The Future Convention Cities Initiative, launched in the summer of 2010 by the Seoul Tourism Organization, London and Partners (formerly Visit London), and Business Events Sydney, recently added four new members: Toronto Convention Bureau, San Francisco Travel Association, Abu Dhabi Travel Authority, and Durban KwaZulu Natal Convention Bureau.

The work of the consortium, whose aim is to do strategic research on international events and to increase business opportunities for member destinations, is facilitated by Fast Future Research. Led by CEO Rohit Talwar, Fast Future Research is conducting the ongoing Convention 2020 study on the future of the meetings industry.

At its First Action Forum, in Seoul in March, FCCI members appointed Lyn Lewis-Smith, chief operating officer for Business Events Sydney, as the group’s first chairperson. Also at the forum, FCCI members met with national and local politicians and delivered seminars on destination development and the future of meetings for more than 200 leaders of the meetings industry at the Korean MICE Association’s Annual Global Leadership Forum. This was the third working meeting of FCCI and the first time all seven members had been together.

FCCI will once again present to government leaders when it delivers the opening session of the IMEX Politician's Forum May 24, during IMEX Frankfurt. “We were honored when IMEX approached us to share some of the details on the research and practical actions FCCI and its members are taking to maximize the economic impact of meetings beyond visitor spend,” Talwar said in a press release. “We need to work together as an industry to demonstrate that the meetings sector is a critical contributor to the knowledge transfer process in the industries that will drive long-term economic development. We are delighted that IMEX is putting such commitment behind the process of engaging with politicians.”

Take the Venue 2020 Survey

Talwar also wants to keep getting the word out about Convention 2020. Phase 2 of the survey is asking meeting professionals, event attendees, and those who work in meeting venues to offer their opinions about the future of venues that host conventions, congresses, conferences, trade shows, and exhibitions.

Follow the link to the survey—and share it with colleagues.