James Latham, Founder of International Meetings Review, has formally reviewed this year’s IMEX Politicians Forum in Frankfurt, highlighting the economic benefits business events bring to destinations.
Latham states that this edition of the industry leading, global forum certainly recognised the outputs that business events deliver to inward investment, knowledge transfer and talent acquisition. These are key factors that align to a destination’s economic development and ongoing build of the knowledge economy.
A balanced approach by destinations is one which marries the economic impacts of a high value visitor economy (as compared to leisure), with the business event outputs.
The theme of the 13th edition of the IMEX Politicians Forum was ‘How do I attract more meetings and events to my destination?’. Moderator Michael Hirst, OBE, drew on a range of justifications for why destinations might want to invest in attracting business events to their cities, regions, or countries; concluding “All of you [here] are seeking sustainable solutions to strong economic development”.
Geoff Donaghy, AIPC President and chief executive of ICC Sydney supports a public-private partnership model to attract, host and deliver business events. He says destinations should have an industry-government partnership, based on a firm understanding of tourism and ‘beyond tourism’ benefits, such as: innovation, knowledge, research, skills development, talent attraction, trade and investment.
“Once a destination’s policy – at country, state or city level – is set to target collaborative partnership in science, business, academia and professional development, then it is well on its way to success”, he said.