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The City of Espoo Awards its 6th Congress Ambassador

Ari Sihvola, professor of electromagnetics from Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering has been chosen as the EspooAmbassador 2014. EspooAmbassador operates as a congress ambassador of Espoo in Finland and abroad. The award was presented 28th of August 2014 during the annual EspooAmbassador event at Dipoli Congress Centre. Professor Sihvola is the 6th Congress Ambassador in Espoo.

The decision was based in Sihvola’s active work in national and international scientific organizations. Sihvola has been involved in a number of programme and organising committees of international scientific congresses, and thus has had a positive impact for the role of Espoo and Finland within the international scientific communities. He has successfully organised international conferences in Espoo bringing hundreds of international researchers to the city, most recently in 2009.

EspooAmbassador Programme

Visit Espoo together with the City of Espoo annually chooses and awards the Ambassador of the year. The purpose of this award is to highlight the importance of international scientific congresses as well as to encourage researchers and academics to invite these events to Finland and Espoo. The chosen Ambassador is a person of knowledge and stature, influential in their field, who can act as a representative of Espoo and is prepared to work with local meetings professionals to secure conference business for the city.

SNCVB Will Take Over Responsibility for Sweden's Participation at IMEX and EIBTM

In 2014 the Swedish Network of Convention Bureaus (SNCVB) has been one of the actors involved in the planning-work for Sweden's participation in the two largest meeting fairs in Europe; IMEX and EIBTM. The next step is that from 2015 SNCVB will take total responsibility for Sweden's presence at the two fairs.

Sweden's participation in these large meeting fairs has for many years been managed and coordinated by Visit Sweden. When Visit Sweden in 2013 received a lower allocation from the government it pulled in all activities in the Meetings & Incentives segment. A number of destinations then stepped in and ensured Sweden's continued presence in the two most important international trade fairs, IMEX and EIBTM. Stockholm CVB took responsibility and led much of the work. Now SNCVB steps in.

"We see it as a natural step to step in and take responsibility for the two main meeting fairs in Europe, now that we (SNCVB) are a separate legal entity with broad support in meetings Sweden. Along with participating destinations, we want to ensure Sweden's presence on the international meetings  map and contribute to several international meetings being hosted in Sweden," said Ante Jankovic, chairman of SNCVB.

The working group will be led by Louise Alexandersson, Stockholm CVB, and consists of the CVBs participating in international fairs.

Swedish Network of Convention Bureau is a non-profit organization where all Swedish CVBs are members. SNCVB operates based on two main areas of focus, business value and knowledge to jointly develop the Swedish meetings industry.

Meet Taiwan to Promote Incentive Campaign in Singapore

MEET TAIWAN is promoting Taiwan as the top-of-mind destination for incentive travel in Asia with its “Super Team in Asia” Campaign through a roadshow in Singapore.

The roadshow, to be held on 22 August, is expected to bring in 50 Singapore buyers comprising of Association buyers, PCOs, Corporate buyers (incentive travel, meetings, conferences) and intermediaries. Held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, these buyers will network with 6 of Taiwan’s premier MICE suppliers and learn more about Taiwan’s MICE environment through the various presentations that will be featured at the roadshow.

MEET TAIWAN will also leverage on the roadshow to promote “Super Team in Asia” – its first-ever multi-national incentive campaign – held across Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia – and consists of an online and offline tour to Taiwan to educate, entertain, and express the beauty of Taiwan’s incentive travel resource.

Registration for the competition closes on 31 August 2014. The final winner will be crowned the “Super Team in Asia” and bag an incentive travel package to Taiwan worth more than USD 50,000.

Inaugural Association Day Takes Centre-Stage At IT&CM India 2014

The inaugural Association Day, launched at IT&CM India 2014 in collaboration with KW Conferences, opened to a full house of delegates with the first educational session helmed by Martin Sirk, CEO of International Congress and Conventions Association (ICCA).

Forum topics that provided attendees with an in-depth understanding of association management in India included: “The ‘Third Wave’ of Destination Marketing Competitiveness”, “Best Practices – Developing Middle Level Association Professionals”, “Benefits of Attracting International Meetings to India” and “Managing Sessions and Speakers for Higher Delegate and Association ROI” and featured knowledgeable speakers from various associations and corporates like Association Networks, Healthcare Global Enterprise Ltd, KW Conferences, SICOT India, Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels & Resorts and Event ROI Institute.

Meanwhile, the second day of IT&CM India 2014 proceeded with business appointments in full swing. Interacting with National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) and Destination Management Companies (DMCs), association buyers had productive face-to-face meetings at the tabletop exhibition with big names like Creative Travel, Euromic, Japan National Tourism Organization, Sapporo Convention Bureau, Travelite (India) to name a few.

Tomorrow’s education focus will shift towards Corporate Performance catered to influencers and decision makers of their organisation’s performance improvement programme, highlighting corporate performance topics such as “Harnessing the Power of Incentive Travel”, “Technology and Incentive Travel” and “Measuring ROI for Meetings and Events."

ICCA and MCI Win UNWTO Award

The ICCA Scandinavian Destinations Sustainability Index, an effective tool developed by ICCA and MCI to measure and drive progress on the industry-transforming Sustainable Scandinavian Meetings Region collaboration, has received the ‘Most Innovative Project Award’ at the 2nd United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Knowledge Network Global Forum.

Since 2010, visionary leaders from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the five countries of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Scandinavian Chapter, have been working with MCI to transform Scandinavia into the world’s first sustainable meetings region.

The ICCA Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index measures and compares the social and environmental sustainability commitment and performance of capital and regional cities in the five participating countries. Recognised by UNWTO as a pioneering project, the index was declared one of the three best submitted entries in the category ‘Innovation in Tourism: Bridging theory and practice.’

“The paper was outstanding for its contribution as an innovative tool to measure and share project progress in the Sustainable Scandinavian Meetings Region collaboration,” said Dr. Hazael Cerón M., Professor at the Facultad De Turismo Y Gastronomía, Universidad Anáhuac México Norte and part of the judging committee. “The paper was evaluated on several areas, including the significance of the discussion on innovation in tourism, validity of research methods used and overall structure.”

23 cities’ sustainability performances

The purpose of the index is to benchmark and share 23 cities’ sustainability performances, driving a significant shift in the development and implementation of each destination’s sustainability strategies, communication campaigns and certification initiatives. Improvements have been recorded year-on-year, including a 7% overall increase in destination performance in 2013 compared to 2012.

Representing one of the 23 participating cities, Jonas Wilstrup, Convention Director of Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau said, "This unique project has helped regional leaders from Scandinavia to develop a shared vision of a better, smarter and more sustainable future. Ultimately we believe this will create a more competitive and healthy meetings industry."

“By regularly sharing best practices and benchmarking data, each city and country is able to understand their current performance and set targets for improvement,” said Guy Bigwood, MCI Group Sustainability Director. “The project is now expanding into phase two, and has a vision and business plan to benchmark over 100 global cities by 2018.”

The ICCA Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index was commissioned by the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter, developed and conducted by MCI Sustainability Services and sponsored by MCI and VisitAarhus.

Photo: © ICCA Scandinavia

Uppsala Wins 3rd ICCA Client Supplier Workshop 2016

In 2013 Uppsala increased its number of international meetings by 50 percent and foreign congress participants doubled in comparison to 2012. The city is working hard to build continued strong growth for the coming years and has now won the 3rd ICCA Client Supplier Workshop 2016. This is one in a series of international initiatives that Uppsala Convention Bureau hopes will contribute to continued positive results for the city.

ICCA Client Supplier Workshop for smaller conferences is a workshop that has been conducted on two previous occasions, 2013 in Ghent and 2014 in Toulouse. In future, this European workshop will be organized every second year. Some fifteen of Europe's international organizations are invited and the participating guests decide where precisely their international conferences should be held. Participants are limited to 15 organizations and 15 convention bureaux (destinations).

“Uppsala has participated in the two previous conferences, and we are very pleased with the results. The destinations have been in dialogue with the organizations behind the congresses and have found reconciliation of both knowledge exchange and pure business benefits. It's a good opportunity, in a smaller context, to learn more about how associations think and what they expect of us as destinations in the future. It seemed obvious to apply for hosting this workshop,” said Anna Lindström, Manager, Uppsala Convention Bureau, Destination Uppsala.

“The first attempt to take home the meeting in Uppsala was made even before the 2014 arrangement, but at that time Uppsala lost against Toulouse. But dedication paid off in the end and the 3rd ICCA Client Supplier Workshop is now to be held in Uppsala, 18-20 February in 2016.

“We practice what we preach. To take on the hosting of meetings and workshops is obviously as great as when we ask our local meeting ambassadors to do the same. We see events like this as a great opportunity to showcase Uppsala for both potential clients and colleagues in the industry,” said Anna Lindström.

The criteria to participate in the upcoming workshop is that each destination brings a person involved in decision-making, from an organization whose Congress regularly rotates between at least three European countries, has up to 800 participants and is arranged for three or more days.