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ICCA gets us to experience the best of events

ICCA gets us to experience the best of events

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All of us working in this industry know that, no matter if we need walls and m2, kitchens, buses and projectors for our events, this is an industry of people. Obvious, yes, we know… but like all obvious things, sometimes we forget them. So, coming back from the Iberian congress of ICCA in Granada which Grupo eventoplus attended like every year, we give you our impressions (and above all learnings for the event professional that you are, we know you read us to do better events tomorrow) of this meeting.

Emotional communication: love is in the air. Before the congress, the theme started with a pre-event communication centered on the concept of love. A daring concept, unusual in professional events but with which Granada and the director of its convention bureau Eva Garde, identify their destination very much (in the saturated world of destination marketing, without a doubt we have here a clearly differentiated, emotional, and memorable example, that we already saw in the European conference of MPI in Granada).

Low tech, high networking. The event did not have an app (let’s say that it was because it was so focused on human relations, or perhaps because of its small size – about 60 attendees), but networking, so important in this congress, was facilitated with a trick as simple as effective: give a list of attendees with their photo, which made it easy to locate people.

Hammam, really? Following the current trends of wellness and living authentic experiences in the destination, the event began with a session in a traditional hammam. I did not participate but those who did saw it as a way to de-stress, take care of themselves a bit and be very fresh for the congress. We will see if Farmaindustria authorizes this someday (unlikely, I’m afraid…). In the evening of this first day, the organisers took a family photo on the terrace of the Barceló Carmen, where most attendees were hosted. A way to remember that this group “is family”. An informal cocktail-dinner allowed the professionals present, who in many cases know each other, to catch up, share experiences and sensations about the market situation.

A speaking stroll. The second day began, after breakfast, with another format of easy and fresh networking: to go to the meeting hall, the group took a 15 minutes stroll through the city, a way to visit, to wake up a little and Chat with several people on the way. A simple walk, a way to reach important objectives of the event.

Can people forget they have a cell phone? Once at the beautiful and Arab Quarter of Santo Domingo, an incredible session was held by the tenor José Manuel Zapata, a mixture of humor, emotion, and real advice that he contributed a lot (we will prepare a summary of his session ). In fact, it allowed us to create the democratic indicator of quality of the speaker: the number of attendees who check their mobile during the session: at mid-session, there was not one single person whatsapping or checking their mails. At the end of this session, as an illustration of the concept of “love”, Eva Garde invited her (intimidated but firm and admirable) young daughter to play a few notes of violin. An unusual performance, which sparked a few tears. We are people (indeed, perhaps this performance is what most people will remember more about the whole congress…).

Collective intelligence. In the afternoon, in the Palacio de Congresos de Granada, time for collective intelligence: Almudena de la Mata, who had already given a very interesting session in the morning on the importance and potential of responsible management in business and tourism, organized and moderated a session of pure co-working in which the members conceived the Iberian chapter of ICCA they want for the future. A very useful way to strengthen relations and get new ideas, using formats such as the World Café. A good way to participate, create engagement regarding the future of the Iberian chapter.

The event also enabled the attendees to experience the city, with a visit to the house of Lorca, a dinner at the Alameda Restaurant and a performance by José Manuel Zapata at the Isabel la Católica Theater, amongst others.

Business! Obviously a strong point in this congress is the use of the ICCA congress database and the fact of sharing information about congresses, where they have gone, to which destinations they could go to next. In fact, one thing we like in this event is the culture of co-opetition that you experience, with destinations talking to other destinations and sharing advice to capture this or that congress that they have already hosted. A consequence of the fact that, once a congress has come to your city, it will not return in a few years, but also of the collaborative culture that ICCA has implemented.

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