Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux Shares Expertise and Progresses China Push

European convention bureaux received valuable advice on how to target the key MICE market in China at a recent event. The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe met in Riga 22 – 23 September to receive the results of a study they commissioned and to plan a joint approach targeting the country. The group also agreed to share their opinions on issues affecting the meetings industry within Europe such as new venues, educational needs, laws and regulations, as well as reactions to topical news.

The China market research delivered insight into the image of and interest in Europe as a business travel destination among MICE travel agencies and their clients, covering Chinese perception and image of European countries, their facilities and support as well as motivations and barriers for choosing different European countries. Key trends, such as experiential travel and the influence of social media, were also covered as well as the requirements of the MICE market in China including value, security and accessibility.

Following these results, the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe will plan joint activities in China scheduled for 2017 and beyond.

Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the German Convention Bureau (GCB), and Eric Bakermans, marketing manager for the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, speaking on behalf of the group, explained:

“Within our Alliance there is an increasing demand for information on the Chinese MICE market and the position of Europe as a business travel destination for this market. The research explores the potential of the Chinese market and how convention bureaux can use this insight to adapt their destination marketing and communication.”

The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux is the first of its kind and aims to boost partnership working between convention bureaux within Europe in order to maintain and strengthen its long-term standing as number one meeting destination in the world (ICCA Statistics Report 2015).

The seventh meeting of the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe took place in Riga, preceded by a visit and training session at the airBaltic Training Centre as well as an address by Mr. Janis Vanags, Vice President Corporate Communications AirBaltic Corporation on “Crises management and public relations role within it”

The Alliance meets twice a year, rotating host destinations, with the next meeting scheduled to take place in Florence, Italy, 26 – 27 January 2017.



Photo caption L-R: Thorsteinn Örn Gudmundsson (Iceland), Mervi Toivonen (Finland), Goran Pavlovic (Croatia), Danica Banjevic (Montenegro), Evelien Jonker (The Netherlands), Matthias Schultze (Germany), Miha Kovačič (Slovenia), Joaquim Pires (Portugal), Alice Sipos (Hungary), Eric Bakermans (the Netherlands), Nico Nauta (Sweden), Amanda Ferguson (Scotland), Christian Mutschlechner (Austria), Iva Puđak Mihajlović (Croatia), Tobia Salvadori (Italy), Aigars Smiltans (Latvia)


Not pictured: Krzysztof Celuch (Poland), Kadri Karu (Estonia), Steen Møller (Denmark), Zdeněk Giormani (Czech Republic), Petr Kuklík (Czech Republic), Ciara Gallagher (Ireland), Robert Vincze (Slovakia), Igor Kovacevic (Serbia), Barbra Steuri-Albrecht, Violeta Matas Gonzalez (Spain), Clémence Baret (France)


About the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux

The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux currently has 24 members from across the continent, they are: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Latvia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Two representatives of the Croation National Tourist Board (CNTB) and the Croatian Meeting Professionals Association (CMPA) attended the recent meeting as observers.


For further information, please contact:

Emma Ward, Clareville Communications (UK), T: + 44 (0)207 736 4022, E: