Global Cities Eye an Association Tag Team
Four iconic cities—Dubai, Singapore, Brussels, and Washington, DC—are working together to show the broader association industry the benefits of holding meetings in their centralized locations. These metropolises hope to take advantage of the increasing globalization of associations as a way to collectively expand their reach.
Four organizations representing the meetings businesses of four global cities—Dubai Association Centre, Destination DC, Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau, and Visit Brussels—announced earlier this month at IMEX America that they are now working together as part of the newly formed Global Association Hubs Partnership. The entity has major benefits for both the more established players (Washington, DC, and Brussels are noted association strongholds) and the up-and-comers (Dubai and Singapore are expanding their association industries). By working together, the partners hope, they can give associations more options and incentives to choose their cities.
“The motivation behind this is to create reciprocal opportunities for associations to build capacity and learn best practices,” Jeannie Lim, executive director of the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau’s conventions, meetings, and incentive-travel business, told Skift last week. “We can take joint measures to promote partner cities to international association decision makers, share global strategies and expansion plans, and develop research to further our objectives.”
With their marketing operations working in tandem, the participating economic development and marketing organizations can steer associations with a global presence toward holding their events—or, even better, establishing their headquarters—in each other’s cities. Hervé Bosquet, director of the Brussels Convention Bureau, tells MeetingsNet that events are just one goal of the partnership. The primary goal is to help associations establish headquarters in these widely visited destinations.
“International associations are constantly on the lookout to establish a strong base in key regions around the world in order to offer value and customized services to their membership,” Bosquet explained. “By leveraging this new partnership, international associations now have the opportunity to roll out global strategies and take advantage of local opportunities in key partner countries in a manner that is simple, well-coordinated, and highly convenient.”
The new partnership expands on a relationship that Washington, DC, and Brussels already have in place, according to MeetingsNet, while also building cross-promotion opportunities.