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Exhibition World Bahrain hosts ICCA Workshop

Sakhir, Kingdom of Bahrain – 23 January 2024: Exhibition World Bahrain, the award-winning World’s Leading New Exhibition and Convention Centre 2023, successfully hosted the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Workshop in the presence of officials from Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), and Mr. Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA. 

Held for the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the ICCA workshop featured a number of keynote addresses and interactive panels with participation from high-level speakers, with a focus on “Unlocking Bahrain’s MICE Potential: Navigating Trends and Strategies in the Association Market”, and “The Synergy of Diverse Perspectives: Strategies for Bahrain’s MICE Industry Advancement”.  

Experts joining the two panels were executive managers and officials from Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau, Gulf Air Group Holding, Exhibition World Bahrain, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Bahrain Chamber of Commerce (BCCI), MCI, the Bahrain Neuroscience Association, and Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa. 

The workshop agenda looked holistically at the status quo of the MICE industry regionally and globally and how to turn challenges into opportunities in light of a rapidly changing business environment and digital transformation risks. In addition to discussing the benefits of joining the International Congress and Convention Association as active members of the international associations’ community. 

On the side-lines of the ICCA workshop, EWB has signed two memoranda of understandings (MOUs), solidifying its commitment to excellence, and elevating the venue’s position as the leading choice and preferred destination for hosting prestigious international events.  

EWB signed the first MOU with the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) to conduct ICCA Skills (CICS) training for members of the EWB team. In addition, ICCA will organise and host the annual ICCA Middle East Summit and an International Destination Workshop at Exhibition World Bahrain

EWB signed the second MOU with MCI Middle East, a Global Consulting, Live Communication, Congress and Event Management Company, in order to collaborate and attract more events within sectors that have a high economic impact to Bahrain through EWB, ensuring EWB is at the forefront of hosting health-related events.

Under the second MOU, both parties will collaborate to ensure EWB is at the forefront of hosting prestigious international events across multiple key sectors, aligned with Bahrain’s tourism strategy (2022-2026) goals and government priorities. 

In addition, MCI Middle East will share leads and market intelligence regarding potential events, leveraging each other’s networks and expertise, and collaborate on conducting market research and analysis to assess the feasibility and potential success of proposed events.

Dr. Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, said: “We are extremely delighted to organise this high-profile workshop here in Bahrain, which is rapidly becoming a leading MICE hub in the region. We are looking forward to magnifying our strong partnership with Exhibition World Bahrain to guide the award-winning venue to hit new horizons of growth in the near future.

Dr. Gopinath added: “ICCA understands the significance of legacy to the international events and meetings industry, and we are totally committed to being a leader and resource for association legacy initiatives.”

Dr. Gopinath pointed out: “We are pleased to sign this MOU with our active member, EWB. This MOU signifies a strategic effort by both parties to strengthen ties in the field of training Bahraini talents to become leaders of the future in meetings, conventions, and exhibitions. Our training courses are designed to equip EWB members and trainees with the essential knowledge needed to thrive in the meetings industry, and to ensure a successful set-up for educational sessions, which will create a strategic leap for EWB into advanced event management techniques, strategies, and legacy impacts.”  

Dr. Debbie Kristiansen, the General Manager of Exhibition World Bahrain, stated: We are thrilled to share our insights and visions with ICCA’s community to shape the future of the MICE industry globally and to develop an extensive range of innovative networking tools, resources, and connections to help organise more effective and successful international meetings.”

Dr. Kristiansen added: “We at EWB are committed to continuing to host events promoting high-level engagement, dialogue, networking, and expertise building required for a more shining future. The MICE industry holds great opportunities through collaboration, innovation and dedication to sustainability and growth.”

Dr. Kristiansen said: “We are keen to work closely with MCI to introduce new and innovative events to the Kingdom’s market and contribute to elevating Bahrain’s position as a regional hub for hosting prestigious events across all sectors. By leveraging MCI’s regional network and expertise, EWB will be well-positioned to actively source and secure new high-profile healthcare events to be hosted at the venue, which are considered one of the most promising events across the region. We are relentlessly committed to gaining more international exposure and reinforcing Bahrain’s footprint on the world’s MICE map.” 

Mr. Alexander John, Regional Director of Business Development at MCI Middle East, added: “We are pleased to ink this MOU with EWB the award-winning venue to be an integral part of their success story and shaping their tomorrow with the best interactive and consulting solutions. We are vigorously devoted to working hand in hand with EWB to measure the effectiveness of their engagement strategies and deliver critical insights as to the expectations and preferences of the venue and their clients.”