Denmark’s Latest Strategy: A National Alliance of Tourist Groups

Author: Lane Nieset       

MeetDenmark

The MeetDenmark group will not only tout the canals of Copenhagen (above), but the advantages of conducting business events in all of the nation’s southern region. (Martin Heiberg)

During IMEX Frankfurt last week, Denmark’s four leading tourism organizations made a big announcement: an alliance. Coming together as MeetDenmark, the new model comprises Visit Aalborg, Visit Aarhus, Wonderful Copenhagen, and Inspiring Denmark, which represents the southern region of Denmark. The goal? Create a synergistic relationship between each bureau to help the entire country rise on the meetings map, winning bids for international conventions.

“We feel that if we do this well, we have a point of difference,” Allan Tambo Christiansen, head of conventions for Visit Aarhus, said in a statement. “We want Denmark to be seen as world-leading in terms of pro-actively building meeting impacts and legacies. 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 order to obtain this “new level of impact,” as MeetDenmark aspires to do, the organisation outlined an outreach programme based on case studies from recent congresses that had the highest impact in Denmark — and that are expected to leave a strong legacy. “Our goal is to build a new world-leading model for outreach,” Bettina Reventlow-Mourier, deputy convention director and head of congress for Wonderful Copenhagen, said in a statement. “We want to create a significant value-add for the international associations coming to Denmark.”

One congress, the 2016 Women Deliver Global Conference in Copenhagen, the world’s largest conference on health, rights, and the well-being of girls and women, drew 6,000 delegates and a slew of international attention. In addition to local media coverage and the creation of four new documentaries for Danish television, the conference created new partnerships and policies, assisted in part by the fact that 20 percent of attendees were young people. More recently, the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s 2018 conference in Odense, the third-largest city in Denmark, meanwhile, showed immediate impact thanks to 14 pre-congress workshops held at the Odense University Hospital, which enhanced community awareness and aided funding.

“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,” Reventlow-Mourier said. “We’re looking to develop a powerful nexus between community goals and association goals.”