Archive for February 2010

Global Industry Heavyweights Sign up to Fast Future’s Convention 2020 Study

February 2, 2010

Press release

For immediate release                                   28th January 2010

Global Industry Heavyweights Sign up to Fast Future’s Convention 2020 Study

Leading industry players and opinion formers from every region sign up as project sponsors and expert contributors – TrendWiki enables global contributions

Fast Future Research today announced the initial line up of sponsors, expert contributors and association thought partners for its Convention 2020 strategic foresight study. The research programme is designed to take a wide ranging and strategic perspective on the future of live events, venues and meeting destinations.

The project has also launched a TrendWiki powered by Data Rangers. Using TrendWiki, anyone who’s interested can enter their own views on the ideas, trends and issues that will shape the future of events. Full details can be found on the project website at which is being powered by Meetings Review.

The founding sponsors for the study are ICCA – The International Congress and Convention Association, IMEX the leading industry trade show and Fast Future Research. The first platinum sponsors for the study are Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Qatar National Convention Centre, The Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Conference Centre London, Visit London and BestCities Global Alliance (Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Melbourne, San Juan, Singapore and Vancouver). Kenes are the first gold sponsor. A number of other organisations are currently in discussion about becoming sponsors.

The Leading global authorities that have already agreed to become expert contributors to the study are Corbin Ball, Jon Bradshaw, Terri Breining, Professor Luca Favetta, Trevor Foley, Professor Joe Goldblatt, Susan Goldstein, Sally Greenhill, Elling Hamso, Laurent Haug, Paul Kennedy, Gerd Leonhard    , Arnaldo Nardone, Dan Parks, Rebecca Rolfes, Susan Sarfati, Amy Spatrisano, Edgar Valdmanis, Maarten Vanneste, Professor Ian Yeoman and Cliff Wallace. In addition, three associations have become ‘thought partners’ – the National University of Singapore Society, the Norwegian Computer Society and the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

Rohit Talwar, Project director and CEO of Fast Future said “The response to the study has been fantastic. The sponsors, experts and associations who have already signed up are all genuine leaders in the field from around the globe. They are engaging with the research process in a very active way to ensure they get the maximum benefit from their involvement. There is also a great deal of interest from others who want to get involved at all levels.”

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA said “We’re delighted to be a founding partner in what I’m sure will be seen as a ground-breaking piece of futurist work.  The project’s breadth across geographical areas and industry sectors, the range of partners and contributors, and the potential to stimulate debate and new levels of awareness about how much change is heading our way, are all unique attributes for a meetings industry initiative.  Meetings are a vital element in the Information Revolution, which isn’t just about bits and bytes: our industry’s potential capacity to contribute to the sharing and creation of global knowledge depends on how well we anticipate the future meeting needs of associations and companies, and I believe Convention 2020 will play a major role in defining this agenda.”

Carina Bauer, CEO IMEX Group said ““IMEX is proud to be a founding partner and heavily involved in the Convention 2020 research project. We are confident in Fast Future’s capacity to deliver truly ground-breaking research that will enable all sectors of our industry to look ahead to the future with confidence and insight. At IMEX 2010 (25 – 27 May) we will be offering numerous workshops and seminars aimed at enabling both planners and suppliers to understand and make use of the findings of Phase 1 of the research; as well as assisting the drive towards Phase 2 of the project.”

Ana Maria Viscasillas, 2010 Board Chair, BestCities Global Alliance said “BestCities Global Alliance is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of Convention 2020. Such a benchmark research could help shape our future and how each of us play a role in this important market segment. Knowledge sharing and information exchange is one of the key foundations of our Alliance. Be it the sharing of business leads, market intelligence or best practices, the Alliance is committed to ensuring that the adage ‘knowledge is power’ always holds true. Therefore, it was with no hesitation that our Partners unanimously agreed to be part of the Convention 2020 project.  Case studies and ideas from Convention 2020 will define and expand the development of our industry, and BestCities Global Alliance is pleased to be able to play a contributing role.”

Leigh Harry, Chief Executive Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre said “The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre is pleased to be an active participant and platinum sponsor of Convention 2020. As one of the newest and most environmentally friendly Centres in the world the Centre and its management team is well aware of its responsibility to actively participate in the ongoing development of the convention industry. There are many challenges facing our industry and currently insufficient detailed research and information to ensure that appropriate choices are made in responding to these challenges. The scope of this study and the breadth of participation in the study will generate an ongoing body of knowledge which can be used to ensure that our industry reaches its full potential in the areas of information sharing, communication and knowledge exchange. Equally this study will contribute significantly to the restructuring of our industry over the next twenty years to ensure that we can meet our environmental and social responsibilities.”

Tracy Halliwell, Director of Business Tourism, Visit London said“Visit London, the official convention bureau for London is delighted to be a platinum sponsor of ‘Convention 2020’. This is an incredibly important piece of research which will benefit not only London’s business convention industry but also event planners around the world. London is already at the forefront of so many innovations in science, engineering and design research that it’s only right that London also leads the way in research for the business and convention industry. This study gives us a platform to further London’s convention offer and to deliver the very best options to future businesses using London as their destination of choice.

Paul D’Arcy General Manager, Qatar National Convention Centre said “Qatar National Convention Centre is delighted to be a platinum sponsor of Conventions 2020.  As we continue to construct the Middle East’s newest convention and exhibition centre, this research will help us shape our business model to best meet the needs of the global meetings industry.  Following the vision of Qatar Foundation’s Chairperson, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned and, as the newest venue in the region, our aim is to set the benchmarks for the industry in the Middle East in terms of venue design, service excellence and corporate and social responsibility.  The breadth of this study will assist us in achieving these goals and remaining relevant well into the future.”

Sue Etherington, Acting Commercial Director, The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London said“The QEIICC is delighted to be a platinum sponsor and key supporter of this excellent initiative by ICCA and IMEX, ensuring that the industry understands the needs of a rapidly changing market and client in these challenging times. As we move forward into the next decade, The QEIICC is fundamentally aware that the structure and challenges in the conference market are radically changing and, for us to be able to compete and thrive in this ever challenging market, we need to understand where our clients, and therefore the market, is leading us and where we might have to be in 2020.  We look forward to being actively involved with ICCA, IMEX and Fast Future on driving this important research project forward.”

 Paul Kennedy MBE, Chairman of MEETINGS:review said “We are delighted to host this important and ground breaking research which compliments perfectly our commitment to thought leadership in the global meetings industry. Fast Future are addressing key issues for the sector and the research findings will help shape industry strategy in the next decade.”


Notes for Editors

Fast Future Research is a global research and consulting firm that specialises in studying the future of meetings, travel and the leisure industries.

ICCA is one of the world’s leading trade associations for the meetings industry, with 900 member companies and organisations in over 80 countries worldwide and covering all supplier sectors.

IMEX is the leading global trade show for the meetings and events industry which takes place each May in Frankfurt, and organiser of the new IMEX Americas event which will be launched in Las Vegas in October 2011.

For further details please contact

Rohit Talwar


Fast Future Research                                                                                                           

Phone +44 20 8830 0766        Mobile +44 7973 405145                                                                                                          

Fax +44 20 8830 4777                                                                                                              


Martin Sirk                                                                                                                                      CEO                                                                                                                                              
ICCA – International Congress and Convention Association                                                      
Phone: +31 20 398 1919
Fax: +31 20 699 0781

Carina Bauer                                                                                                                            


IMEX Group                                                                                                                            

Phone +44 1273 227311                                                                                                           

Fax +44 1273 227312