International Association of Convention Centers (AIPC) is holding its signature annual conference event in Boston this July, and the focus will be on the multiple interactions centers have with their respective cities and how these can best be managed to deliver the broadest range of benefits from their activities.
The theme will be reflected not only in the conference sessions but in the experience that will be delivered by the host city, which has worked hard over many years to ensure that its centers generate benefits consistent with the overall economic, academic and community goals of Boston.
“Centers are major drivers and tools of economic development in their respective cities, but they are also major investments in infrastructure that shape the form and function city in important ways,” said Geoff Donaghy, president, AIPC. “This means our members should be an integral part of the broader planning and policy development process of their host cities – but this is not always the case. By focusing on this aspect of center management in our 2015 conference, we intend to provide not only good insights and tools to help centers take a more active role in this regard but also solid examples of how this dynamic has played out in cities like Boston who have been effective in achieving a high level of participation and influence in city development.”
The theme will be reflected in the presentations from keynote speakers, such global cities expert Greg Clark and branding visionary Chris Fair as well as in the observations of academic and professional figures with direct experience in this interface. At the same time, it will be addressed at a practical level with sessions exploring topics ranging from client relations to safety and security, all of which necessarily have a requirement for local cooperation and coordination in order to be successful.
The conference will also feature the results of AIPC’s annual Performance and Prospects survey that has been tracking industry performance and confidence levels for six years, making it one of the most extensive bodies of center-related information in the industry. The survey has now evolved to a point where it supports regional comparisons as well as those relating to client expectations for the same time periods, making it a powerful vehicle for center planning and benchmarking. It will also identify the winners of the AIPC Innovation Award, a bi-annual award program recognizing the best management, marketing or operating innovations in the industry and facilitating their communication amongst members. Two awards are made; one the product of judging by a panel of industry and consultative judges and the other a “popular choice” award based on the assessments of attending delegates.
“The strength of our membership is in the wide range of global perspectives that can be brought to bear on issues of common concern,” said Donaghy. “By sharing both insights and strategies in a forum such as the Annual Conference, we can ensure that everyone comes away with a broader sense of the options for addressing today’s challenges, and of where some of the greatest opportunities lie for the future. By applying this dynamic to as important a topic as our city interface, we are not only supporting members but equally the cities they serve”.
AIPC represents a global network of more than 175 leading centers in 58 countries with the active involvement of over 900 management-level professionals worldwide. It is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention center management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation, and maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs to achieve this. AIPC also celebrates and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic, academic and professional development and enhancing global relations amongst highly diverse business and cultural interests.
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