It was a pleasure this week to attend AIME 2020 and open the Leaders Forum on behalf of ICC Sydney, proud Presenting Partner. The meeting is always an excellent event, bringing together the most experienced minds within the conference industry to discuss and tackle the big issues of the day.
This year the meeting could not be more timely or pertinent, as our industry faces challenges on an enormous scale. In the last 12 months, we have not only seen devastating natural disasters but also now the Coronavirus impacting our businesses, clients and the communities in which we operate.
As an industry, we are used to dealing with challenges. Whether that’s economic shocks, natural disasters or health epidemics, we have and will continue to weather the storms. It is the status quo to be operating against this backdrop, rather than the other way round.
Nonetheless, it strikes me that we are living in unprecedented times that will test us in new ways. On top of the usual ongoing cycle of shocks, we are grappling with the huge disruptor that is technology. Never before has the world experienced exponential change on this scale, and it is only set to increase. It is changing the way we all live, work and of course, come together.
In the face of all of this, I believe that the role of conference centres has never been more important. We are the town halls and village greens of our day. We have the ability to bring together individuals, professionals, whole industries and communities against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world. Our role at the centre of all this allows us to make a profound and positive impact, acting as a catalyst for thriving cities - which is exactly the idea we tackled at the AIME Leaders Forum this year.