Fantastic group at Estonia Convention Bureau seminar last week worked with me on debate of what makes a great meetings destination. What makes Singapore, Brussels, Vienna, Seoul and Tokyo the top 5 cities for international meetings according to UIA statistics?

Our latest research reveals the following are important to organisers:

1. Location

2. Quality of service

3. Price/Value for money

4. Access

5. Capacity of conference facilities

6. Compliance with industry criteria

7. Quality of food

8. Cleanliness of venue

9. Free WiFi

10. Quality of conference facilities


The trends and future influences for the meetings industry  are:

  •  Technology
  •  Compliance
  •  Competition and the battle for attention
  •  Developing countries influencing the market
  •  Design innovations
  •  Subvention

The fascinating recent research published recently by the German Convention Bureau revealed  influences for the future with number one being technology:

Knowledge of technological possibilities and their correct use will be essential in the future

  Meetings and Conventions 2030 GCB

yet it is always worth remembering the views of wise men:

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction – the world will have a generation of idiots”

    Albert Einstein

Despite all the fears and predictions that technology will replace meeting face to face (and for some small meetings it is indeed doing so already ) international association meetings have increased 100% in the last ten years -and much of that to do with communicating and educating members in the latest technology in their fields.

As the world shrinks and we live in an increasingly globalised society, we feel the need to look humans in the eye the same as we ever did, if we are to trust, rely and work with them closely.

To make your destination more successful in future you need to address the needs of the market, but also you need

  1. Passion and enthusiasm, this can really make such a difference to achievement
  2. Champions – the local influencers that are committed to their city and country
  3. United voice – the hotels, the transport providers, the venues and all those involved support the meetings taking place
  4. Innovate & take a new approach
  5. Look beyond the norm- what have you got that nowhere else has? What offers attendees a new experience?


Thanks to all those who participated in the discussion – Estonia is well on its way to being a successful Nordic country and a great meetings destination!ECBseminar2

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