How to pivot
Incon Launches Covid-19 Resource Page
with offices in 170 destinations.
one step at the time
Asia’s MICE sector
expected to rebound ahead of other regions.
First to open
Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center
in Reykjavík is ready for the post-Covid-19 era.
amazing opportunities
Amsterdam Drone Week
expands activities with hybrid summits.
opening up
Etihad Airways
adds more return flights, including Paris, Geneva, and Milan.
New faces
at The Hague Convention Bureau
to focus on key sectors.
one step at the time
Emirates to resume passenger flights from May 21
to nine destinations.
one step at the time
RAI Amsterdam:
‘We’re ready to reopen following social distancing guidelines’.
one step at the time
Iceland To Open
to Tourists Again On June 15th (With Conditions.)
13,254 rotating association meetings
2019 ICCA statistics captured 13,254 rotating association meetings,
US still country number one.
Emirates to resume passenger flights from May 21 to nine destinations

Emirates has announced that it will resume passenger flights to nine destinations from next week.

The Dubai-based carrier says it will fly to London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Chicago, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne from Thursday, May 21.

The airline says it will also offer a seamless connection in Dubai for passengers travelling between the UK and Australia.

Emirates will only accept passengers on to these flights if they comply with the eligibility and entry criteria requirements of their destination countries. This includes approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) for UAE residents who wish to return to Dubai.

In preparation for the restarting of flights, the airline says it has enhanced various precautionary measures throughout the customer journey.

For example, at Dubai International Airport, customers and employees will have their temperatures checked via thermal scanners.

RAI Amsterdam: ‘We’re ready to reopen following social distancing guidelines’

RAI Amsterdam is ready to reopen its doors in the short term while closely following all guidelines regarding social distancing. The RAI wishes to organise trial events during the summer to test the various ways that visitors and exhibitors can be safely brought together. All the required measures will be taken. A detailed roadmap will help the convention centre get back to business safely.

“Other large locations where many people gather together are already open or will do so shortly,” says RAI Amsterdam COO Maurits van der Sluis. “Examples include department stores and home furnishing outlets like IKEA. The major difference between these locations and the RAI convention centre is that we have an even greater surface area available to enable people to keep a safe distance apart. We are also able to adjust the way we operate in order to ensure that the rules are followed.” Van der Sluis adds that the RAI has an enormous complex of some 110,000 m2 at its disposal, allowing people to easily move around while practising social distancing.

Visitors to the RAI will be asked to register in advance, emphasises Van der Sluis. This will facilitate a clear picture of the expected number of people and ensure that the RAI can provide them with detailed information about the safety protocols and any additional behavioural rules.

“We primarily organise and facilitate business to business-events. People visit the RAI to do business with each other and this can certainly be carried out at an appropriate distance. Moreover, as the RAI arranges the layout of exhibitions and conferences ourselves, we can regulate visitor flows so that they strictly follow all Dutch government guidelines. We can set up special routes, ensure one-way foot traffic and organise staggered entry times. Our clients will work closely with us to make sure these and other measures are effective.”

In Germany a clear distinction is being made between exhibitions and large consumer events. The German government has placed exhibitions on its list of permissible sectors which also provide a major boost to the economy. This means that Germany could follow China in reopening its exhibition and conference industry.

The RAI has various international events on its agenda as of September. While the continuance of these events is important for the convention centre itself, it will also provide an economic impulse to the region as a whole as Van der Sluis explains: “Every euro spent at the RAI leads to around seven euros being spent in Amsterdam. Various trade events are due to take place in the RAI in the second half of the year that will make a significant contribution, including IBC, PROVADA and PLMA.”

Technology exhibition IBC which is planned for September, will bring an economic impulse of some 80 million euros to Amsterdam. Real estate exhibition PROVADA is scheduled for November as are Interclean (a major trade show for the cleaning industry, with a focus on Coronavirus-related hygiene) and METSTRADE (the world’s leading B2B platform for the leisure marine sector). The IT congress European Women in Technology and PLMA, the trade show for retailers and manufacturers, are on the programme for December.

The impact of trade exhibitions and conferences at the RAI goes further. These events also significantly enhance the related sectors due to the resulting connections and deals that will help reinvigorate economies. And then there is the value to society to take into account. Meetings in the RAI, such as those focused on health and fighting diseases, facilitate the sharing of vital knowledge. Last but not least, innovation is also stimulated.

Photo: Exhibition and conference company to hold test events this summer to ensure visitors and exhibitors can safely meet.




Iceland To Open To Tourists Again On June 15th (With Conditions)

At a press conference held Tuesday May 12th ago, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir announced some up-coming changes to the travel restrictions to Iceland, posted by the Rekjavik Grapevine.

As it stands now, no one from outside the Schengen Area may visit Iceland, and those visiting from within the Schengen Area must go into 2-week quarantine. However, from May 15th, nationals of the Faroe Islands and Greenland will be able to visit without going into quarantine.

However, no earlier than May 25th and no later than June 15th, things are going to change significantly. Tourists visiting Iceland after this date can make a choice: go into immediate 2-week quarantine, get tested for the coronavirus, or present a clean bill of health from the health authorities in their home countries. Visitors will also be asked to install the Rakning C-19 contagion tracing app.

Bear in mind that no one from outside of the Schengen Area will be able to enter Iceland until June 15th. After that time, tourists from outside Schengen will probably be able to visit Iceland under the aforementioned conditions.

The Prime Minister told reporters that public and private health authorities will be working together to have the tremendous project of screening arrivals ready by the beginning of next month. She added that this could be an opportunity to learn more about the virus and how it spreads, and share this information with the world.

On the domestic front, swimming pools will open again on Monday, and gyms will open on May 25th. At that time, the upper limit for the public gatherings ban will also be extended from 50 people to 100.

This news likely comes as a breath of fresh air to Iceland’s tourism industry, and the country as a whole. Iceland’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, and the summer is typically the high season. However, with flights at Icelandair still at an all-time low, and with the prospect of bankruptcy for the airline possibly on the horizon, what exact effects this will have remains to be seen.


Photo: Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

2019 ICCA statistics captured 13,254 rotating association meetings

ICCA’s 2019 statistics captured 13,254 rotating association meetings, the highest ever recorded annual figure in its yearly statistics, with an increase of 317 from last year’s record-breaking figures.

Year on year, ICCA has seen a promising consistent growth pattern in the association meetings market. The ICCA Association Database now includes 21,000 regularly occurring meeting series, 260,000 meeting editions and 12,000 international associations.

The most respected global comparison of destinations’ performance in attracting international meetings, ICCA’s annual country and city rankings are highly anticipated by the meetings industry.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said: "ICCA’s annual statistics report is one of few that compares destinations’ meetings-related performance on a global scale and therefore provides great insight into global trends in the meetings industry. Given the current circumstances, it is great to once again highlight the consistent growth in association meetings globally. These figures show the need and importance of face-to-face events, and consequently that the industry will be instrumental in the global recovery when the time is right."

2019 city rankings: Paris holds on to the coveted title and remains in first position

In the number one spot in the ranking by number of association meetings in 2019, we have Paris for the second year in a row, followed by Lisbon, the city with the highest increase in number of events (+38) moving up 4 places from being 6th last year. Regular contenders of the top 5, Berlin (3rd), Barcelona (4th) and Madrid (5th), have made it once again, but Berlin and Madrid have swapped places from last years’ rankings.

Impressive newcomers to the Top 50 by number of meetings are Valencia (44 places higher) and Istanbul (40 places higher), respectively holding 48th and 44th position.


1 Paris 237

2. Lisbon 190

3. Berlin 176

4. Barcelona 156

5. Madrid 154

6. Vienna 149

7. Singapore 148

8. London 143

9. Prague 138

10. Tokyo 131

11. Buenos Aires 127

12. Copenhagen 125

13. Bangkok 124

14. Amsterdam 120

15. Seoul 114

16. Dublin 109

17. Athens 107

18. Rome 102

19. Taipei 101

20. Sydney 93



1. USA 934

2. Germany 714

3. France 595

4. Spain 578

5. United Kingdom 567

6. Italy 550

7. China 539

8. Japan 527

9. Netherlands 356

10. Portugal 342

11. Canada 336

12. Australia 272

13. Korea 248

14. Belgium 237

15. Sweden 237

16. Austria 231

17. Switzerland 221

18. Argentina 214

19. Poland 213

20. Brazil 209



Paris is ranked number one for international meetings

On 12 May 2020, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) published its annual country and city rankings of the most popular destinations for international meetings. For the second year in a row, Paris has taken the top spot, pulling even farther ahead of other European cities.

The capitals leading position is the result of a public/private partnership involving key destination stakeholders, with the City of Paris and Viparis foremost among them.

Paris ranking as the worlds number one conference destination, as well as the excellent results obtained in recent years, are a reflection of the successful promotional achievements by sector professionals, in partnership with the Conference Unit of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With a total of 237 international meetings in 2019 that fulfill the ICCAs criteria* – against 212 in 2018 – Paris is 47 meetings ahead of Lisbon, the runner-up (190 meetings). In 2018, Paris led Vienna by 40 meetings. The City of Light has thus pulled even further ahead of the second-place winner, as well as Berlin (176 meetings) and Barcelona (156 meetings). This is the third time in five years that Paris has won the coveted top ranking, proof of its enduring appeal.

Viparis tireless efforts have allowed it to maintian this lead. In its second full year of activity, Paris Convention Centre (Europes largest conference venue) hosted the World Congress of Cardiology from 31 August to 4 September 2019. Organised by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and with more than 33,000 participants from twenty different countries, it was not only the most well-attended ESC congress, but also the largest congress ever held in Europe to date. Paris Convention Centre also hosted the 37th Congress of the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (8,200 attendees). Paris Expo Porte de Versailles hosted the IAAPA Expo Europe, Europes number one leisure industry event, with 8,500 attendees.

For its part, the Palais des Congrès de Paris successfully hosted three congresses that each drew more than 4,000 participants: EURETINA 2019 by the European Society of Retina Specialists, the 47th annual World Chemistry Congress, and the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

One of the years highlights for the Palais des Congrès dIssy was the Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, while attendees of the World Hydropower Congress gathered at Espace Grande Arche.

Viparis is acutely aware of the challenges currently facing every stakeholder in the events sector, and is preparing to reopen for business in early September 2020. Together with Bureau Veritas, the group has created a unique set of health safety guidelines for its venues. In the future, the resulting label, called "SAFE V", will be deployed by the entire events industry.

Lastly, a certain number of international associations were obliged to postpone or cancel their events slated to be held in Paris in 2020 (or transform them into digital gatherings). In support of these bodies, Viparis has decided to offer them a one-year membership in the ICCA Association Community. This group, launched in January 2020, provides a forum for international event organising professionals where they can discuss the challenges they face in their efforts to become stronger and more resilient in the future.


* The ICCA publishes its annual ranking of meeting destinations based on three eligibility criteria: meetiings must rotate between at least three countries, occur regularly, and attract a minimum of 50 participants. Since international meetings represent less than 20% of all events held each year in the capital, the ICCAs statistics should be viewed in light of the aggregate figures for the Parisian conference sector.


"We are very proud of this recognition of the commitment of professional partners, which makes Paris a world-class destination for the conference industry. This collective spirit points the way towards a brighter future and a city that aspires to matches the expectations of attendees." - Corinne Menegaux, Director General, Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau


"Paris remains the world capital for international meetings and we are proud of the part we play in bolstering this lead. 2020 will be a very challenging year for the events sector, and we are convinced that events and professional meetings will help to drive the recovery. We are working closely with all our partners, who are striving harder than ever to make Paris even more appealing", says Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, CEO, Viparis.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau

Every day, the Conference Unit of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau strives to boost Pariss appeal, providing assistance and advice to associations organising large-scale events in the French capital. Bringing together Pariss leading stakeholders in the business tourism sector, the Unit encourages and supports trade associations that want to promote Paris as a host city.


About Viparis

Viparis, a subsidiary of the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is the European leader in conferences and trade events.


Viparis manages nine main events venues in the greater Paris region. Every day, we strive to make our sites and our services more efficient and adaptable. Because our customers well-being comes first, we have developed Guest Attitude, a unique blend of prestigious venues and high-quality services for the 10 million visitors (the general public, professionals and spectators) and the 800 events we host each year at our various venues (Espace Champerret, Espace Grande Arche, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, Les Salles du Carrousel, Palais des Congrès dIssy, Palais des Congrès de Paris, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris Le Bourget and Paris Nord Villepinte). Because we are always looking towards the future, we co-founded French Event Booster, the event industrys only innovation platform, where creative, collaborative ideas can circulate between industry stakeholders.


80% of Corporate Sponsors are interested in investing in virtual events but they need interaction, according to a new survey by AIM Group

AIM Group International, a company specialised in congresses, events and communication, published today the results of the survey “Sponsoring events during the Covid Crisis”. The survey was carried out amongst 350 pharmaceutical and biomedical company representatives covering all major therapeutics areas.

The aim of the survey was to learn how open sponsors are to support events during this health emergency, and in particular to the new opportunities offered by digital and hybrid events. The results reveal that the interest in new virtual platforms is high, but companies are still convinced that in-presence, face-to-face events offer a greater value.


Here is a snapshot of the survey findings:

• 58% of respondents would sponsor traditional multi-sponsor or exclusive sponsorship of in-presence events, to be held between September and December 2020.

• 72% would be interested in a hybrid solutions that combines in-presence with digital events.

• 78% would be interested in sponsoring fully virtual events.

• How a virtual event should be like, according to respondents? Interactive, flexible, 3D and in augmented reality (far from usual video calls or webinars) and able to track data.

• 99.5% consider useful that the contents available on demand after the congress, ensuring greater availability for participants and greater visibility for sponsors.

• 72% would like to see distance learning (DL) incorporated into the digital event, which would be available after the congress.

• 56% of sponsors would like to invest less in virtual events, 34% would invest the same and 10% are willing to increase budgets if greater visibility is guaranteed.

«The unprecedented crisis and change in the meetings sector motivated us to conduct a dedicated survey to better understand if traditional sponsors of conferences (pharma and biomedical companies) are interested in digital events and how they would invest", says Gaia Santoro, head of the Sponsorship Unit at AIM Group International.

«First of all, the high number of answers we received in a short time was notable. This highlights that this topic is hot for companies who want to communicate with their target audiences, despite the health crisis. It is also remarkable, maybe even surprising that the majority of corporate sponsors are keen to see the return of face-to-face events by the Autumn. This underlines that Sponsors consider in-presence events are at critical juncture and they don‘t want to see them being abandoned or considered obsolete due to the digital opportunities. Finally, we can infer that sponsors are ready to give support to realise new virtual experiences, provided that scientific content is relevant, participants are engaged and interaction with sponsors is guaranteed».

«At this critical time, we are focused on collaborating closely with the medical community and sponsors in order to find the best solutions for their new needs», says Rosangela Quieti, Managing Director of the Congress Dept of AIM Group International.

«We have taken into consideration the findings of this survey in order to reshape and adapt the sponsorship proposals and digital solutions. We understand that Virtual events are one of the most popular formats that stakeholders are ready to experiment with. We have just organised the first full digital congress forthe scientific society, AIOP. We are delighted to report that the association board and participants reported high levels of satisfaction with this event. Inspired by this positive experience, we are more determined than ever to imagine new creative formats in the future, hybrid or multi-hub, when it will be possible to meet again».