Mittwoch, 19 Februar 2020
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Association News

James Rees elected as new ICCA president

James Rees, Executive Director at ExCeL London, has been elected as the new ICCA president at the General Assembly of the 57th ICCA Congress, which is taking place from 11-14 November 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Rees was first elected to the ICCA Board in 2012 and became a Vice President in 2017. Before this he served in leadership positions in ICCA’s UK & Ireland Chapter.

Competing for the ICCA presidency alongside Rees were Juan José Garcia and Eric Bakermans, both long-term members of the global association’s Board. The three candidates ran very extensive campaigns to win the ICCA member vote.

The General Assembly where the announcement was made was livestreamed to all ICCA member from around the world. A recording of the session is available online at

Commenting on his win, James Rees said: “What we can do, with the right leadership, is to use ICCA’s strengths to drive that innovation, creativity, and incentive for improvement. And this is what I am going to deliver.

“As ICCA President, I will be a true advocate for our business, a champion of our sector and ensure that ICCA’s voice is heard by government, in a language they understand. It will be an honour and privilege to serve as your President.”

Find out more about the campaign of the winning candidate here at

The 2018 ICCA Congress has attracted 1,156 delegates from 79 countries, making it the biggest Congress held outside Europe.


IACC partners with industry greats and World Obesity Federation to bring delegate dietary requirements guide for meeting planners

International meeting planners have noted a significant increase in conference delegates expressing dietary and allergen requirements during event registration, according to IACC’s 2018 Meeting Room of the Future report.

As this trend is forecasted to grow in 2019, IACC, in collaboration with the World Obesity Foundation and other industry partners such as MPI, Events Industry Council and Thrive Meetings and Events, has created the Guide to Managing Conference Delegate Dietary Requirements - a new, comprehensive guide designed to help meeting and event planners manage partnerships and liaison with venues on the topic of dietary needs and requirements to ensure delegate health and wellbeing.

The guide also explains the various allergens and emerging diets, including religious requirements and health-related allergens, and provides advice and practical tips on how to place delegate health and wellbeing at the heart of events without compromising on experience.

Mark Cooper, IACC CEO, comments: “Last year, when I asked a room of 200 meeting planners if managing dietary needs was a challenge and 75% or more raised their hands, I knew immediately that we needed to do more as an association and industry. As we conducted more research, we saw clearly that there was some valuable insights and best practice that if adopted, would help both our planner and venue community. This is just the beginning and we hope that soon we will see more training and certifications to support the competent management of dietary needs.”

One of the pieces of research undertaken by IACC that surfaced a gap in the market which presented a challenge for planners and drove the creation of the dietary guide was IACC’s latest Trends in Nutrition & Delegate Wellbeingstudy, which highlighted that 79% of meeting planners agreed that they now receive more dietary requests in comparison to two years ago; only 75% of venues offer training to staff on serving people with allergies; and only 33% of venues include basic nutritional information on their menus.

The full guide is available for download on

As an additional resource, in January 2019, IACC will host two webinars, one for meeting planners and one for venues, focused on Food & Beverage trends. Registrations will be made available at in due course.


‘Queer Eye’ co-host and culture expert Karamo Brown to join PCMA Convening Leaders 2019

Karamo Brown, culture expert and television host for the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “Queer Eye”, will speak at PCMA’s signature annual event for the business events industry.

His session, “Know Thyself: Using Your Uniqueness to Create Success” is part of the Convening Leaders “Disrupt & Deliver” program taking place Jan. 6-9, 2019, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Brown will share how he embraces and strategically utilizes the strengths of his roles as an openly gay, black, single father and psychotherapist to achieve success.

“We often get into spaces where we dull who we are because we fear being judged or not being accepted, which can create emotional and mental distress, and you have to get over that in order to achieve all you’re destined to achieve in life”, Brown said. “Bringing every bit of your identity to the forefront is the definition of diversity.”

His participation supports “Disrupt & Deliver’s” Ascent Studio, an education track focusing on diversity and inclusion. Ascent is a PCMA initiative to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry. It seeks to empower those challenged by gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or disabilities to find success in the industry, and strives to motivate and educate decision makers on the business case and best practices for inclusive workplaces and events.

“Our decision to create the Ascent Studio was driven by our strong belief that inclusion strengthens our businesses, industry and world”, said Sherrif Karamat, PCMA President and CEO. “In this studio, participants will learn what motivates and educates leaders and decision makers in the space of diversity, which makes Karamo Brown the perfect inspirational candidate and ambassador to offer his cultural knowledge.”

Brown began his television career on the 2004 season of MTV’s “The Real World” reality series. He founded, an organization addressing the mental health and self-esteem of HIV-affected individuals, and received the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award. Karamo was invited by the Obama Administration to help create policies to provide after-school support to LGBTQ youth. He is an active member of the Never Again MSD gun-control movement after his Florida high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was the site of a fatal shooting in 2018.

Brown joins 2019 Convening Leaders speakers:

Nadya Okamoto, founder and executive director, Period.
Seth Godin, founder and CEO, Godin Productions.
Dan Sundt, president and chief experience officer, CXO Marketing.
Molly Breazeale, master facilitator, Fierce Inc.
Steve Pemberton, chief human resources officer, Globoforce.

Convening Leaders 2019 will feature nine content themes to educate and inspire attendees on latest industry issue, including diversity and inclusion; the business of events; event strategy and design; innovation; lifestyle; leadership; media; audience engagement and acquisition; and trending now, which discovers the hottest, newest and most inspiring events and entertainment insights, all aimed at inspiring and educating on the latest industry issues and hot topics so that participants leave motivated to apply learnings to their own events.

For more information on Brown’s and other sessions, visit


European cities to discuss the successes and failures of "Eventful Cities"

At the European Cities Marketing Meeting in Edinburgh, February 13-16, 2019, leading international experts, event owners and selected international showcases will provide attendees with all the insights and inspiration they need to cultivate the event scene in their city. The unmissable conference programme on "Eventful Cities" will tackle both the successes and failures of some urban events' organisation.

Urban events are awesome communication platforms and can generate great public excitement and boost the soft power of the city. Moreover, big events bring with them increased economic turnover, and - if conceived and executed strategically - they might boost your city's international brand and stimulate urban development both physically and socially.

Events can be a great way of manifesting your city for a global audience. In the cultural economy, small is often beautiful and what is local might go global. Pamplona, Davos, Kassel and Park City - with original and exclusive content, even the smallest of towns can be world cities for a few days every year. Events have the power to make nowhere places go everywhere. If you thought the name Sochi was a new ice cream, a Japanese rock band or perhaps an advanced yoga position, the Winter Olympics 2014 should have taught you otherwise.

Yet, as it turns out, the major events business can also be a minefield of public dispute and an ugly waste of taxpayers' money. For host cities, major events in culture, commerce, science or sports have become a complex and high-risk business with many pitfalls and diverse stakeholder interests.

"The fully loaded two-day conference with leading international experts, event owners and selected international showcases will provide attendees with all the insights and inspiration they need to cultivate the event scene in their city. The conference will present event leaders and creatives from some of the world's leading happenings and dissect the strategies that made them successful." said Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, ECM President.

But it will also uncover the dark side of the moon with a "festival of failures" where brave survivors of epic disasters in event management will share their experiences and valuable learnings. Indeed, some events just don't go as planned and three examples will be presented during the conference:

First, Wonderful Copenhagen veterans Emil Spangenberg and Peter Rømer Hansen will give their version of the hybris and nemesis that brought an epic catastrophe to Wonderful Copenhagen... and list everything they learned from the project from Hell aka the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.
Then another Nordic example. For decades, Göteborg & Co has been a leader in hosting megaevents as an integral part of the destination strategy. However, in 2017 the city got severely burnt on a European horse show. Now, the city is well back on the horse, and Camilla Nyman, former CEO of Göteborg & Co will look back and share the lessons for the future.
Finally, the Fêtes de Genève, it is the big, traditional summer festival in the Alpine city by the lake, but in 2016 and 2017 the party resulted in a serious financial hangover that killed the fun. After a year on garden leave, Philippe Vignon will be back from the sack and happy to share his - now former - CEO confessions for the common good!

There may be no universal risk management key but somehow the experiences and lessons learned by these former ECM members will help the ECM Spring Meeting conference attendees.

"Members destinations will talk about their failures which is really brave. It might not be often the case everywhere but this is the perfect example of the ECM spirit: going beyond fiascos to share the real picture and foster the culture trust between members. That's what makes all of us learn even more." continued Dieter Hardt-Stremayr.

All of this will unfold in the world heritage city of Edinburgh, Scotland's proud capital and "the world's festival city" on February 13-16, 2019.

Registrations for #ECMEdinburgh2019 are now open on ECM Website:


IACC reports record first-time attendee numbers at its 2018 Europe Knowledge Festival

This IACC 2018 Europe Knowledge Festival, which took place at Dolce CampoReal, Lisbon from 5-7 October, recorded its highest number of first-time attendees to date (over 40%), with attendees from 58 IACC venue members, suppliers and industry partners.

The educational conference was attended by over 130 delegates from IACC certified conference and meeting venues from counties throughout Europe (UK, Sweden, France, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal), Americas and Australia that represent the top 1% of small to mid-size venues. The strongest contingent was from Sweden closely followed by UK.

First time attendees, both IACC members and non-members, included Lane End Conference Centre (UK), Steningevik (Sweden), Stayen Hotel (Belgium) and EEF Venues - Woodland Grange (UK). Returning attendees included The Lensbury (UK), Warwick Conferences (UK), Sigtunahöjden Hotel & Conference (Sweden), Chateauform (Europe) and Kapellerput Conference Hotel (the Netherlands).

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC said: “We were delighted by attendance at this year’s event and particularly to have such a strong new contingency, including from Denmark, which is a developing market for IACC. It has been fantastic hearing first-hand the positive feedback received from our members and attendees and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event, in Brussels, where we’ll continue to inspire our members and the wider industry with a packed schedule of networking and top educational sessions.”

First-time attendee, Marlene Sylvester-Hvid, Director, Danske Konferencecentre Denmark, said: “We’ve heard great things about the IACC Europe Knowledge Festival and used the opportunity to attend this year in Lisbon as part of the decision-making process as to whether to become an IACC member. I, as well as our partners in attendance, found the event inspiring, a great source of innovative content and information and a fantastic networking opportunity.”

Commenting on his attendance, Rik Hüsken, Owner & General Manager, Kapellerput Conference Hotel in the Netherlands, said: “For me, attending the IACC Europe Knowledge Festival has been a great opportunity to meet with MICE professionals and industry peers from different countries, while exchanging insights and knowledge on industry trends. My main takeaways this year were on digital story-telling, meeting design and the huge importance of customer service. For anyone considering it, I’d definitely recommend joining next year’s IACC Knowledge Festival in Brussels.”

The event also staged ceremonies for the 2018 IACC Europe Future Leaders Award for those demonstrating innovative ideas and initiatives implemented in the workplace, presented to Niclas Jansson, Junior Chef, Sigtunahöjden Hotel & Conference; the 2018 IACC Europe Innovation Award for those proving innovation and creativity in the IACC community was presented to Svenska Moten, for their Meeting School initiative.

Svenska Moten, The Meeting School, said: “The Meeting School is more than an agency selling spaces for member venues; it is a great concept as the supplier holds the client by the hand, guiding them through every aspect of their customer journey, as every industry professional should. It is a great tool to propel innovation and to quickly bring new ‘kids on the block’ on stream.”

IACC pinnacle member recognition, the Global Distinguished Service Award, was presented to Louise Silberman, MD, Summit Conference Centre, Chicago (USA).

Other announcements presented by IACC at the conference included the launch of a new online tool for meeting and event organisers to measure venue internet infrastructure competency during their site inspection, which was launched at IMEX America in Las Vegas (16-18 October 2018), as well as the announcement of IACC’s Guide to Dietary Management report, set to be published in 2018 and IACC’s first live showcase of the Meeting Room of the Future at MPI’s World Education Congress in Toronto (June 2019). More details will be announced in due course.