What’s Happening This December?

It’s the final month of the year and we’re all set to end 2021 with a bang! The year has been challenging for the entire meeting and events industry but things took an inspiring turn as cities started getting back on their feet, little by little.

Here’s a run through of BestCities initiatives, key business events, and exciting events in our partner cities.

BestCities Global Forum 2021

Finally, it’s time for the much-awaited BestCities Global Forum! Happening from December 2 to 5 in Madrid, it’s the best place to connect with leaders and other professionals inside and outside of your own industry. 

There’s an exciting programme to look forward to, with a focus on the value of legacy across organizations. This event also takes a deep dive into the challenges that Madrid experienced and the initiatives they have practised to make a deep impact not just on their city, but on the global market as well. 

This year’s forum promises to take a practical approach in tackling outstanding issues and the impacts made that made all the difference.


New Opportunities for Jane Cunningham

Our Director for Community Engagement, Jane Cunningham, is exploring an exciting new opportunity and will be leaving the BestCities team. Although we are sad to see Jane go, we are also happy with her amazing contributions to the entire community since she joined the team in 2009. 

Click here to read our interview with Jane where we talk about her time here at BestCities and the exciting journey ahead of her.


Job Opportunity: Business Development and Community Engagement

With Jane pursuing other opportunities, we are now looking for a new management team member who can focus on business and community development. This person should be able to grow and maintain a strong portfolio of international association clients that show potential as a BestCities destination. 

For more information about the roles and responsibilities that come with this post, please check the job description in this link.


Award Round Up for 2021

Despite the challenges this year, a lot of our partner cities won awards for the impact they have made both within their own locale as well as in the global industry as a whole. These are amazing feats indeed, knowing that the industry is among the hardest hit by the global pandemic.

Click here to read our award round-up to celebrate the various feats of our partner cities.


Christmas Break and Season’s Greetings

It’s the season to spend time with family and friends, so we’re taking a break from December 20 to January 2. Let’s all spend this time in thanksgiving for this year’s blessings and look forward to what 2022 has in store for us.


There is much to celebrate this holiday season, knowing the challenges we’ve had to break through in the past year. It is such a blessing seeing the grit, resilience and innovation displayed by this community regardless of the barriers. 

Now, as we see the entire industry starting to rise once again, let’s give thanks for everything we have achieved this year despite the circumstances. Let’s be thankful for every step we were able to take to make an impact, big or small. Let’s also look forward to a new beginning and the new set of challenges and milestones that await us in 2022.

Happy holidays from BestCities!

Lesley Williams - Managing Director

What’s Happening in Our Partner Cities?

It’s the final month of the year and our partner cities are using this time to finish the year strong. Here’s a peek at what’s happening in our partner cities.



Best Wishes from Convention Director Kit Lykketoft:

"This holiday season, we celebrate that the world is slowly getting back to normal and that business is picking up again. We have had the first significant events in Copenhagen – most notably, Smart Cities & Sport with participation from IOC President Thomas Bach and the WindEurope Electric City in Bella Center Copenhagen in November with 7.000 visitors. And we can celebrate that we won the Global Destination Sustainability Movements Innovation Award for the Copenhagen Legacy Lab.

In December, we enjoy a merry time in Copenhagen – The Christmas Capital, with lots of traditional Danish ‘hygge’. And we look into a busy 2022 with lots of exciting congresses and events coming to our wonderful city. In March, we welcome the EHRA Congress, and in July, the Grand Depart de Tour de France takes off from Copenhagen."

Best wishes from Copenhagen – The Christmas Capital



The European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital) has awarded Dublin 2nd place as the European Capital of Innovation, tied with Malaga in Spain. Winning 1st place is Dortmund.

These awards aim to recognize cities that exhaust tremendous effort to make an impact in their own cities, mostly through efficient processes, governance models, and tools that help them make maximum impact with every initiative. The top winner receives €1 million, while Dublin and Malaga will split the €100,000 prize for 2nd place.

With this prize in tow as well as other accolades received by the likes of the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) and EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in the past couple of months, it truly is a year worth celebrating. It makes everyone look forward even more to the epic New Year celebration that Dublin is known for.

New Year’s Festival Dublin happens from the 31st of December to the 1st of January and will be held at the Dublin Castle for the 10th year. Expect an explosive celebration with a New Year’s Eve Matinée Show, the NYF Countdown Concert, a New Year’s Eve Street Party, and so much more.



The IBTM World Trade show is finally happening from November 30 to December 2, one of the most anticipated industry events this year. With over 200 meetings happening both in Barcelona and across the world through virtual access, the Madrid Convention Bureau is showing a strong front with delegates from over 20 Madrid-based companies.

Madrid CVB also celebrates Recognition Night on December 14. Here, 8 individuals who have gone above and beyond in promoting Madrid as the venue for their congresses. The event also puts the year to a close for the MCB Ambassadors Program. 

The MCB Ambassadors Program was established 13 years ago and is composed of science, research and university representatives. This year, a special award will also be given to Dr. Guillermo Pradies who has continuously made a huge impact to Madrid’s legacy through SEPES 2021.



The future surely looks bright for business events in Melbourne as the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) shows great results in their 2020/2021 Annual Report. They closed the deal for 40 business events set to happen in the next couple of years, adding $150 million to its already impressive and healthily growing numbers.

These events are set to drive further economic and social progress into Victoria, allowing it to better recover from the losses experienced during the pandemic. These events are estimated to inject around $804 million into Victoria’s visitor economy.

The MCB also plays a huge role in growing and developing the knowledge community, something they aim to make a big impact through the MCB Knowledge Partnership Program. Here, they work hand in hand with research institutions, universities, and industry and government institutions. 

When the program was launched in April, they immediately signed up The Doherty Institute. Since then, new partners have followed suit, including AusBiotech, Bio21 Institute, Burnet Institute, RMIT and Swinburne University.

On the cultural side of the industry, Melbourne is once again recognized for its diversity in terms of art, design, and fashion. eTurbo News recently recognized the top 40 cities worldwide that have unique art scenes. In terms of street art, Melbourne was ranked 4th. This highlights a different side of Melbourne and can help the partners and hosts offering bespoke tours showcasing some of the best street art this side of the world.

As for its natural resources, Victoria doesn’t cease to impress as it is once again included in the National Geographic’s Best of the World 2022 list. To further showcase nature around the area, Good Nature Victoria was launched in collaboration with organizations like Echidna Walkabout, Koorie Heritage Trust, Phillip Island Nature Parks, Sea All Dolphin Swims, and Wildlife Wonders.



Singapore is hosting the 2021 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI Radio Science Meeting from December 4 to 10, the first time the event will be held outside North America since it was first established in 1949. It’s also the first time that the event will be held in December, as it is traditionally a summer event.

This is also the first time that the event will be adopting a hybrid version where online and onsite presentations will be happening across 142 sessions. These presentations will be given by researchers from over 60 countries. The event also promises relevant short courses, workshops, student competitions and other activities that will make this an engaging educational event.



To celebrate this festive season with heightened spirits, Tokyo is once again alive with Winter illuminations that are traditionally displayed from November until the New Year. Among the most popular ones are the illuminations installed in Marunouchi, Nakadori, Roppongi Hills and Shinjuku.

These illuminations came just in time, knowing that there is a continuous decline in COVID-19 cases all over the country. Because of this, the Japanese government has further eased the attendance limit for large-scale events, now allowing up to 10,000 attendees for events and venues that have an infection prevention plan in place.

Venues will also be allowed to reach their full capacity as long as every attendee presents a vaccine certificate or a negative test result before being allowed to enter the premises.

All this is perfect timing as Tokyo once again wins the bid to host the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress, which will be happening in May of 2024. This is the 2nd time that Japan has won the bid for this event, which brings in over 2,500 participants from over 50 countries. 

Here are other events happening all over Tokyo this December:

The Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau (TVCB) will also have an exhibit at the IBTM World Online from December 14 to 15.

Business Events Tokyo expresses its gratitude to every partner, colleague and organization that gave them support throughout the year.