Major events can support a city’s development and leave a community legacy if done right, according to the IMEX Politicians Forum 2017.
The subject of the discussion at the 15th annual forum was: ‘How can the meetings and events industry most effectively contribute to the development of regions and cities in a world environment where globalisation, urbanisation and the free movement of people are changing the structure of society and the way we live?’
Attendees included politicians and industry leaders, who debated the impact of government policy and the meetings industry in a city’s future economic success.
"Major events can be a catalyst for redefining a city’s priorities and attracting global attention to such changes," said the report by Rod Cameron, executive director of the Joint Meetings Industry Council, which also highlighted "the importance of being able to show measureable benefits to local government and the community, particularly in areas such as jobs."
The wide-ranging debate also touched upon the need to build a government strategy with the help of inter-agency committees, as established in Japan, Sri Lanka and Kenya. Such a strategy would help "avoid fragmentation and maximise potential to win and benefit from meetings," said the report.
Working with governments
A strong relationship between governments and the meetings industry was a recurrent theme in the report. Among the key points in the conclusion was the suggestion that "the meetings industry has a critical role to play in addressing both the challenges and opportunities associated with urbanisation and urban transition in a variety of ways.
"However, this role is being limited by a lack of appreciation for how governments can most effectively use the industry to their advantage, in terms of addressing and advancing key policy priorities and countering development challenges."
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