IBTM World 2019 closed last week with over 74,000 pre-scheduled business meetings having taken place and a 3% increase in the number of visitors attending the three-day event compared with 2018. 62% of Hosted Buyers participated in IBTM World for the first time this year and 51% of them were completely new to the entire IBTM portfolio. Over 2,600 exhibitors from 150 countries attended, including over double the number of first-time exhibitors compared to 2018, and a 450% increase in net space for exhibitors from China.Read more
BestCities Global Alliance
BestCities: Lesley Williams takes over Managing Director role
Lesley takes over from Paul Vallee, who will continue as executive consultant with GainingEdge, but now on a full-time basis. Playing a leading role in the growth of BestCities’ impact and offerings, Lesley brings a wealth of experience, with more than 25 years in the business tourism and events industry. Having previously worked with the alliance as a partner, Lesley brings with her an in-depth knowledge of the field and understanding of the alliance, along with a vast skill-set including strong leadership and strategic planning.
Lesley will head up the existing BestCities management team, made up of Nigel Brown, Director of Marketing and Partnerships, Jane Cunningham, Director of International Associations, and Caryn Wong, Alliance Operations. Karen Bolinger, former CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau, will work with Lesley in a strategic advisor capacity.
Lesley Williams, newly appointed Managing Director of BestCities Global Alliance, said: “I, along with the BestCities team, am energised by this opportunity to evolve the alliance’s strategic plan and continue delivering its core purpose – to harness the power of collaboration and community to create positive impact through business events. I look forward to taking up the position of Managing Director at BestCities, and continuing the work of Paul Vallee in bringing value and impact to the industry, and creating my own legacy within the alliance.”
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