IMEX in Frankfurt 2021
is cancelled.
hotel news Sweden
Scandic Arlandastad opens its doors
with Scandinavian XPO international meeting and event center as its neighbors.
hotel news
Built in a former prison
Hotel Kakola boasts a fascinating history.
creative new offering
Hybrid City Alliance
recognises growth in multi-hub meetings and conferences.
World Economic Forum
Special Annual Meeting 2021
to Take Place in Singapore in May.
For 85 properties
Radisson Hotel Group
signs Multi-Year Tecknology Agreement with Cvent to Drive Transient Business Growth.
45 properties
Radisson Hotel Group
strengthens its extended stay value.
boost your business
Seoul Convention Bureau:
MICE will stand for “Meet Innovatively with Cooperative Energy.”
Earthquakes creating meetings
Milan to host World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE) in 2024
AIM Group, the congress organiser, was one of the promoters of the candidacy.
2-5 September in Madrid
BestCities succeeds
in helping associations future-proof and drive positive change via first ever ‘Hybrid’ Global Forum.
Radisson Hotel Group strengthens its extended stay value proposition and ambitiously grows its serviced apartments portfolio across EMEA

Radisson Hotel Group has plans to more than double its serviced apartments portfolio within the next five years across EMEA. Today, serviced apartments represent around 10% of the Group’s EMEA portfolio with 45 properties and more than 5,400 units in operation and under development. Radisson Hotel Group operates its serviced apartments as a stand-alone or a mixed-use development in combination with a traditional hotel operation. Serviced apartments will be developed as a brand extension of the existing Radisson Hotel Group’s brand portfolio to cater to the different segments from midscale to luxury.

Elie Younes, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer Radisson Hotel Group said: “For many years we have explored the strong demand for serviced apartments and extended stay products by recognizing it as an attractive risk-adjusted investment proposition that has considerable growth potential. Given its relevance to the current economic climate, this value proposition has recently been further defined in our portfolio, offering a holistic concept with more opportunities for our investors and more possibilities for our guests. We commit to stay relevant to all our stakeholders.”

Radisson Hotel Group’s expansion plan aims to double the portfolio in operation by 2025, recognizing the attractive model of either combining both hotel and serviced apartments in one development or as a standalone operation, catering to customers looking for a residential atmosphere when travelling for leisure or on business for a short or longer period of stay. This proposition features an attractive operational and commercial model with value engineered construction parameters, featuring a new look and design. It offers studios as well as one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments with fully equipped kitchen, en-suite bathroom, 24-hour reception, housekeeping services, engaging social and communal spaces, food & drink options and a range of leisure facilities tailored to its location.

Building on the significant growth to date in much of the EMEA region, Radisson Hotel Group plans to open soon new serviced apartments units in Paris, Amsterdam, Dubai, Istanbul, Larnaca, Cortina, Cairo and Riyadh, with further openings planned in Germany.


Seoul Convention Bureau: MICE will stand for “Meet Innovatively with Cooperative Energy.”

The primary role of SCB is to promote Seoul, an attractive MICE destination full of natural ‘Bleisure’ charms. The PLUS SEOUL support program was revamped once again by lowering the requirement and enriching customization added in preparing another successful year. With the pandemic gluing people on the ground in front of the computer screens, SCB faced the most challenging time and decided to bring the destination to the people instead. The Virtual Seoul platform created as an innovative destination marketing tool closely reflecting the city in its look and functions. It broadens the definition of a virtual meeting as e-conference, virtual tour, live discussion, gamification, cultural activities, promotional booth are all available. The success of the very first virtual round table of the UIA Association’s continued to other local and international MICE events, as well as the virtual fam tour inviting major MICE media.

Vitalizing the eco-system of local MICE industry by maintaining close partnership is as much important as to being a destination marketing body of the region. SCB took the leading role in response to the pandemic and provided consultations on various situations to Seoul MICE Alliance (SMA) members and other local private sector, distributed PPE materials, such as facial masks and hand sanitizers and managed digital marketing activities of the industry. These collaborative actions with local MICE sector persisted with advertising the venues and services on SNS channels of SCB, producing VR videos of venues and services, opening discussions on the current and prospective situations as well as participating in joint campaigns. The SCB’s leadership of creating the sustainable energy with private sectors in crisis was recognized by International Convention and Conference Association (ICCA) and rewarded with the Best Marketing Award- Special Edition 2020.

Seoul Convention Bureau also welcomed an opportunity to strengthen the bonds with global MICE society when joined the ICCA Congress 2020 as one of six HUB CITIES. Though meeting face-to-face is restricted, MICE events bring innovative solutions to create the synergy, sustain the partnership, go through the crisis with cooperative energy. It is in fact the embedded value that the bureau aims to spread with the support program PLUS SEOUL- “Boost your business event experience with lasting stories and bonds.” Seoul Convention Bureau moves slowly but steady ON-line and for ON-site, together.


More information about Seoul Convention Bureau is available at


Photo: “Seoul Convention Bureau (SCB)’s keyword for the year 2020 was collaboration. The focus was to build stronger connections with the key players of the industry as well as the outside. As we all know, the year 2020 has been a special one brought consistent challenges and changes to the MICE industry. Out of all, the biggest influence from the COVID-19 pandemic was the implementation and advancement of meeting technology with no doubt,” said the Executive Director of SCB, Don Byun.

Milan to host World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE) in 2024

Milan will host the 2024 edition of the World Conference in Earthquake Engineering (WCEE). This is the most important international scientific event in the field of seismic engineering which is held every four years with about 5,000 expected delegates in Milan.

A close collaboration and a creative approach between the academic world, engineering companies, the city and the PCO guaranteed the success of this bid.

All of those involved in the Milan bid to host this prestigious event were delighted to hear the news. It was the real team effort, which determined the success of the bid. Strong synergies were created by bringing together, the two academic associations: Anidis (Italian National Association of Seismic Engineering) and ISI (Italian Seismic Engineering), the corporate sector as well as AIM Group International, a company that specialises in international conferences organization for more than 60 years. The support of the Eucentre Foundation (European Center for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering) was also fundamental, as well as the involvement of the local institutions, MiCo Convention Center, the location which will host the event, and major companies active in the field of earthquake engineering in Italy.

The 59 national delegates of the countries that constitute the IAEE (International Association for Earthquake Engineering) voted online and chose the city of Milan, competing against strong bids from Montreal (Canada), Lyon (France), New Delhi (India) and Auckland (New Zealand). The congress will return to Italy from 30 June to 5 July 2024, 51 years since it was celebrated in Rome in 1973.

“We are really happy with this result, which confirms that Italy represents an excellence in the international scientific scenario and a reliable conference destination. We worked with great commitment on this project, designing an innovative and creative bid dossier. Our Group has believed in this ambitious project from the beginning and has invested in a long process that led us to this important acquisition” explains Flaminia Roberti, Global Sales Director of AIM Group International.

“Normally we were due to present our bid during the 2020 edition of WCEE which was due to take place in Japan. Due to the pandemic, that congress was postponed to 2021 and the presentation of the bid was moved online” says Marica Motta, Sales Operation Coordinator of AIM Group International. “We decided to create a website-event to profile the entire project. An emotional and motivational video produced ad hoc explained to the delegation the strong desire of the City to welcome delegates to the city. It also included a series of video support messages from international key opinion leaders and important institutional endorsements (Lombardy Region, Civil Protection, Mayor of Milan, National Council of Engineers) and a long list of 75 supporting sponsors (representing associations and companies)”.

This communication strategy struck a chord with the IAEE Board. Other distinguishing features included technical visits to the behind the scenes construction of the Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics and to the exceptional Shake Lab of the EuCenter Foundation.

“At a time of great difficulty that hit the meetings industry hard, we are concentrating all our efforts on innovation to support companies and associations in the digital transformation that can give continuity to their educational and social initiatives. This victory galvanizes us: we look to the future with optimism, waiting for putting our passion back into the organisation of big events with our cities as the ideal stage”, concludes Flaminia Roberti.


Photo: Flaminia Roberti, Global Sales Director of AIM Group International.

BestCities succeeds in helping associations future-proof and drive positive change via first ever ‘Hybrid’ Global Forum

The annual Best Cities Global Forum returned this year, blending physical & digital to create unique hybrid educational event for delegates around the world.

Delegates and organisers of the Best Cities Global Forum were united in their praise for the three-day hybrid event that combined aspects of real-life and virtual to create impact and inspire knowledge sharing amongst industry peers.

The conference, which took place over 17–19 November with over 128 delegates from around the world, was supported by partners and guest speakers such as Future Strategist Michel Mol, Veemal Gungadin, Founder of GEVME, and David Noack Perez, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau.

The event featured one-of-a-kind experimental sessions on transforming events to futureproof models, a hybrid session with both real-life and digital delegates in attendees beaming in to Singapores Marina Bay Sands, and a truly unique virtual tour of Madrid – giving delegates a digital taste of citys stunning landmarks.

This years Global Forum looked a little different to previous years, which usually takes place in a partner destination, and sees associations and stakeholders come together for a lively conference of connection, knowledge sharing, and city exploring. This year, the alliance took an experimental risk with their hybrid event format – on the basis that there was never a more important time for the industry to gather, reflect, and prepare for the next chapter.

The event also saw the announcement of Best Cities Global Forum Madrid 2021 – hotly anticipated since its postponement this year – which will explore the theme of Inclusion, and will see international delegates explore the stunning Spanish capital after a long period of limited travel.

Lesley Williams, Managing Director at Best Cities, said: “While this may not have been the Global Forum that we were all planning for this year – bringing our partners, associations and guest speakers under one virtual roof inspired a wealth of passion, innovation and forward-thinking for our industry at a time when were longing for inspiration.

“Like Michels message on futureproofing models, we wanted to experiment with the aspect of a hybrid event, which despite its challenges, allowed us to expand our community, engaging regional as well as international associations – making it a fantastic opportunity to pass on legacy and knowledge to the future leaders of our industry.”

46 international associations signed up for the Global Forum, including representatives from International Society On Thrombosis And Haemostasis, International Currency Association, and the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.

David Noack Perez, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau, said: “Organizing this event has been a great challenge for us and has helped us understand how we want the Global Forum 2021 to be, which, with such enthusiasm, we want to celebrate in Madrid.

In 2021 we will continue to bet on the Legacy of meetings. This time we will address a topic of great relevance: inclusion through tourism.”

The Best Cities Global Forum 2021 will take place on 2-5 September in Madrid, Spain. To register interest and for further information on Best Cities Global Forum, please contact:

Photo: David Noack Perez, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau.

IBTM World Virtual 2020 goes live in a week

IBTM World Virtual is set for success with over 10,000 meetings due to take place over the three days of the event, which will this year take place completely online from the 8thto the 10th December.

The virtual event will include three full days of meetings between the world’s largest and best-known destinations and suppliers with top calibre Hosted Buyers from some of the biggest global corporations, associations and agencies, as well as a comprehensive programme of education sessions.

Recently signed major exhibitors include Singapore Tourism Board, Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, Adelaide Convention Bureau, European Convention Centre Luxembourg, Visit Norway Meetings & Events, South Africa Tourism, German Convention Bureau, Monaco Convention Bureau, Tourism Vancouver, Destination DC, The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, Visit Portugal CVB, Visit Britain, Rhodes Bay Hotel & Spa and Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre.

Buyers will attend from across the globe, with almost a third being new to the event. Association buyers include those from the European Society of Urology, the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), World Confederation for Physical Therapy, The International Ecotourism Society, International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy, Research Quality Association (RQA), The Linux Foundation, and The European Society for Medical Oncology.

Major corporations due to attend include: Jones Lang LaSalle, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Bain & Company, IBM, Michelin, Dell, Novartis International AG, Boston Consulting Group, Real Madrid C.F., Deloitte, Cook Medical, NIKE, Leroy Merlin, BBVA France, Puma Brazil, Mundipharma International Limited, Hyundai, HORIBA Medical, and Schlumberger.

The content programme will be available on all three days of the event and has been designed to reflect the key themes relevant to event professionals as our industry rebuilds and recovers post-pandemic, including sessions focusing on leadership through change, technology and sustainability.

New for this year is a programme of bespoke content for those running experiential events in the Exceptional Experiences stream. In addition, Hosted Buyers will benefit from dedicated content tailored specifically for them with the IBTM Inspire Masterclass stream, a separate on-demand track available from the 10th December – with sessions for associations, corporates and agencies, which is sponsored by Korea Tourism Organization.

On 10th December, IBTM TV, which is sponsored by MeetEngland and Monaco Convention Bureau, will stream live and on-demand content from our expert speakers direct to attendees’ screens. This will include a variety of panel sessions, keynotes, trend reports and awards ceremonies.

Highlights include a keynote presentation from Pancho Campo who will present a session about his experience working with former President of the United States Barack Obama, and how his learnings have impacted his approach to the future of events. Social Technologist and Futurist Cecilia MoSze Tham will explore the future of human connectivity and what that might mean for innovation in the events industry; and founder and managing partner at Storyminers and former e-visionary at IBM, Mike Wittenstein, will present ideas to help leaders gain support for their boldest ideas and strategies.

The recently announced fourth keynote speaker Philippe Legrain, who is a senior visiting fellow at the London School of Economics’ European Institute and the founder of international think-tank Open Political Economy Network (OPEN), will deliver a talk titled: Prospects for 2021: Recovery, Resilience, Reinvention. Philippe’s talk will explore what we can learn from past crises about the recovery and how the industry can reinvent itself in the future.

David Thompson, Event Director, IBTM World, said: “While we’re disappointed not to be able to meet in person this year, we’re excited to bring the industry together this December at IBTM World Virtual. We couldn’t have created this event without an incredible amount of hard work from our team and the support of our partners and friends within the industry, and we look forward to being able to get together in person again from the 30th Nov – 2nd Dec in Barcelona 2021.”

IBTM World Virtual takes place from 8 – 10 December 2020 and will incorporate three full days of one-to-one business meetings and a comprehensive programme of content.


Further information:





These 10 Big Changes Will Impact Events For Years To Come!

Among the many changes we’re seeing in the event and trade show industry today, these 10 predictions are potential games-changers and a glimpse into what we can expect over the next five years.


By Don Neal

"I’m forecasting these changes based on three major forces I see emerging today. The first is the acute need for event organizers to design and host events and trade shows that are more economically viable and that generate much more profit than is possible by simply following the old playbook. Second is the emergence of new and nascent technology that enables better outcomes for event organizers and audiences. And finally, and most importantly, new expectations from audiences that are looking for deeper connections, much more enjoyable experiences, and significantly better outcomes from their investment in the events they choose to attend.

I hope that all of us who care about the future of trade shows and events will take advantage of this disruption to reinvent an industry that has never been more ready for fresh thinking and innovation.

Here we go…

Efficient communities will become the preferred method for audience connection. No longer will event organizers be hands-off landlords expecting their audiences to gather, sort out, and build relationships the old-fashioned way. Expect AI-enabled technology to do a much better job of matchmaking and enter the event arena in a much bigger way. Also, watch for Slack and the Twitter analytics tool, Followerwonk to play a bigger role in how you help audiences take networking, connection, and community to the next level.

Omnichannel event media strategy will reign supreme. The false choice among in-person, virtual, and hybrid will soon be over and be replaced with year-round marketplaces, communities, and “always-on” platforms that allow event organizers to meet their customers where they are. Look no further than the retail industry if you want to see how the omnichannel strategy is working. Every successful retailer allows their customer to buy via a screen, a store, a social media site, an app, or a catalogue. Event organizers need to meet their audiences where they are. Think of your big annual event or trade show like Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day, or the world’s busiest sales event of the year, 11/11 Singles Day (Alibaba’s “event” that delivers more than 2.5 times the sales of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day combined).

Fractional staffing models will be taking root. With the furloughs, layoffs, and skill gaps we’ve seen this year, expect to hire individuals and companies on a fractional basis to provide expertise and bandwidth to supplement in-house talent. Add to this the concept of “ghost offices,” much like the ghost kitchens that are emerging in the restaurant industry, where multiple teams come together to plan events and trade shows as skunk work units that co-create new experiences in off-site locations.

Demographics will continue to be destiny. Events designed by Boomers for Boomers are coming to an end. A much more inclusive, blended, and more diverse event design team will build events that attract a much more colorful rainbow of people, functions, ages, mindsets, and organizations. Events that are diverse in every sense of the word are going to be where the best ideas, the best connections, and the best outcomes are produced.

Subscription pricing will become more popular and widely offered. The all-you-can-eat buffet model of large-scale events offered for a single registration fee will live on, but expect to see more “pay-as-you-go” options over the course of a year based on value vs. attendance at a physical place at one moment in time. Subscription pricing is a double-edged sword: the upside is that it can create stickiness and significantly expand your audience; however, the challenge is to offer enough value each month to make your year-round event portfolio indispensable and irresistible.

Event mission statements will be written and adopted to reflect the purpose and position of the event organizer. We all now know that the “why” matters at least as much as the “what” and the “how.” Give your audiences a reason to believe. Channel your inner Jerry McGuire, and write a mission statement for your next major event.

Profit will be of paramount importance to non-profit boards of directors and a key factor in executive compensation. Non-profit tax status doesn’t mean that your trade show or annual meeting shouldn’t be wildly profitable. Profit is the best indicator of what the marketplace thinks of you. Designing events with profit as the number-one criterion must be on the table: no money, no mission.

On-demand, just-in-time value will become the coin of the realm, altering the annual meetings portfolio planning process, calendar, and content creation cycle. If audiences embrace subscription pricing, they will expect what they need when they need it. Job interview advice, answers to questions that they can’t get anywhere else, original research, editorial perspective, customized supplier demonstrations–this is just the beginning of what tomorrow’s event audiences will come to expect.

Autonomous, unmanned trade show exhibits and demonstrations will be more widely seen. Drones aren’t the only unmanned presence we can expect to see at future trade shows. Interactive booths, virtual demonstration stations, self-service Q&A, and screen-to-screen interaction will begin to alter the trade show floor. People will always want to interact with other people, but augmented, autonomous exhibitions are being tested now and just may stick.

Event mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships will be more prevalent, and considered by more associations and societies. With so many non-profit events seeing declines in attendance and operating income, expect to see more M&A activity in the years to come. Partnerships and alliances will be forged out of necessity, and the results can be a major win–win. Everything will be on the table. It’s a great time to be a buyer.

Bonus Insight: Data, analytics, and better, more empirical decision-making will take a front seat. Non-profits, like all businesses, can’t manage what they can’t measure, and data will be the currency that separates the winners from the losers. Member firmographic data, event audience demographic data, behavioral and attitudinal data, and industry data aggregated and properly analyzed and applied will provide new sources of growth, new products, and new opportunities to add value. Syndicating industry data and insights could become a non-profit’s number-one source of revenue in five years.

I look forward to hearing from you in three years to see how many of these predictions have come to life. In the meantime, if you’d like to debate these predictions or learn more about how any of these might impact your event portfolio right now, drop me an email.

Author William Gibson said, “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.” Examples of everything I’ve described are either being tested, are on the drawing board, or soon will be. As you plan for 2021 and beyond, what do you have to lose by experimenting with new ideas that could catapult your event, your organization, and your career ahead by miles, not inches?

Here’s to a bright future for an industry that we all love and want to succeed in, and that so many people are counting on to prevail.


Don Neal, Founder & CEO, 360 Live Media