BestCities succeeds in helping associations future-proof and drive positive change via first ever ‘Hybrid’ Global Forum

The annual BestCities Global Forum returned this year – blending ‘physical’ & ‘digital’ to create unique hybrid educational event for delegates around the world

Delegates and organisers of the BestCities Global Forum were united in their praise for the three-day hybrid event that combined aspects of real-life and virtual to create impact and inspire knowledge sharing amongst industry peers. 

The conference, which took place over 17-19 November with over 128 delegates from around the world, was supported by partners and guest speakers such as Future Strategist Michel Mol, Veemal Gungadin, Founder of GEVME, and David Noack Perez, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau

The event featured one-of-a-kind experimental sessions on transforming events to futureproof models, a hybrid session with both real-life and digital delegates in attendees beaming in to Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, and a truly unique ‘virtual tour’ of Madrid – giving delegates a digital taste of city’s stunning landmarks.

This year’s Global Forum looked a little different to previous years, which usually takes place in a partner destination, and sees associations and stakeholders come together for a lively conference of connection, knowledge sharing, and city exploring. This year, the alliance took an experimental risk with their hybrid event format – on the basis that there was never a more important time for the industry to gather, reflect, and prepare for the next chapter.

The event also saw the announcement of BestCities Global Forum Madrid 2021 – hotly anticipated since its postponement this year – which will explore the theme of ‘Inclusion’, and will see international delegates explore the stunning Spanish capital after a long period of limited travel. 

Lesley Williams, Managing Director at BestCities, said: “While this may not have been the Global Forum that we were all planning for this year – bringing our partners, associations and guest speakers under one virtual roof inspired a wealth of passion, innovation and forward-thinking for our industry at a time when we’re longing for inspiration. 

“Like Michel’s message on futureproofing models, we wanted to experiment with the aspect of a ‘hybrid event’, which despite its challenges, allowed us to expand our community, engaging regional as well as international associations – making it a fantastic opportunity to pass on legacy and knowledge to the future leaders of our industry.”

46 international associations signed up for the Global Forum, including representatives from International Society On Thrombosis And Haemostasis, International Currency Association, and the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations. 

David Noack Perez, Director of Madrid Convention Bureau, said: “Organizing this event has been a great challenge for us and has helped us understand how we want the Global Forum 2021 to be, which, with such enthusiasm, we want to celebrate in Madrid. 

In 2021 we will continue to bet on the Legacy of meetings. This time we will address a topic of great relevance: inclusion through tourism.”

The BestCities Global Forum 2021 will take place on 2-5 September in Madrid, Spain. To register interest and for further information on BestCities Global Forum, please contact: [email protected]