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NEWSFLASH March 2018

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March 2018
In This Edition

Left Column

LAST SEATS of the Hosted Buyer Programme at IMEX in Frankfurt 15-17 May 2018

MITM Americas 2018 – Save the Dates!

Meetings Africa 2018 – total commitment to the MICE industry!

The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) 2018 concludes its 26th show in Melbourne

Austria: Overnight stays: Innsbruck, the Congress and Trade Fair City, achieves record results

Germany: Messe Frankfurt’s guest event business is thriving

Macau International Airport Expansion to Boost Capacity

South Africa, Cape Town: Make Your Event Water-Neutral

Right Column

The Rise of Midsize Cities: New research report looks at the global meetings marketplace through a new lens

Association Day at IMEX in Frankfurt set to deliver current and compelling discussions for association professionals

Incredible Impacts Programme Opens Submissions for 2018 Grants

Publishers Note

Dear Reader!

This month, we are already looking forward to Association Day at IMEX in Frankfurt and to the new research report on the rise of midsize cities in our industry which was commissioned by IMEX Group. Oh – and while being in Frankfurt, see the news of Messe Frankfurt and the progress of its extension – Hall 12 is scheduled to complete construction this autumn! Be sure to schedule meeting with their team at IMEX.

Don’t miss the information about the Incredible Impacts Programme, developed by BestCities Global Alliance and ICCA!

And I am just back from Meetings Africa – please see our report on the show – and please see my report on the actual water situation in Cape Town. Yes, things are different compared to last year, but no drama at all! Of course, visitors to the city need to respect the situation, but there is absolutely no reason to avoid the city, so go for Cape Town – your business is needed!

Melbourne Convention Bureau’s AIME 2018 was the last event managed by Reed Exhibitions. Please see the review and the outlook and dates for AIME 2019.

Save the dates for these hosted buyer programmes:

MITM Americas 2018 will take place in Havana, Cuba from 18 – 21 September 2018. Registration opens this month and I hope to see you there!

World MICE Day 2018 will be held from 25 – 27 October in Qingdao, China and we’ll bring details to you in our next edition. Please save the dates.

And please don’t delay your application to the IMEX hosted buyer programme any further! The only spaces left are for European Buyers!

Innsbruck, the beautiful Austrian city, reports a rise in overnight stays and around the world, in Macau the increase required the expansion of the cities international airport – see both articles.

As always, you’re warmly invited to share this edition of NEWSFLASH – please use this link to strip off your personal data.

Wishing you a beautiful spring-time on the northern hemisphere and an equally beautiful autumn in the southern hemisphere,

Best regards

Martina Warter
General Manager & Publisher
MICE Media Marketing
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LAST SEATS of the Hosted Buyer Programme at IMEX in Frankfurt 15-17 May 2018

For European Buyers only! All other seats are already complete.

IMEX in Frankfurt – a must-visit event! With more than 65,000 appointments, around 3.700 Hosted Buyers; more than 5.200 trade visitors and 3.500 exhibiting companies representing 157 countries in 2017 and further growth projection for 2018 you should not miss this must-visit trade show of the meetings industry.

Click here to apply to attend IMEX in Frankfurt as a hosted buyer:


To be accepted on to the Hosted Buyer Programme, all applicants will be required to demonstrate the international business that they have responsibility for or are looking to place. IMEX Group will then qualify the application based on the established criteria of the IMEX Hosted Buyer Programme.

Please find detailed information about the hosted buyer programme in the interactive Hosted Buyer Programme on

The Programme includes:

Optional Attendance at SmartMonday for all delegates! Please check Monday's fantastic programme here before applying to the hosted buyer programme!

For European Buyers:

  • 2 full days of attendance at IMEX in Frankfurt - 15 and 16 May 2018 and the chance to meet at least 16 suppliers of your choice prearranged yourself through the IMEX appointment system;
  • Option to extend your attendance to 3 full days at IMEX in Frankfurt - 15 to 17 May 2018 and to meet at least 24 suppliers
  • Option to attending Smart Monday – the hotel night from Monday to Tuesday is at your own expense!
  • Transportation: Economy class flights from selected destinations or - for delegates travelling inside Germany train tickets - to/from Frankfurt;
  • Accommodation one night in 4/5-star accommodation in Frankfurt for your programme dates - two nights for buyers attending all 3 days. The current state of planning indicates our group to be conveniently hosted in the Maritim Hotel Frankfurt which offers direct access to Messe Frankfurt! A fantastic, highly convenient hotel option for our delegates!
  • Selected ground transportation in Frankfurt
  • VIP Services: Access to the IMEX hosted buyer lounge, free Wi-Fi and complimentary refreshments.

To attend 3 full days at IMEX, and/or Smart Monday please open the application link, then choose the Group MICE Media Marketing - Europe and include the request for the extension to 3 days and/or Smart Monday in the box below the programme before clicking the NEXT-button!


You will find the list of available gateways and selected flights in the application.

Buyers from destinations without pre-arranged flight selection or with flight dates not listed in the application need to make their own travel arrangements. Ticket refunds by IMEX are limited to your destination's listed banding amount. Please see the IMEX travelling information and terms & conditions.


The arrangement does not include additional expenses such as meals, any personal extras at the hotel. These should be settled directly with the hotel upon your departure, hotel upgrades, taxi fares if arriving / departing outside Hosted Buyer Programme dates, visa application fees, travel Insurance, health insurance for Germany… You must ensure that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover your trip to attend IMEX in Frankfurt. Please don't hesitate to ask for details.

Apply now on:

MITM Americas 2018 – Save the Dates!

18 – 21 September 2018, Havana, Cuba

GSAR Marketing / MITM Events announced the 22nd edition of MITM Americas, the most influential tradeshow in America and the Caribbean of B2B MICE tourism, to be held from 18 to 21 September in the magical city of Havana, Cuba.

MITM Americas Havana is sponsored by the Cuban Ministry of Tourism (MINTUR), Melia Cohiba, Ecotur & Skedio Group.

Cuba, for the third time, places its trust in MITM Americas to promote the country internationally as one of the foremost destinations for the meetings tourism sector.

GSAR Marketing successfully organized MITM Americas since 1997 making it the oldest international MICE trade show in America and the Caribbean. Designed for professionals of the business events sector with scheduled B2B appointments and a high-quality networking program the event establishes close contact between all participants.

48 tradeshows - 34 cities - 18 countries

MITM Events has demonstrated throughout the years that all its editions maintain MITM´s high hosted buyer quality thanks to the company’s strict vetting procedures. Only high-profile buyers with profound business potential are eligible to participate.

The two tradeshows previously held in Cuba - Varadero (2004) and Havana (2009) - created a notable contribution to Cuba’s development in the MICE segment. Progress and development of Cuban tourism is being recognized internationally, making this a country of opportunity for the world’s MICE organizers.

Cuba - the Greater Antilles archipelago’s largest island is highly attractive in many aspects – its history, culture, gastronomy, hotel infrastructure and – not least – as an outstanding, unique destination in tourism.

This year Cuba was awarded with the "Premio Excelencias Turísticas" as one of the safest tourism destinations which emphasizes the country’s constant effort towards evolving as an international destination.

The website will be updated during this week, hosted buyer applications are expected to open around mid-March.


Empire Hotel Hong Kong - Wan Chai

Elite Meeting Venue
at the heart of business
in Hong Kong

Convenience and Great Value for Money

Meeting Room, Empire Hotel Hong Kong - Wan ChaiSituated in Wan Chai commercial business district, the Empire Grand Room provides multi-functional space for the organization of seminars, product exhibitions, trainings and corporate events in small to medium sizes.

Special packages also cater for AGMs, private and celebratory banquets to suit every client’s needs, tastes and budgets. Accommodation and meetings for MICE groups are custom-made to your requirements. All packages will include a free meeting set-up, equipment and Wi-Fi.

Book now to enjoy a 15% DISCOUNT!
Offer valid untill 30 September 2018 to a minimum consumption of HK$12,000. First-come, first-served.

For bookings and enquiries, please contact our Events & Catering Sales Team at +852 3692 2134 or +852 3692 2139 or email to Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Empire Hotel Hong Kong · Wan Chai, Empire Grand Room
1st floor, 33 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Meetings Africa 2018 – total commitment to the MICE industry!

Last week, Meetings Africa 2018 opened its doors at Sandton Convention Center and once again the meetings industry created its vibrant buzz throughout the convention center and the surrounding hotels.

The South African government reshuffle during the night ahead of the opening day with it’s change of ministers might have caused a little slippage of the opening ceremony, but the old and new government’s commitment to the industry was repeatedly pointed out!

The 13th edition of the pan-african business events trade show launched and roared –with 3,000 delegates creating new connections and maintaining existing ones in it’s constructive environment if global buyers and African suppliers and associations – contributing to the important economic growth of South Africa and the African continent.

Ms Toko Xasa, the outgoing Minister of Tourism and incoming Minister of Sports stated “Currently, the business tourism market generates 252,000 direct and indirect jobs per annum and contributes R115b to the South African economy. President Ramaphosa is indeed correct, that the tourism sector is an engine for economic development through foreign exchange earnings and the creation of direct and indirect employment. This means that indeed, tourism does present the opportunity and potential to double the growth and job opportunity figures, as per the call by his Excellency, President Ramaphosa. It is therefore no surprise that the tourism sector has been mandated to double its efforts by creating an additional 700,000 jobs.”

She further pointed out the importance of engagement, networking, partnership and collaboration being the chance to further grop and develop the regions meetings industry. She went on stating:

“The theme of Meetings Africa 2018 is "Shared Economies" and so I would like to invite you to use this opportunity to explore commonalities, share expertise and forge partnerships with each other to bring about prosperity for your business, the industry and the continent as a whole, which is in line with the spirit of advancing together, in the year of Nelson Mandela. The meetings africa 2018 theme is about shared economies, as a tool to boost and stimulate collaborative African growth.”

We will continue to cover Meetings Africa for you and the upcoming editions of MICE:destination will include coverages on the water management insights in Cape Town – which turned into the world leader of managing water crisis; about the year of Nelson Mandela – who would have turned 100 years in 2018 – and – of course – we’ll bring update you in our In:Focus coverage on the site inspections in Cape Town and the Western Cape Province as well as the beautiful City of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province.

The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) 2018 concludes its 26th show in Melbourne

The buyers and suppliers including 25 new exhibitors have concluded two jam-packed days of networking and business meetings at AIME 2018.

On the evening of day one, the popular Networking Hour saw the Northern Territory Convention Bureau host delegates on their stand with uniquely themed Territorian-styled beverages and canapes, such as lemon myrtle-infused feta with green ants and crocodile kabana.

Long-time exhibitor Shahnaz Bakhshay, Director of Sales, TFE Hotels, stated that AIME had delivered a lot of great quality buyers this year – helping them secure sound leads.

Whilst AIME has enjoyed 26 years, it still attracts new buyers and sellers every time, with 2018 seeing an increase in the number of first-time-exhibitors on the show floor.

For the first time, QuizzaMe Australia, showcased their interactive trivia product one without pens or paper in sight - just wireless buzzes. “As a first-time exhibitor we are very happy with the level of interest and have made lots of new connections. It’s been a chance to talk about our product in the events space. It’s been easy, running demo games and bringing some fun to AIME. We’ve met some great people, who are our perfect target market and we are very excited about all the potential new business. We're already looking forward to next year,” said Quiz Master Paul.

Highlights from day two included:

    • Tourism New Zealand, held their annual VIP breakfast on the 100% Pure New Zealand stand with approximately 120 attendees. They revealed insights from their in-depth report: Art of Excellence at Association Events
    • Rentertainment wowed delegates with their VR Pit Stop Challenge, a custom-built virtual reality experience specifically built for the Formula 1. The game puts two people head-to-head testing speed and accuracy
    • Cvent’s Express Challenge invited delegates to create an event, launch a website and print a badge in record time. The quickest time recorded at AIME was 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The current global record is 6 minutes and 9 seconds
    • During last night’s Networking Hour, the AIME community acknowledged Jo-Anne Kelleway, Founder of Info Salons, as this year’s 2018 Industry Person of the Year, for her significant contributions and innovations to the events industry

AIME is owned by Melbourne Convention Bureau. 2018 was the last AIME managed by Reed Travel Exhibitions; in 2019, AIME will be organized by Talk2 Media and Events.

The new organizer announced some changes to the concept. These include specific focus on the hosted buyer program to ensure it can deliver quality, quantity and a good geographic split of buyers from around the Asia-Pacific region. Talk2 ME has identified the number of buyers, by industry and geography, that it intends to bring to the event next year. Talk2 Media & Events CEO Matt Pearce stated “The event must reflect the Asia-Pacific region, and we will be working closely with a number of intermediaries to identify and invite key players in the region to join us as part of the 2019 Hosted Buyer Program.”

Change will also be implemented within the education offering at the event, expanding the range of education offered to include both individual and industry development across the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the event. The significant change will be that the education will be offered to all attendees, across all 3 days. Pearce noted that they were in discussion with recognised industry associations, both locally and internationally, to provide meaningful education across a broad range of subjects.

Another major initiative announced was the introduction of additional networking opportunities in 2019. These include networking sessions on the show floor each day of the event as well as a new offering on the Tuesday evening. ‘We are a face-to-face industry that thrives on personal networks and we must have the opportunity to encourage people to meet, do business and importantly, have fun!” Pearce explained. “New management will always look through a different lens and we will be working closely with Melbourne Convention Bureau to create the region’s best event for our industry...”

AIME 2019 will take place from 19 – 20 February 2019 in Melbourne, Australia and you may already register your interest on

Austria: Overnight stays: Innsbruck, the Congress and Trade Fair City, achieves record results

With 3.2 million overnight stays, more tourists stayed overnight in Innsbruck last year than ever before, as the latest tourist statistics show. Innsbruck, the major city in the Alps, is now only second to Vienna in the whole of Austria. One reason for this, according to Christian Mayerhofer, CEO of Congress Messe Innsbruck (CMI), is the strong MICE sector.

Austrian tourism continued to grow by 4.2% in the summer season from May to October 2017, according to Statistik Austria's most recent survey. With 74.87 million overnight stays, Austria achieved its best result since 1993 (77.4 million). The undisputed leader is the Province of Tyrol with more than 21 million overnight stays in summer, with its capital Innsbruck recording a new record of 3.2 million overnight stays for the full year. Innsbruck comes second after Vienna in the ranking of Austrian cities.

Tourism location Tyrol: "Congress Messe Innsbruck an important player"

Christian Mayerhofer, CEO of Congress Messe Innsbruck (CMI), confirms that the MICE sector is contributing to this success with the wide range of cultural, sporting and leisure activities in the Olympic region. He states that major international associations and companies value Innsbruck very highly as a trade fair and conference destination, commenting: “Innsbruck is able to maintain its position as a top destination and compares favorably with international competition, not least because of its unique combination of mountain scenery and urban landscape, the short distances and excellent air, road and rail links. I’m very pleased that the Congress Messe Innsbruck is an important player in tourism in Innsbruck and Tyrol and is able contribute to the pleasing development of the city as a popular destination.”

More overnight stays due to the many international fairs and congresses

In the spring of 2017 INTERALPIN, the world’s leading trade fair for alpine technologies, alone drew visitors and exhibitors from more than 85 countries to the city. As Mayerhofer explains: “Innsbruck and the surrounding communities were virtually fully booked on the three days of the fair.” The congress business has also had a strong presence in CMI premises in recent months. The CMI CEO reports that Congress Messe Innsbruck clearly reinforced its appeal on the international conference scene with the major congresses of the European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS) and the International Society for Diabetes in Childhood and Adolescence (ISPAD). Around 3,000 participants from all over the world traveled to Innsbruck for the two congresses.

Strong seminar and conference business

In addition to the trade fairs and congresses, numerous international seminars, conferences and corporate events also played their part in attracting large numbers of visitors to the city. Werner Verocai, CMI procurator, reports: “The Cutting Pro Competition run by Tyrolit, a major manufacturer of abrasives, the Shell RED conference, road shows by companies such as UNIQA, Opel and Munich Airport, and the Partylite National Conference with around 1,000 participants are all good examples of the special conference highlights that contributed to positive overnight stay statistics.” Whether the winter season which has enjoyed a very strong start can once again beat Tyrol’s record last winter (over 26 million overnight stays, Landesstatistik Tirol), will be seen by April at the latest.

Germany: Messe Frankfurt’s guest event business is thriving

Frankfurt is the destination of choice for the international event sector

Over 230 guest events were held at Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds in 2017, attracting some 1.7 million exhibitors, visitors and participants from more than 150 nations.

As Johann Thoma, Vice President of Guest Events at Messe Frankfurt, explains: “We play host to all event formats – from traditional trade fairs (B2B and B2C) to congresses, conferences, concerts and sporting and corporate events. For us, this role goes beyond renting out our exhibition grounds – rather, we see ourselves as a partner when it comes to providing customised service solutions.” The range of services on offer is broad, from professional project management support to creative stand construction, security and logistics concepts and individual catering.

International guest event highlights in 2018 include ACHEMA, the leading international show for the process industry, as well as over 120 congresses and conferences (from the realms of science and medicine, banking and finance, IT and digitisation, etc.), numerous event formats throughout the exhibition grounds, and international concerts, shows and sporting events in the Frankfurt Festhalle.

The pronounced international character of these events is largely influenced by Frankfurt’s importance as one of the leading European business centres with excellent location advantages. These advantages – unmatched reachability with over 260 direct connections from Frankfurt Airport, an enviable railway network and one of the most important motorway junctions in Germany – mean that it is quick and easy to reach for visitors travelling from near and far.

  Messe Frankfurt, Hall 12

For meetings



For exhibitions






One of the levels may be divided in various ways.

sq m per level



sq ft per level



Max persons per level


The hotel infrastructure with 25,000 hotel rooms, including almost 10,000 within walking distance of the exhibition grounds, meets all requirements. At the same time, the Rhine-Main region is home to established and forward-looking sectors such as finance and insurance, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, information technology and data management, and logistics and mobility. All these factors make Frankfurt into a much sought-after destination in the international event sector.

When the Hall 12 is completed this autumn, Messe Frankfurt will have another striking building on its exhibition grounds, one that provides state-of-the-art facilities for customers and guests alike. With 33,600 square metres of flexibly usable space over two storeys, the new hall will be presented as an event venue for over 23,000 people. | |

Macau International Airport Expansion to Boost Capacity

The north extension of Macau International Airport - which officially opened on 14th February and occupies some 14000 square metres - not only increases the airport's capacity to 7.8 million passengers but also provides it with a brand-new image.

Meanwhile, a public tender for the extension of the south passenger terminal building will be conducted in the first half of 2018, raising throughput to some 10 million passengers per year upon completion. Taking into consideration the immediate environs and industry changes, passenger traffic in 2018 is expected to reach 7.38 million, while 39000 tonnes of cargo transport will be shifted and 60000 flight movements undertaken.

In 2017, the Macau International Airport (MIA) reached the 7.1 million passenger mark, an increase of 8.1 per cent compared to the previous year, whilst achieving total income of MOP4.9 billion, up 9.2 per cent on 2016. Last year, passenger volume soared 11.1 times the local population, ranking MIA ninth in the world in terms of passenger traffic volume vis-a-vis the local population. In addition, more than one million Macao resident passengers used the airport, a 10 per cent increase from 2016.

Last year, despite limited land resources, Macau International Airport Company Limited (CAM) invested around MOP210 million in infrastructure to enhance reception capacity, with further research on various expansion projects ongoing designed to increase the capacity of the airport.

MIA north extension airside commercial area project in the works

Macau International Airport Company Limited (CAM) is launching a Request for Proposal for five commercial spaces in the North Extension of the MIA Passenger Terminal Building. The objective is to support local enterprises as well as developing Macao's cultural brands, enhancing competitiveness and promoting business renovation and transformation by offering the Request for Proposal to qualified enterprises. For details, please visit the CAM website:

South Africa, Cape Town: Make Your Event Water-Neutral

“day zero” – the day that will never come or how to make your event water-neutral

It’s all over the media – “day zero” – but what does it truly mean? What is it all about? Can you travel to Cape Town?

I visited Cape Town last week – and no – this is not a disaster zone! Yes – there is water running out of the faucet! And YES, Capetonians still maintain a high level of personal hygiene! And yes – you can, and you should, travel to Cape Town and you should bring your event to Cape Town! Tourism is critically important for the city’s economy.
Simply make your event water neutral!

First – day zero – this is NOT the day when there is no more water! The expression was used in a campaign that aimed educating the city’s population how to handle the drought situation and not to waste water. It is the day when the city’s water reserves are down to 13 % and the city takes over control of water distribution.

Day zero was originally set to be in March, but Capetonians learned quickly how to manage water, so the actual date slipped to April, then to May, to June – and is now calculated to be July 9. However – this day will never come because the rainy season will set in way before this date. Mission accomplished.

Amazing efforts are made to economize water and you will recognize that bathtub-plugs are removed from hotel rooms. Should you insist in taking a bath, you need to represent yourself at the reception desk and ask for it. Various ways have been created to discourage visitors to do so - a Cape Town Hotel has placed for example a huge rubber-duck in the tub and you have to exchange it at reception for the plug – while outing yourself to be ignorant of the water situation...

Most public toilets provide hand sanitizer in lieu of water, 2 minute-showers are massively promoted and taken – and yes that is fully sufficient! Never let water simply flow out of the faucet – another important action.

Desalination plants are being constructed by Cape Town International Convention Center and by Century City Convention Center to transform brackish water to fresh water – a sustainable investment!

And you – being a modern, global citizen, ecologically minded meeting and event planner can also contribute: make your event water-neutral! About 1 hour drive from Cape Town, sufficient Water reserves are available, and you may opt to transport refills for the water used by your delegates to the city’s water reserves.

I was impressed by the multiple solutions to economize water – and we’ll bring a detailed report in the next edition of MICE:destination!

The Rise of Midsize Cities: New research report looks at the global meetings marketplace through a new lens

A new research report examining 'The Rise of Midsize Cities in the Meetings Industry' in North America and Europe, commissioned by the IMEX Group and developed by Skift, has been published.

The free 40+ page report carefully examines why and how some midsize cities (historically known as second-tier cities, a label they’ve now shaken off) have managed to position themselves as 'innovation' or 'knowledge' hubs. It reveals how some smaller cities have deliberately leveraged their local innovation economies to elevate their destination brands, and develop new multi-partner coalitions and new attendee experiences, becoming “catalysts for lasting change and collision spaces for new ideas.”

The IMEX Group, organisers of leading meetings and events trade shows, IMEX in Frankfurt and IMEX America, commissioned digital media and business intelligence company, Skift, to produce the research in support of the IMEX Talking Point for 2018 — 'Legacy'.

IMEX CEO Carina Bauer explains the thinking behind the new research: "This is an important trend in the global meetings and events market, and one we touched on briefly at IMEX America last year. By looking in more detail at how some destinations are responding to demand and shaping themselves differently, we’re giving planners, agencies, advocacy organisations and, of course, other suppliers, fresh insights and new perspectives.

"This is not to suggest that the big, established cities are lacking — they’re clearly not. The big cities of the world all have transport links, infrastructure, support services, and hotel stock that others simply can’t compete with. Instead, this report reveals why and how smaller cities — defined as less than one million citizens — have started to find new ways to gain traction, add value to their communities, and attract business. They’re frequently working with city leaders and entrepreneurs in very innovative ways, and collaborating with more intention to build a positive legacy. There are important lessons here for every part of the supply chain."

Greg Oates, Executive Editor, SkiftX comments: "The big shift today is that midsize cities are leveraging their size as an advantage now, versus something they need to overcome. That's based on the widespread improvements in their downtown cores, the exponential rise of industry sector expertise beyond the big gateway cities, and the demand for more affordable, diverse and unique destinations."

Among the city stories revealed in the report are: Albuquerque, Belfast, Brisbane, Bristol, Calgary, Hamburg, The Hague, Monterey, Nashville, Newcastle, Portland, San Antonio, Raleigh, Stuttgart, and Victoria. All bar a couple will be exhibiting at IMEX in Frankfurt, May 15-17, 2018.

It also includes interviews and insights from: American Express Meetings & Events, SD Meetings & Events, Johnson & Johnson, HelmsBriscoe, Bayer HealthCare, UBM, International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society, VR World Congress, Encounters Festival.

The research report marks the start of a new partnership between Skift and IMEX, created to develop attendee education, panel discussions, and more at each of the IMEX trade shows. In addition, IMEX is an official launch partner for the new Skift Cities platform.

Hear IMEX CEO, Carina Bauer, interviewing the report’s research lead during IMEX America last year here.

The Rise of Midsize Cities in the Meetings Industry report, powered by IMEX and Skift, can be downloaded free of charge here.


Association Day at IMEX in Frankfurt set to deliver current and compelling discussions for association professionals

“Sharing experiences and meeting new people is incredibly valuable and it’s a great way to learn. I hope to implement much of what I’ve discovered at Association Day into my own organisation.” Vadim Garbarchuk, The Business Travel Association of Ukraine explains why Association Day at IMEX in Frankfurt remains a must-do for association event professionals.

IMEX Association Day, the annual event exclusively for association professionals, will feature a highly topical and extensively researched programme when it takes place on Monday 14 May, the day before IMEX in Frankfurt.

The programme’s three different streams allow attendees to tailor the day to suit their individual requirements. Each session is expertly curated and designed to get to the ‘nuts and bolts’ of each topic using case studies and open discussions. The aim is for attendees to leave armed with new ideas to put into action.

The Association Management Stream, chaired by ASAE, has been specifically designed for those in senior positions. Member engagement, volunteer management and strategic governance - covering board management and succession planning – are just some of the topics to be discussed. For example, Lakisha Ann Woods from the National Association of Home Builders is set to cover how to use social media to attract younger members and drive engagement on a global scale. Association Day at IMEX

Meetings and Events Stream A, chaired by ICCA, covers 'legacy' - IMEX’s talking point for 2018 – innovation and engagement, building a community and building partnerships with convention bureaux. Paul Vallee from Best Cities chairs a discussion on the importance of legacy, focusing on how to deliver a ‘beyond tourism’ impact. The ICCA Congress is being discussed as a case study in the session on ‘building a homogenous community at your annual meeting’, looking at engaging first time delegates using elements of event design and format.

Meetings and Events Stream B addresses budget management and negotiation skills, security and risk management, sponsorship and programme content development. Nicole Leida from the National Cancer Research Institute covers all elements of supplier negotiation including ways to make maximise the budget. A ‘spotlight on sponsorship’ session looks at how to create compelling packages and develop relationships into long term, profitable commercial partnerships.

Each session is case study led with the emphasis on sharing best practice. Time for peer to peer discussion and networking is also factored into the day.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: “The new programme for Association Day has been shaped by feedback from association professionals across the world. We’re therefore confident that the content is timely and relevant – with expert-led discussions on topical issues, delivering a direct business benefit.”

Open to all levels of association professionals registered to attend IMEX as either hosted buyers or visitor buyers, Association Day offers a valuable opportunity for peer to peer education and networking, allowing participants to understand the successes and challenges faced by other associations.

The free afternoon of education will be followed by the popular networking reception, Association Evening, which launches the start of IMEX in Frankfurt. This takes place at a new venue - Depot 1899, a historic tram depot developed into a modern bar and restaurant.

For more details about Association Day and to register your interest, see here.

IMEX in Frankfurt takes place 15 – 17 May 2018.


Download your copy of MICE:destination now!Looking for destination features? Please check the list below and download your required edition with one simple click on the link!

And yes of course, you are welcome to pass a copy on to your colleagues too!

Africa  Edition Link
Ethiopia May 2016
Ehtiopia Sept 2015
Indian Ocean: The Maldives, Maurice, Seychelles Sept 2015
South Africa Oct 2017
Asia – On Promotion: Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand Jan 2016
Australia Jan 2016
Hong Kong July 2015
Malaysia May 2016
The Philippines Mar 2015
Philippine Incentives May 2015
The Philippines Mar 2016
The Caribbean 
Anguilla  May 2015
Jamaica  Jan 2015
Saint Lucia  July 2015
Middle East 
Dubai, UAE  Jan 2016
Malta May 2016
Madrid, Spain  Mar 2015
Prague, Czech Republic Oct 2017
Stuttgart, Germany July 2016
North America  
USA - Greater Fort Lauderdale & Broward County Update  May 2015
Incredible Impacts Programme Opens Submissions for 2018 Grants

The programme that celebrates the “beyond tourism” lasting impacts associations have made is back for a second year running as it prepares to shine the spotlight on even more inspiring legacy examples.

After a successful first year, the Incredible Impacts Programme, developed by the BestCities Global Alliance and ICCA, has announced that they are once again looking for associations to share examples of how they are leaving long-term legacies. Factors such as sustainability, environmental considerations and knowledge sharing are fundamental elements of international associations and the Incredible Impacts Grant presents an opportunity to showcase best examples that will inspire and motivate others.

With three grants of US $7,500 available, entrants have the opportunity to be recognised for their innovative work while securing funds that can be used towards future legacy projects.

Last year, in its inaugural year, the programme launched with 20 associations submitting their unique and innovative approaches to going beyond tourism. Evaluation was conducted through a peer review by a panel of judges from international associations, who were extremely impressed with the quality of case studies shared. One of the winners was The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) for its World Thrombosis Day Campaign.

Speaking of their success, Louise St. Germain, Director of Membership and Marketing of ISTH said: “The Incredible Impacts Programme is an amazing platform for associations like ISTH to showcase the creative ways they are addressing issues beyond tourism.

“Receiving the $7,500 grant has enabled us to further build awareness of the critical condition of Thrombosis and Haemostasis than ever before. The money will be utilised to develop and distribute additional online and print resources that will be crucial to the education of health care providers and the public which is such a fantastic step forward for us.”

Louise will join the panel to judge this year’s nominations alongside fellow 2017 Incredible Impacts winners; Tracy Bury, Director of World Confederation for Physical Therapy and Elisabeth Pollard, Executive Director of World Parkinson Coalition Inc. Silke Schlinnertz, Head of Events & Operations of Euroheat & Power, Belgium and Bettina Borisch, Executive Director of World Federation of Public Health Associations, Switzerland will also join the panel.

Developed to help associations make tangible progress in creating meaningful legacy programmes for their international meetings, Incredible Impacts will showcase powerful examples of good practice within the industry just like ISTH, demonstrating the true value of meetings.

Paul Vallee, Managing Director of BestCities said: “We couldn’t be more pleased with the success of the first Incredible Impacts Grant Programme and year two is expected to bring even more attention to international associations that are truly making a difference to improve the world..
Last year’s Incredible Impacts submissions drew attention to the inspiring work being done with standout examples from Twitter chat events that made global impressions to fresh approaches to inclusivity that reached both attending and non-attending audiences.
It is important to acknowledge and celebrate those within the industry who are showing leading practice and our ultimate goal is to have their examples to inspire others.”

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk stated: “Over the last decade the world’s leading meetings destinations have all embraced strategies that place intellectual capital creation and knowledge exchange, and economic and societal development goals ahead of traditional bed-night driven, tourist-centric metrics. Everyone is now talking about the legacy that meetings generate, and no sector leaves a more powerful legacy than international association meetings. Whether trying to influence government policy, drawing public attention to healthcare challenges, or simply finding new ways to provide support for disadvantaged groups of their members or stakeholders, associations are always aiming to make a positive difference, and so we’re delighted to be able to support them and to showcase their stories in this innovative way.”

Those interested in applying for the 2018 grants must simply demonstrate a track-record in “beyond tourism” or legacy programme/project related to their international meetings. They must also consider how they will use the grant to better upcoming or future events.

An independent jury will determine which three associations which will be announced at the ICCA Congress in Dubai from 11-14 November 2018. Associations interested in applying can nominate themselves or candidate associations can be nominated by any ICCA member.

The first round of submissions must be received before 1 August 2018. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to share further information for the second stage of the programme.

For further information on the Incredible Impacts Grant and for details on how to submit your nomination visit: or ICCA’s Knowledge Hub on