Innovative and creative marketing will be centre-stage at the 2018 ICCA Congress in Dubai, with three leading ICCA member suppliers set to compete live on Tuesday 13 November for the chance be named the 21st winner of the prestigious Best Marketing Award. The 2018 ICCA Congress will be the biggest one held outside of Europe, with 1,000 participants registered to attend.

The shortlisted finalists for the ICCA Best Marketing Award are:

VisitScotland: “Scotland Where Ideas Become Legend”

Seeking to distinguish Scotland as a unique destination for international association meetings with opportunities for associations across multiple disciplines, VisitScotland’s ongoing social media campaign #IdeasBecomeLegend unifies participating organisations from inside and outside the country’s business events industry under a single national message: Scotland contributes to shaping the modern world. Showcasing Scottish innovation in 12 sectors, the participating cities and regions have a dedicated week to issue content showcasing their strengths in each sector and what they have to offer to international associations.


The Hague Convention Bureau: “Cyber Security Week 2017”

Famous for its role in governance, peace and justice, The Hague is less well known as a major player in the global security sector. The Hague Convention Bureau aimed to change that; working together with 100 partners in the city’s security cluster, such as financial management giant Deloitte, they organised cyber security events that were already coming to The Hague together in one week to create a week-long festival, Cyber Security Week 2017. The festival, organised in only ten months, had clear objectives: stimulate recognition of The Hague as the Cyber Security Capital of Europe; showcase the city’s innovative security ecosystem of private and public stakeholders to potential investors; and bring the topic to a wider audience in an informative, fun way.

Serbia Convention Bureau: “APIMONDIA 2021”

Serbia Convention Bureau employed a creative use of story-telling through social media as part of a bidding process, creating a dedicated Facebook page for their bid for APIMONDIA 2021, the flagship event of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association. The Convention Bureau shared content via the Facebook page that used emotion and easy-to-remember facts to tell around the story of Serbia’s relationship with beekeeping and support Serbia’s local honey industry, whilst also creating a platform for sharing knowledge among the sector’s professionals and educating international consumers about Serbia’s portfolio of honey and bee products.

Chairman of the judging panel and BMA plenary moderator, Patrick Delaney of SoolNua, said: “We were very impressed by this year’s entries, and were particularly excited to discover the innovative ways our finalists are linking destination marketing to their local intellectual capital. They all have a clear focus on the legacy and beyond-tourism aspect of their meetings. We are very much looking forward to their presentations at the ICCA Congress!”

“The BMA has become a unique centrepiece of the ICCA Congress, the only award in our industry that combines careful, detailed scrutiny of each entry by a team of past winners and other marketing experts with the voting input from hundreds of peers from around the world.”

As well as a detailed evaluation by an expert panel, including past winners, Best Marketing Award finalists will be judged by a live audience made up of industry colleagues and competitors during a dedicated plenary session at the ICCA Congress in Dubai. The BMA session has become one of the most eagerly anticipated highlights of each year’s ICCA Congress. The winner is announced during the Closing Ceremony.

The ICCA Best Marketing Award, established in 1997, recognises the excellence and outstanding achievements of organisations in their effort to market their destination or product. Entries are open to ICCA members from all sectors and geographical regions and are diverse in content: submissions can range from full scale campaigns and branding exercises to individual promotions and events. The ICCA Best Marketing Award is sponsored by The Meetings Show.

Biggest Congress outside Europe

The 2018 ICCA Congress is on schedule to be the biggest Congress held outside of Europe, with 1,000 participants registered to attend as of early October. The previous record for a Congress held outside of Europe was the 52nd ICCA Congress with 936 participants, held in Shanghai in 2013.

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