Innovative and creative destination- and venue marketing will take centre-stage at the 2019 ICCA Congress in Houston, U.S.A., with three leading ICCA Members set to compete live on Tuesday 29 October for the chance be named the 22nd winner of the prestigious ICCA Best Marketing Award.

The shortlisted finalists for the ICCA Best Marketing Award are:

Estonian Convention Bureau: “Go Wild, Choose Estonia!”

A creative storytelling destination marketing campaign from a small convention bureau, Estonia aimed with their campaign to create a national brand image and maximise return-on-investment with a limited marketing budget. The main challenge Estonia had to solve is that, as a country, they are still relatively unfamiliar to international audiences. To build an image for themselves, most convention bureaus take advantage of brand identities created by their national tourist boards; however, Estonia does not have a relevant national brand image with which it could work.

To overcome this and raise awareness and visibility of the destination and generate business requests for the convention bureau and its members, Estonia Convention Bureau created its own brand image on a very limited marketing budget. By proactively communicating authentic and unique experiences that can be enjoyed in Estonia, they focused on creating and curating engaging content.

International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney): “It’s Showtime!”

Designed to communicate their launch as a new venue, ICC Sydney’s integrated, multi-channel campaign announced to the world: “We are open for business!”. Introducing Australia’s new A$1.5 billion conventions, exhibition and live entertainment venue, with a solid pipeline of over 500 events secured, the launch was successful and strong. Delivered via multiple communication platforms, the campaign aided in supercharging brand awareness, building the venue’s reputation and attracting critical event bookings across a variety of market segments and geographical areas.

Underpinning the campaign’s success was the creation of a powerful network of esteemed local and global advocates – from ministers and heads of business to senior community members — which enabled ICC Sydney to quickly build trust and demonstrate its positive impact on both the industry and its stakeholders.


Convention Bureau Italia: “Italy at Hand”

Spearheaded by Convention Bureau Italia, their Italy at Hand project aimed to involve the entire Italian meetings industry.

Five years ago, Convention Bureau Italia was founded to provide a practical solution to an urgent request by some of the most important Italian destinations, congress centres and trade associations. Italy at Hand is Convention Bureau Italia’s marketing campaign which aims to involve the entire Italian meetings industry in creating widespread interest in the sector and recognition by target audiences.

Convention Bureau Italia were united by a simple and powerful concept: Hand-in-hand, we win together! The first Italian campaign entirely dedicated to the meetings industry, Italy at Hand started with a communication campaign and video and extended to a live B2B event, bringing together the major players in the Italian meetings industry.

Largest number of entries received

Patrick Delaney

Chairman of the judging panel and BMA plenary moderator, Patrick Delaney of SoolNua, said: “The BMA continues to be recognised as one of the most sought-after awards in our sector and this year we have seen the largest number of entries ever. The standard was extremely high and we as judges had great difficulty choosing the finalists, but in the end, I believe we have three outstanding winners coming from different parts of the world, and each one addressing a real marketing challenge in a very innovative, creative and cost-effective manner. I have no doubt that the Best Marketing Award session at the Houston congress will be a must-attend event and will provide a real and tangible benefit to anyone lucky enough to attend!”

“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 Houston, U.S.A. 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.

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