Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 10 2016

Moving Beyond Delegate Numbers In Dubai

Jeanna Hofmeister


When it comes to advancing the meetings industry, the BestCities Global Alliance, a consortium of 11 innovative destinations, has a broad-reaching goal: to move beyond reporting room nights and attendance numbers and create more meaningful meetings. At this year’s BestCities Global Forum, the curriculum will be centered on inspiring, empowering and training both international association conference planners and host destinations how to develop programs that leave lasting legacies and transform communities on a long-term basis.


Learning To Leave A Legacy

The Global Forum will bring together world-class speakers, international association organizers and the 11 Best Cities destinations in Dubai. The city, already well-known as a knowledge hub with a thriving culture of entrepreneurs and innovators, is a natural fit to host the forum. With successful legacy programs already in place, Dubai is set to share their first-hand perspectives as part of the forum program. 

Delivering Global Results With A Local Approach

In December of 2011, Dubai hosted the World Diabetes Congress. It occurred at an important juncture for diabetes and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as the conference occurred shortly after the United Nations High Level Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases in September 2011. Both the timing of the World Diabetes Congress in Dubai December 2011, and the growing concern to meet the demands of the diabetes epidemic across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region provided the right context for International Diabetes Federation to add a new component of the World Diabetes Congress, a Global Diabetes Forum (GDF).

The Forum was a full day meeting preceding the congress, with a select group of 100 participants. It provided the opportunity for structured cross-sector dialogue between representatives of government, industry and civil society. Decision makers were invited to discuss lessons learned and carve out critical next steps to ensure commitments made at the global level were translated into improvements on the ground for people with diabetes. The outcome was the Dubai Diabetes Declaration facilitating the implementation and monitoring of evidence-based policy and planning emerging from the UN NCD Summit.

Learn more about Dubai: See How Old-World Culture And New-Age Thinking Meet In This Knowledge Destination

Building Knowledge While Sharing Best Practices

In an industry where professional contacts were once the mainstay of success, open sharing of best practices and expansion of one-on-one learning opportunities are becoming increasingly important for both event organizers and host destinations like Dubai. In fact, many business events organizers will make future site decisions based upon a community’s willingness to build a lasting conference legacy.

“The focus this year is on education,” Jane Cunningham, Manager of Business Development for Best Cities Global Alliance and creator of the Global Forum, says.  “Our attendees will have takeaways that they can use to develop their congresses. Because peer-to-peer learning is so very important, our program will include “association insights” sessions where they can hear about legacy stories from the association representatives,” she says.

“We want to learn from our clients so that we as a global alliance can enhance our legacy development offerings and adapt to better serve our clients,” Cunningham adds. “We want to help them every step of the way from one congress to the next and beyond.”

There is still time to register for the Best Cities Global Forum in Dubai. Find out more information here.

This informational article was brought to you by Dubai Tourism. Dubai, the world’s fourth most visited city, offers a blend of experiences that break boundaries, provoke thought and promote understanding.  You can discover a host of new family friendly attractions, hotels and cultural experiences in this world-class destination. If you’re interested in hosting your next meeting in Dubai, contact:

Dubai Tourism



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