Top Take-aways from the BestCities Global Forum Dubai

BestCities’ inaugural Global Forum in Dubai last December was a tremendous success, both for our partners, but most importantly the attending association guests. Hosted in partnership with Dubai Business Events and Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), the forum brought together a bank of insightful speakers, association Q&A sessions and fun, interactive workshops.

Themed around legacy, the topics ranged from improving the benefits of association meetings to the host community and creating strategic partnerships with destinations to advancing the purpose of international association meetings through long-term legacy development.

For those that couldn’t join us, here are a few key take-away considerations to help build a lasting legacy for your meeting:

Keep it simple

It sounds obvious, but keeping true to the brand values of your organisation starts with getting back to the basics. Sum up in five (jargon-free) key words: “what is the fundamental purpose of your organisation?” By constantly keeping your purpose front of mind you will ensure your legacy remains relevant, integrated and most importantly, genuine.

Use your community

It is your association’s connections that make change happen – and it is often not the senior management that come up with the best ideas. Unleash the collective intelligence of everyone in your organisation, get them working and talking to each other. Breakout and brainstorm sessions with as big a cross section of your association as possible, bring valuable, fresh perspectives.

Engage younger professionals

Engaging and exciting the next generation to ensure your organisations’ ongoing success and relevance is one of the most important legacies there is. Does your annual conference help you do this by appealing to the Millennial audience? Think Ted Style Talks packed with concise, information rich presentations; environments that inspire creativity; and introducing new formats, such as gaming or speed dating – experience is a key driver for this audience.

Delegates round-table discussions and workshops at Dubai Global Forum

Maximise the host destination’s network

Innovative host cities are today offering much more than simply the right infrastructure, venues and experiences for your delegates. They are your access point to a much wider matrix of relevant stakeholders, tech and research hubs, universities and the local community. All essential ingredients for long-term, meaningful legacy building. Forward looking CVBs, such as the 12 BestCities’ partners, are widening their value proposition, taking on a wider role as association developers, as well as helping build local connections into a global network.

Play the long game

For associations who meet on an annual basis, the only way to build a legacy is by having a more long-term perspective around their overarching goals. Whether it’s a legacy to influence public policy, or to enhance funding for research, or to simply build awareness, these things don’t happen overnight. Our clients regularly sight the added value of BestCities is our ability to pass on our bond with their association from city to city. This enables us to work closely with the association to help evolve and plan programmes to create stronger legacies around their organisation’s events.

Building on the huge success and 100% satisfaction rates of the inaugural Global Forum in Dubai, BestCities is delighted to announce Tokyo as the host partner for this year’s event from 4-7 December 2017. For more information visit: