In order to road-test key issues highlighted in the plan, BestCities recently joined with Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) in Chicago to co-host a ‘dialogue’ with a group of global meeting executives.
With the aim being to identify customer insights into the future of convention and visitor bureaux as well as the importance and value of a CVB alliance, representatives from a broad range of associations were invited to participate in this free-flowing and open discussion.
Hosted by BestCities Board Chair, Karen Bolinger and moderated by Sherrif Karamat, Chief Operating Officer of PCMA, attendees discussed a range of issues affecting the international meetings industry including the value of convention bureaux in today’s market and the role they need to play in a vastly evolving global business climate to help associations meet their challenges.
“Although we have worked with individual alliance partners in the past, this was the first collaboration between PCMA and BestCities as a group,” said Mr Karamat.
“I was very pleased to have a role in facilitating these discussions and I congratulate Ms Bolinger and the BestCities Board on having a transparent process that allowed for a strategic review of BestCities’ brand promise.
“With such constructive and game changing insights from this initial meeting, I am looking forward to continuing the dialogue to create a positive impact on the value proposition and future ROI for all parties,” concludes Mr Karamat. Whilst consensus for the model of an alliance and the potential value of such a collective was generally supported, clients all agreed that what they look for the most in the partnership is trust, expertise, support, connections and assistance, explaining that they want convention bureaux to give them consistently high standards of service, destination expertise, local support and relevant connections as well as assistance with risk management and valuing the impact their meeting has on the destination.
“There are times when we all wish we had a crystal ball to foretell the future; however in reality we have to chart our own destiny, which is why conducting a strategic review at this stage in our development is so important, said Ms Bolinger.
“As we move into our fifteenth year, BestCities, as a collective, will address how we focus on association meetings and the support and benefits we can offer an association. We are grateful for the backing of PCMA who, through their advanced education programs, is assisting us in categorizing key areas for future planning.