“The meetings industry is bad at PR”

(Not many people understand the importance of an impactful headline, for example!)

ICCA Best PR Award Judging Panel stresses the importance of storytelling in the digital age and adds Johanna Fischer of tmf dialogue marketing as a chairperson and moderator.

Digital and social channels are rapidly changing the field of PR. However, the core values of effective PR remain the same: Both traditional PR and social- and content marketing are about the art of getting others to talk about you in order to amplify and spread your message, and using creative storytelling to achieve this goal.

The ICCA Best PR Award, which was set up in 2012 with ICCA Business Partner International Meetings Review (IMR), aims to increase the PR efforts of ICCA members, the main suppliers to the international meetings industry.

Johanna Fischer

Johanna Fischer

Johanna Fischer is the Managing Director of tmf dialogue marketing, which provides marketing and PR services to ICCA members and has been an ICCA member for almost 10 years. Ms. Fischer will not only be part of the judging panel, but she will also be moderating a session on best practices in PR at the ICCA Congress, in which the Best PR Award finalists share their PR cases with ICCA members: “Great PR builds on the best combination of meetings journalism and marketing/sales driven stories. There is lots of new education for meeting professionals in how social media and a variety of communication channels can work and interact with each other to reach the final goal – marketing and “selling” your meeting product.”

Martin Lewis, Managing Editor at CAT Publications and Chairman of IMR’s Editorial Advisory Board said: “We believe the meetings industry could be much better at PR. By finding and sharing strong case studies of ICCA members’ activities we hope to increase the PR efforts of the whole meetings industry. PR is all about being creative and finding angles to create a story that engages readers, and which communicates your key messages and brand values. The same principles apply to digital PR.” Continue reading

Reactive or proactive? 7 Factors for effective crisis communication for international meetings

Including a Crisis communication checklist to prepare before an event

This article is included in ICCA’s new white paper “Crisis Communication Guidelines”, designed for association executives and meetings management companies to plan, prepare, manage, and recover from any crisis situation, and created in cooperation with Safehotels Alliance, the originator of The Global Hotel Security Standard ©,

Caption: (fltr) Mathijs Vleeming, Communication Strategist of ICCA, Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA and Hans Kanold, CEO of Safehotels launch the new Crisis Management Guidelines document at IMEX in Frankfurt.

(fltr) Mathijs Vleeming, Communication Strategist of ICCA, Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA and Hans Kanold, CEO of Safehotels launch the new Crisis Management Guidelines document at IMEX in Frankfurt.

If you had a crisis on your hands tomorrow, would you know how to respond and communicate your message to the world quickly and effectively? Continue reading

Social media for events: #ICCAAES 2015 presentation

Really enjoyed presenting the case study of the social media activities around our 2014 ICCA Congress as a humble keynote speaker at the ICCA Association Expert Seminar (#ICCAAES) last weekend.

Here’s the presentation on Slideshare: Continue reading

5 Reasons why destinations should take PR advantage of their ICCA rankings

Paris proud number one for 2013

It’s time to take advantage of your ICCA ranking! ICCA’s 2014 country and city rankings will be published again right before IMEX (See release dates). Your destination’s ranking in the ICCA Statistics reflects your position in the international association meetings market and offers some very valuable PR opportunities which you should not miss out on.

Here are 5 reasons why you should start preparing your PR activities around the new ICCA rankings NOW: Continue reading

Remember your Ps


Public relations is about credibility. To have an objective third-party (the media) talk about your product (destination, venue) – even if what is being said is not entirely positive – is to achieve a kind of validity that lies beyond the reach of advertising. That’s why PR firms can charge those eye-watering retainers. That’s why businesses with deep pockets don’t think twice about paying them.

But the meetings industry is not entirely awash with money. There are plenty of convention centres, PCOs and convention bureaux that don’t have limitless cash to splash. What then? Well, now I’m going to let you into one of those little secrets that you probably knew already: Public relations is not rocket science.

The same could be said about journalism, of course. The thing is, just because something is not rocket science doesn’t mean you can’t mess it up. And it doesn’t mean those PR firms who get results for their clients are necessarily over-charging. It can take a lot of patience, hard work, and – yes – skill to do relative simple things exceedingly well. It’s much easier to be half-arsed about it.
As a journalist I receive dozens of press releases every day. I don’t really think about it now, but subconsciously I’m looking for the three Ps. Point (or Purpose), People, and Pictures.

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15 Reasons ICCA had tremendous Twitter traffic at the 2014 Congress


15 Reasons ICCA had tremendous Twitter traffic at the 2014 Congress

Before bragging about these numbers let me just make this clear: Just having great Twitter statistics is not the goal of our social media efforts. The aim of using Twitter for most participants is to bookmark and share great content (of education sessions), to inspire thinking by colleagues in the meetings industry, and to meet new people. It is not about social media, it is about connectivity.

The objectives of our social media activities for the ICCA Congress are:

  • Increasing the value of the Congress for members
  • Increasing interaction and connectivity between members, before, during and after the event
  • Showing members that are not going what they are missing
  • Online ICCA profiling to our other target groups: potential members, associations, press


You cannot reach these goals without having great Twitter statistics, so here comes the bragging: These are the stats of our current live report which represents the total number of Tweets with hashtag #ICCAWorld from 23 September until Friday 28 November:

#ICCAWorld Twitter Statistics

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Copenhagen’s Three Pillars for MICE Development

As published on International Meetings review:

During the 53rd ICCA Congress in Antalya, Turkey earlier this month, the Wonderful Copenhagen CVB was named the winner of the 2014 ICCA Best PR Award, sponsored by International Meetings Review. At last week’s EIBTM conference and trade show inBarcelona, Spain, IMR caught up with Ulrika Mårtensson, Head of Communications – meetings & conventions at the Convention Bureau to talk about the award and Wonderful Copenhagen’s initiatives.

International Meetings Review on Vimeo.

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Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau tells its story best

Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau was announced as a winner of the 2014 ICCA Best PR Award at the Closing Ceremony of the 53rd ICCA Congress in Antalya, Turkey, by James Latham, Executive Director of International Meetings Review, the sponsor of the Award, and new ICCA President Nina Freysen-Pretorius.

Martin Lewis, Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of International Meetings Review, comments: “What makes good PR is the creation of a story that engages readers, and Wonderful Copenhagen understands the story telling aspect of PR very well. Year on year Copenhagen Convention Bureau has shown a strong and consistent creativity in finding angles to tell stories which include their key messages and brand values, impressing all the judges across the board.”

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Social Media & Events Report 2014

Social Media & Events Report 2014: The meetings industry increases its social media activities

How is the meetings industry using social networks for event marketing? ICCA once again was a media partner for XING EVENTS’ (before: amiando) annual Social Media & Events Survey. Beginning in April until the end of June 2014 XING EVENTS surveyed about 2,000 event organisers in order to learn how organisers utilize social media as a marketing instrument, what the latest trends and where the biggest challenges lie:

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