What’s New This July?

Exciting things continue to happen in and around the MICE industry as we close the first half of the year and usher in the 2nd half. If you want to see what real impact looks like, these events and initiatives will show you.

BestCities Monthly Round-Up Featured Image for July 2024

PCMA Convening EMEA

We’re a few months away from the highly-anticipated Convening EMEA happening in Barcelona this September, and registration is filling up fast! Be present, be open, be challenged — and expect this to once again be an amazing learning and networking experience for everyone in the global business events industry.

Add more value to the experience by joining our Hosted Buyer Group, giving you a wide range of exclusive perks like offsite exploration tours, a welcome reception, an all-access pass to the onsite event and event platform, a BestCities networking event, and more! You’ll also retain post-event access to the event platform for 12 months, ensuring you can revisit valuable content and connections.

Register as a hosted buyer through this link: BestCities Hosted Buyer Registration or reach out to Tia Daniels ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

BestCities at PCMA Convening EMEA

ICCA Association Impact Masterclass in Dublin

BestCities Global Alliance is set to host the ICCA Association Impact Masterclass in Dublin in early 2025. This event aims to empower association professionals by providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to maximize their impact on their respective fields. 

The Masterclass will combine expert-led sessions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities, ensuring that participants leave with actionable insights and valuable connections. For more details on registration and program highlights, visit the website or reach out to Tia Daniels ([email protected]) or Loren Christie ([email protected]).

ICCA AIM 2025 Dublin  - Banner

Global Forum 2025 in Dublin

BestCities Global Alliance is thrilled to unveil the programme for its 2025 Global Forum, set to take place in Dublin from January 24-26, 2025.

This year’s theme, “Creative Collaborations: Innovating for Greater Communities”, will once again bring together thought leaders, industry experts, and association executives from around the world to explore innovative strategies and best practices in the global meetings and events industry.

Expect powerful keynote presentations, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, all designed to inspire and equip attendees with the skills and insights needed to drive success in their organizations.

To register your interest for BestCities Global Forum 2025 in Dublin, visit https://events.bestcities.net/global-forum-2025/registration

BestCities Global Alliance at ICCA Global Association Forum

BestCities Global Alliance recently had a strong presence at the ICCA Global Association Forum in Cancun, where we served as sponsors and led a collaborative session. Tia Daniels from our head office team, along with Mohamed Firhan Abdul Salam from the Singapore Tourism Board and Dermot Ryan from ICCA, conducted the “Leaving an Impact” workshop.

This session focused on taking actionable steps, personalizing programs for associations and destinations, and sharing valuable insights and inspiration among attendees. The workshop underscored our commitment to fostering impactful and innovative strategies within the meetings and events industry, reinforcing the collaborative spirit and forward-thinking approach that BestCities Global Alliance champions.

Tia on stage at ICCA Association World in Cancun

Second Community Café on AI

Following the success of our first Community Café session on AI, BestCities Global Alliance is excited to announce the second installment in this series. The initial session provided valuable insights and practical tips on integrating AI into business operations, helping participants unlock the potential of AI in their organizations.

In the upcoming session, titled “Beyond ChatGPT,” Julian Moore will delve deeper into advanced applications of AI, exploring how these technologies can be leveraged for greater impact. This follow-up session aims to build on the foundations laid in the first session, offering participants more in-depth knowledge and actionable strategies for utilizing AI in innovative ways.

Join us for this enlightening discussion and continue your AI journey with BestCities. For more details and to register, visit our event page.

Beyond ChatGPT - BestCities Community Cafe - November 2024

Updates from our partner cities

Here’s a round-up of the updates and events that our partner cities have for you this month and in the coming months:


Dublin is welcoming the 600 delegates to the 34th Annual INCOSE International Symposium (IS2024), which will be held from July 2 to 6 at the Convention Centre Dublin. The largest global systems engineering community in the world, INCOSE hosts this annual gathering to provide networking and learning opportunities for practitioners, researchers, and educators in the field.

Also happening at the Convention Centre Dublin is the 47th SSR Annual Meeting 2024, which will be held from July 15 to 19. This gathering hosted by the Society for the Study of Reproduction will be bringing in over 1,000 delegates from around the globe.

On the music front, ClarinetFest 2024 will be held from July 31 to August 4 at the Convention Centre Dublin, bringing in over 1,200 clarinet players to the Irish capital.

Epic, The Irish Emigration Museum, Dublin City Docklands


Singapore Tourism Board has launched a Legacy Toolkit to encourage event organizers to maximize long-term positive impact from their events. The legacy toolkit is designed to assist event organisers to better understand legacy and impact as well as guide them along to create their own with a clear framework.

Download the toolkit here: Legacy Toolkit

Meanwhile, the recently concluded 2024 Rotary International Convention has proven to be the largest association event held in Singapore since the pandemic. The convention brought together 14,660 Rotary members and participants from 151 countries. Entertainment included international performers, dine-arounds, cultural experiences, and a night at the GastroBeats Festival.

The Foundation of Rotary Clubs Singapore also supported the launch of SIT’s Mangrove Conservatory with a donation of S$680,000 to further Singapore Green Plan 2030 and Rotary International’s seventh area of focus: Protecting the Environment. The mangrove conservatory will serve as an integrated platform combining community outreach, education, and applied research to improve climate resilience with mangrove conservation and to develop future-proof mangrove strains for the region. 

On the side of technology, visitors to Singapore can now immerse themselves in an innovative exploration of the city’s iconic landmarks through Augmented Reality (AR). A collaboration with Google, this introduces location-based AR experiences on Google Maps, with Singapore being selected as one of only two cities globally for this pioneering initiative. 

In conjunction with more than a dozen tourism stakeholders, AR experiences have been jointly developed across 30 prominent locations in Singapore. Whether experiencing Singapore in person or virtually from the comfort of their homes, these AR features offer invaluable assistance to visitors in planning their trips and uncovering new destinations within the city.


Summer has descended upon Houston, and the Airport System is anticipating record-breaking passenger numbers. In early June, TSA screened over 83,000 passengers in a single day at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). With numbers like these, the Houston Airport System is expecting a whopping 19 million passengers this summer season.

With more passengers comes more hotel visitors. As TSA prepares for what they call the busiest summer travel season ever, TravelClick data analyzed by Houston First Corporation shows a significant increase in bookings. August 2024 numbers are expected to show 40% higher volume compared to August 2023.

This continued upward trend stays consistent from the previous quarter, with May showing solid growth in the Houston hotel market. Market demand increased by 12.3%, while occupancy showed an 11.9% year-over-year gain at 67.3%. ADR increased by 3.2 points while RevPar grew by 15.4%.

Business revenue experts The RevOps Team has named Houston as the top city with the fastest growing businesses in the country. Getting the highest Average Business Growth (ABG) at 26.7%, Houston bested Atlanta who came in 2nd, and Dallas who came in 3rd.

The leisure and hospitality employment rates are yet another proof of the rising economy in Houston, with 362,000 new jobs in April 2024. This is a 1.9% increase from April 2023’s numbers, and an 8.8% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, the American College of Healthcare Executives has chosen Houston to be the venue for its Annual Congress happening in March 2025. There were four reasons cited for their choice — the high-quality facilities at George R. Brown Convention Center, the convention center’s proximity to Texas Medical Center, easy access due to its geographic location, and the city’s reputation as a globally renowned healthcare hub.

Cape Town

The 32nd General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will be held from August 6 to 15 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town. It will be the first time the assembly takes place in Africa, marking a significant milestone in the IAU’s over 100-year history. 

The IAU General Assembly is a premier international gathering for the global astronomical community, held every three years. The 2024 assembly will feature a hybrid format, allowing both in-person and virtual participation, and will adopt an open-access model to enable worldwide access to live talks online.

Key highlights of the event include a range of scientific sessions and symposia covering various topics in astronomy, such as Gravitational Wave Astrophysics, and showcasing instruments like the MeerKAT Radio Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope. The assembly emphasizes inclusivity and accessibility, providing grants to support participation, particularly targeting young scientists and those with limited resources.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC is preparing to host NATO’s 75th Anniversary Summit in July at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Organizers anticipate up to 13,000 delegates from 68 countries, utilizing about two dozen hotels and generating a significant economic impact in Washington, DC this summer. Apart from the conference, there are opportunities for the public to celebrate, including a NATO-themed Washington Nationals baseball at Nationals Park and plans for a permanent public mural created by an emerging artist.

Destination DC led off the summer with exciting announcements at our annual Travel Rally, held at the National Museum of the American Indian in honor of its 20th anniversary. In 2023, DC saw a record 25.95 million visitors, who in turn set another record with $10.2 billion in spending. Visitation resulted in $2.065 billion in tax revenue, an increase of 29.5 percent, and supported 102,366 jobs in the District, up 22 percent year-over-year, During the event, the Smithsonian Zoo announced the return of the pandas to the Smithsonian Zoo. 

The Michelin Guide added five new DC restaurants in its most recent publication, making DC the third-highest density of Michelin-starred restaurants anywhere in the world. 

As DC wraps up a successful Capital Pride this past month, the city is preparing to host up to two million visitors to celebrate World Pride 2025 with an economic impact of approximately $750 million.


The Melbourne Convention Bureau’s (MCB) UK team attended the Associations World Congress held from June 9 to 11 in Austria. A gathering meant specifically for European and International Association Executives, the event provided a great opportunity to connect with industry and promote all things Victoria.

MCB is also excited to announce that it has been nominated as Oceania’s Best Incentive Destination for 2024, while Melbourne was nominated Oceania’s Best MICE Destination for 2024 in the World MICE Awards. Voting runs until August 1, 2024.

Continuing its busy streak, the MCB hostes its latest Partner Outlook Event at the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne with 116 partners in attendance. The event provided MCB partners with an opportunity to network with industry colleagues and hear from MCB’s CEO, Julia Swanson, and the Leadership Team as they discussed this year’s highlights, an overview of our plans for the year ahead, and the outlook for business events in Victoria.

Meanwhile, the Lions International Convention 2024 (LIC2024) was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) from June 21 to 25. Welcoming over 10,500 Lions members and participants from more than 170 countries, the five-day conference presented a packed program of events, including keynote speeches, workshops, and networking opportunities, all set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s world-renowned hospitality and cultural offerings.

Melbourne Convention Bureau Chief Executive Officer Julia Swanson said the Lions International Convention is one of the biggest business events for the year. “We’re delighted to host this year’s convention in Melbourne. It presents an excellent opportunity for us to highlight our city’s prowess as a premier global destination for hosting large-scale conventions.

Preparations for this event have been underway for several years, and we are confident that our top-tier facilities, exceptional event infrastructure, and city-wide cooperation will guarantee an unforgettable experience for all attendees,” said Ms. Swanson.

Lions Club International Convention 2024 in Melbourne


Madrid will be hosting the 20th edition of the International Botanical Congress, organized by the International Association for Botanical and Mycological Societies (IABMS), from July 21 to 27 at the IFEMA center. The event is expected to gather around 6000 experts from all over.

The 5th World Ecoacoustic Congress will also be held in Madrid from July 8 to 12, organized by the International Society of Ecoacoustics, which has a forecast of 450 delegates. The congress was planned and will be implemented as a sustainable event with the help of Madrid’s online tool PLUS (Platform for Legacy with us). The organization has also created a sustainability statement for this edition of the congress.

This series of congresses follows the successful launch of the campaign Share Knowledge, Share Life, which MCB launched in June to celebrate the European Hematology Association Congress in Madrid. A partnership with the European Hematology Association and the Spanish Red Cross, the initiative has helped improve the health of almost 7,000 patients in a single week, with a large number of new blood donors.

Meanwhile, the MCB will continue to promote the city by attending two professional forums: the Barcelona Events Day on July 2 and the C&IT Festival of Forums happening from July 29 to 31 in Bristol and Bath.

Madrid is one of the sunniest cities in Europe and with the arrival of summer, the longer days are perfect for outdoor festivals and cultural activities such as Veranos de la Villa. Summers can be very hot with an average temperature of around 25ºC in July and August, but a good way of cooling off is to visit the terraces with pools that fill the city’s rooftops.

The LGBTQ+ Pride Week festivities in Madrid are happening from June 28 to July 7, with a wide range of activism, cultural, and fun activities. The biggest day is the afternoon of the first Saturday in July when the Madrid Pride Parade takes place.


Copenhagen’s Legacy Lab helped organize a workshop for 70 students from the International People’s College in Elsinore and 12 international news editors who were in Denmark for WAN-IRA’s 75th World News Media Congress. The workshop aimed to address the shift in how young people consume and engage with news, prompting this critical question: Does this mean that editors and journalists need to rethink what is newsworthy for Gen Z?

Together, the students and editors developed a list of news values named “The Copenhagen Criteria,” revealing the news values that are important to Gen Z, such as educational, encouraging, and objective news, as well as news that shows them how global events affect them at a local level. They also reveal their preference for stories with a human touch.

The Copenhagen Criteria, presented on the last day of the congress in Copenhagen, is a prime example of what can result from congresses and legacy work when delegates meet their perfect match.

70 students attending the Copenhagen Legacy Lab Workshop

Meanwhile, Copenhagen won the bid to host the 2026 Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, the largest law congress in the world. The five-day event, which will be held at Bella Center in autumn 2026, is expected to draw 6,000 participants from over 170 countries.


The UEFA 2024 European Championship kicked off in Berlin on June 14, welcoming thousands of fans who traveled to Berlin not only to celebrate football but also to enjoy the versatile cultural offerings in the context of the UEFA EURO Festival Summer. Berlin is one of the cities that will host six matches, including the finals happening on July 14 in the Olympic Stadium.

Fussballtor Brandenburger Tor - copyright Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH
The Brandenburg Gate is to be transformed into the largest football goal in the world – copyright Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH

With more events happening in Berlin, there is a higher demand for locations that inspire thinking outside the box and in new dimensions. The newly refurbished 66m high Gasometer on the EUREF AG campus has over 34,000 square meters of state-of-the-art event spaces, including a 360° Panorama Skylounge, and has been available for MICE events since June 2024.

Meanwhile, event planners from all over the world are invited to get to know Berlin in a new way, with a keen focus on the topics that matter to you. Visit Berlin introduces three BESTIVAL Masterclass 2024 editions on innovation, sustainability, and community, where 20 participants can look forward to an exclusive three-day program full of networking opportunities with key players in the Berlin MICE industry, exciting exchanges with ambassadors, and more inspiring experiences.

The BESTIVAL Innovation Masterclass, which will take place from July 3 to 5, will kick off this series of masterclasses. The Sustainability Masterclass is scheduled for October 9 to 11, while the Community Masterclass will close the series from December 4 to 6. 

Interested to join these classes? Reach out to [email protected]


Web Summit, the global technology events company, announced that it is launching a new North American flagship event in Vancouver. The first Web Summit in North America will take place in Vancouver, Canada, in May 2025 and bring together thousands of international entrepreneurs with the brightest minds in tech, unicorn founders, investors, and global media.

“We knew Vancouver was the right place for Web Summit,” said Royce Chwin, President & CEO of Destination Vancouver. “A transformational event of this caliber will continue to build our reputation as an exceptional host city and sharpen Vancouver’s global destination competitiveness. And it will be an economic powerhouse – we anticipate that Web Summit Vancouver will generate close to $57 million in direct spending and more than $93 million in overall economic impact for BC in its first year.


The International Federation of Exhibition & Event Services has chosen Guadalajara as the venue for its next World Summit, which will take place in May 2025. Stay tuned to the IFES website for more details to be released in the coming months.

Areal photo of Guadalajara Downtown


Tokyo has added 5 Unique Venues, bringing the total to 79. The new venues include Kokugikan (sumo stadium), Sunshine Aquarium, the Sunshine60observatory, IMAGINUS (an old school converted into a science education and entertainment facility), and Maxell Aqua Park. From temples and shrines to observatories to theme parks, Tokyo Unique Venues provides the perfect facility for any event that wants to have that distinct Tokyo feel. 

Business Events Tokyo has a team of experts ready to provide advice on everything from application procedures to advice during setup. Click here to learn more.

Meanwhile, the summer season is bringing not just rising temperatures but also a variety of summer festivals and other festivities. It’s the perfect time for visitors to take a ride on Yakatabune (Japanese houseboats) to cool off and enjoy the summer evenings.

Japanese houseboats in Tokyo
©Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau


The UAE has climbed to seventh place in the global competitiveness ranking, reflecting the nation’s robust economic policies and dynamic business environment. This achievement underscores Dubai’s position as a leading hub for business and innovation, attracting global interest and investment.

In another exciting development, the next phase of the ‘Dubai Future Solutions’ initiative has been launched. This forward-thinking program aims to foster innovation and tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges through collaboration and cutting-edge technology. The initiative will drive progress in various sectors, reinforcing Dubai’s reputation as a city of the future and a catalyst for global change.

With these advancements, Dubai continues to enhance its role as a premier destination for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), offering unparalleled opportunities for growth and collaboration in the global business events industry.