AIPC Annual Conference combined visionary, practical componentsMacro-trends shaping the future of the industry mingled with practical strategies for today’s centre priorities in the AIPC 2014 Annual Conference just completed in Berlin. With a program built around concepts arising from the “Megatrends” study recently completed by the German Convention Bureau (GCB) dealing with key factors set to impact the convention centre world in the years to come, the conference combined insights into issues shaping the overall business environment for centres with the challenges faced by centres today in sessions ranging from case studies to broad reviews of political, economic and technological trends.
“Our feeling is that we always need to begin the discussion of centre-specific issues and challenges by looking outside the industry for what’s impacting the overall political and economic environment in which we work”, said AIPC President Geoff Donaghy. “Our 2014 Annual Conference really took a big step in this direction with keynotes that explored everything from globalization to evolving technology, balanced by sessions that addressed the realities of current operations as expressed by case studies from members and colleagues. The result was both realistic and visionary, which is where we need to place ourselves if we are to deliver ongoing service excellence in a rapidly changing world”.
Renowned globalization commentator and author Parag Khanna and Wired magazine Editor David Rowan led the discussion of how current trends are shaping meeting and convention expectations of the future, citing such issues as interactive technologies, political realignment and an increasing role for intercultural business transactions as driving forces for change. On the practical side, panels addressing topics including the evolution of food and beverage, the state of exhibitions and centre-related technology provided delegates with the opportunity to acquire insights and ideas for more immediate application.
Also featured were a session providing insights and tactics for understanding and addressing intercultural transactions and another covering the results of the 2014 AIPC Performance and Outlook Survey. The latter documented an overall shift into business growth and optimism while also featuring regional comparisons that illustrated some significant global variations in key industry conditions including competition and business outlook.