Industry Papers

Martin Fullard
Associate Director at Davies Tanner

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First published in 2021, The Business of Events: Global Destination Report by Davies Tanner is an annual survey of the leading global business events destinations, including National Tourism Organisations and Convention and Visitor Bureaus. The Business of Events: Global Destination Report was commissioned by brand communications agency Davies Tanner and conducted by SFA Connect to establish how the industry has changed since 2019. The research focused on funding, sentiment, and legacy to demonstrate to governments and policymakers the benefits of having a strong and supported business events sector. The survey was conducted in the summer of 2022 among more than 1,100 destination respondents, most of whom worked in small teams of between three and five people. In summary, the report suggests that the sector is being taken more seriously by governments around the world, that funding has broadly remained stable, and that there is an enhanced focus on the legacy of events. There is an indication of a decline in international events, but to date, this has been compensated by an increase in domestic events. The information included in the report can be used to influence government departments, public sector bodies, policymakers and influencers on the benefits of having a solid and well-supported business events sector to both national and local economies and broader society.

KEYWORDS: Conference, Meetings, Congress, Association, Destination, Business Events, Business Travel, Incentive Travel, Hospitality, Tourism

Bas Schot; Adam Bags; Rosa Sipkema

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ABSTRACT:This paper explores and questions the diverse interpretations and understandings of the concept of “legacy” across various organizations and individuals. A recurrent theme encountered is the perception of legacy as the ultimate goal. Many organizations, associations, and individuals aspire to create a lasting impact and indelible influence in their respective domains, a feat equated with legacy. As an instrumental tool for fostering global change and propelling success into the future, association events are asserted to have immense strategic potential. However, they do not provide a legacy in their own right – ultimately and most importantly, the legacy must be derived from the association itself.

However, the paper recognizes that events can support association legacy; it highlights that realizing an event’s full potential does not occur in isolation. There is a need for strategic facilitation in various ways across many stakeholders. Whether this involves the creation of the perfect physical environment for individuals to gather, providing guidance, the allotment of necessary resources, or even financial support, crucial groundwork must be laid to ensure the success of these events.

Any legacy programme’s establishment and ultimate success should be noticed and appreciated. Indeed, the paper advocates for initiating these programmes from the top level of an organization, as strategic direction is fundamental to their success. Furthermore, given the long-term nature of legacy, measurements should consider a broader perspective and not strictly adhere to typical short-term outlooks. This challenge is how to accurately measure these long-term strategic goals, especially when these goals need to be time-based, a major problem identified in the paper. Thus, careful consideration must be given to the metrics and indicators used.

KEYWORDS: Event Strategy, Long-term Goals, Association Impact, Measurement Challenges, Global Change, Strategic Outcomes

Andreas H. Zins
Director, The Regenerative Living Lab for Sustainable Tourism

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ABSTRACT: The convention and events industry has a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in an era when sustainability and environmental consciousness are gaining paramount importance. Convention bureaus, as key players in this industry, have a crucial role to play in promoting and fostering sustainability practices. This article explores the influence convention bureaus wield in shaping a sustainable event industry, examining their role, initiatives, challenges, and the potential benefits of their efforts. Convention bureaus serve as intermediaries between event organisers and destinations, providing support and resources to navigate the destination and engage with local suppliers. The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe recognises the urgent need for transformative change and is committed to sustainability efforts. They advocate for action, collaboration, and alignment with international goals and initiatives. Convention bureaus can implement certification programs, provide education and training, and foster collaboration and partnerships to drive sustainable initiatives. Sustainable practices offer benefits such as reducing environmental impact, promoting social responsibility, and creating economic opportunities. However, challenges include financial constraints, lack of awareness, and measuring impact and accountability.

KEYWORDS: Responsible Events, Legacy, Sustainability Practices, Environmental Impact, Strategic Alliance

Shawna McKinley
Principal at Clear Current Consulting

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ABSTRACT:This article examines the challenges of assessing environmental claims and avoiding misleading information. The article explores the complexities of net zero and emphasises the significance of frameworks such as the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the Race to Zero. SBTi ensures adherence to scientific guidelines and specific activities, while Race to Zero mobilises organisations to achieve net zero by 2050. The article highlights the High-Level Expert Group on Net- Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, which provides criteria to reduce greenwashing risks. It emphasises the need to transition from voluntary commitments to regulated requirements. The article urges organisations to act, collaborate, and evaluate net zero claims using credible tools. It warns against being climate bystanders and emphasises the importance of participation, ambition, and addressing greenwashing to meet the climate challenge.

KEYWORDS: Environmental Claims, Credibility, Accountability, Science-based Targets

Kai Hattendorf
Managing Director / CEO at UFI

Christian Druart
Research Manager, UFI

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ABSTRACT: In 2022, several countries, including Colombia, France, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Türkyie, surpassed the average performance, and the UK is projected to do the same in 2023. Approximately half of companies observed a stable or increased operating profit in 2022 compared to 2019, which is set to rise in 2023. However, high percentages of companies in China, Germany, and Italy anticipate losses for 2023. An interesting shift in business concerns was seen from the impact of COVID-19 in 2022 to internal management challenges in 2023. The most pressing areas within this are Human resources, business model adjustments, and finance. The impact of digitalisation and economic conditions also emerged as important issues. Conversely, China continues to prioritise the impact of the pandemic.

KEYWORDS: Business Performance Forecast, Economic Outlook, Profit Trends, Business Challenges, Digital Transformation Impact

Nikki Walker
Global Vice President Engagement – Associations & Communities, MCI

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ABSTRACT: The Association Engagement Index (AEI) is a global benchmark study that assesses the performance and relationship strength between associations and their members. The 2022 edition, involving 51 associations and over 12,700 responses, reveals a moderate level of engagement with an Index Engagement Score of 88. The results emphasize the need for associations to focus on younger audiences, personalize experiences, and leverage technology to enhance engagement and meet evolving needs.

KEYWORDS: Association, Engagement, Omnichannel, Content, Customization, Choice, Personalization, Gen Z/Millennials, Members, Digital, Trade Organization, Healthcare, Young Professionals, Young Generation, Relationship Strength, Index, Data, Insights, KPI, In- person, Digital, 3Cs of Engagement, Infographics, White Paper, Study, Report, Benchmark

Dr Aaron Tham
Lecturer, University of the Sunshine Coast

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ABSTRACT: Business event legacies are widely promoted, but academic research remains in its infancy. This industry viewpoint seeks to excavate business event legacies from websites of member destinations within the Best Cities Alliance, given that it claims it is a network of best practices related to impacts and legacies. It was observed that 8 out of the 12 destinations feature legacies on their websites and that environmental legacies were the most frequently listed areas of impact. Interestingly, social legacies were identified more often than economic legacies, even though some of these indicators suggest that changes may only be realised in the long-term future. Most of the exemplars of Best Cities Alliance destinations also showcase business event legacies in situ rather than considering how pre- and post-event legacies can be intentionally designed. Derived from the outcomes of this industry viewpoint (or the lack thereof) has led to the development of a process approach to business event legacy consideration and operationalisation.

KEYWORDS: Economic Impact, Tourism Boost, Community Involvement, Infrastructure Development, Intellectual Capital

Special Notes

Dušan Borovčanin
Chief Executive Officer, Serbia Convention Bureau, Vice Dean, Singidunum University

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Title: “The Routledge Handbook On Business Events“ Editor: Charles Acordia
Publisher: Routledge
Year of Publication: 2023
ISBN: 978-1-138-62900-4 (hbk)
ISBN: 978-1-032-32117-2 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-1-315-21056-8 (ebk)