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Are we threatened by “neomania”? How to adopt marketing strategies to a constantly changing world? Can artificial intelligence be controlled? Which values shall we consider when organizing future congresses or conventions? These are only some of the subjects discussed during this year’s ICCA CEC Summer Meeting which took place on the 18-20 August 2016 in Moscow, Russia. The key topic of the conference was ‘From the New Normal to the New Future. Challenges and opportunities for the European Meeting Industry now.’ 

After the official welcoming speeches, the conference began with the presentation of the science-fiction writer Dmitry Rus, who spoke about the impact on human life of the latest technological trends – virtual reality, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. He started the first inspirational session called: ‘Futurology & Sociology trends that can be taken into account by meeting planners.’ Then Johanna Fischer from tmf dialogue marketing in her presentation argued, why we should constantly adjust marketing strategies to the changing environment. Next there was a presentation of “smart technologies”, prepared by Holger Longe from Brahler ICS Konferenztechnik AG. The participants had a chance to get to know the latest technological solutions used during events. The speaker also mentioned the other interesting trends such us ‘neomania’ (the massive use of the latest achievements in business technology), beacons, holograms and live-streaming.

‘ICCA CEC Summer Meeting 2018 meets Meeting Expert conference Germany 2018’ was the title of the second session where the delegates had the opportunity to listen to Matthias Schultze from the German Convention Bureau (GCB), who presented the idea of the MEXCON (Meetings Experts Conference) and how it can be combined with the future ICCA CEC Summer meeting. GCB will officially apply to host the ICCA CEC Meeting in 2018. 

The specificity of the hotel sector in Russia was characterized by Jan Chovanec from Swissotel Krasnye Holny, while the Russian meetings industry in an original way was described by Ola Kastensson from Russkie prostori DMC. The participants were able to find out how to do business in Russia based on the local experiences.

The case studies session called ‘Welcoming Culture Today: how to bring event to the city’ was started by the speech of Jutta Heinrich from Frankfurt Convention Bureau, who familiarized participants with the issues related to the organization of the event ‘Light + Building goes City – Luminale in Frankfurt.’ Stefan Bonsels from the Basel Convention Bureau, presented the project “Basel volunteer program – ask me guides”, which involved mobile volunteers to provide tourist with information during big events organized in the city. The panel was concluded by Katarzyna Cioch from the Warsaw Convention Bureau whose presentation titled ‘Warsaw-Sport-Connect’ showed how sport can be a common ground for an exceptional link between science, administration and business, and how the citizens of Warsaw can be included  in the entire process.

Nearly 70 participants, about 50% of them Russian and 50% international, 11 speakers, 4 educational panels and 3 days full of exciting experiences in the Russian capital – briefly summarizes the meeting Anna Gorska, ICCA CEC Chairperson, EXPO XXI Warsaw Business Development Director. ‘Besides the extensive educational program, the conference gave us a chance to get to know some of the great, new business opportunities waiting for the meeting planners in Moscow – she adds. 

Next year ICCA CEC Summer Meeting will take place on 17-19 September 2017 in Lviv, Ukraine. It was presented in Moscow by Lina Ostapchuk from Lviv Convention Bureau.

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