10 THINGS TO CONSIDERATE WHEN BIDDING TO HOST AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OR CONGRESS
Congresses and conferences are very important for the multiple benefits generated to the community as the economic impact, education heritage, networking and many others. The following list should be consider before starting the bidding process of an international conference:
1. CONGRESS THEME:
It is very positive if the country or destination is recognized, has an advantage or innovation about the theme of the Congress. For instance: For The World Congress of Obesity, the country has had a successful national campaign against obesity. This aspect may increase the interest and awareness of delegates and scientific to visit the country and participation to the congress. Make sure to highlight your advantages when bidding for Congresses.
2. LEGACY TO THE COMMUNITY:
Some Congress Associations have a strong commitment to the communities and are looking to leave a legacy of social support to the community. they do it trough sponsorships of material, infrastructure projects, consulting services, donations or any other kind of help to support a group or needed institution as a legacy to the destination.
The most important legacy of course is the education and the conferences to the local scientific community and delegates. This can be an interesting aspect to considerate and analyze as a positive impact to the destination.
3. CVB SUPPORT AND ASSESMENT:
The CVB support and assessment are very important. They are the official Tourism authority of the city, have experience of many biddings and Congresses. They will work with you with advice, some times investing budget or giving you some tools as the bidding book, marketing brochures and planning the strategy to win the Congress. Meet with them since the beginning of the process.
4. TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS AND INFRASTRUCTURE:
Most of the International congresses have a document that details all the technical, space and venue requirements. We must be aware of each detail and make sure to include the specifications on the bidding book or Proposal to show the destination meets all the requirements as the venue capacity, hotel rooms, technological equipment, DMC services and many other services. This will make a good impression to the Congress decision committee to choose for a Destination that meets everything.
Search for information, know the bidding strengths and / or weaknesses of the competitor destination. You can be one step forward of the others or you may decide to bid for other year in case you consider to be in disadvantage at this moment.
6. GEOGRAPHIC ROTATION:
Some international Congresses have a geographical rotation, this means that the Congress rotates to be host in a different continent each time. For instance if this year the congress is for the European continent, the following should be in North America and after that Latin America. this information should be given by the Congress association or if you are member of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) you will find it on the Database. Once you have this information, you may decide when to bid.
7. BID INSTRUCTIONS AND TIME REQUIREMENTS:
Make sure to send the bidding documents on time, sometimes will be immediately as the emails and electronic documents, some times might be sent printed as packaging, We should consider the limit dates and anticipate the date to send it on time as the different times around the world. If we are out of time, We go out of competition.
8. BUDGET FOR BIDDING:
The process of bidding will always demand time and budget. We should consider the travel expenses, print documents, bidding books, promotional brochures, Presentations, Meeting space or any other expense. Some times there can be support or investment from other parties as the local CVB, other authorities or private sponsors, anyway We should be aware of how much budget we decide to invest according to the economic impact that will generate the Conference or Our interest to win the Congress.
9. SUPPORT FROM LOCAL COUNTERPART:
The support from the local or national association called “counterpart” will always be important. They are the natural hosts and play a very important role. most of the times their involvement, leadership and interest may be determinant to win the event. They must work negotiating, communicating, convincing and lobbying votes with the decision committee. Sometimes We may predict a successful bidding result, if we have the commitment, involvement effort and leadership of the local association or congress counterpart.
10. ECONOMIC IMPACT AND BENEFITS:
Always have an estimated of the economic impact and importance that represent the Conference to the community. We can calculate the number of delegates, total hotel room nights occupied, average hotel rate, flight expenditure, the venue cost, catering or food and beverage expenses, audiovisual equipment, and other tourism expenses. The economic impact may be considered to decide the budget of the bidding process, It is not the same to bid for an International Congress that will leave at least $500,000 usd as economic impact to the community than other that may leave approximately $25,000,000 usd.
Sara Riojas – Articulista MICE Online