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Taking the next steps in developing destinations

23 January 2014

Key development trends in the event industry of the regions were discussed in the session 'Regional and national convention bureaus as an effective tool for promoting the region' on the second day of the Europe+Asia Event Forum. The subject aroused great interest among the session participants:  a total of 7 presentations were organised by representatives of Russian regions and their European colleagues.
The European experience in establishment and development of convention bureaus was demonstrated in particular by Ulrike von Arnold, Deputy Director of Vienna Convention Bureau. In her presentation, she stressed the importance of positioning this kind of organisations as a reliable and essential partner in managing any event. 'First of all, our own reputation is important for us. It is a combination of a number of factors: geographic accessibility, social responsibility, focus on customer needs, rather than on the own capabilities. Development of infrastructure and hospitality sector of a particular city or region is not the least important,' the Austrian specialist said.
At the same time, her European colleague from Poland, a regular participant of the Forum, the Gdansk Convention Bureau CEO Anna Gorska marked the items to which convention bureau workers should pay particular attention. She stressed that in the near future, small and medium-sized cities will gain widespread popularity in the business travel market as part of the events held. 'However, it is very important to convert most of the event-related information to electronic format. Last August, we held the first ICCA meeting in St. Petersburg. It is noteworthy that we could see all the information on the conference participants, forum programme et cetera on our smartphones.  Event organisers must understand that people need a convenient and fast Internet access.  Adequate response to changes in the world, including in the field of information and technology is a key to an adequate response to establishing convention bureaus anywhere in the world,' Anna Gorska said confidently.
In turn, the Russian industry experts told about their work in the past year.  In particular, Natalia Frolova, Executive Director of Yaroslavl Convention Bureau noted the positive trends in the event industry market in the region, highlighting the growing interest of participants and organisers in cooperation with the Bureau, and the clear increase in the number of events held with the participation of the Bureau in 2013.