ICCA‘s 59th Congress in Kaohsiung will be a Global Hybrid Experience

By | 2020

Registration is now open for the Congress. This year, the theme is: ‘Transforming Global Events Together’ which will provide the structure for the future of global events.

The event allows ICCA’s global community to connect with each other and explore new ideas, formats, and technologies to combine the efforts in creating the “Kaohsiung Protocol” a framework that identifies major trends and key strategies, to thus enable the international meetings industry, to thrive now and on into the future.

This years’ Congress format is designed to enable ICCA’s global community of member-suppliers and associations, to experience the future of global events: Either live in Kaohsiung, at the regional hub, or virtually from November 1 to 3. The innovative virtual platform will give all attendees the opportunity to network, as well as engage in the contents of the Congress during the three days.

In response to the uncertain situation, and to give participants full control of how they wish to attend, ICCA is offering a flexible and adaptable approach to registration and the accompanying fees.  This means delegates can sign up now, but change their registration type later, allowing them to choose between a virtual attendee, a hub attendee, or an in-person attendee in Kaohsiung.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath concludes: “We believe in the power of meeting face-to-face but know this isn’t always possible. Still, we want to make sure our global community can take part and make their voice heard from wherever they are.”

For more information visit www.events.iccaworld.org/congress2020

MCEC Introduces VenueSafe Plan in Readiness of its Reopening

By | 2020

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) made the difficult decision, to extend its closure until midnight of August 31, in view of the Government of Victoria’s current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

In the meantime, MCEC has launched several safety and security measures under its VenueSafe Plan in preparation, when the venue gets back into business.

Peter King, chief executive of Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre said. “We’ve been working hard to ensure we have the right health measures in place to give our customers, visitors and people the confidence they need when our doors reopen.”

“We’re confident that with new measures in place as part of our VenueSafe Plan, customers can continue to enjoy Melbourne’s leading destination for big ideas and inspirational events, when it is safe to return to our venue,” he added.

The MCEC VenueSafe Plan includes a range of public health, hygiene and physical distancing practices such as: additional resources and support from the venue’s safety and security team; changes made to access of the venue for, it will not be possible, to use MCEC, as a public thoroughfare to the surrounding precinct; establish health check stations as well as, increased cleaning and sanitisation and temperature checks before, entering the venue.

For more detail on MCEC’s VenueSafe Plan visit mcec.com.au/venuesafe 

ITB Asia 2020 by Mess Berlin (Singapore) Goes Virtual

By | 2020

ITB Asia, MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia come this October 21 to 23 will be held in a virtual platform, while the live event, has been postponed to 2021 in Singapore

It will be hosted on a newly developed platform known as the ITB Community. The ITB Community is set to launch on August 12. In addition to hosting this year’s edition of ITB Asia, MICE Show Asia and the inaugural Travel Tech Asia, ITB Community will also facilitate a year-long virtual engagement programme for key stakeholders.

“We undertake a huge responsibility as Asia’s leading travel trade show to adapt and serve the travel trade community in recovery. Taking into consideration the need for businesses to connect, it is imperative for us to unite the community to enable business meetings to take place for a seamless knowledge exchange. ITB Community will be the latest permanent addition to a wide variety of offerings we have for our customers to tap into for their business success,” said Katrina Leung, managing director of Messe Berlin (Singapore).

The three-day virtual event for ITB Asia, MICE Show Asia and Travel Tech Asia will incorporate key features such as: business matching between buyers and sellers; top notch conference sessions; and virtual exhibition.

For more information please visit www.itb-asia.com

Tribal Gathering 2020 First Hybrid Event for the Industry in Sarawak

By | 2020

The hybrid event welcomed less than 250 industry partners from Kuching and, business events partners in the region virtually, including Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA).

At the event, the first launch was on BESarawak’s latest marketing campaign known as ‘Tribe Legacy Sarawak’. It immediately gained international recognition due to its creative elements in showcasing why Sarawak is a business events destination.

There are five components to the campaign which was created, as part of recognition by the Sarawak Government, to focus on tourism beyond leisure with non-economic values of business events that has an impact on Sarawak’s legacy, will be in the spotlight to improve professional, government and social communities.

Another crucial element that falls under the new campaign is the Business Events Planners Incentivised Package to support BE planners and industry partners. The package is divided into three sub-packages namely: Tribe Acceleration; Tribe Elevation; and Tribe Generation. A focal point for the package is, that BE planners, can benefit from two of the bureau’s reward programmes that is BESLegacy Reward Programmes and BESTribe Reward Programmes.

While, the second launch was the Reactivation Guideline for Organising Business Events in Sarawak which was developed, in collaboration with the Sarawak Government and fellow industry partners, to release a set of guidelines that would form the basis of organising business events in today’s situation.

The guidelines will be paired with standard operating procedures (SOP) approved by the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee to ensure hotels’ and convention venues’ readiness to receive delegates once again.

The final launch was ‘Tribe Digital Campus’ which is a virtual space for capacity building of skills training and business lead generation. Tribe Digital Innovation is one of the two prongs within the campus that actively promotes and subsidises quality skills training and international certifications; while Tribe Digital XChange is the virtual road show and B2B platform for industry partners to present their latest products and services to BE planners.

For more information on: Tribe Legacy Sarawak campaign, contact Rose Bruce at rose@sarawakcb.com; Business Events Planners Incentivised Package, contact Anedia Kahar at anedia@sarawakcb.com; and Tribe Digital Campus, log onto www.tribedigitalcampus.com or contact Olga Dazona at olga@sarawakcb.com

AIME is Going Hybrid for its 2021 Show

By | 2020

The AIME team has developed a show model that combines virtual with live event components for the industry to be able to meet, exchange knowledge and do business with delegates wherever they are in the world. It is scheduled to take place from March 15 to 17 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, incorporating a virtual format that is a hybrid which, will be the first for AIME

A poll conducted during the APAC webinar on the Joint Meeting Industry Council Manifesto for Economic Recovery using Business Events, revealed that 89 per cent of attendees expected to see hybrid events in 2021, further validating the move to the new show model.

“We understand that we all have a role to play in driving business events to help rebuild global economies and the new hybrid AIME is being designed to quickly help kick start our industry in 2021. By moving the show to March, we are giving the industry some extra time to adjust to post-COVID conditions as well as providing them with a road to new business opportunity,” said Matt Pearce, chief executive officer of Talk2 Media & Events.

The AIME hybrid model will see, exhibitors, hosted buyers and visitors attend either in person in Melbourne or virtually via the AIME online event portal.

While the virtual component means that meetings will no longer be restricted to the physical show dates. International virtual exhibitors and visitors will have the freedom to fix meetings best suited to individual time zone schedules. In addition to this, the Knowledge program content will be accessible at any time.

As for exhibitors who are able travel, they can still take part in the vibrant live show floor in Melbourne. At the same time, benefit from an increased number of buyers with those who are unable to attend, can do business from the comfort of their own office.

Penny Lion, executive general manager events of Tourism Australia said, “The recovery of Australia’s business events industry will depend on careful planning, unity and the industry coming together.”

She added engaging with businesses across Australia on the importance and value of events will also play, a role, in ensuring they are ready and willing to meet and do business when the time is right. If all things go as planned, AIME 2021 will be an early opportunity to renew business relationships and start planning events which will put the industry back on its feet.

For more details and to submit interest in exhibiting or attending AIME in 2021, please go to aime.com.au.  To follow AIME’s journey on social media visit FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.


Sarawak Introduces New Incentive Packages to Reactivate Business Events as it Re-opens for Business

By | 2020

Business events planners can look forward to two brand new incentive packages from Sarawak that is: the Business Events Planner Incentivised Package (BEPIP); and BESlegacy Reward Programme.  Both of which are supported by the Sarawak government to help restart the business events industry in the state in East Malaysia.

The programmes also include financial support for events happening from this year until 2022 with the condition that the events attract more than 150 international delegates.

Under the business development and event support programme, event planners are  encourage to plan for home grown events whereby seed fundings are provided for organising conventions and exhibitions in Sarawak.

Further to this, is the support given to associations in Sarawak through promoting their events by making it visible on an international scale, as well as identifying the legacy the conventions organised that will bring to the world.  This is through its BESLegacy Reward Programme.

More information on the two incentive packages is available at www.businesseventssarawak.com

Trade Fairs, Exhibitions, Congresses and Events can Resume in France

By | 2020

It’s official beginning from September 1, trade fairs, congresses and other major events may again be held in France.  This was announced by the French Defense and National Security Council (NSDC).

Viparis who manages nine main venues in the greater Paris region, will resume in autumn its business activity at Espace Champerret, Espace Grande Arche, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, Les Salles du Carrousel, Palais des Congrès d’Issy, Palais des Congrès de Paris, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris Le Bourget and Paris Nord Villepinte.

More than 40 events are already scheduled for September alone.  The Palais des Congres de Paris is from September 1 to 3.  Paris Nord Villepinte will kick off with Premier Vision Paris on September 15 to 17.

The first event for Paris Expo Porte de Versailles which welcomes eight million visitors each year is Workspace, dedicated to commercial interior design held September 1 to 3. Leading international fashion event, Who’s Next will be at the venue from September 4 to 7.  Paris Retail Week takes place September 15 to 17.  This is followed by Pro Days, a professional trade show for the bicycle September 20 to 22.

“Business meetings are one of the linchpins of our economic recovery, and Paris will maintain its appeal as a business destination and its leading international position,” said Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, chief executive officer of Viparis.

Union of International Associations (UIA) Round Table Asia-Pacific Goes Virtual – Hosted by Seoul Tourism Organization

By | 2020

UIA’s 8th Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific is set to take place on September 17 and 18 in a virtual meeting space in Seoul with speakers comprising of association experts.

The programme addresses topics of immediate interest and relevance to associations from working with remote teams, finding the ideal destination for an event, association business model innovation, mobilising resources, achieving goals and finding partners.

During the session, delegates and speakers will split into virtual break-out rooms for parallel sessions, where each speaker, will present a workshop on their topic. In the virtual break-out-rooms, delegates will be able to conduct discussions in real time with the speaker and their peers.

At the same time, participants are invited to join in mini games individually or in teams with opportunities to win prizes. They will be a virtual tour of Seoul showcasing the city’s tourist attractions and convention options.

Throughout the session, UIA team members will moderate, guide and assist delegates.

Seoul Tourism Organization provides the virtual meeting platform for easy access, networking and educational content and will combine it to provide an engaging experience for delegates.

UIA Associate members and other industry partners are welcome to join all education and networking sessions through the full virtual event.


Business Events Resume in Malaysia – Country Reopens its MICE Industry

By | 2020

Decision has been made by the Malaysian Government to reopen the business events sector in the country – allowing the industry to host domestic events with up to 250 participants effective immediately – under comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures.

According to a statement from the Business Events Council Malaysia: the announcement demonstrates the recognition and importance of the business events industry in contributing to economic recovery of the country. It also affirms the government’s confidence that the sector can operate safely, and provide a controlled, regulated and secure environment for the commencement of events.

“Our industry understands that it is crucial in this new environment to deliver assurance and trust through the delivery of safe, hygienic, secure and controlled business events, and that is why, the industry as a whole, worked very hard to develop the comprehensive SOPs, in line with directives stipulated by the Malaysian Government and guidelines and standards outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), to deliver safe, hygienic and healthy environments for all. It was great to witness how everyone came together to develop the various SOPs. This process has truly strengthened the voice of our industry and we recognise and thank all partners and stakeholders for their active involvement,” said the chairman of Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM).

While the chief executive officer of MyCEB, Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani bin Daud mentioned that is has been  heartening to see how the entire industry supply chain in the country, has come together and worked in solidarity to proactively engage with the government to establish detailed standard operating procedures to enable the business events sector to reopened.


How to Plan a Virtual Meeting – by Nigel Brown, BestCities Global Alliance

By | 2020

Getting Back to Basics: The Purpose of your Meeting

Seventy percent of meeting planners are shifting upcoming face-to-face meetings to a virtual meeting. Due to Covid-19, we’re looking at alternatives to face-to-face meetings by moving to a virtual platform –this causes one to disconnect as many, lose sight of what the purpose of their meeting is about.

So get back to the basics, sit down with your stakeholders to identify the purpose of your meeting.

Are you aiming to educate, offer a space for networking or create a marketplace? Could it be a combination or all? Answer this core question and move on to looking at differences between a face-to-face vs a virtual environment.

Differences between virtual vs face-to-face meetings

  • Time: if you usually run a whole day or multi-day event do not expect to do the same in the virtual world. You will fail, as it is much harder to keep the engagement up with a virtual audience who can get distracted. The sweet spot is one hour for a virtual event going up to at most two hours.
  • Meeting formats: your virtual sessions will need condensing, resulting in impacts on your session formats and programme design. It is key to brief your speakers so they are to the point and keep time as overruns will be disastrous for the rest of your programme. Make sure to build in some buffer between sessions for participants to grab a coffee and for your team to reset and prepare for the next live sessions.
  • Networking: your participants will need a little more help with networking in the virtual world as opposed to the real world. You should include networking in every virtual event you are running. Why? Because it makes your participants feel part of the event when they can interact with others.
  • Content: one of the benefits of virtual meetings is that it opens up the world to content. That great speaker you couldn’t get to your face-to-face meeting can now call in to your virtual meeting to deliver their talk. Yet, being smart about your content will also help you deliver great virtual events. What content could be pre-recorded and what needs to go live.

Once you understand the differences between face-to-face versus virtual meetings and how, it impacts your meeting, you can start looking at platforms to deliver your event.

Identifying the right platform

You have established the purpose of your meeting and how a virtual event will impact it. Your next step will be to identify the technology to help deliver it:

  • Webinar and networking style sessions like Zoom and GoToWebinar
  • YouTube and Vimeo to store pre-recorded videos and embed in your virtual event, or live broadcasting
  • Integrated virtual event solutions like OnAir from EventsAir, for integrating everything from registration right through to delivery

Next comes the most important step in the whole process, rehearsing till you get it right.

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!

There is not a lot room to improvise in a virtual as opposed to a face-to-face environment. Moreover, any technical glitches could result in participants logging off and not returning. Thus, rehearsing is paramount to your success:

  • Speakers: your speaker brief is important in identifying what you want them to speak about and for how long. Get their content in advance to help determine if the time allotted is going to be enough. Rehearse the session in advance to ensure speakers are comfortable using your platform. This allows you to check lighting, video and audio settings.
  • Your event team: a face-to-face meeting will rely on an events team, each with a specific role in delivering a great event. A virtual event is no different and you will need to have resources for this. Your event manager should map out all the moving parts of your virtual event. What could go wrong? Work out scenarios and plan procedures with your team.
  • Technology: when your technology fails, you fail! The technology has to work, if not you run the risk of irreparable damage to the event and to your reputation. Checking technology is essential.

Converting your virtual audience to a face-to-face audience post Covid-19

Organisations are seeing an uptick in registrations for their virtual meetings, but once life returns to normal, don’t assume this will translate into an increase in attendance at your face-to-face meetings. So what can you do now to capitalise on opportunities post Covid-19?

  • Identify people registering for your events who are not part of your core audience. Who are they? What made them register for your event? This allows you to start profiling this group with the aim of converting them into customers.
  • Have a rethink of all the events you deliver throughout the year. Do they need to be face-to-face or can they be virtual? Can you offer a hybrid meeting solution to bring together the face-to-face and virtual world?
  • Explore new opportunities in underserved regions or segments. Are there possibilities to launch initiatives, face-to-face meetings or tap into a new customer base?

For the last few months we have all needed to operate in a virtual world and adopt technologies that are new to most of us – but returning to the core purpose of your meeting is at the heart of success. Most importantly, capitalize on your new skills to create new opportunities when we can go back to meeting face-to-face.