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2013 AIPC Annual Conference to put ‘Convention Centers in Context’


Illustrating the experiences of host country South Africa, three keynote speakers will contextualize the importance of convention centers’ roles in local communities amid uncertain global conditions, at the 2013 AIPC Annual Conference and 55th General Assembly from June 30-July 3.

ecn_062013_int_aipc_logoAn association of convention and exhibition centers, the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) chose Wendy Luhabe, social entrepreneur and author; Daniel Silke, political analyst and author; and Thebe Ikalafeng, founder and managing director, Brand Leadership Group to give keynote addresses during the conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

“The selection of the three keynotes, the other speakers and program components were developed in function of our conference theme – Convention Centers in Context,” said Edgar Hirt, president, the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), an international association of convention and exhibition centers. “Centers need to be seen in the context of their local and regional communities not only as instruments of economic and educational development but as integral parts of how a destination can pursue its overall long-term objectives through the events and activities it hosts.”

Speaking on Supporting a Community in Transition, Wendy Luhabe will explain how South Africa evolved and how its experience could provide lessons to convention centers that want to become economically, socially or educationally relevant in their communities

“Many centers are working with their respective governments to find ways that they can attract attention, participation and investment that corresponds to community economic aspirations, such as energy, resources, technology and more,” added Hirt.

In Emerging Economies in a Global Context, Daniel Silke will analyze demographics and generational expectations as driving factors in the global economic recovery process and how they will play out in the context of an emerging economy like South Africa.

“As a former elected representative, Silke has insight into how governments see the meetings and events industry and its role in supporting the visitor economy along with the economic and professional sectors by hosting events where advancements in these areas take place or are communicated,” stated Hirt.

The Branding Imperative: From Cities to Continents will be led by Thebe Ikalafeng, who will provide a general overview of branding and how it applies to convention centers and destinations under current conditions. He will also give insight into his experiences in South Africa.

“There is more emphasis than ever on the business and intellectual attributes of a convention and conference location as we have seen in the growing backlash against emphasizing leisure qualities since the onset of the global financial crisis,” explained Hirt.

Taking place at the conference is the 55th General Assembly, which will include elections for Board positions and insights into the next conference in Berlin, Germany. Eight other sessions will also be available, including the Client View: How Our Key Customers are Perceiving the Future. Presented by Oscar Cerezales of MCI Group and Ben Hainsworth of European Society of Cardiology, the session will update delegates on current and pending industry conditions.

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