There are lots of ways to measure the success of a meeting, including how its organizers create ways for the event to continue to make a difference in the future.
For the second year in a row, Best Cities Global Alliance and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) teamed up to award grants to association meetings that demonstrate excellence and innovation in making an outstanding impact in legacy development, sustainability, and/or accessibility. The Incredible Impact Grants Program awards $7,500 grants towards future projects.
This year’s three winners have just been announced, and they are:
Down Syndrome International (DSI) DSI hosted its World Down Syndrome Congress 2018 in July in Glasgow, Scotland, bringing together professionals and researchers from health care, social work, education, employment, and human rights sectors. The conference mission is to improve the quality of life for people with Down syndrome worldwide and promote their inherent right to be included and accepted as valued and equal members of society.
What was innovative: The conference included people with Down Syndrome in multiple ways, among them attracting 120 people with Down syndrome to DSI, which had an attendance of 1,000, and recruited a team of adults with Down syndrome to be commissioners and act as ambassadors for the event. One commissioner conducted an interview with Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, which was filmed and used to close the ceremony. DSI plans to continue its commissioner program for future congresses in Dubai and Brisbane.
Society for Ecological Restoration (SER): SER’s World Conference on Ecological Restoration 2017 was hosted in Brazil and brought together experts in the rapidly emerging field of ecological restoration. During the week’s program, participants engaged in networking and knowledge sharing on the latest scientific advances, environmental policy questions, and innovative methods for returning ecosystems to health and vitality.
What was innovative: The conference drew 1,000 delegates from more than 60 countries, with the goal of promoting worldwide knowledge transfer. In order to ensure the inclusion of delegates from developing countries, where environmental degradation often hits hardest, SER paid their costs to attend. And one day of the week-long conference was devoted to restoration itself, as conference attendees planted trees and collected native seeds near the conference venue. SER also made a donation to support local restorative activities in the area to offset the conference’s footprint.
Union for International Cancer Control (UICC): UICC hosted the 2017 World Cancer Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City, convening 350 global cancer and public health leaders to discuss solutions in cancer prevention and care into further national action by 2025.
What was innovative: At the event, dedicated exclusively to furthering global cancer control, one immediate outcome was the appointment of the National Cancer Institute of Mexico to coordinate the development and implementation of a sustainable national cancer control plan.
Stay tuned for more about the associations’ innovations in an upcoming issue of Convene.