What’s New This September?

September is going to be an exciting month as it paves the way toward the last few months of the year. Everyone from BestCities, as well as from our partner cities, is gearing up for some of the busiest months of the year, so buckle up, and let’s take a look at what the next few months are going to be about.

PCMA Convening EMEA 2023

PCMA’s #ConveningEMEA is finally happening from September 20 to 22 in Copenhagen! This annual event is once again bringing together thought leaders, professionals, and other individuals working in and around the events industry from all over the world.

Our very own Tia Daniels, Director for Business Development and Community Engagement, as well as Loren Christie, our new Managing Director, will both be at the venue networking and connecting with everyone.

Catch them at the BestCities Breakfast at the Royal Golf Club on September 21 at 8:00am, which is going to be a great opportunity to meet amazing planners and industry professionals. You can register for our breakfast here.

You can also still join our Hosted Buyer group to enjoy a complimentary registration (conditions apply) and automatically join our breakfast on 21 September. Contact Tia for more information.

Joining Forces for Regenerative Transformation: GDS Forum 2023

Loren will be representing BestCities Global Alliance at the upcoming GDS Forum in Valencia from October 2- 4, 2023. The GDS-Forum, hosted by Visit València, CityDNA, and GDS-Movement, is set to redefine regenerative tourism and destination management. This global event is a call to action, aiming to transform conventional practices into regenerative ones that protect, restore, and respect.

Loren’s presence underscores our commitment to driving positive change within the industry. The GDS-Forum’s exploration of regenerative concepts, its emphasis on sustainability, and its focus on collaborative innovation perfectly align with BestCities’ mission.

As we collectively navigate an era of rapid change, Loren’s participation will contribute to harnessing the power of transformation for a sustainable future. Stay tuned for insights from this event!

Incredible Impact Awards Deadline 

Incredible Impacts continues to aim for maximum positive impact in every association meeting. After all, it’s the legacy that we leave that adds value not just to the MICE industry but to the communities around it. To further encourage associations to aim to make a difference, Incredible Impacts has put up two grants for grabs. 

The Incredible Impacts Grant offers $20,000 to an international association that leaves an amazing impact through any of their meetings. Whether through skills transfers to a developing country or by raising awareness and offering a potential solution to a societal challenge, you can nominate an association until the deadline.

UPDATE: Due to popular demand after the holidays, the deadline is extended by a week. This means you can apply or nominate until September 11th!

Also up for grabs is the Incredible Impacts Seed Fund Grant, which offers $5,000 to an association that is still in the early stages of building the foundation of their initiatives. The deadline for submissions is September 22.

Global Forum Melbourne

It won’t be long before the BestCities Global Forum is finally happening and all the right foundations are now being laid out to make sure this event leaves as much impact as possible. With the theme, “Meeting the Challenge: Creating Connections with a Purpose,” this event will again create the best opportunities to learn, network, and connect with industry leaders, partner destinations, international associations, and other industry professionals.

This time, the Global Forum is kicking off the year from January 18 to 21 and we’re excited to announce that the Pan Pacific Melbourne is our official hotel.

Pan Pacific Melbourne - Hotel Exterior

Updates from our partner cities

How exciting would the last few months of the year be? Find out in this round-up of what’s happening in our partner cities this September and beyond:


Copenhagen has been awarded the bid to host the 2026 World Athletics Road Running Championships, a week-long event that gathers some of the world’s best runners. 

The city hosted the same event back in 2014, but the competition has grown considerably since then. The event now attracts an average of 65,000 from all over the world.

Picture form CPH Half Marathon taken in the front of the old stock exchange building and the Danish Parliament, Christianborg Castle.

Meanwhile, Copenhagen’s beloved Tivoli Gardens is celebrating its 180th anniversary, a feat that not a lot of parks are able to enjoy. First opened to the public in 1843, it is now the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world and still draws in both locals and tourists.  

Tivoli Garden Copenhagen


Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, in cooperation with Tokyo Metropolitan Government, has created the TOKYO MICE Technology Guidelines detailing domestic and international next-generation MICE event delivery methods focusing on event efficiency.

These guidelines for organizers of MICE Events in Tokyo introduce advanced technologies expected to be utilized in the future. Furthermore, the guidelines contain 15 technologies and images of their practical utilization.


The Madrid Convention Bureau continues to give planners good reasons to choose this vibrant, welcoming city for their meetings and events. In a recent post by Congress Manager Jorge Treceño Pachón, he outlines 20 benefits of choosing Madrid for ESG events.

From event facilities that guarantee sustainability to an abundance of alternative transport options, Madrid is making amazing progress in maintaining a healthy natural, cultural and social environment throughout the city.


Guadalajara will be hosting the first-ever World Forum on Public Relations, Protocol, and Events on September 28 and 29 at the University of Guadalajara. The event expects experts from 21 countries to participate, with representatives from both public and private organizations.

The event aims to highlight the value of public relations professionals and seeks to find solutions to the challenges that they face.


The Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) launched a new initiative called the Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp, which recognizes hotels in the City of Gold that meet and exceed the expectations set by DET’s 19 Sustainability Requirements.

This aligns with UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 initiative, Dubai’s Net Zero Carbon Emissions Strategy 2050, and Dubai’s Clean Energy Strategy 2050. Dubai is also set to host COP28 UAE from November 20 to December 12 at Expo City Dubai to continue dialogues that will lead the region toward the Paris Agreement’s goals.

Dubai has laid out similar initiatives over the past few years, showing a deep commitment to doing its part. One example is the Dubai Can initiative, which was launched in February last year and has helped reduce the use of single–use plastic water bottles by 7 million units.

Cape Town

Cape Town and the Western Cape welcomed the world’s cartographers as they hosted the 31st International Cartographic Conference (ICC) 2023 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from August 13 to 18.

Organized by the South African National Committee for the ICA, the gathering explored innovative approaches to cartography based on their theme “Smart Cartography for Sustainable Development”.


Meet Vancouver has been promoting Vancouver as a great destination for meetings and events as the team embarks on a series of roadshows. The 2023 Destinations International Annual Convention held in Dallas, Texas was among the events they visited where they connected with tourism professionals from around the globe.

They also headed to Salt Lake City to attend CEMA 2023 with the Meet Vancouver team, represented by Idy Wong and Dave Gazley, as well as Sophia Koutsandreas from the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Meanwhile, Matthew E and Meghan Feldstein from Meet Vancouver headed to the ASAE Annual Meeting in Atlanta where they hosted Canada Night.


Singapore continues its efforts to build a more sustainable MICE sector as they launched a new set of guidelines for carbon emissions management last July. This is a joint effort between the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers (SACEOS) and the Singapore Standards Council (SSC).

Through these guidelines, the sector shows support for the Singapore MICE Sustainability Roadmap, which also aligns with the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

Meanwhile, Singapore is proud to have hosted the International Trademark Association (INTA) 2023 Annual Meeting Live+ from 16 to 20 May 2023. This is the first time the gathering was held in Southeast Asia, with over 8,000 global business leaders and professionals from over 140 countries convening at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore released two studies analyzing the link between IP and business performance during the event. The INTA Board also adopted three resolutions that are set to further advance IP protection on a global scale.


In addition to having the highest concentration of conference facilities and largest convention and exhibition centre in the country, it has recently been confirmed Melbourne also boasts the largest hotel market in Australia, with 26,500 rooms and a pipeline anticipating the city to reach 27,500 rooms.

MCB has secured the 2025 International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) – a renowned global business event in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the premier forum for researchers and practitioners in planning and scheduling. The team worked in collaboration with experts from University of Melbourne and RMIT University to secure the bid, estimated to contribute $1.2 million to the local economy.

MCB’s interactive destination planning video for event planners and delegates, Ready.Set.Melbourne, was recently nominated as a finalist in the 2023 Skift Idea Awards, recognised as one of the travel industry’s most coveted achievements for excellence in design, creativity, and innovation.

Check out Ready.Set.Melbourne here.

Asian incentive meeting planners and corporations are choosing Melbourne, with Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) securing 17 Asian incentive groups across China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and India since the start of the new fiscal year.

These wins will bring 2,345 delegates to Victoria, filling 4,033 room nights across the city’s hotels and injecting $9.6M into the economy. 

In addition to new fiscal wins, this November Melbourne will welcome the largest Indian delegation for a corporate incentive travel program, when 3,000 delegates arrive for Herbalife India Incentive 2023, thanks to support from Tourism Australia’s Business Events Bid Fund Program.

Aerial photograph of the MCEC Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre against a sunrise

Meanwhile, the 2023 Australian Event Awards has shortlisted the Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME) in the Best Congress, Conference or Exhibition category. AIME is owned by MCB and the event won this category in 2022.


Leading international representatives from politics, science, the private sector and civil society will participate in this year’s World Health Summit in Berlin, from October 15 to 17. Important topics are climate change and health, digital technologies for global health, pandemic prevention and the global health priorities of the G7/G20 nations. Expected on site are more than 300 speakers and 4,000 participants from all over the world.
To participate and get live insights, please follow this registration link.

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has made a breakthrough over the past months, with tech giants such as ChatGPT from Open AI, BARD from Google, and ANTROP/C making headlines. visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office made the decision to seek insights from an expert in the field: Prof. Dr. Nakeema Steffbauer, a Berlin-based software delivery consultant who has been driving corporate digital transformation in both Europe and America for 15+ years.

This article is about gaining a deeper understanding of how it works and anticipating the potential changes that destination management organizations and event planners may face in the future.

Meanwhile, the ICC Berlin, the largest conference center in Europe when it opened in 1979, temporarily opens its doors for visitors on the Day of the Open Monument after almost 10 years of closure (when the new venues CityCube Berlin and hub27 took over its role). Since September 2019, the ICC Berlin has been officially recognized as a historic marvel, holding within its walls stories of countless conferences, ideas, and connections. The congress center once stood as a beacon of pioneering spirit during the 1970s.


Dublin will be hosting the 35th International Epilepsy Congress from September 2 to 6, with a program that includes symposiums, teaching sessions, platform sessions, and special sessions that aim to discuss the past, present, and future of epilepsy. 

The 35th European Congress of Pathology held on September 9 also chose Dublin as their host city. Organized by the European Society of Pathology (ESP), the event expects pathologists from over 100 countries to grace the event.

Presidents and speakers of parliament from 46 member states of the Council of Europe are also expected to visit Dublin from September 28 to 29 for the European Conference of Presidents of Parliament. Heads of interparliamentary assemblies, as well as partners and observers from neighboring countries, will also be present.

Meanwhile, the Horizon Irish Open will be happening on September 7 to 10 at the K Club in Kildare.


Houston Airport Traffic has increased to 11.5% this year compared to last year’s numbers. The George Bush Intercontinental Airport catered to a total of 4.07 million passengers this year, a 13.9% improvement from last year. Hobby Airport moved a total of 1.24 million passengers, a 4.3% increase from a year ago.

Even the Houston hotel market showed positive results for the first half of the year, with an increase of 8% in terms of occupancy. Hotel occupancy for the first seven months of 2023 was at 62%, while the average daily rate (ADR) showed an 8% increase. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) also showed a 17% increase.

Continuing Houston’s brand of excellence, Houston First Corporation (HFC) has been dubbed as a Great Place to Work, with 76% of team members rating the organization positively. This is an increase from last year’s 74%.