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October 16, 2014

European National Convention Bureaux Form Strategic Alliance

Several European national convention bureaux have launched a new alliance  to promote the continent's position for business events. 
From an initial idea conceived over a year ago by Eric Bakermans, marketing manager for the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions and Matthias Schultze from the German Convention Bureau, the initiative has expanded to 17 members. The informal group will share knowledge to help each individual member as well as Europe as a whole.

“We’re aiming to have a constructive and active collaboration on issues to make us stronger as Europe, without compromising each country’s unique identity," Eric Bakermans said in a statement. "Our partnership approach unites the individual and unique offerings of each member, to simplify and strengthen the approach towards key markets.”

"Europe is the number one meeting destination worldwide for association meetings, hosting nearly 2.5 million business visitors a year," Schultze added. "The number of meetings held is nearly three times as many as the second largest market...We wanted to create an initiative which builds on this success and enables convention bureaux from across the continent to join together.”

“Matthias and I started the initiative to address the need for knowledge sharing on specific issues which affect our daily work as national convention bureaux," Bakermans continued. "We’re aware of the need to work towards combining our efforts to utilize these strengths and expertise to market throughout the world.”

So far, membership in the alliance includes: Austrian Convention Bureau, Czech Convention Bureau, Estonian Convention Bureau, Finland Convention Bureau, GCB German Convention Bureau e.V., Hungarian Convention Bureau, Meet in Reykjavik, Montenegro National Tourist Board/National Convention Bureau, NBTC Holland Marketing, Norway Convention Bureau, Poland Convention Bureau, Serbia Convention Bureau, Slovak Convention Bureau, Slovenian Convention Bureau, Switzerland Convention Bureau, VisitDenmark.

The next step for the new initiative will be a meeting of members and other interested European national convention bureaux in Copenhagen in the New Year to further progress the alliance.

Look out for James Latham's exclusive interview with Eric Bakermans on International Meetings Review.

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