BestCities is a global alliance with a certification program intended to ensure a consistent level of convention bureau service excellence its partner cities. The 10 partner cities are: Berlin, Germany; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, U.A.E.; Edinburgh, Scotland; Melbourne, Australia; Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Singapore; and two cities in the U.S.—Houston, Texas; and Chicago, Ill.

The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted its first BestCities client workshop October 11–13. Held annually, client workshops bring together association executives in the pharmaceutical, medical, science, journalism, and other industries, to showcase one BestCities destination and to give them insights into the BestCities organization and benefits.

 The official schedule for the client workshop includes one-on-one meetings with all BestCities convention bureaus, site inspections of major venues and attractions, and a networking lunch. The next client workshop will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in December 2014.

Best Events Centre—Online Tools
BestCities recently launched its new online tool kit, called the Best Events Centre.

A free information exchange resource, the Best Events Centre brings together exclusive content and insider tips to help local hosts and international organizers plan and run their global events.

Content is divided in three categories: pre-event, during event, and post-event. Planning and execution tasks covered include selecting a destination, event marketing, raising sponsorship, risk management, and more. There are also guidelines for working with airlines, professional congress organizers, and convention and visitor bureaus. 

“We tested the [toolkit] on a group of international clients at our Client Forums in Singapore and Melbourne,” said BestCities Managing Director Jane Vong Holmes. “[They] gave us plenty of constructive feedback. They were particularly positive about the usefulness of a reputable resource for local associations who may be new to organizing international congresses and new meeting planners in particular.”

The Best Events Centre is free to all international association meeting planners. Registration is required.