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Inaugural BestCities Global Forum Builds a Legacy of Success

The first edition of the BestCities Global Forum was hailed as a momentous success by organisers and delegates alike as the three-day conference drew to a close in Dubai.  One hundred percent of delegates surveyed reported the Forum fulfilled their main objectives in attending the event and would recommend it to other international association meeting planners.  


Hosted in partnership with Dubai Business Events and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the Global Forum covered a range of relevant topics such as advancing the purpose of international association meetings through long-term legacy development, improving the benefits of association meetings to the host community and creating strategic partnerships with destinations. 


Along with insightful Q&A sessions with associations sharing practical examples of best practice, one of the core take-aways from the Forum was the benefits for associations in focusing on simplicity when conveying their meetings and organisation’s brand values. Engaging and lively workshops, further armed delegates with the practical tools to help meeting organisers unlock the collective intelligence of their colleagues, in order to discover new creative and innovative ways of engaging with their association members.



BestCities Board Chair, Jonas Wilstrup, Convention Director of Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau said: “As a global alliance of 11 premiere convention bureaus, BestCities offer meeting solutions beyond what any individual city or bureau.  The Global Forum is the ideal example of the collective strength BestCities provide our clients as an Alliance, championing inspiring thought-leadership and practical and hands-on support in association legacy development. That we can deliver that support in a fun, informal and engaging environment, rich in education and networking opportunities, makes it a win-win for associations.


“I am delighted to announce the second BestCities Global Forum will take place in Tokyo in December 2017.  That we are already receiving enquires about next year’s event is a testament to the positive word-of-mouth generated from Dubai’s success.”



With the majority of the workshops and sessions taking place in the JW Marriot Marquis, the Global Forum proved an excellent opportunity to showcase Dubai as a premier meeting destination, allowing delegates to experience first-hand Dubai’s warm hospitality, while providing deeper insights into the city’s rich heritage and ambitious future vision and innovation.


Steen Jakobsen, Director of Dubai Business Events, said:“It was a pleasure for Dubai to host the inaugural forum and to partner with BestCities Global Alliance and PCMA in creating an engaging agenda that reflects where we are headed as an industry. The importance of legacy is becoming a driving factor, not only for destinations, but for associations and the meetings they host. The Forum provided an ideal platform to share knowledge on legacy creation and I look forward to taking those learnings forward here in Dubai.”


35 international association executives attended the Global Forum, including representatives from International Political Science Association, World Autism Organisation, International Menopause Society, World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and International Academy of Periodontology.  


Reflecting on the Global Forum’s success, delegate Anna Davies, Training Coordinator for the International Council for Exploration of the Seas said: “The BestCities Global Forum provided an excellent opportunity to gain inspiration and ideas for my future conferences and events. I especially enjoyed the very high standard of content at the Forum, which has really given me something to "chew on." I was also very impressed with the venue and the meeting forum, which facilitated good networking and lots of fun.”


Natasha Joyner, Events Manager, World Obesity Federation said: “The BestCities Global Forum is a fantastic experience that allows all involved to connect and learn from associations, destinations industry experts and to dive deep into key topics and trends happening in the business events industry”.


The 2016 BestCities Global Forum offered a packed programme of speakers including tribal leadership expert Dr Tommy Weir, Speaker and Professor of Hult International Business School; Oliver Martin, a stakeholder engagement strategist, specialising in destination development;Philip Davies, President of strategic brand consultancy EMEA Siegel + Gale and Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operations Officer, PCMA. 


The BestCities Global Forum 2017 will take place in Tokyo in December and is open to senior association executives (or AMC on behalf of Associations) considering hosting International Business Events that rotate globally, relevant to any of the 11 BestCities Global Alliance partner cities: Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver.

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