What’s New This March

We’re closing the year’s first quarter with exciting announcements that continue to carve the path to an awesome rest of the year! Event after event, we continue to show that the MICE community is truly making an impact all over the world.

BestCities Monthly Round-Up 2023-2

A Message From Loren Christie

“As the BestCities Global Alliance, our 13 destination partners, want to help you on your journey by providing educational opportunities, resources and chances to share best practices with like-minded peers around the globe. We aim to offer virtual and live opportunities for learning, as well as providing a resource hub for learning through our website. 

If you haven’t already done so, we invite you to join our Madrid Challenge community by registering here.

Launched at our Global Forum in 2021, the Madrid Challenge is a pledge for associations, along with our partner destinations, to integrate impact and sustainability into daily conference planning.  We will also use this forum to discuss other related and important topics to our community, such as DE & I and the use of AI in assisting us as we all move forward together.   

Take the pledge. Join our global community. Stay tuned for ways that we can work to create a positive impact together.

Exclusive Invitation: Join us for the BestCities Breakfast at IMEX Frankfurt

Your morning sets up the success of your day at IMEX Frankfurt! Come join us for breakfast, networking and get the latest updates from BestCities Global Alliance.

Join the BestCities Global Alliance community at our fixed feature at IMEX Frankfurt and receive updates on:

  • Our plans for the BestCities Global Forum in Dublin in January 2025
  • Upcoming activities for the BestCities Madrid Challenge
  • Update on the Incredible Impacts Programme

You will also have the opportunity to network with your association peers, members of the media and all our partner cities – Berlin, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Dublin, Guadalajara, Houston, Madrid, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo, Vancouver and Washington, DC.

Date: Wednesday, 15 May 2024
Time: 07:30am – 09:00am
Venue: Hilton Frankfurt City Centre, Hochstrasse 4, 60313 Frankfurt am Main

Places are limited, so click here to register now.

Also, we still have a few available slots to join our Hosted Buyers group. For European buyers, use the invitation code eyjsr4. For international buyers, use the code 8r5fc4.

Click here to read more about our presence at the upcoming IMEX Frankfurt.

As always, you are free to reach out to Tia Daniels for further information: [email protected].

World Parkinson Coalition – BestCities 2nd Case Study

This month, BestCities turns its attention to the World Parkinson Coalition, which continues to showcase how powerful a community meeting’s impact can be over a decade after the actual event transpired.

The first meeting was held in Washington, DC, in 2002, with the coalition eventually formed two years later. By 2006, they launched a groundbreaking congress. Since then, they continue to spark new research agendas relating to Parkinson’s disease, providing inspiration not just in the medical and scientific fields but in other industries as well.

BestCities Global Alliance’s MD, Loren Christie, at Elevate 2023

BestCities Global Alliance Managing Director Loren Christie will speak at ICCA’s Elevate 2030: The Future of Association Meetings and Societal Transformation on April 9 at the ASAE Conference Centre in Washington, DC. The event kicks off the Business Events Industry Week 2024 and will also feature ASAE President and CEO Michelle Mason and Destination DC President and CEO Elliott Ferguson.

Click here to register for the event.

Incredible Impacts Nominations Still Ongoing

Nominations for the Incredible Impacts Programme are still ongoing, with the Incredible Impacts Grant nomination deadline on June 4 and the Incredible Impacts Seed Fund Grant nomination ending on June 3. With the goal of shining the spotlight on initiatives whose impacts go beyond tourism, the winner of the grant will receive $20,000, while the seed fund grant winner will get $5,000.

Click here for more information about the Incredible Impacts Programme and its past winners.

Incredible Impacts Award winner 2023
Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) accepting the Incredible Impacts Award 2023

Where to Meet Us This Year

The BestCities Global Alliance continues to participate in international conventions, trade exhibits, and business events worldwide to continuously spread positive impact by emphasizing the power of collaboration and community. Meet with us and our partner cities by checking out where we’ll be throughout the year:

Updates From Our Partner Cities

Here’s a round-up of the updates and events that our partner cities have for you from March onwards:


The FIFA World Cup is coming to Vancouver in 2026, with seven tournaments out of 104 games to be held in the city’s iconic BC Place. Two out of the five group stage matches happening in the city will feature Team Canada, including a round of 32 knockout matches and a group of 16 elimination games.

FIFA World Cup Stadium in Vancouver
Image source: https://www.insidevancouver.ca/2024/02/04/world-cup-2026/

Washington, DC

Destination DC is showing support for underrepresented groups in the tourism industry by launching the 2024 DEI Business Fellowship. Fellows will be from independently-owned small businesses in the travel and tourism industry whose income does not exceed $6 million and whose owner belongs to a minority group. They will enjoy perks like mentorship, complimentary marketing, and networking opportunities to help boost their business. 

Destination DC is also hosting its first annual Sustainability Summit on March 13. The event will showcase the strength of collaborative partnerships and include a panel of sustainability leaders in the federal and local governments and industry innovators.

Still in the sustainability front, Destination DC launched the Sustainability District program, which serves as DC’s gateway for working with hospitality businesses and destination suppliers committed to promoting a more sustainable place to live, visit, and meet. The program is open to DDC members, including hotels, museums, attractions, and shops; restaurants and catering companies; transportation companies and tour operators and venues. 

Meanwhile, March marks cherry blossom season in Washington, DC, making it the perfect month to visit. The city features these stars of springtime through the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which happens from March 20 to April 14.


St. Patrick’s Festival, the largest celebration of Irish culture, is happening from March 15 to 18. There will be a range of activities all over the city, like the St. Patrick walking tour on the 15th, the St. Patrick’s Festival Quarter on the 16th and 17th, and the much-anticipated St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the 17th. 

Visit the St. Patrick’s Festival website to find out more about events and activities.


The Madrid Convention Bureau joined other Spanish cities at the UK roadshow organized by Turespaña, where they promoted Madrid as a leading destination for meetings & events. The roadshow included business visits, presentations, and workshops held in Manchester, Leeds, and North Wales, where MCD joined more than 50 meetings to strengthen relations and explore new business opportunities.

Madrid also welcomed six Dutch MICE agencies from February 2 to 6 and introduced them to the city’s new venues, hotels, restaurants, and historic spaces for meetings and events. Through these experiences, MCD hopes these visitors will turn into ambassadors for Madrid among other Dutch agencies.

Madrid welcomes six Dutch MICE agencies


ITB Berlin, the largest travel trade exhibition worldwide, is once again bringing the global tourism community together from March 5 to 7 at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. For over half a century, ITB has been synonymous with global industry expertise, year-round networking, and innovative events, be it in virtual, physical, or hybrid environments.

The EHRA Congress will also be taking place in Berlin from April 7 to 9, gathering scientists, healthcare professionals, and experts in arrhythmia management worldwide. Renowned for its robust scientific program and unparalleled networking opportunities, the EHRA Congress is anticipated by attendees who are eager to immerse themselves in the latest advancements, discoveries, and best practices in the field.


Guadalajara is set to host 4 FIFA World Cup matches in 2026, the most number of matches to be hosted by any Mexican city. Akron Stadium will be the historic venue for 4 matches during this landmark tournament, which will be co-hosted by 3 countries for the first time. Canada and the United States are co-hosting alongside Mexico, with the matches in Akron Stadium happening on Thursday, June 11, Thursday, June 18, Tuesday, June 23, and Friday, June 26.


The Dubai Association Conference 2024 was held from February 26 to 28, bringing together association executives, stakeholders, government officials, and strategic partners to discuss the theme “Value Amplified: Associations Empowering Change.” The conference highlights the pivotal role associations play in leaving a positive impact on communities and societies.

Meanwhile, Dubai has achieved its best annual tourism performance with international tourists, showing a 19.4% growth in 2023. Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) published data showing that the City of Gold attracted 17.15 million international overnight visitors over the year.

Dubai International (DXB) also broke records after welcoming 87 million guests in annual traffic in 2023. This number surpassed not only Dubai Airport’s own yearly forecast but also pre-pandemic traffic levels.


The Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Event (AIME) was held in February at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, breaking records to become the biggest AIME in a decade. Owned by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), AIME is the leading trade event for the Asia Pacific region’s global meetings and events industry. This year, AIME welcomed over 600 hosted buyers, 570 exhibitors, and over 4,000 visitors.

Included in AIME’s program was MCB’s Uncover Melbourne, which featured 16 exclusive tour experiences across Melbourne and regional Victoria for buyers and media and an exclusive Indian Hosted Buyer dinner on the grounds of Marvel Stadium. MCB also hosted key industry and government stakeholders on the tradeshow floor, including the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy / Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency.

If you’re interested in attending AIME 2025 as a hosted buyer, please contact Jackie Caldwell, AIME Hosted Buyer Manager or subscribe to the AIME newsletter for updates.

Marvel Stadium also launched its remarkable $225 million redevelopment project in early 2024, which includes the addition of two purpose-built, high-end function spaces ideal for awards nights and exclusive conferencing, as well as six unique ‘experience’ spaces for large activations.

Meanwhile, MCB has launched its First Peoples Engagement Guide, a valuable resource aimed at assisting event planners in creating culturally enriching business events and fostering positive social impact. Tailored specifically to the business events industry, the introductory guide includes cultural protocols around when and how to organize a Welcome to Country or Acknowledgement of Country, an Indigenous Business Events Supplier Guide highlighting local businesses poised to elevate business events with cultural richness and diversity, plus useful tips on how to put the guide into practice.

See MCB’s First Peoples Engagement Guide.


The first-ever Copenhagen Gaming Week event took place at Bella Center Copenhagen the same weekend Denmark welcomed a new King. Developed by Bellagroup, Blackbox Media, and Wonderful Copenhagen, the three-day gaming festival covered all aspects, genres, and subcultures related to gaming, esports, and cosplay, attracting over 12,500 visitors.

Copenhagen gaming week at Bella Center Copenhagen
Photo source: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/bella-center-copenhagen_bellaarena-copenhagengamingweek-hostingmomentsthatmatter-activity-7154031186846048256–Xd4

Meanwhile, the city of Elsinore, which is a short train ride away from Copenhagen, has been named a Green Leaf City by the EU Commission. Green Leaf recognizes cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants for their commitment to sustainability and the green transition. Among Elsinore’s efforts are the acceleration of the energy renovation of buildings and expanding fossil-free district heating, the reconstruction of the sewage system to separate rainwater and wastewater to improve water quality and efficiency, and a focus on cycling and the principles of circular economy.


The Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau delivered its annual Unique Venues Showcase event on February 15, this time at the Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Stadium) and Sumida Aquarium. The event attracted 205 participants from Tokyo’s business events industry, showing participants exciting ideas on how both venues can be utilized for memorable business events.

To stay updated on Tokyo’s latest news, follow Business Events Tokyo on LinkedIn.


Singapore will be hosting the 18th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists 2024 from March 3 to 7, welcoming thousands of delegates from nearly 130 countries at the Suntec Convention & Exhibition Centre for 5 days.

Meanwhile, Singapore launched the sustainable air hub blueprint at the second Changi Aviation Summit, which outlined 12 initiatives to tackle aviation emissions. This includes plans to charge a levy on passengers departing Singapore in 2026 so that airlines in Singapore will use greener jet fuel. Industry experts welcomed the move to lower aviation emissions, including International Air Transport Association Chief Willie Walsh, who shared his belief that the plans will not put Singapore’s status as a global aviation hub at risk, as all major air hubs and airlines around the world are also pursuing a similar agenda.

All foreigners visiting Singapore will also be able to use automated lanes at checkpoints from the second half of 2024 and will not have to present their passports when they leave. Singapore will become the first country worldwide to implement this next-generation automated border control system. As of 2023, more than 160 automated lanes have been installed, with another 230 lanes expected in 2024.