Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I was completely "baba"

In French they say: ‘J’étais complètement baba’. Well I said the same but in English, because I was completely flabbergasted when I received the ‘International Meetings Statistics for the Year 2007’ from the Brussels-based Union of International Associations. For years I was used to following the battle between Paris and London who were fighting for the first place. The last couple of years I often saw Paris come out best while London was sinking away bit by bit. And what do I see now, like a bolt from the blue? An Asian Tiger who has thrown Europe from the circus table. Paris is now second and Singapore first! And London comes only in 13th place. Unbelievable! What has happened?
Because I have the hots for stats I’ve been doing some research. Something must have happened back in 2003. That’s when the numbers of Singapore started rocketing up and it went swift as an arrow in 2005! Unstoppable. In 2007, Singapore hosted 465 international congresses, while Paris came in second with 315 - a difference of no less than 150 events in only two year’s time. I know what it is: vision. Singapore has been following a sophisticated plan for years to attract international congresses, to get the world’s attention. Something’s always happening. They’re not only building, they’re also organising. They’re letting people enjoy themselves. To put it simple: Singapore is one of the few states that work according to a long-term vision, and you see the result.
Who wants to know all the details should come down to Brussels on October 6, because there UIA will officially present its numbers to a fine European crowd during an academic meetings industry session. Another historic fact! On that same day MIM will publish its 100th issue. Drinks of a respected brand and appetizers from the North Sea will be served in the Dinosaur Gallery.