Meetings No 19
Artificial Intelligence
Atti Soenarso: AI is soon an everyday commodity.
Cover Story
Anders Sörman-Nilsson
Gazing into the future of the meetings industry.
Europe is not a market
It is the will to live together.
Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre
“Our vision is to create Europe’s most attractive venue.”
Padraic Gilligan
Why ROI for meetings and incentives is a waste of time.
Elling Hamso
Why ROI is not a waste of time.
ICC Sydney
An important contributor to innovation.
Radar on penetrating the ­European meetings industry.
HR Technology
The Rise of AI
Rohit Talwar and Alexandra Whittington: On AI and HR.
Sustainable Growth
Scandinavian sustainability initiative expands.
In a Hole
Lending a hand.
Record number of association meetings in 2016.
Best Cities Global Forum
“Unlocking the collective intelligence.”
My 23 Best Tactics for Personal Greatness
Robin Sharma: “Protect your willpower.”
Technology and Meetings
Tech is key in creating purposeful meetings.
IMEX Frankfurt
Packed with opportunities.
Cyber Security
The Anti-Cloud
Jaak Geens and Linas Bukauskas on
Cyber vs. Personal
Roger Kellerman: “Now is the time to improve online security.”
business intelligence
Participants from 16 countries
gather for a major conference on Baltic Sea cooperation.
Top Cities for Hotel Openings 2018
Dubai beats the rest of the world.
business Intelligence
EXPO 2020, Dubai:
500,000 new jobs, with more than 2,000 structures being built.
Ekonomisk succé
för SM-veckan i Borås.
Today is the start
first Q Berlin Questions conference.
business intelligence
Korea MICE Bureau
Unveils Best of UNESCO Capital Gyeongju for OWHC Delegates.

Thomas Engelhart
to leave Scandic Hotels.
Business intelligence
ICC Sydney Celebrates 1,000 Team Member Qualifications
Through TAFE NSW Partnership.
air Transport
More than 7% increase
in Air Travel Compared to Last Year.
football and meetings
The Convention Centre Dublin to host UEFA 2020 draw -
Pan-European media gathering to showcase Dublin as a major event host city
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The Importance of Legacy Is Becoming a Driving Factor

One hundred percent delegate satisfaction sets the standard for future Best Cities events and inspires associations to move from the red sea into the blue ocean when planning future meetings.

Dubai Business Events – the official Convention Bureau – in collaboration with the Best Cities Global Alliance and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), inaugurated the first ever Best Cities Global Forum in December last year. Dubai was host to the first event of its kind organized by the global alliance, set to pave the way for future collaboration among the industry.

The first edition of the Global Forum was hailed as a momentous success by organizers and delegates. One hundred percent of delegates surveyed reported the Forum fulfilled their main objectives in attending the event and would recommend it to other international association meeting planners.

The ideal learning environment for association international event organizers, the Best Cities Global Forum provided a four-day session guaranteed to educate and inspire. Held in the surroundings of Dubai, the Forum featured relevant case studies, thought-provoking expert speakers, and close collaboration with association peers from around the world.

In partnership with Dubai Business Events and PCMA, the Forum covered key topics such as advancing the purpose of international associations through long-term legacy development, improving event benefits to the host community, and creating strategic partnerships with destinations.

Thirty-five international association executives attended the Forum, including representatives from International Political Science Association, World Autism Organisation, International Menopause Society, World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and the International Academy of Periodontology.

Along with Q&A sessions with associations sharing practical examples of best practice, one of the core take-aways from the Forum was the benefits for associations in focusing on simplicity when conveying their meetings and organization’s brand values. Engaging workshops further armed delegates with the practical tools to help meeting organizers unlock the collective intelligence of their colleagues, in order to discover new creative and innovative ways of engaging with their association members.

“As an international alliance of 12 premiere convention bureaus, The Global Forum is the ideal example of the collective strength Best Cities provide our clients as an Alliance, championing inspiring thought-leadership and practical and hands-on support in association legacy development. That we can deliver that support in a fun, informal and engaging environment, rich in education and networking opportunities, makes it a win-win for associations,” said Jonas Wilstrup, Best Cities Board Chair, Conventions Director of Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau.

The workshops and sessions took place in the JW Marriot Marquis Hotel, and the Global Forum proved an excellent opportunity to showcase Dubai as a premier meeting destination, allowing delegates to experience first-hand Dubai’s hospitality, while providing deeper insights into the city’s rich heritage and ambitious future vision and innovation.

In recent years Dubai Business Events has worked closely with a number of international association meetings to help develop long-term legacies, both for the emirate and the organization.

Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events: “It was a pleasure for Dubai to host the inaugural forum and to partner with Best Cities Global Alliance and PCMA in creating an engaging agenda that reflects where we are headed as an industry. The importance of legacy is becoming a driving factor, not only for destinations, but for associations and the meetings they host. The Forum provided an ideal platform to share knowledge on legacy creation and I look forward to taking those learnings forward here in Dubai.”

Reflecting on the Global Forum’s success, delegate Anna Davies, Training Coordinator for the International Council for Exploration of the Seas said: “The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to gain inspiration and ideas for my future conferences and events. I especially enjoyed the very high standard of content, which has given me something to ’chew on’. I was also very impressed with the venue and the meeting forum, which facilitated good networking and lots of fun.”

Natasha Joyner, Events Manager, World Obesity Federation: “The Global Forum is a fantastic experience that allows all involved to connect and learn from associations, destinations industry experts and to dive deep into key topics and trends happening in the business events industry.”

The 2016 Best Cities Global Forum offered a packed program of speakers including tribal leadership expert Dr. Tommy Weir, Speaker and Professor of Hult International Business School, Oliver Martin, a stakeholder engagement strategist, specialising in destination development, Philip Davies, President of strategic brand consultancy EMEA Siegel + Gale and Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operations Officer, PCMA.

Marjan Faraidooni, VP of Legacy at Expo 2020s, set out ambitious plans to transform the Dubai World Expo’s 4.38 square kilometre site into an ecosystem that connects businesses in key sectors of transport and logistics, travel and tourism, real estate, and education within a thriving knowledge economy of the UAE’s diversified future.

“Our legacy plans are wide ranging and ambitious. Our Expo will continue to foster innovation, and to create meaningful partnerships that will live beyond 2020 – not only for the UAE but for the region as a whole,” Marjan Faraidooni explained.

The Expo 2020 Dubai would target its investment to deliver a long lasting legacy from the Expo site. “We have spent the past year working on developing our masterplan specifically to create a platform for the future. Over 80 percent of our investments will be retained following the event. This includes the infrastructure, as well as the cutting edge technologies, the roads and public transport systems put in place to host the Expo. We intend to build on those physical and virtual platforms to create an ecosystem that lives through legacy.

“We have dedicated considerable effort towards identifying how we could develop a place that will continue to attract everyone: businesses, students, and workers. It will be a place where people will continue to learn and take benefit from the plans and investment being made now,” Marjan Faraidooni concluded.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme is Connecting Minds, Creating the Future. The theme represents the belief that progress happens when people and ideas come together in new ways. And the theme celebrates the power of ideas, from anyone, to improve the lives of everyone. This is the guiding principle that lies behind all of Expo 2020’s activities.

Dubai Expo 2020 legacy plans are the product of over two years of research and development, following the successful bid to host the mega event in November 2013. Officials from the Expo organisers have looked closely at the UAE’s national strategic priorities, and the planning for other mega events, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Lisbon Expo of 1998. Both events stimulated investment which resulted in the successful regeneration of run down inner-city areas.

Expo 2020 Dubai will, in contrast, be a driver of the development of an entirely new quarter within the Dubai South district.

The Expo’s ecosystem strategy uses physical proximity and an enabling environment to create competitive advantages, most importantly access to leading edge skills and capabilities. Expo officials believe that the merging of industries with related technologies will create a centre of excellence that draws in further related companies, enabling wider collaborations and innovations.

Expo’s legacy planners have identified four high priority strategic industries: education, transport and logistics, travel and tourism, and real estate. These sectors form the backbone of the current UAE economy, and are industries that have a major role to play in the nation’s ongoing economic diversification.

As part of the legacy plan, Expo has explored what technologies, including augmented reality, big data and the Internet of Things could transform these industries. Expo has also identified education and cultural initiatives to complement the ecosystem envisaged by Expo organisers.

Over 80 percent of the Expo site will be reused or repurposed in the legacy phase. The theme districts – which will host the majority of the country pavilions – will become collaborative work spaces to house companies of all sizes, along with social and cultural institutions.

Expo’s iconic theme pavilions – the designs of which were unveiled earlier this year – will also be reused under the legacy plans. The conference and exhibition centre, a key structure within the Expo masterplan will become a major event venue for Dubai, to be operated by Dubai World Trade Centre, and benefitting from the synergies that will be created as businesses and people develop the Expo site in the legacy phase.

Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operating Officer, PCMA: “After being involved with the education content development of the Global Forum, we’re thrilled to see such an excellent lineup of speakers. This Forum will be a great opportunity for all of us to learn from one another about long term legacy creation and strategic partnerships while experiencing all of what Dubai has to offer for business events.”

In doing so, Dubai Business Events gains ground in its goal to further develop and increase Dubai’s share of the international business events market to spur innovation, create job opportunities and develop an economy that is prosperous and knowledge based.

“The Meeting Format was very good and the group was small enough to understand who everybody was. The high level of knowledge was not to be forgotten. And to meet the local business events ambassadors was for me at this meeting the opportunity to again meet some of the very interesting people we met when we wrote our Business Intelligence Report on Dubai. These meetings also deepened and broadened our discussion and created space for new conclusions. Legacy requires a vision, leaving behind a positive impact, partnerships with multiple stakeholders being remembered,” said Atti Soenarso, Editor in Chief, of Meetings International.