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12 Keywords for the Change in Meetings Industry Trend 11. Government Subventions

Today, we are witnessing speedy development of new technologies such as mobile, social media, and virtual reality, and an outpouring variety of social issues such as economic depression and environmental questions. Under such circumstances, meetings industry people, who should lead the change, need to smartly cope with trends in the world with their brilliant insight into the world affairs. In this light, we have identified twelve major trends that reflect latest changes in the global meetings industry. Eleventh keyword is government subventions.

11. Government Subventions

Government Subventions to Hosting Events ? Unfair Trade Practice vs. Effective Bidding Support Strategy

In late 2011, Barcelona in Spain held the Global Meetings & Events Exhibition (EIBTM) by Reed Travel Exhibitions, which is a major exhibition that represents the meetings industry. The seminar for International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) presented at EIBTM performed an in-depth discussion of the on-going changes to the industry’s event bidding pattern, which drew on the gradually growing importance of government subventions designed to successfully win a bidding for a meeting, as the most remarkable trend related to the bidding process.

Advanced Countries’ Bidding Support Strategy Designed to Successfully Host Conventions

Lately, the meetings industry is gripped by anxiety in the wake of the worldwide economic depression that has derived from the US depression and the European debt crisis. Accordingly, countries advanced in meetings are fielding various strategies in order to successfully win conventions, and especially, government’s financial support is being reinvigorated for bidding for conventions and congresses. Indeed, government subventions are now perceived as the most important factor in hosting events for international associations. The ultimate purpose of such government support lies in revitalizing regional economy and promoting inward investment through hosting major international conventions, industry through fostering the industry by hosting events related to strategic industries, and upgrading destination competitiveness as the venue of conventions.

A survey of the bid-supporting government subventions to the leading venues of the international conference market shows that various supports are provided not only by municipal governments but also by central governments. For instance, in the Netherlands, its government ministry (Ministry of Economic Affairs) works with Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions and Association of Convention Industry to provide interest-free loans and non-profit insurance for hosts of international conventions for the purpose of facilitating the financing of their budget for events and alleviating their financial risks.

Worldwide Government Subventions to Hosting of Events (2010)

The first survey of government subventions to worldwide venues for international conferences in hosting events was conducted in 2010by AMI (Association Meetings International). AMI conducted a survey on government subventions to top 100 cities hosting international conferences as compiled by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), in which 38 of the top 1000 cities responded to the questionnaire on government subventions. The survey results show that about 82% (31 cities) of the 38 respondent cities said that they were receiving government financial support and that most cases has composites of various supports.

An analysis of appropriations by categories of financial support showed that 57.9% (22 cities) of the respondent cities were providing supports with receptions and brochures and 52.6% (20 cities) were providing support in marketing, thus suggesting that most cities were involved in promotion-related support services. Meanwhile, 47.4% (18 cities) and 31.6% (12 cities) were subsidizing transportation costs and travel expenses, respectively, while 18.4% (7 cities) were subsidizing facilities rental. To summarize the AMI survey, more than half of the advanced countries that currently lead the world’s meetings industry are fielding aggressive event hosting strategies, and we think that the Korean government should get more actively involved in providing financial subsidies to upgrade the domestic industry’s competitiveness in hosting future events.


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