You can find the conclusions on these issues in the incisive report of Rod Cameron, Executive Director of the Joint Industry Industry Council (JMIC), which IMEX makes available to the global meetings industry to provide knowledge to the CVB, local governments , partners in destinations. The report captures the many key points raised and advice shared during all the wide-ranging discussions, and highlights many insights that will prove valuable to politicians, policy makers and industry executives working for national and regional organisations worldwide.You have it complete here https://www.imex-frankfurt.com/sites/frankfurt/files/2018_Policy_Forum_Report.pdf, but we bring you some of its most interesting reflections.
The creation of a national meeting strategy
‘The creation of a national meeting strategy’ was the focus of a discussion in the opening session for national government representatives. Delegates recognised the need for an integrated approach to optimise synergies and avoid conflict with policy and regulation together with the overarching importance of consultation with local government. They also commented on the need to recognise and acknowledge the social importance of medical meetings and events and, frequently, their knowledge transfer.
The Evolution of Cities in the Meetings Industry
Delegates from many major cities took part in a workshop on ‘The Evolution of Cities in the Meetings Industry’. A typically thought-provoking opening presentation by Professor Greg Clark included the view that the relationship between cities and the industry evolves in cycles or phases that are catalysed by relevant developments or major events. Six major cities – Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Cape Town and Barcelona - then presented revealing and very different case studies showing the evolution of their meetings business. The report summarises all these presentations.
Among his many observations on the day’s discussions, Greg Clark thought the meetings industry was more akin to financial services or academia than tourism in that it functions as a broad enabler of business. He said it is seen as too bound up in tourism and instead needs to better define its own story and tell it clearly, highlighting its benefits, leveraging events such as Davos and showing positive impacts through good case studies.
Gloria Guevara Manzo – three challenges
In the opening presentation introducing the Open Forum, Gloria Guevara Manzo, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, focussed on the top three challenges facing the travel and tourism industry, based on worldwide research.
On security and safety she highlighted how the industry has great potential for growth if it can overcome issues such as this by greater collaboration and the use of biometrics. Another of the likely inhibitors to growth is the increasing occurrence of travel sector crises whose impacts can be reduced through greater crisis preparation. Finally, she highlighted sustainability and the need for a private, public, community approach to development.
Open Forum Discussions
The introduction of a new panel format in the Open Forum stimulated lively and thought-provoking discussions. The question of the biggest challenges to the growth of the industry generated a broad range of opinions, particularly the need to be recognised as an independent sector beyond tourism and with a clearer story more aligned to economic development, knowledge and innovation.
The debate on legacy revealed the vast range of potential different positive legacies that an event can leave behind while the importance of genuine engagement with local cultures was one of many points raised in the discussion about balancing globalisation with local concerns. This was reflected further in the consideration of city resilience when the debate recognised the need for the industry to be integrated better with local communities.
Each topic was initiated by contributions from the panel: Rod Cameron, Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC); Nina Freysen-Pretorius, International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA): Don Welsh, Destinations International (DI): Nan Marchand Beauvois, United States Travel Association (USTA): Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, European Cities Marketing (ECM) and Professor Greg Clark.