National convention bureaus across the continent have responded well to the creation of the strategic alliance which, to date, 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, Slovakia Convention Bureau, Slovenian Convention Bureau, Switzerland Convention Bureau, and VisitDenmark.
Eric Bakermans, Marketing Manager for the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, and Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the German Convention Bureau, speaking on behalf of the group, said: “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. Our partnership approach unites the individual and unique offerings of each member, to simplify and strengthen the approach towards key markets.” Schultze explained: "Europe is the number one meeting destination worldwide for association meetings, hosting nearly 2.5 million business visitors a year[i]. The number of meetings held is nearly three times as many as the second largest market. This is a compelling proposition, and we wanted to create an initiative which builds on this success and enables convention bureaus from across the continent to join together. Bakermans added: “Matthias and I started the initiative to address the need for knowledge sharing on specific issues which affect our daily work as national convention bureaus. We’re aware of the need to work towards combining our efforts to utilize these strengths and expertise to market throughout the world.”
The group has met three times over the past 18 months and has generated immense interest. The next step for the new initiative will be a meeting of members and other interested European national convention bureaus in Copenhagen in the New Year to further develop the alliance.