The Hybrid City Alliance, which boasts 24 member cities in 16 countries across 5 continents, has committed to the development and implementation of strategies based on the findings and recommendations of the ICCA Global Association Meetings Protocol. The 24 destinations will report back on their individual activities and success at IMEX America in October, and the ICCA Convention in November.
The announcement was made at IMEX in Frankfurt by Lesley Mackay (Ottawa Tourism) and Bas Schot (The Hague Convention Bureau). Members of the alliance leading this initiative are Ottawa Tourism, The Hague Convention Bureau, Business Events Sydney, Explore Edmonton, Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lausanne Montreux Congress, Prague Convention Bureau, Department of Tourism and Information, Taipei City Government, Tourism Winnipeg and Zurich Convention Bureau.
Described as A Strategic Future for the Global Events Industry, the Global Association Meetings Protocol focuses on four key pillars, which it describes as follows:
- Sustainability, Equity & Legacy: Sustainability; equity, diversity and inclusion; and legacy are now top of mind for association clients when it comes to site selection. Therefore, destinations should dedicate more resources to deliver on those priorities more effectively.
- Crisis Planning & Mitigation: Protocols to enhance safety, health and security should be further enhanced and codified to protect against future cataclysmic shocks and chronic stresses that impact business events.
- Advocacy & Policy: Association clients are asking destinations and their partners to continue to advocate stridently for reducing barriers to travel.
- Sector & Community Alignment: Providing access to local clusters of advanced industries and community leaders is critical for attracting business events in those industries. Selling brainpower as well as buildings improves competitiveness for the destination and enhances legacy outcomes for the client.
“The Hybrid City Alliance was set up to bring likeminded destinations together at a time of extreme stress for our industry,” comments Lesley Mackay, founding member of the Hybrid City Alliance and Vice President, Meetings & Major Events Ottawa Tourism. “All of the member cities are committed to constantly improving themselves for the sake of their clients. This commitment provides the perfect demonstration of our willingness to make big decisions and implement the strategies, policies and infrastructure that association clients around the world need now and in the future. I am looking forward to seeing the examples and case studies our members will bring to life and share later in 2022.”