ICCA signs off record-breaking Congress with Kaohsiung Protocol
The 59th International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Congress was a congress like no other, with a record attendance, albeit the majority in digital attendance. The ICCA family demonstrated a victory of the power of community and connectivity, with the official Congress days, 1-3 November in Kaohsiung and the other global hubs packing in valuable content and networking to add to the extended six-week congress programme of knowledge sharing under the 59th Congress banner.
The headline achievement of the activity was the signing of the Kaohsiung Protocol Framework, as the major legacy.
The co-created document re-imagines the future of global events, identifying key trends and strategies to enable the international meetings industry to thrive. It was the product of both face to face and hybrid experience and input like no other.
The trends identified included: Innovative Business Models, Shared Risk, Digital Restructure & Hybrid Events, and Enhanced Engagement & Value Strategies.
ICCA President James Rees stated: “It has been a privilege to work with the Kaohsiung City Government and we thank all the Host City Stakeholders for their commitment to rise to the challenge presented by the global pandemic and to re-imagine the ICCA Congress and build a hybrid event that will act as a “live” case study for the entire events industry and ultimately will deliver a framework for the future of our association that will be enshrined in the Kaohsiung Protocol – a tangible, documented framework that will be the true legacy of this year’s event – and that will resonate with members for years to come.”
The Kaohsiung Protocol Framework is ICCA’s response to the major global trends such as technological advancement, safety and health, and understanding the next generations of attendees, all impacting the global events industry. ICCA said it was the duty as well as privilege of the event industry to contribute to the advancement of the society through promoting core values such as knowledge economy, sustainable development, and global connection.
Gregg H. Talley, moderator of the Kaohsiung Protocol working group and CEO of the Talley Management Group, added: “We have a framework for members to build from based on our customer’s input. And we have an interesting path forward on innovative business models, industry collaboration and advocacy. Our goal was to create a legacy for the Kaohsiung Congress – Mission accomplished!”
On the final day of the Congress, ICCA honoured five of its members with the special edition of the Best Marketing Award – Recognising Leadership in Transformation.
Chairman of the judging panel and BMA Moderator, Patrick Delaney of SoolNua explained: “This year has been an extraordinarily difficult year, it has been difficult for our businesses and affected each and every country. So, in these economic and societal conditions, we felt that it was inappropriate to run our normal ICCA Best Marketing Award. However, we did want to recognise the amazing role ICCA members have played in this very difficult situation, so we combined our Global Destination Sustainability Award and the Best Marketing Award to highlight the key role in transformational leadership that ICCA members have played throughout the world.
ICCA invited all types of initiatives that provide creative answers to the current challenges to apply to be recognised. Five of the initiatives were found not only to have showcased a great amount of creativity, innovation, and local outreach, but also leadership in transformation with their unparalleled community engagement and extraordinary collaborations. They were:
- KINTEX, South Korea: Created a comprehensive and innovative framework for re-opening a venue during the pandemic, which has subsequently been adopted in different parts of the world as the go to standard.
- Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre: Identified a deficiency in their local supply chain, namely insufficient knowledge among the PCO community of the scope of work and services required by international planners. They formed a unique partnership with the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) to launch the IAPCO online platform providing globally accredited training to Malaysian Professional Congress Organisers (PCOs).
- Seoul Tourism Organization: Created a series of practical initiatives and supports to underpin their campaign ‘Stand Strong Together’ and totally revitalized the local the MICE community.
- The Indian Hotels Company Limited: Provided emergency accommodation and meals for frontline health and police personnel who were on duty treating Covid-19 patients during the nationwide lockdown. In addition to supplying 20,000 food boxes daily for those migrant workers who were combating unemployment.
- VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau: Rebalanced their long-term vision for business events with the immediate need to create measures to support the industry. Taking Covid-19 as an opportunity to innovate, they created a new set of services and tools for their industry supply partners and association customers.
ICCA CEO, Senthil Gopinath, thanked all initiatives for their great efforts despite facing challenging times as well as their dedication and commitment towards ICCA: “The Best Marketing award is very special for the ICCA community. Every destination makes great efforts in showcasing their achievements. Considering how important it is for the ICCA members, we decided to recognise the community leadership within our industry in these challenging times. It is amazing to see the dedication and commitment of ICCA members and how swiftly they engaged in the society. This year we received a record number of entries and it clearly showcases the long-term vision of our industry.”