Cities unite to provide ‘off-the-shelf’ multi-hub meetings

Four cities have joined forces to create ‘off-the-shelf’ multi-hub meetings.

The Hague Convention Bureau, Ottawa Tourism Business Events, Prague Convention Bureau and Geneva Convention Bureau launched the Hybrid City Alliance to make it easier for organisers to plan multi-location meetings.

Multi-hub conferences involve different locations delivering content around a wider national or international offering. There is usually a ‘host’ destination and various satellite meetings. Delegates choose to attend virtually, at their local hub, or at the ‘main event ‘destination.

Rather than working with multiple destinations, planners can make use of the alliance’s links, with their chosen central point of contact coordinating responses and delivery between the cities.

The multi-hub concept has several obvious benefits, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Delegates can choose to attend either online or at a local or regional event, reflecting local travel restrictions.  A local hub also has the benefit of reducing average travel distances, saving delegates money and reducing the impact of international meetings on the environment.

The alliance is an open group with opportunities for other destinations to join if they would like to benefit from this collaborative approach.

Bas Schot, head of The Hague Convention Bureau welcomed the new initiative saying: “Today it is not about I but about WE. In order for the industry to rebound faster, we all need to act together. Therefore, we are glad to extend our Ottawa partnership with like-minded innovative destinations such as Prague and Geneva, who are eager to focus on solutions for tomorrow and we also look forward to welcoming other destinations to join us to shape the future.”

Glenn Duncan, senior VP and chief marketing officer, Ottawa Tourism added: “Building on the success of our partnership with The Hague, which was signed in 2019, Ottawa Tourism is proud to co-launch the Hybrid City Alliance along with other world-class destinations, who share our passion for the future of meetings. We look forward to leveraging our strong relationships with the other destinations in the alliance and sharing resources and contacts.  The result will be attracting more business to our capital city, showing the world Ottawa’s strengths and telling Canada’s stories on an international stage.”