AIPC 2019: Antwerp Delivering a New Kind of Experience!
Under an overall theme of Practical Strategies to Meet Changing Expectations AIPC 2019 in Antwerp will use a new kind of format to help members address the challenges arising from the fact that with convention centre client demands changing rapidly, driven by new event formats, attendee expectations and technologies, we need to draw from a wide range of sources, including global authorities, adjacent industries and our own membership to bring the full range of perspectives to bear on how best to address these.
This year’s Annual Conference program will create a unique, high-level atmosphere for learning, exchange and problem solving to these key questions about managing our collective future – and provide delegates with practical takeaways they can immediately incorporate into their planning.
• Global Issues; Industry Context
Fundamental to our business prospects are the consequences of significant global turmoil including escalating trade wars, the reshaping of the WTO, Brexit impacts and new challenges for the EU including ongoing debt-driven crises. To help make sense of it all and put these global events into an industry perspective we will once again be hosting a prominent economist and a frequent global economic commentator as our opening keynote.
• Aligning Perspectives: Do Our Clients Think Like We Do?
A first-time comparison of the results of the new AIPC Client Perspective Survey with those of the Annual Member Survey will provide new insights into how well our client’s issues, concerns and expectations align with those of centres as captured in over 11 years of trend analysis. A detailed assessment will be made of where results align and reinforce one another and where there is divergence that demands more exploration and dialogue with different client groups, with delegates able to use this information to inform their own marketing and customer relations activities.
• Are We Better Prepared for the Next Downturn?
All indicators suggest we are nearing the end of a boom cycle and need to start thinking about what an overall economic downturn may do to our business prospects and strategies. With the benefit of 11 years of member trend data through the full economic cycle since the GFC and the insights of an analytical business planner we will look at some of the factors that we should already be addressing to support business continuity.
• Tech on the Way: How “Big Picture” Developments Today will Shape Centre Requirements of the Future
Technology and technology management remain one of the largest concerns and investment requirements for centres around the world. This session will deliver advance knowledge of new developments about to hit the market and what’s now in the pipeline to give centres managers a leg up on what they can expect clients and delegates to be looking for and what the operational and investment implications are likely to be.
• Generational Change and Implications
Talent recruitment and retention issues are only one example of the impacts a generational transition is having on our world generally and centres in particular. This session will look at how new attitudes, values and expectations are not just reshaping the workplace but the expectations new generations of delegates are bringing to learning, advancement and the market and, by extension, the kinds of events we host in our venues.
INDUSTRY STRATEGY AND INTERFACE SESSIONS
• BrainShare: Creating Strategies for Practical Outcomes
This full-morning session will be a delegate workshop in an alternate setting and format to both explore practical strategies for responding to identified industry challenges and to demonstrate how an entirely new format can be used to enhance participation and outcomes. It will be based on a custom-designed platform and led by a knowledgeable industry figure to ensure relevant outcomes and utilize the information that has been provided by earlier presenters to drive innovative ideas that can be adopted and / or further explored by delegates in their own centres. Theme: A Practical Response to the Challenges of New Event Formats and Client Expectations
• An Organizer Perspective: What Works? What’s Changing?
This session will be a forum with 3 leading organizers who will offer up their views on where the greatest changes in event formats are coming from, how they are taking shape and what impact they are having on enhancing the meeting experience and outcomes. Forum members will also address the question of what kinds of demands future changes will place on centre managers and how relations might best be adapted to respond to these.
• The State of Subvention – Why, When and What
AIPC surveys have shown a steady growth in the use of subvention as a marketing incentive and widely condemned as prompting a 'Race to the Bottom' – yet the term is applied so loosely that it covers a wide range of initiatives, many of which are in fact carefully thought-out strategies that exchange financial support for targeting key and measureable outcome objectives. This session will use recent research to separate myth from fiction and deliver a balanced picture of just what this practice now comprises.
• Collaboration for Building Value
Many industry associations and individual AIPC members are now engaged or considering participation in a growing range of industry alliances – and as global competition grows there are likely to be more pressures to explore this strategy as a way to leverage value. This session will look at what is being achieved now – and what kinds of benefits may be expected in the future.
BREAKOUTS FOR SPECIAL FOCUS
This year’s Annual Conference will also feature provision for a series of breakout to not just address key issues in specific areas of centre management but to get program updates and shape the direction of related initiatives. Amongst these will be:
• CFO Focus: AIPC Global Benchmarking: Year 3 and a Turning Point
The AIPC Global Benchmarking program was launched three years ago as an ambitious effort to capture a wide range of comparative data that participants could then use to position themselves amongst their competitors and identify areas of divergence. The program now needs to report achievements and inform decisions about its future direction as an initiative that requires an ongoing funding model.
• Operations Focus: AIPC Security Task Force: Report out for phase 1
An AIPC Security Task Force was created as an outcome of the 2018 Facility Operations Summit and charged with the task of creating a well-structured checklist and set of best practices for addressing the wide and growing range of security issues facing centres today. This will be the first full report from that group and the deliverables needed for them to fulfill their mandate.
• Sales and Marketing Focus: Lessons from the Digital Revolution
While digitalization has now essentially taken over as the primary driving force in marketing today there are few critical analyses of how successfully it has been absorbed into different sectors and what lessons have been learned it the process. This session would explore both and offer constructive guidance to those who are either already in transition or simply beginning the process of conversion.
REPORTING AND INFORMING
• Innovation Showcase: Creativity on Parade
The entries to the 2019 AIPC Innovation Awards will be outlined in a rapid-fire presentation format that will entertain and inform while preparing them to cast their votes in the final stage of this highly popular competition. The Innovation Showcase will lead directly into a casual-format session and the opportunity to dig into the details of those innovations with their member-creators.
• The AIPC Report: What’s New? What’s Happened? What’s Coming Up?
This session is an overview report on the full range of AIPC Program Activities and an orientation to members as to what priorities are being addressed and what levels of performance and participation are being achieved with a look forward into 2020.
• AIPC General Assembly
The General Assembly is the Business Meeting of the Association and our way of meeting both member reporting and regulatory obligations. It will be significantly contracted as a result of creating a more exhaustive “Annual Report” document, including President’s Report, for distribution to delegates in advance of the event.
Needless to say this will be an action-packed agenda with highly relevant topics that make use of a world of insights and experience – all in a new format!