The 60th Annual ICCA Congress will be held at Cartagena, Colombia on October 24-27, 2021 in an in-person format, with worldwide Congress Hubs set up for members who are unable to travel to the port city.
At press time, Congress Hubs are confirmed for Paris, France; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Seoul, South Korea.
The Congress Hubs will draw on livestreamed sessions from the main event in Cartagena, and attendees will get to hear from industry experts and government officials with strong ties to their region and participate in immersive workshops. Each Congress Hub will be infused with the Cartagena experience through themed dinners and social events that deliver a Colombian flair.
ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said: “ICCA research has consistently found that the general sentiment about the need for face-to-face events has not only remained, but intensified. Furthermore, while digital and hybrid events have expanded audiences for many organisations, these alternatives cannot supersede the serendipitous moments and truly meaningful connections that are the essence of face-to-face meetings.”
He continued: “We’ve been listening closely to the motivations and desires of both our ICCA World and Association Community members. As a result, the ICCA Congress 2021 is an event that we are proud to say has been developed for our members, by our members. Delegates will get first-hand experience with the creative, future-forward strategies that will become standard operations for the successful business events of tomorrow.”
Diana M Rodriguez, representative of the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, also said in a press statement that “face-to-face meetings and events drive socio-economic development for destinations” and that such gatherings are needed for “knowledge sharing and generating valuable connections that positively impact businesses and professionals alike, well beyond the event itself”.
“That’s why we are ready to welcome ICCA delegates in Cartagena de Indias, to rediscover the true power of meeting again under the magic spell of our legendary and ‘heroic’ city,” said Rodriguez.
ICCA is also preparing a virtual platform for delegates who are unable to attend any of the live events, whether in Cartagena or the Congress Hubs. The digital ICCA Congress 2021 will utilise cutting-edge event tech and be customisable.
Cartagena, Columbia was named host of the 60th Annual ICCA Congress back in November 2018. The other shortlisted destinations were Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Athens, Greece.