Denmark ’s four leading meetings destinations have banded together to launch a new program designed to make international conventions more impactful for both associations and destinations. The program includes an innovative new model of collaboration between meeting organisers and host communities – especially local businesses.
The Danish destinations – gathered in the alliance MeetDenmark – are creating a new approach to building meeting legacies – a process by which convention bureaus and local host organisations seek to build collaboration between associations and local stakeholders so that both can leverage more impactful meeting outcomes and legacies.
Launch at IMEX this week
The new program is going to be launched during IMEX in Frankfurt by Allan Tambo Christiansen, Head of Conventions for Visit Aarhus, and Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, Deputy Convention Director and Head of Congress for Wonderful Copenhagen.
“Our goal is to build a new world-leading model for outreach,” Reventlow-Mourier says, “we want to create a significant value-add for the international associations coming to Denmark. We are focused on helping associations achieve greater impacts in fulfilling their own goals and missions while also strengthening the value of visiting congresses for Danish society beyond the traditional direct economic benefits. We’re looking to develop a powerful nexus between community goals and association goals.”
The Outreach Program’s stated vision is that “Destinations and associations will define innovative partnership models, through meetings and congresses, aiming at creating value for both the participants and the local stakeholders.”
A new level of impact
The new model can create a powerful value proposition when bidding for international conventions. The key is to forge strong working relationships with the associations and local stakeholders to explore ways that Denmark can better help them accomplish their missions and goals in a synergistic way.
“We feel that if we do this well, we have a point of difference,” Christiansen says. “We see this as part of our national brand. We want Denmark to be seen as world-leading in terms of pro-actively building meeting impacts and legacies. And, we think that associations will be interested in what we have to offer. We want to help them find new ways of engaging with our communities, because we think there is an opportunity to do things in a much different way.”
In the end, what the Danish meetings destinations want is for both associations and local stakeholders to experience a new level of impact.
“We want everyone saying ‘WOW’ when the meeting is over,” Christiansen said, “and, then three years later we want them to still be talking about the difference that meeting made. One of the keys to that is for our community to maintain the relationship with the associations after the meeting has come and gone, and to keep working on achieving key outcomes.”
Three case studies with high impact
As part of the launch, MeetDenmark released three case studies on congresses that had been held recently in Denmark and that had high impacts which should drive future legacies. These are among the cases that together with The MeetDenmark Outreach Study have formed the basis for the new Danish outreach program:
Women Deliver met in Copenhagen in 2016. The association’s goal is to work towards gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women. With an attendance of 6000 delegates, the congress generated enormous international attention, local media coverage and 4 new documentaries on Danish television. Future legacies will be strengthened by new partnerships, policies and funding that was generated and the fact that 20% of attendees were young people.
The Danish Microbiological Society met in Copenhagen in 2018 and showed that small meetings (200 delegates) can have big impacts. The congress achieved significant coverage in scientific journals and pursued an active social media approach as well as extensive public engagement. The developing legacies centre around stronger cross-sector collaboration and future dialogue across clusters.
The Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynaecology met in Odense in 2018 with attendance of 925. The immediate impacts included 14 pre-congress workshops at the University Hospital for Nordic trainees, a public exhibition to enhance community awareness and increased funding for the science. The enhanced focus on the science and improved practices should secure better public health outcomes over time.
To learn more about the study and how Denmark is working to take meeting legacies to a whole new level, visit the Danish stand at IMEX in Frankfurt (May the 22nd 2019 at 10.30 AM).