming NUMBER ONE ON THE GDS INDEX For many years we have claimed that Reykjavík on Iceland is the number one destination in the world when it comes to ICCA meetings compared to how many inhabitants they are. Reykjavík is a competitive business events destination, but what kind of challenges does the destination face? “The main question we are asking ourselves these days is about sustainability. How can we implement our sustainability strategy and make Reykjavík a carbon-neutral MICE destination by 2040? We want to be a leading destination when it comes to solving the climate crisis,” says Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir, the new CEO of Meet in Reykjavík. Her vision for developing the meetings and event industry in Reykjavík is cristal clear. “My vision for the destination is to continue on this path we have been on since 2011 when Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre opened its doors; to maintain the growth, we have been experiencing and do so in a sustainable way.” According to the Meetings & Events Future Trends report, business events demand is expected to increase by 5–10 per cent worldwide in 2019. “Here in Iceland, we are expecting at least 15 per cent growth this year. Most of the growth seems to be in regards to meetings or conferences of 100–500 attendees.” Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir says that demand for unorthodox and hi-tech

meeting space is on the rise, and MICE buyers are putting more focus on offering creative activities and creating memorable experiences for their clients. All of which are easily found in Reykjavík. In every destination in the world, there are some more essential challenges within business events. Often the perception is that Iceland is small, cold, isolated, and expensive. “It continues to be our goal to change that perception. The prices in Iceland are compatible with most northern European cities, and the high frequency of flights to and from the country makes us anything but isolated.” Iceland is a small destination by most measures (103,000 km² or 40,000 mi²), but surprisingly, Iceland is larger than some European countries, for example like Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, and Austria. “The population of Iceland has grown a lot in the last decades, but we are still the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital city Reykjavík, however, is expanding its infrastructure and has evolved into a premier location choice for MICE planners. It's not big, but it offers everything that large cities do. Good hotels, good food, good nightlife, good music and nature is only a few steps away,” says Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir. Throughout the more significant part of recorded history, Icelanders lived mostly isolated from the world, in often extreme weather conditions,

which created a limited way of life. Today they have learned to live in a cold climate by inventing a more resourceful lifestyle. Iceland continues to create an exciting and unconventional way of life which gives them the flexibility and resourcefulness needed to make Iceland a thriving MICE-destination. Today Iceland ranks amongst the most developed countries in the world. More importantly, though, it is one of the safest, cleanest and most liberal. Looking at the development of business events in Iceland, how important is this business to develop your universities, hospitals, companies and the city of Reykjavík? “In the last seven or eight years, we have been getting more and more stakeholders to the table here in Iceland. Understanding the opportunities that emerge in developing Iceland as a business events destination is growing fast.” Last year, for example, Meet Reykjavík signed a partnership agreement with six universities in Iceland. The object of the contract is to increase the number of international academic meetings and conferences held by universities in Iceland. “We look at these agreements as a key factor in the further development of Reykjavík and Iceland as a business events destination. Academic conferences are a significant way to attract attention to the research work carried out by the universities,



strengthen their reputation, and form relationships with overseas academics. The same goes for the health care system, hospital-related and medical conferences are very important to the growth of intellectual knowledge in the field,” says Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir. But do the universities and hospitals in Iceland realise that they are the drivers of meetings and events? Maybe even the essential knowl-

funding comes from the Municipality of Reykjavík city and our partners in the Icelandic MICE industry. “Reykjavík City has been our biggest supporter from the beginning, and without them, this wouldn't have been possible. “The government has played a smaller role until now. But we do feel a growing understanding of the importance of our work within the government. Last year, for example,

“My vision is to maintain growth sustainably”

edge drivers to create more business events in Reykjavík? “Yes, they do and have proven to be a vital partner in building Reykjavík's reputation as a business event destination. We have very high hopes for future cooperation with the universities and the university hospital. We have had a partnership with the universities for some years now. “The agreement signed last year was to formulate that partnership and make it official. The agreement has made it easier for us to promote our services to the university staff and work with them in more proximity. That has resulted in some very exciting bids over the past year.” Do Icelandic parliament politicians understand the potential for your country when it comes to business events? Are there any differences between local and city politicians compared to the government? “Meet in Reykjavík serves both as a city convention bureau for Reykjavík and a national convention bureau for Iceland. Most of our

we led a joined bidding process on behalf of the city of Reykjavík and the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture for the European Film Awards in 2020. The bid was a success, and we hope it can become an example of what we can accomplice when we work together.” Which strategic question is the most important at the moment? “I think they are all about environmental, social, and economic sustainability. MICE buyers are demanding social responsibility from destinations and suppliers. If you want to stay relevant in this business, you need to address such issues, especially when it comes to the climate crisis. Reykjavík City also published its first official Tourism strategy in 2011 called ‘A City for all seasons’. “There, the four main pillars for becoming a stronger and more attractive destination were identified. One of them was conferences and business events. The objective of this strategy was met some time ago. Meet in Reykjavík (CB) also has its strategy,


although we share the same goals as the city. At the moment, we are building a new strategy for the city for 2021–2030. Business events will play an essential role in that one as well. “I think the strategy is fundamental for any successful business, and that goes for meeting and event destinations as any other. If you don't have a plan, you're just running blind, and that is never going to end well,” says Sigurjóna Sverrisdóttir. Sustainability for the business events industry is fundamental, and Reykjavík is top three in the GDS Index. “Yes, we do plan on becoming number one on the GDS index, and I do believe we have every possibility of that achievement. We have already identified what we need to do and changes to reach that goal. Unfortunately, we won't be able to do it all this year, but soon enough we intend to be at the top.” Upcoming ICCA meetings in Reykjavík:

ƒƒ GDECA 2019. Hilton Reykjavik Nordica Hotel. 300 delegates. ƒƒ ECSMGE 2019. Harpa Conference Centre. 900 delegates. ƒƒ WGC 2020. Harpa Conference Centre. 3,500 delegates. ƒƒ RIWC 2020. Harpa Conference Centre. 600 delegates. ƒƒ ECPP 2020. Harpa Conference Centre. 800 delegates. ƒƒ EUROBIC 2020. University of Iceland. 400 delegates. ƒƒ ISPA 2021. Harpa Conference Centre. 400 delegates. ƒƒ BPW 2022. Hilton Reykjavik Nordica Hotel. 700 delegates.


Qantas Airways


New Ultra-Long Routes ARE OPTIMISED BY DOCTORS AND RESEARCHERS – 19 HOURS IN THE AIR Qantas has announced three ultralong-haul research flights to gather new data about inflight passenger and crew health and wellbeing. The flights form part of planning for Project Sunrise, Qantas' goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) to London and New York. The three flights over three months will use new Boeing 787-9s and reroute their planned delivery flights. Instead of flying empty from Seattle to Australia, the aircraft will simulate two Project Sunrise routes: London and New York to Sydney. This will represent the world's first flight by a commercial airline direct from New York to Sydney and only the second time a commercial airline has flown directly from London to Sydney. Each flight will have a maximum of 40 people, including crew, to minimise weight and give the necessary

fuel range. Carbon emissions from the flights will be fully offset. The on-board research is designed in partnership with Sydney University's Charles Perkins Centre and Monash University in conjunction with CRC for Alertness, Safety and Productivity. People in the cabin, mostly Qantas employees, will be fitted with wearable technology devices and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the approximately 19-hour flights. Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and inflight entertainment to assess the impact on health, wellbeing and body clock. Monash University researchers will work with pilots to record crew melatonin levels before, during and after the flights. Pilots will wear an EEG (electroencephalogram) device that tracks brain wave patterns and

monitors alertness. The aim is to establish data to assist in building excellent work and rest pattern for pilots operating long-haul services. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the flights will give medical experts the chance to do real-time research that will translate into health and wellbeing benefits. “Ultra-long-haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew. These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them. “For customers, the key will be minimising jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight. For the crew, it's about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their downtime on these flights.



“No airline has done this kind of dedicated research before”

“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we're determined to do all the groundwork to get this right. “No airline has done this kind of dedicated research before, and we'll be using the results to help shape the cabin design, inflight service and crew roster patterns for Project Sunrise. We'll also be looking at how we can use it to improve our existing longhaul flights,” says Alan Joyce. Qantas has already conducted data on passenger sleep strategies on its direct Perth–London service, and some of these initial findings will be assessed further as part of these dedicated research flights. Customer feedback on food choices, separate stretching and wellbeing zones and entertainment options will also be tested. Findings on crew wellbeing data will be shared with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to help inform regulatory requirements associated with ultra-long-haul flights. Airbus and Boeing have both pitched aircraft (A350 and 777X) to Qantas that is capable of operating Project Sunrise flights with a viable commercial payload. A final decision on Project Sunrise, which depends

on aircraft economics, regulatory approvals and industrial agreements, is expected by the end of December. “There's plenty of enthusiasm for Sunrise, but it's not a foregone conclusion. This is ultimately a business decision and the economics have to stack up,” says Alan Joyce.



Project Sunrise Research Flights – Key Facts

ƒƒ Non-stop flights from New York and London to Sydney will take around 19 hours each, subject to wind and weather conditions. The data will be used to inform all Sunrise flight planning, including from Brisbane and Melbourne. ƒƒ The aircraft will position from Boeing's factory in Seattle, where they will be collected off the production line by Qantas pilots, and flown to their starting points of New York (for two of the flights) and London (for one flight). Cabins will be fully fitted out and otherwise ready to enter standard commercial service. ƒƒ The flights will take place in October, November and December, in line with scheduled aircraft deliveries from Boeing. ƒƒ Flights will have up to 40 people (including crew) onboard and a




minimum of luggage and catering to extend the range of 787-9. Other than the crew, those in the cabin will mostly be Qantas employees taking part in testing. No seats will be sold as these flights are for research purposes only. After the flights, each aircraft will enter regular service with Qantas International, with just a few extra miles on the clock. Qantas operates the largest airline carbon offset scheme in the world. This same program will be used to offset all the carbon emissions from these three flights. No commercial airline has ever flown directly from New York to Australia. Qantas has once flown non-stop from London to Sydney in 1989 to mark the entry into service of the Boeing 747-400. That flight had a total of 23 people on board and minimal internal fit-out to provide the range. The aircraft, registered VH-OJA, was donated by Qantas in 2017 to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society near Wollongong, New South Wales.


Albert Normandin


Taking Sustainable Meetings TO HEART IN VANCOUVER Canada is one big country. The country's impact on the environment doesn't have to be; especially when it comes to hosting global conferences. No longer a trend, sustainably run conferences have become an expected practice. When organisations are choosing a host destination for their business events, many of them look upon Vancouver. The city is a leader in Canada's Cleantech sector, and well known for best practice ways to host sustainable events. Vancouver is a compact, walkable city whose convention centre is within easy walking distance of 13,000 hotel rooms, landmark attractions, restaurants and pre- and

post-meeting venues so attendees can feasibly forgo driving for the duration of the conference. More and more organisations consider creating an event app instead of printing paper guides and maps. Apps are easy to design and provide realtime updates for attendees, tracking social media coverage, and engaging delegates in an ongoing dialogue. Vancouver's green economy umbrella encourages sustainable, eco-friendly development. Here, venues take pains to achieve ecocertification, which helps to support the city's mandate of becoming the world's greenest by 2020. The city has 49 Green Keycertified hotels, and the Vancouver

Convention Centre reigns supreme as the world's first double LEED Platinum-certified convention centre, with a 6-acre living roof, a seawater heating and cooling system, and a restored marine habitat built into its foundation. Sustainability isn't just about greening the earth. It also encompasses corporate social responsibility (CSR). Carving out time during your conference to address social and global challenges not only benefits the community hosting your event but also strengthens the host organisation's reputation.




The Event Technology Revolution ARE WE THERE YET? TEXT



Corbin Ball I recently attended an open-air concert in the small city where I live. Before the music began, I noticed what appeared to be three generations of women sitting in front of me (a teenage daughter, mother and an elderly grandmother). I heard a phone ring and watched the grandmother reach into her purse for her iPhone. She adroitly answered the call and then, as an afterthought, used the phone to take a picture of her family members before turning off the ringer and putting it back into her purse. This brief observation got me thinking. I have expressed many times throughout my career that technology must be easy enough for a grandmother or grandfather to use it in order for it to be fully adopted into the business process. Ease of use is the most important key to adoption! As I watched the grandmother use her iPhone, I pondered the question: have we finally arrived in terms of using technology? Has technology

become pervasive enough and easy enough to use, that society has made it over this adoption hurdle? Society's Technology Adoption

Society is making significant progress in this digital revolution: ƒƒ Most people in business in the industrialised world have broadband internet access, a website and an email address. ƒƒ The mailbox has given way to the email box, the yellow pages have given way to web pages, classified ads have given way to Craig's List. ƒƒ Most people, even the technology laggards, are carrying around smartphones. ƒƒ Computers have become much easier to use than just a few years ago. What once was “plug and pray” now truly has become “plug and play”. Many applications are web-based and easier to use. ƒƒ Google is the first stop for research for many or most people in the industrialised world. 2019 No. 12 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR | 65


“Paper and Word docs are terrible ways of storing, using and sharing event logistics data!”

ƒƒ More than 2.38 billion persons use Facebook, nearly a third of the entire global population. ƒƒ Smart speakers such as Alexa and other smart home devices are working their way into widespread usage. In general, the technology infrastructure (broadband, the web, computers, mobile phones) has been built. Applications have become easy enough that most people can use them, and society is adopting quickly many of these new technologies.





Event Professionals' Adoption

The meetings industry has not been especially known for its early adoption of technology. However, things are changing rapidly. Here is where we are now: ƒƒ Online registration and event apps are commonplace meetings making meetings more efficient for planners, suppliers and attendees. ƒƒ Mobile engagement applications for events (polling, surveys, social media links, second screen technology, gamification, etcetera) are providing a richer experience for conference participants. ƒƒ Online housing is common for meetings, especially for large,



multi-property room blocks events. Speaker management tools are common for large, multi-session events. Exhibition management and show floor plan applications are widely used, especially for the larger tradeshow. Web-based video and web conferencing tools have become easy to use, inexpensive and reliable, adding virtual meetings as another tool in the meeting planner's tool chest. There are thousands of web-based software applications to help manage web sites, scheduling, banquet seating, event logistics, procurement, site selection, surveys/ audience polling, travel and more. Increasingly these are being incorporated into the business process of running events. Social media tools are widespread to connect with suppliers, attendees, exhibitor and other stakeholders to manage, market, and improve events.

Where do meeting professionals need still need to go with technology adoption?

Despite these advances, we still have a way to go. Here are some key steps that must be done for this technology revolution to be fully implemented. ƒƒ Eliminate nearly all paper in your office: One of the quickest ways to identify organizational inefficiencies it to look for the paper, and work out digital methods to manage these data. Paper (and flat files such as Word/Excel) are still central to many meeting planner processes: especially for event logistics and supplier procurement. Paper and Word docs are terrible ways of storing, using and sharing event logistics data! Alternatively, web-based processes for planning tasks can put everyone one the same page. ƒƒ Eliminate nearly all paper at your events: Meetings and tradeshows have historically been awash with paper onsite as well (for programs, exhibit guides, exhibit brochures, course notes, and others). Technology can provide more efficient ways of accessing and transporting these data, and it will help reduce the environmental footprint as well.


“Embrace mobile technology: Innovation is alive and well for events”

ƒƒ Eliminate email as a primary logistics communication tool for events: Invented nearly 50 years ago, email is interruptive, nonthreaded, and inefficient especially for tracking the thousands of details surrounding events. Project management and collaboration tools can provide all documentation sequentially in the same place and are much richer and more efficient ways to sharing meeting data. ƒƒ Embrace mobile technology: Innovation is alive and well for events. Newer tools, such as text bots, wearable beacon technology, voice bots, new augmented/virtual reality applications are just a few of the newer options that meeting hosts can consider to improve the event experience. ƒƒ Work toward software integration and data analytics: Never before have there been so many ways to measure the attendee journey onsite (mobile event apps, social posts, wearable beacons, mobile surveys/polls, NFC badges/dongles and more). This collective data can be used to improve future events and, individually, the data can be used to personalise future communications with the attendee.

However, it is imperative that these different data sources be combined and brought back into the attendee/customer database and marketing automation systems. ƒƒ The major tech companies with large portfolios of tech products are making progress on integration as well as newer, smaller cloud-based companies which are built at their core with code designed to be interoperable. This integration infrastructure is being built, but it will be up to the event tech companies to make the process back into an attendee record seamlessly easy. When vetting event tech products, a major question to ask them is how well they share data among other tech provers. Choose those companies that do this well.

and well and the ‘race’ for meetings and tradeshow business will often go to those who use technology to be nimble, reduce cost and provide superior customer service. We're not quite there in terms of full digital adoption, but we are making progress. Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP, DES, is a speaker and independent consultant focusing on meetings technology. Previously, he ran international citywide technology meetings for 18 years.

The benefits of this technology revolution include more efficient and less expensive meetings with greater impact. As we approach a new decade where technology infrastructure has been built and technology is easy enough to use that your grandmother can do it, we need to take these final steps to fully digitise our business processes. Digital Darwinism is alive 2019 No. 12 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR | 67






Guy Wilkinson

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) released its 2019 financial year performance results, which saw the 1.4 million delegates and patrons attending events at the venue generate AU$896 million in direct expenditure for the state in its third year of operation. International and interstate visitors helped generate 73 per cent of the total expenditure. Furthermore, the venue's operations and events delivered an economic contribution to New South Wales of AU$902 million, generating 5,790 full-time equivalent jobs for the local economy and 1.77 million overnight stays. A vital component of the NSW Government's suite of infrastructure projects, ICC Sydney is an AU$1.5 billion development which comprises an industry-leading convention centre, exhibition centre and the 8,000 seat First State Super Theatre. CEO Geoff Donaghy says ICC Sydney's commitment to continually improving its performance is making a real difference for Sydney and New South Wales. “ICC Sydney is generating economic and social benefits for our citizens, and our approach to providing extraordinary experiences through event programming places local talent centre stage and elevates Sydney's reputation for creativity and innovation. “Another key contributor to our success is the talented team behind these results. Our EY Sweeney delegate satisfaction survey again revealed an extraordinary 99 per cent rating and our client satisfaction

rating increased from 97 to 99 per cent.” NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet says ICC Sydney is boosting the economy, creating jobs and giving back to the community. “ICC Sydney is a best practice example of why the State invests in major infrastructure projects, delivering a win for the people of NSW, the economy and visitor experiences while enhancing our city's reputation globally.” Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey says: “The world-class development is part of an ongoing revitalisation of the precinct that will transform the 20 hectare Darling Harbour area.” With the business fundamentals in place, and as a significant piece of government infrastructure, Geoff Donaghy says that international convention centres also have an obligation to look beyond the numbers. “Our commitment to the community is evident across several areas including our work with First Nations people and their businesses, students, startups and entrepreneurs, feeding people in need and providing the creative industries access to our world stage. “Highlights from across the financial year include becoming the first convention centre nationally to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan, creating opportunities for artists from the Talent Development Program, Bankstown Poetry Slam and the Kari Foundation to perform at ICC Sydney and donating thousands of meals to community members.

“Celebrated as more than a magnificent venue, our investment in our people and our engagement with the community around us are the critical ingredients to our client's success and the experience we deliver for visitors.” Further ICC Sydney achievements in 2018/2019 include:

ƒƒ Invested more than AU$12.2 million in direct food and beverage spend in regional New South Wales, representing 97 per cent and 92 per cent of the venue's food and wine purchases. ƒƒ Engaged 129 New South Walesbased food and beverage suppliers. ƒƒ Welcomed 1.4 million visitors to more than 671 core events. ƒƒ This includes hosting 33 major international events such as Sibos, the world's largest financial services conference, delivering AU$40 million in economic impact alone alongside the World Congress of Accountants, the Metropolis International conference and the 19th International Microscopy Conference (IMC19). ƒƒ Achieved 16 awards and accolades, which combine to a total of 47 since opening. ƒƒ Staff retention rate of 97.85 per cent. ƒƒ First Convention Centre to launch a Reconciliation Action Plan. ƒƒ ICC Sydney's pipeline of events is solid, having already secured a further 1,520 leading major national and international events across sectors to 2030.



Roger Kellerman Publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. Has over 30 years' experience of the global meeting industry. Founder of Mötesindustriveckan. photo

Sara Appelgren

The Importance OF BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Data is growing faster than ever before, and by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet. Business intelligence usually involves the delivery and integration of relevant and useful information in an organisation. However, as I see it, if you are not personally interested and engaged and learn to love business intelligence, your company will most definitely not get anything back from saying that business intelligence is essential. Companies use business intelligence to detect significant events and identify/monitor business trends to adapt quickly to their changing environment and a scenario. You should do that, too. If you use effective business intelligence training in your organisation, you can improve the decision making processes at all levels of management and improve your tactical, strategic management processes. To put it like this: business intelligence is about delivering relevant and reliable information to the right people at the right time, to achieve better decisions faster. Also, business intelligence brings a better return on investment for businesses. The reasoning behind this is simple. The more companies get an insight into the workings, trends 70 | MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL | BIR No. 12 2019

and analytics of their business processes, the more aware they are. This strategic awareness leads to faster reporting, lowering the operating costs etcetera, and can help produce products that match the requirements of the consumers. However, it doesn't have to be done by large and expensive its systems; you don't have to employ experts. You need to have some excellent sources as papers and magazines, websites and blogs. You need maybe one hour a day to gather information from your channels in Africa, Australia, South America and Asia, as I guess you already have a good view of your neighbourhood as I have in Europe and the US. Furthermore, business intelligence is also a way to expand your brain, get some new synapses, find exciting people and getting to understand the world better. It's not hard to get, and in my case, it's amusing starting every day, seven days a week, getting closer to people I trust and I know that they are doing the same every morning. Your ten networking contacts are probably following another ten people each, and suddenly it's 100 people working for you. Come on, let's expand our brains together. You need it, and the world needs it too.


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Profile for Meetings International

Meetings International | Business Intelligence Report #12, Sep 2019 (English)  

Shape the Future

Meetings International | Business Intelligence Report #12, Sep 2019 (English)  

Shape the Future