Sweden has shown strong interest in joining the alliance, taking the total number of member countries to 23. A confirmation by the Swedish representatives is expected soon. The strategic alliance, announced at IMEX America 2014, is the first of its kind and aims to encourage knowledge sharing and partnership working among the member countries.
At the meeting in Warsaw on 25 September 2015, members also agreed to work together on comprehensive market research into China, a key market for the alliance. The research project will examine the Chinese business travel market, focusing on perceptions of Europe as a meeting destination, with the results due in summer 2016.
The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe also took significant steps towards further partnership working on a Memorandum of Understanding incorporating criteria including membership, responsibilities and goals. Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the German Convention Bureau (GCB), and Eric Bakermans, marketing manager for Holland meetings, conventions and events, speaking on behalf of the group, comment: “We look forward to welcoming Sweden to our group of European National Convention Bureaux. As a united voice of now 23 members across the continent, we’re aiming for productive collaboration that creates a strong proposition for our target markets.
This approach will be supported significantly by our extensive research into the core China market, helping to strengthen the position of each individual member as well as boosting Europe’s standing as the leading destination for business events in the world.” National Convention Bureaux across the continent are included in the new alliance, they are: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Latvia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and, due shortly, Sweden. Since its formation in 2014, the group has generated immense interest. The next step for the initiative will be a meeting of members and other interested organisations when the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe meets in Munich, 28-29 January, 2016.