Meetings No 23
Pressure on Meetings International
Atti Soenarso: “At this point, we do not believe our ears.”
Cover Story
Catherine Boissier, Astra Zeneca
“Meetings are a vital tool.”
Cities across Canada Are Attracting Global Meetings
Due in large part to academics and industry innovators across a variety of sectors.
The Cost of Not Thinking
Mark Turrell: Applying conscious thought makes a big difference.
Dubai Tourism Launches Sponsorship Scheme
Designed to empower leisure event organisers.
Economic Development
Dubai Expo 2020 to Deliver $33bn Boost to UAE Economy
Expo 2020 is a long-term investment in the future of the UAE.
Calgary’s BMO Centre Set for Expansion
Funding approved for a $500 million expansion.
Longterm Development
The Potential of Cambodia
Visothy So: “We want to attract a lot of meetings and events.”
Canada Is the First Country to Have a National AI Strategy
Canada is in the lead of a global AI race.
‘She Means Business’ Digs into Diversity at IMEX Frankfurt
Diversity and inclusion are the linchpin of ‘She Means Business’.
The Business and Power of Placemaking
Placemaking in the spotlight at IMEX.
IMEX Frankfurt Shines a Light on Diversity and Inclusion
“Diversity means diversity of people, minds, ideas, and approaches.”
IMEX Agency Directors Forum
A highly relevant and future-focused programme.
Emirates Working on AI-Powered Flight Assistant
“The advancement of the next wave in aviation innovation.”
How to Fireproof Your Productivity
Exponential gains in your exceptionality, productivity and impact.
Volvo Car Group, a Human-Centric Meeting Culture
Paul Welander: “It’s always best when you meet live; for me that’s a meeting.”
The Art of Taking the Chance
“Many of the participants said it was the best congress ever.”
New knowledge
Brain research
shows added value live events.
BTM World 2020
transitions to virtual.
post-pandemic momentum
Dubai Tourism forms Business Events Stakeholders committee,
host first meeting as industry resumes activity.
hotel news
Scandic expects
occupancy of 30-35 percent for September.
Covid developer
Scandic Hotels
launches the largest network of coworking spaces in the Nordic countries.
planned for 16-17 Sep
Update on GIAF
- New dates set for 5-6 November 2020.
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
is now a carbon neutral venue.
positive impact
The Hague webinar
celebrates partnerships and first anniversary of Ottawa MOU.
expanding network
ICCA Partners up
with Geneva International Associations Forum (GIAF).
Sponsored Content
Taiwan Ready to Reopen to the World
Over 80 events taking place in Taipei now.
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The Art of Taking the Chance

In April, the Associations World Congress & Expo (AWC19) came to the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg. With our 30 years plus experience of international congresses, we rate the AWC19 to be one of the best. At least for us. There were 480 delegates, 260 of them representing an international association. Many of the participants said it was the best congress ever.

Gothenburg was shown from the intelligent side. Annika Hallman, head of the convention bureau, Malin Erlandsson and Maria Thylén, both from Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre/Gothia Towers, and Per Ankaer, MCI, and several of their dedicated team members created a world congress that went outside comfort zones and had lots of exciting things to offer.

We met Ebba Lund, a Danish woman living in Malaga, where she is the CEO of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation. Here she opened doors for us which we otherwise would have had to spend many hours working on from our computers. Now we took the first step into our Science Parks in Sweden, but also internationally. We also talked to Carianne Buurmeijer, from FEMS, Federation of European Microbiological Societies, and have now created paths into some upcoming articles on the importance of research for the development of the global meeting and event industry.

Furthermore, we had a meeting with Jane Cziborra, Head of Events at Alzheimer’s Disease International, and were able to exchange our experiences from our recent trip to Australia, where we met one of the world’s leading researchers in Alzheimer’s, Professor Juergen Goetz. We also met Jacqueline Wolde Yohannes, director of administration, FCI, Facilitating Open Account, Receivables Finance and got new insights into economic research which can be quite hard to find. Of course, these meetings were just some of the ones we had, but we were the ones who contacted these people to increase our knowledge from new parts of the world.

Among the exhibitors, about 150, were six cities from Canada, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore; four exhibitors from India, Thailand, Africa, Tel Aviv, Abu Dhabi, Prague; six exhibitors from Vienna, Ljubljana, Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Costa Brava, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Flanders, Holland, France, Strasbourg, Montpellier, Antwerp, Toulouse, London, Glasgow, Monaco, Munich, Nuremberg, Birmingham, Wales, but also the world’s largest hotel chain ACCOR and IHG. Of course, Stockholm was on site, as well as Gothenburg, Malmö and Borås. But there were also the other Swedish convention bureaux.

Gothenburg did not get the AWC19 doing nothing. They were engaged, involved and created the opportunities for the congress to come. Gothenburg has raised the bar: “We want to become the best meeting destination in the world!” Unswedish? Of course, but we have many cities and convention bureaux that must take the next step. And the next. And the next after that. No one else will take that step for us. We must do it ourselves.