Meetings No 28
The Metaverse: A Digital Reality
Atti Soenarso ponders the emergence of ‘metapresence.’
Cover Story
Carina Bauer
The IMEX Group will enter 2030 much more sustainable and regenerative.
Psychological Meetings
Tears in the Fabric: About Popular Culture and Morality
Hans Gordon on one’s liberties ending only where someone else’s liberties begin.
Hybrid+: A New Approach to Meeting Experiences
The project aims to build a strong position in hybrid experiences.
White Paper
The Future Role and Purpose of Convention Bureaux
Aims to shape a future vision for national CBs globally, including a visionary roadmap.
New Arena in Copenhagen for 7,000 Seated Guests
Providing new opportunities to host global events.
The Untact Mode
Korean Cases: Utilising Meeting Technology
The marriage between Korea’s ICT technology and meeting business appears in various forms.
Untact services
Untact: South Korea’s Plan for a Contact-Free Society
There will be an investment in technologies that enable untact services, such as robotics, drones and high-speed internet.
Green Ideas
Over the past 75 years, a new environmental canon has emerged.
Gothenburg Wins International Award for Sustainability Work
Global Destination Sustainability Movement winner for the fifth time in a row.
Three Trends Bound to Stay Beyond the Pandemic
Opinion: Three interesting trends that we need to capitalise on.
Glasgow’s Go Greener Toolkit Implements More Sustainable Practices
Aligning conference planning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Structural Change
Berlin Questions: Africa as the Laboratory of the Future
Best-selling novelist Lesley Lokko on architecture, ‘race’ and culture.
Regaining the Confidence of Associa­tions Key Elements Destinations Cannot Afford to Miss
Opinion: Three key criteria for seducing organisations.
New Business Unit Strengthens Business Events in Bogota
Consolidates investment and events attraction strategy in a single entity.
Why I Write
The titular George Orwell essay makes Robin Sharma examine his own motivations.
Meeting Design
Humanity’s Problem Is a Meeting Problem
Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology.
Villa Copenhagen: A New Hub for Business Events
Honouring the ethos of charming old Europe expressed in Danish architectural heritage.
Regenerative Revolution
Hannuwa: A New Paradigm for Event Management
Supporting the business events industry on a transformative journey.
I Have a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Roger Kellerman on facing a world where old rules no longer apply.
next-gen platform
mci group
opens a creative technology studio in Brazil.
23,000 participants
Eighteen International Conferences
Selected Seoul to be the Destination.
over 300 programmes
Helsingborg, southern Sweden
invites the world to a 35-day innovation fest with H22 City Expo.
hotel news
Scandic to open
climate-neutral hotel in Sundsvall, Sweden, in 2024.
airline news
China blocks some flights from the U.S. as Covid precautions rise
United canceled flights from San Francisco to Shanghai on six days in late January.
could be 8,000 delegates
The World’s Largest Congress on Allergy
Heads to Prague, Czech Republic.
hotel news
Germany’s first Radisson Collection hotel
opens in the heart of Berlin.
business & meetings
Beijing North Star Convention and Exhibition
and GainingEdge Enter into Strategic Partnership.
flight industry
New “boarding tax” in Belgium
to make tickets up to 10 euros more expensive.
new job
Destinations International
Announces Director of European Engagement.
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Regaining the Confidence of Associa­tions Key Elements Destinations Cannot Afford to Miss

This feature was originally published in Latin America Meetings Magazine.


José María Ávila, Kenes Group

André Vietor

Managing Director, Bco Congresos

These are not easy times for any destination around the globe to regain the confidence of hosting international meetings. Uncertainty prevails for all associations when it comes to deciding on future editions of congresses and their format.

These decisions used to be taken long in advance, but the current climate forces associations to shift their decision-making process to a much shorter term.

Whether to cancel, maintain the scheduled dates, postpone their conferences to another date and sometimes even consider a destination change can happen at the very last minute.

My view on how to seduce organisations to select a destination for an in-person or hybrid meeting comes down to these three key criteria: risk assessment, safety measures and flexibility.

Risk assessment No association can afford to take risks neither related to the health of their participants nor financially.

Destinations who are smart enough to provide a risk assessment plan to associations have a greater chance to be heard and considered as they show empathy with their clients’ concerns. Solutions to minimise risks give destinations a competitive advantage over others that do only “sell.”

Furthermore, the IAPCO National PCO Association Task Force is working with 14 National PCO Associations to advocate for the safe reopening of events. IAPCO International Forum of Tourism & Development Ministers | IAPCO: The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers.

Safety measures Besides implementing safety measures at the conference venue and given that all attendees have to have a Covid passport or have to go through mandatory daily PCR tests to attend the meeting, the difficulty lies in ensuring the safety of the participants outside the venue.

This can be achieved but is very complex since we have to get all stakeholders in the city on board to ensure a safe environment for all attendees, such as at the airport, hotels, public transport system, restaurants and bars, to name only a few.

Flexibility Flexibility is a must when it comes to Force Majeure clauses, cancellation terms and postponement of the meeting.

The recent experience shows that flexible and collaborative destinations with cancellations or postponements gained a loyal client for the years to come. This isn’t just about the venue, but hotels and other service providers involved in the supply chain.

In most cases, we assisted associations and destination marketing organisations with all three by providing solutions and avoiding major damage in critical situations.

In this respect, I would like to mention that IAPCO Ambassadors have worked with Best Cities Global Alliance to update bidding guidelines that help associations rewrite their bid guidelines or RFP’s to ensure they include the virtual and hybrid requirements.

Hybrid Congress Guidelines April 2021 pdf available on

Photo Bco Congresos