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CIMERT’s inaugural International Meetings Industry CEO Summit held in Chengdu was a huge success!

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This month, CIMERT convened its inaugural International Meetings Industry CEO Summit on 11 December 2020 at Western China (Chengdu) International Expo City. The hybrid event brought together C-suite industry executives and professionals to share insights across a range of topics from event models to the future of the industry. It was an intense one-day of learning, sharing, and networking - all sharing ideas, best practices, and tips & tricks for overcoming common challenges and achieving breakthrough growth in an open, collaborative milieu.

The CEO Summit organised by CIMERT (Center of International Meetings Research and Training, supported by ICCA), is a joint-collaborative initiative between ICCA, Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (CCPIT Chengdu), MeetingsChina magazine and Chengdu University.  

With sessions focused on experience, and actionable outcomes baked into the design, CIMERT’s CEO Summit featured transformational thinkers to energise and educate the business community sustaining through and beyond COVID-19. Illustrious guest speakers included Ashwin Gunasekeran (CEO of PCEB), Cheng Zhigang (VP of Sales & Co-founder of 31Event), Gary Grimmer (Executive Chairman & Founder of GainingEdge) and Chen Fu (Director Chairman of Chengdu Municipal Bureau of Exposition (CCPIT Chengdu). The keynotes addressed topics ranging from crisis response measures, digital innovation & transformation, destination competitiveness to Chengdu’s position in the events industry.

Alvin Wee (International Sales Director of Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre-BITEC) and Vivian Chen (Senior BD Manager China of BESydney) also made a virtual appearance by sharing a succinct presentation on the venue’s best practices and the destination’s exciting resources.

CIMERT’s Destination Competitiveness Report launched

The Summit’s highlight included the launching of CIMERT’s first-ever destination competitiveness report, drawing upon the unique, distinctive tourism features, the business environment offered by the destination, as well as other factors and indicators. The report, undertaken by the CIMERT team based in Chengdu University, serves as a guide to destinations in identifying their strengths and weaknesses while developing their future strategies.

CIMERT’s 2nd Digital Campus kicked off

The audience spent the day drilling deep into the market dynamics that will shape tomorrow’s meetings industry landscape and what one must do to scale ahead of the trends.  The afternoon session kicked off with CIMERT’s 2nd Digital Campus bringing in faculty members to share insights and topic-specific professional knowledge:

  • Global Trends of Venue Management. By Eric Abramson, Director of Major Accounts, GL events Venues
  • Recovery and Beyond. By Noor Ahmad Hamid, Asia Pacific Regional Director, ICCA
  • A New Business Model for Show Organisers. By Matt Pearce, CEO, Talk2 Media & Events 
  • Venue Transformation: Rising to the Challenges of Covid-19. By Dr. Leslie Li Xiang, Vice President, China National Convention Center
  • How do Associations thrive during the Pandemic? By Sujoy Dey, Managing Director – Australasia, CIMGlobal

This was mixed with some high-touch networking in-between, including a wrap-up reception in the evening.

The full session playbacks of the CIMERT’s International Meetings Industry CEO Summit can be found on the

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