The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), which is meeting this week in Shanghai, China, is enjoying the highest attendance at a congress held outside of Europe (the highest ever was in Leipzig, Germany). The association announced that the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre has won the first ICCA Best PR Award.

The awards competition, created in conjunction with International Meetings Review, included five public relations campaigns carried out by ICCA members—convention and visitors bureaus, congress centers, and tourism organizations—in 2013. IMR’s editorial advisory board, chaired by Martin Lewis, managing editor of CAT Publications, said the board looked for “strong story-telling, high-visibility coverage, and brand consistency for PR that helped to overcome a crisis, and PR that showcased success, covering both traditional print and web/social media channels.”

In addition to KLCC, the other four finalists were Amsterdam RAI, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Seoul Tourism Organisation, and Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau.

Added Lewis: "All five finalists know how to use PR in a professional and creative way, so the decision was not easy. The measurement methodology, combined with consistent creativity won the day for KLCC. Year on year KLCC have always been strong on the creative front, but their evaluation processes and measurement of ROI was hard-nosed and scientific, impressing all the judges across the board."

The finalists and the winner have the opportunity give a short presentation on their PR strategy and campaigns in a dedicated media and PR session at the ICCA Congress, which has more than 900 senior representatives from 60 countries of the world’s leading suppliers to the international meetings industry in attendance. “This is by far the biggest attendance for an ICCA Congress venue outside Europe,” said Martin Sirk, ICCA’s CEO.

ICCA also recognizes the best marketing campaign done by one of its members at the annual congress, the winner of which will also be announced this week. The finalists are Gdansk Convention Bureau, Melbourne Convention Bureau, Palais des Congres de Montreal, and VisitDenmark.