17 July 2018
Featured keynotes included Razeen Sally, a Singapore-based global economist and expert on trade agreements and global economic trends, who addressed the evolution of international relations and trade in a world increasingly moving toward protectionism and trade friction and Roger Martin-Fagg, a business process expert who counselled members on creating business strategies for uncertain conditions. Other sessions included a review of the international hotel scene under “peak” business conditions, the challenges faced by centres in recruiting and retaining key staff in a period of increasingly full employment and a highly selective work force and a comparison of different centre management models along with the factors considered by owners in choosing amongst alternatives.
Each “thought” session was followed up with industry-based panels that focused on the centre-specific implications of the big picture topics and explored ways in which centres might or already have responded. These latter insights served to “ground” discussion of high level issues and enable group insights that will assist centre executives in creating their own response strategies.
Delegates also benefited from “on the ground” advice such as how a strong community coalition has helped a city like London weather the challenges posed by Brexit-related uncertainties and the ways in which exhibition organizers are appealing to a new generation of attendees and competition from other marketing vehicles.Content was rounded out with updates on new AIPC program and management tool offerings designed to provide purpose-built, cost-effective means of addressing collective requirements. Amongst these were:
“We live in a world where global forces can have huge impacts on our business prospects but are largely beyond our ability to shape them”, said AIPC President Aloysius Arlando. “By combining high-level perspectives with sessions designed to consider practical responses, we feel we are best serving the interests of members and at the same time helping identify the most relevant tools and services we can provide to them”.