What’s Happening This October?

Jumpstarting the final quarter are some amazing BestCities initiatives, key business events, and exciting events in our partner cities.

BestCities - What's Happening - October

It’s the final quarter of the year and it’s evident how everyone’s hoping to make it a remarkable year-end. Considering the things everyone missed out on during the height of this pandemic, it’s safe to say that everyone is looking forward to getting back on their feet and connecting with the community even more than ever.


BestCities Community Café

Registration is now open for the BestCities Community Café happening on October 14, 14:00 -15:00 CET. This is a global gathering where you can experience valuable sharing of local and global hybrid experiences. The café is the perfect place to connect with people and organizations who can contribute to your goals. 

There will be local hubs in Copenhagen and Cape Town where interested parties can attend in person. These local audiences will then join the global session virtually as a group. In the session, expect the two destination partners to share their toolkits that can give solutions to meeting planners’ needs.

60th ICCA Congress 

The 60th ICCA Congress will be held on October 24 to 27 in Cartagena, Colombia celebrating the theme Forward to Our Future. This event is set as a hybrid experience, offering virtual access for those who will be unable to attend the in-person event. Our Managing Director, Lesley Williams, will be representing BestCities in the Paris hub.

The ICCA Congress has been a must-see event for the past 60 years because of its huge contribution to meetings industry professionals and association executives. It’s a great place to get valuable insights from industry experts and offers a channel where professionals can network and connect with potential partners.

Click here for the ICCA programme.


We also like to highlight a few events that are happening after October, but in the light of planning ahead, we thought it would be good to include them already in this month’s round-up. 


IMEX America 2021

Registration is now open for IMEX America, one of the biggest annual trade shows for event professionals worldwide. Happening on the 2nd week of November, it includes a seminar focusing on driving sustainable impacts for association meetings in the future. This session features our very own Jane Cunningham, BestCities Global Alliance’s Director for Community Engagement. 

The session takes place on November 8, 1:30 to 4:30 PM. It features a deep dive into the key elements that most people miss out on in the midst of online meetings and gatherings. It aims to give focus on more creative brainstorming sessions, building meaningful connections, ensuring effective knowledge transfers, and other relevant missions and goals.

Other speakers in the panel are David Julien from the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education (IOHE), Jon Bruno from The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), and Ksenjia Polla from the ICCA.

Attending IMEX but not sure which sessions to follow? Stay tuned for Jane’s take on IMEX America 2021. 


IBTM World

The IBTM World is also happening in November in Barcelona, Spain and promises to provide inspiration, connections and powerful content to fuel inspiring events that deliver better business results. Registration has opened for this 3-day event happening from November 30 to December 2.

This global event has been gathering industry leaders and professionals for over 30 years, with over 15,000 attendees and 3,000 exhibitors in the last in-person event in 2019. The best part about this year’s IBTM is that it is immediately followed by the BestCities Global Forum, which takes place in Madrid. This gives IBTM attendees the chance to enjoy both events in a single week.


BestCities Global Forum 2021

Registration is still ongoing for the BestCities Global Forum 2021, which is happening from December 2 to 5 in Madrid. Indeed, happening in December, but the time to register is now! The programme we’ve put together will definitely make this an immersive learning event, with valuable insights from the leaders, partner destinations and international organizations participating in this event. 

This year’s Forum highlights the City Café, a 2-part session where participants can connect with various BestCities partner destinations. These sessions provide an opportunity to identify and discuss legacy opportunities for your organization that can be applied to your own locale.

Click here to register for BestCities Global Forum 2021


What’s Happening in Our Partner Cities?

Our partner cities continue to gain momentum towards a strong ending for 2021. Here’s a round-up of what’s happening in our partner cities.

Cape Town

The Cape Town & Western Cape Convention Bureau launched the Western Cape Business Events Support Fund, an initiative that aims to stimulate short- to medium-term recovery for the Western Cape’s business events sector. 

The fund will provide much-needed support to business event organizers as they try to jumpstart the events industry. The support will continue until March 2022, or until the funds have been completely depleted. Event organizers would have to meet a specific criteria to be granted support to ensure that the funds are appropriately utilized.

Click here to read more about this initiative.



Copenhagen lifted its COVID-19 restrictions in September, paving the way for critical events and conferences to take place. This October, the fun continues as Copenhagen plays host to a string of conferences and events:

  • Sept. 28-Oct. 3 - Copenhagen Art Week
  • Oct. 4-6 - Nordic Conference in Nursing Research at the Scandic Falkoner
  • Oct, 6-7 - World Conference of Screenwriters (WCOS 2021) at the DR Koncerthuset
  • Oct. 15 - Copenhagen Culture Night
  • Oct. 20-22 - FEFCO Technical Seminar 2021 at the Bella Center Copenhagen
  • Oct. 22-31 - MIX Copenhagen LGBTQ+ Film Festival
  • Oct. 28-30 - 11th International Conference on Food Studies at the Aarhus Universitet - DPU

Details of other events happening in Copenhagen can also be found on the Visit Copenhagen events page.



DUBAI, 25 September 2021. Opening Ceremony Dress Rehearsal, Expo 2020 Dubai. (Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Expo 2020 Dubai)

It’s going to be an exciting Expo 2020 happening from October 1, 2021 all the way through March 31, 2022 knowing that this is the first time ever that a World Expo is being held within the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. This year, the expo celebrates the theme Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

The World Expo happens every 5 years, with each stretch lasting for 6 months. This year, over 200 participants are expected to come. These delegates come from different business sectors, educational institutions, and multilateral organizations. 191 nations are also expected to showcase their innovations, architecture, and culture.


Click here to read more about Expo 2020 and more upcoming business events in Dubai



Fáilte Ireland has finally reopened its doors to host an in-person major business conference in Dublin, the first event it has hosted since pandemic restrictions were eased. 

The conference, which happened on September 21, brought in around 450 delegates who discussed measures in rebuilding business tourism and jumpstarting the industry once again. The tourism authority also says that they are hoping to host and close deals on conferences and events worth around €1 billion.

The fact that Dublin is looking forward to more events in the coming months is timely, seeing that it has been shortlisted as a finalist for the 2022 European Capital of Smart Tourism Award. This award recognizes European cities that are excelling in terms of accessibility, creativity, cultural heritage, digitalization and sustainability.

It’s also great timing that COVID-19 restrictions are once again being eased from October 22 onwards, providing even more opportunities for tourism and events. Here are the changes:

  • Vaccination or recovery certificates are no longer required to enter pubs, restaurants or similar venues
  • Any form of face covering is no longer required outside except when using public transport or when entering shops, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities
  • No restrictions on the number of people attending events

Night clubs will also be allowed to reopen as part of the new set of guidelines.

Click here for more information about Dublin.



The Madrid Convention Bureau has launched PLUS (Platform for Legacy with Us), making Madrid the first city in Spain to implement a comprehensive and sustainable meeting and events tool. 

PLUS is a digital platform that perfectly aligns with Madrid’s MICE tourism approach, which focuses on three key aspects -- sustainability, legacy and positive impact. The tool promises to deliver the following:

  • Generate reports before meetings are held, allowing the planning stages to be completely sustainable and allows Sustainable Development Goals to be implemented in a timely manner
  • Connect organizers with agents to promote best practices and positive actions
  • Secure Madrid as a leading MICE destination

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in their 2030 agenda. With a tool that aligns with these goals, Madrid is sure to make a huge impact that will benefit not just their local MICE strategy, but that of others as well.

Click here to visit the Madrid Convention Bureau website.



The Langham, Melbourne has once again been voted as the Best City Hotel in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific during the 2021 Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. The Melbourne Convention Bureau’s partner hotel was given the same honor in 2016 and 2018, and is the only hotel in Australia to have been given a Platinum certification status by EarthCheck, the global accreditation body for travel and tourism.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) also continues to lead the way in terms of sustainability and has been granted Gold status by EarthCheck. Over the years, it has championed innovative ideas that provide better outcomes for the community and the environment. 

The MCEC, who had an active involvement in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project, has also announced their partnership with OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. This partnership helps them achieve their goal of minimizing food waste while also bringing a positive impact to the community.

The MCEC has been an active supporter of OzHarvest since 2014. With this new partnership agreement, they will not only donate $100,000-worth of resources, they will also provide a dedicated space for OzHarvest’s Cooking For A Cause (CFAC) program.

Visit the Melbourne Convention Bureau website for more inspiration



The SG SafeEvents Certification is the first of its kind, giving the industry and global events community bigger and better opportunities especially in the midst of the adjustments that have to be made in light of the global pandemic. 

The certification programme is based on the Technical Reference (TR) 84 developed by the Singapore Standards Council. TR 84 outlines best practices that allow event planners and organizers to stay safe and responsible aside from being in full compliance with government-mandated measures.

This certification can help boost confidence in Singapore as a venue for large-scale events, especially for overseas organizers, knowing that there will be strict protocols in place in terms of hygiene, crowd management, and emergency handling. 

Click here to read more COVID-19 Safe Management updates in Singapore.


October is an exciting month for Tokyo as they usher in these events:

  • Oct. 15-17 - ACTA 2021 Tokyo (7th Asian Conference on Tumor Ablation)
  • Oct. 18-20 - 12th Fashion World Tokyo
  • Oct. 18-20 - 34th International Optical Fair Tokyo (IOFT)
  • Oct. 21-22 - 9th UIA Associations Round Table Asia-Pacific

The UIA Round Table is open for virtual participation to ensure that those affected by restrictions will still benefit from the event. With the number of international association executives and industry stakeholders joining the event, it’s going to be filled with fruitful discussions about this era’s unique challenges and the opportunities that the solutions could bring to the field.

Current restrictions in Japan include limiting event attendance to half of the venue capacity up to 5,000 attendees, whichever is lower. However, the local government has also vocalized their plans of slowly easing restrictions for vaccinated people starting this October.

Click here to visit the Business Events in Tokyo’s website.