Community building in spotlight as destinations woo association planners

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The event was held in the cellars of Berry Brothers & Rudd. The event was held in the cellars of Berry Brothers & Rudd.

The Destinations Alliance annual lunch attracted more than 50 guests, including representatives from international associations, member destinations, regional convention bureaux (CVBs) and convention centres.

The lunch, held at the Queen’s wine supplier Berry Brothers & Rudd in London, gave association event planners and member destinations the opportunity to network and share ideas. Australia, Copenhagen, Dubai, Finland, Flanders, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong and Korea were among the destinations participating in the event.

Anne Ridyard, appointed MICE representative for Korea Tourism Organisation said the event’s objective was to, 'reinforce our message as international CVBs that we offer free and impartial advice and demonstrate our support to international associations in terms of understanding their needs as going beyond just conferences, that they also have to develop, grow and maintain relevance as membership organisations and thought leaders'.

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Bert van Loon.[/caption]

The event also welcomed a number of associations for the first time, including the International Association of Institutes of Navigation, European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), as well as many returning associations.

“Some come as often as they can, so they must find the events useful,” added Ridyard.

Carissa Henry, events manager at the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF) attended the event for the first time. She told AMI “The event was lovely and it’s a great way to meet destinations under a relaxed environment which makes the conversation flow.”

Between courses, Bert van Loon, co-founder of Content Marketing Fast Forward, delivered a keynote speech, 'The online-offline recipe for strategic community building'.

The session covered a range of topics and actionable ideas that could be used by associations. They included how a consistent, content-driven strategy is essential for engaging a member community; how to harness reach online and attention offline and how an integrated approach to events delivers maximum value.

"This year’s speaker was particularly insightful and thought-provoking. Really practical thoughts to take back to our organisation. Overall, yet again an event not to be missed," said Mark Challinor, executive producer and past president, International News Media Association.

Supporting Destinations and partners were: Australia and Melbourne CVB, Copenhagen and the Bella Centre, Dubai, Finland, Flanders, France and Only Lyon, Germany CVB and Nurnberg Messe, Holland, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Norway and Bergen Convention Bureau, Singapore and Switzerland CVB with Lausanne Montreux Congress.

Find out more about the Destinations Alliance here.

James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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