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The future is here: The 60th ICCA Congress will showcase a transformed business events industry

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Delegates are invited to join the Congress in the host city of Cartagena de Indias, a Congress Hub, or on ICCA’s state-of-the-art virtual platform.

The 60th Annual ICCA Congress will take the global association meetings industry to Cartagena, Colombia on 24-27 October 2021 with the theme Forward to our Future. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Annual Congress is a must-attend event for all involved in international conventions and congresses and this year's hybrid experience is no different. Delegates are invited to join the Congress in the host city of Cartagena de Indias, a Congress Hub, or on ICCA’s state-of-the-art virtual platform. Registration for the ICCA Congress 2021 is flexible, so delegates can change how they participate at any time. 

Setting the stage for future business events
Last year’s ICCA Congress established the Kaohsiung Protocol, a crowdsourced  framework identifying major trends and key strategies to enable the international meetings industry to thrive despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The ICCA Congress 2021 will continue the industry’s collaborative approach to overcoming challenges and reinventing business operations. The innovative programme combines best practices for pandemic-safe meetings with the latest research into the future outlook of business events.

“ICCA research has consistently found that the general sentiment about the need for face-to-face events has not only remained, but intensified. Furthermore, while digital and hybrid events have expanded audiences for many organisations, these alternatives cannot supersede the serendipitous moments and truly meaningful connections that are the essence of face-to-face meetings,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.

“We’ve been listening closely to the motivations and desires of both our ICCA World and Association Community members. As a result, the ICCA Congress 2021 is an event that we are proud to say has been developed for our members, by our members. Delegates will get first-hand experience with the creative, future-forward strategies that will become standard operations for the successful business events of tomorrow.”

Global community connects in Cartagena
ICCA World is a strong advocate for returning to face-to-face meetings, with both safety and financial efficiency as top priorities. Before the pandemic, business events contributed USD 1.5 trillion to the global GDP and affected nearly 26 million jobs worldwide. 

“The economic impact of international business events cannot be overstated,” said Gopinath. “In-person meetings are vital to economic development, local job creation, and knowledge exchange. We are very pleased to be able to bring the 60th ICCA Congress to Cartagena, Colombia as a live event.”

Diana M. Rodriguez, CMP, Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, said: “We are convinced that face-to-face meetings and events drive socio-economic development for destinations. They serve as platforms for knowledge sharing and generating valuable connections that positively impact businesses and professionals alike, well beyond the event itself. That’s why we are ready to welcome ICCA delegates in Cartagena de Indias; to rediscover the true power of meeting again under the magic spell of our legendary and ‘heroic’ city.”

ICCA Congress 2021 delegates who are unable to travel to Colombia will also have the opportunity to meet face-to-face at one of the worldwide Congress Hubs. Confirmed destinations as of the date of this announcement are: Paris, France; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Seoul, South Korea. Congress Hub programmes will livestream key plenary sessions that take place in Cartagena. Delegates will also hear from industry experts and government officials with strong ties to their region and participate in immersive workshops. Each Hub will be infused with the Cartagena experience through themed dinners and social events that deliver a Colombian flair.

Delegates who join the ICCA Congress 2021 digitally will have access to cutting-edge event tech. The virtual platform is as functional as it is impressive. The customised, visual wow-factor will keep delegates plugged-in and maximise their overall event participation. Meanwhile, powerful technology will ensure that the learning and networking components are smoothly executed and impactful.

“No matter where our delegates are, they can fully engage with the Congress programme. They’ll make valuable and profound connections and feel immersed in the event,” said Gopinath. "The future of the international meetings industry is here and we will bring it to the world stage during the ICCA Congress 2021.”

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