by Lisa A. Grimaldi | December 21, 2016

BestCities Global Alliance, the international network of 11 convention destinations, held its first global forum Dec. 4-7 in Dubai, in partnership with Dubai Business Events and the Professional Convention Management Association.  

During the meeting, attendees -- which included 35 international association executives -- covered topics including advancing the purpose of international association meetings through long-term legacy development, improving the benefits of association meetings to the host community, and creating strategic partnerships with destinations. The event was considered a success by the organizers: All of the delegates surveyed reported the forum fulfilled their main objectives for attending the event and would recommend it to other international association meeting planners. 

Along with insightful Q&A sessions for sharing practical examples of best practices, one of the core takeaways from the forum was the benefits for associations in focusing on simplicity when conveying their meetings' and organization's brand values. Engaging workshops provided delegates with the practical tools to help meeting organizers unlock the collective intelligence of their colleagues, in order to discover new creative and innovative ways of engaging with their association members.

BestCities board chair Jonas Wilstrup, who is the convention director for Denmark's Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau, said: "As a global alliance of 11 premiere convention bureaus, BestCities offers meeting solutions beyond what any individual city or bureau can. The Global Forum is the ideal example of the collective strength BestCities provides our clients as an alliance, championing inspiring thought-leadership, and practical and hands-on support in association legacy development. That we can deliver that support in a fun, informal and engaging environment, rich in education and networking opportunities, makes it a win-win for associations.  

"I am delighted to announce the second BestCities Global Forum will take place in Tokyo in December 2017," Wilstrup added. "That we are already receiving enquires about next year's event is a testament to the positive word-of-mouth generated from Dubai's success." 

The BestCities Global Forum 2017 is open to senior association executives considering hosting international business events that rotate globally, relevant to any of the 11 BestCities Global Alliance partner cities, which are Berlin; Bogotá, Colombia; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen; Dubai; Edinburgh, Scotland; Houston; Melbourne, Australia; Singapore; Tokyo; and Vancouver, Canada.