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October 6, 2015

Grimmer Lays It On The Line To DMOs and Policymakers

In an exclusive interview with International Meetings Review, Gaining Edge CEO Gary Grimmer took time out at the IT&CMA event in Bangkok to explain just why the business events sector is a determining factor in global connectivity, trade, and intellectual engagement. Without holding back in his lightly veiled criticism of the industry, Grimmer explains that the industry has to redefine its role beyond tourism – namely in trade and economic development and the building of association-led connections.

Global Connectivity

In Part 1 [of 4] of his responses to IMR, Grimmer explains why the industry develops trade and export potential in a globally connected society.


DMO Inertia

Grimmer explains how DestinationNEXT has been developed [by DMAI – Destination Marketing Association International] as a tool to help DMO`s become more relevant as transformational agents, explains the importance of moving from broadcast to 1:1 engagement, of influencing the `unmanageable` destination brand by emphasizing a destination`s product delivery, and the need of DMO`s to redefine the business model.


Association Development – How Singapore Became Association Central

According to Grimmer, convention bureaus need to be front and centre in local association development because associations are the source of continual education and index-linked to a strong upward economy. Explaining how Singapore has stolen a march in Asia as the “most strategic country in the world” in the sector, he reveals how the country with nothing [in terms of natural resources] has emerged out of independence to become the region`s  `Association Central` and the gateway to Asia.


Building Blocks to A Knowledge and Creative Society

Grimmer concludes with an example of how emerging economies need to understand better what the combination of local association development and business events industry can do to facilitate global connectivity and growth. Firstly – stop leaving the promotion of conventions and exhibitions to the Tourism Ministry and recognize that the DMO`s should be trade and economic development focussed. “This is not really about tourism”, he says, “this is about building our economies, this is about developing trade networks, and this is about building knowledge and creative societies”.


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About the Author: James Latham

James Latham





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