ICCA is the International Congress and Convention Association. An organization with more than 1100 member companies and organizations, in over 100 countries. The annual ICCA Congress is the number one meeting place for members, and has been held every year since 1963. Like the rest of the world, ICCA had to think outside the box this year with regards to conducting their annual congress.
Several of the world’s largest players in the industry come to this congress every single year. This year’s congress was held over a 6-week period from September to November, and with the main event from 01 – 03 November as a global hybrid experience. The main elements were broadcasted directly from Kaohsiung, in addition to regional “hubs” in Cape Town, Kuching, Luxembourg, Malaga, Riyadh and Seoul, but also several “hubs” in Latin and North America. When participants could not meet as usual, we invited the Norwegian delegates to join in for good food and digital participation at Oslofjord.
– When things are as they are, this is the solution, but it is demanding to keep up. It was all arranged over 6 weeks, which makes it difficult to get into the right mode. You will not be able to keep up with everything and end up missing a lot. If we had not met here at Oslofjord, I doubt this years’ experience would be this rewarding, says Frode Aasheim, Special Adviser congress, meetings and events at Innovation Norway Meetings.
The entire global ICCA community came together to explore new ideas and technologies, and share their experiences through this difficult time. Together, the participants created and signed the “Kaohsiung Protocol”, a framework that identifies key trends and strategies that will enable the international meeting industry to thrive, now and in the future.
– This years’ ICCA Congress is the best I have participated in, and that is because we were here at Oslofjord. There are several elements that affect this; we had the opportunity to meet, the hosts have been absolutely fantastic – from check in to check out, in addition, we got to experience a “one of a kind” product that represents the future. The experience here has simply been exceptional and the food we were served was completely unparalleled, says Aasheim.
When the pandemic hit us and we could not meet as we usually do, we had to think outside the box in order to create alternative ways of meeting. In collaboration with a very innovative and important customer, we developed a solution that has made it possible to carry out large events even now during Covid-19 – the Oslofjord Hybrid Event. In this studio, meetings and conferences that combines physical attendance with live TV can be held. The viewers can participate interactively via PC, mobile or tablet – from anywhere in the world. Based on this innovation, our CEO, Stian Fuglset, was invited to give a digital speech during this year’s ICCA Congress, broadcast live from the studio.
The ICCA Congress is the only event where all actors in the meeting industry gather, but not in a trade fair format. It is a unique opportunity for the exchange and sharing of knowledge and inspiration from state-of-the-art technology and development in the meeting industry.
– This is what ICCA means for Oslofjord as well. There is networking, friendship and skills development, collaboration, sharing and inspiration. Although we would have liked to have been present during a traditional convention, it is a great privilege to host the Norwegian delegates here at the Oslofjord. It is of course very important to us that players like Innovation Norway say that they will be our ambassadors when Norway is sold internationally, says Stian Fuglset, CEO at the Oslofjord Convention Center. – Because we actually have something unique to offer for all the companies, associations and organizations that want to create a boost for employees or members.
Oslofjord is a unique product that is about to put its footprint on the world map. It is a convention village; a place of community and excitement with endless possibilities. Here you can simply buy the key to the city and make it your own. This is also a place where nature and sustainability are built into the entire business so that nature does not suffer. A great place to be as a guest, and a playground for anyone planning events.
– Even though development is still taking place on the Oslo Fjord, we remain fully operational and we look forward to hosting large events again. The outer part of the development will be completed on 1 July 2021. This means that a lot will happen in a period where there are few customers at Oslofjord. The interior of the building will be completed in early 2022, says Stian Fuglset.