Autumn 2016

New partners and sponsors signing up for Host City 2016

Host City Exhibition Area

The organisers of Host City 2016 are delighted to see new partners and sponsors signing up for what is set to be the largest EU-based gathering of event destination markets, international federations, event owners and rights holders, and suppliers.

In addition to Host City 2016’s Supporting Organisers EventScotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, new sponsors that have joined include: audioBoom, Aggreko, Populous, MatchVision, Rio Convention & Visitor Bureau, Hemingway Corporate Finance, 4global, Finnish Olympic Committee, Marsh, DB Schenker, Rotterdam Topsport, Nussli, Arena Group, Terre Des Hommes, Citec, Kanstet and De Boer.

Host City 2016 creates a truly unique opportunity for the world’s leading hosting destinations to exhibit alongside the most attractive and lucrative events in the worlds of sports, business and culture.

The format of the conference and exhibition and the layout of the state-of-the-art Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow are optimised to create maximum opportunities for delegates to network with other senior attendees and engage with the event partners and sponsors at the numerous exhibition stands.

Rights holders will meet cities that are looking to host their events and build long term relationships. Hosting and bidding destinations will showcase the capabilities of their cities and venues to an audience of event owners.

The exhibition is built around a world class conference with an outstanding VIP speaker and panel debate programme. Recently confirmed speakers include: Sir Craig Reedie CBE, Vice President, IOC and President, WADA; Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, Visit Scotland; Sarah Lewis, Secretary General, FIS and AIOWF (Association of Winter Olympic Sports Federations); Dimitri Kerkentzes, Deputy Secretary General, BIE (World Expos); Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai World Expo 2020; Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy CEO, Messe Munich; Prof Dr Ugur Erdener, President, NOC of Turkey; Executive Board Member, IOC and WADA ; Carine Saloff-Coste, Head of Economic Development, City of Paris; John Langford, Director of Live Entertainment, SSE Hydro & SECC; Michael Nagy, Director, Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau; Kulveer Ranger, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Strategic Communications, Atos UK and many more.

See the latest agenda here.

The large number of sponsors and delegates already signing up shows there is great demand for being part of this unique event for the global market of cities bidding for and hosting multiple types of events.

Book your Exhibition Stand today with Adam Soroka on +44 (0) 203 077 8732 or

Audience engagement experts, ThinkWall, confirm partnership for second Major Events International Summit


Organised by Major Events International (MEI), the only global major events professional network, the Summit brings together experts from current and future organising committees, sports bodies, venues & key commercial suppliers involved in major sports events to knowledge share and network.

Ensuring the format is as interactive as possible, ThinkWall’s display screens and real time voting system will enable attendees to have their say via social media and vote in opinion polls after each panel discussion. Tweets, photos and poll results will be displayed live on screens around the venue, creating a buzz amongst attendees.

Commenting on the partnership, Dennis Mills, Chief Executive of MEI said, “ThinkWall’s technology is essential to the format of the Summit which focuses on interaction. We are keen to differentiate the event from a conference with the emphasis on thought leadership, knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer relationship building. We are delighted to be working with ThinkWall, a member of the Major Events Network.”

The interactive displays will also be a feature of the Summit Awards dinner, which will be held on the evening of 12th October, celebrating the contributions of suppliers, experts and event organisers to global major events. 

Andrew Spode Miller, Director at ThinkWall said, “We are happy to be showcasing our technology at the Major Events International Summit, the leading gathering for major sporting event professionals, a key event in our calendar. We look forward to working with the team at MEI.”

15th Summer Paralympic Games

The Paralympic Games takes to South America for the first time

XXXI Olympic Games

The greatest show on earth, including the 129th IOC Session

International Sports Convention

18 conferences/seminars alongside an exhibition for sports industries

Major Events International Summit

This highly interactive ‘non conference’ format is limited to 100 commercial company attendees, with priority to MEI Members. This growing community of experts will be joined by key stakeholders who are interested in sharing their future requirements and learning lessons of past events & projects. Major themes include: Fan Engagement, Overlay, Technology, and Safety & Security.

IPC Academy Games Experience Programme (GEP)

Conference on focusing on “Winning Strategies for Major Sport Events”, “The making of a Successful Host City” and “Marketing & Broadcasting”

Can Qatar develop through football?

Mushtaq Al Waeli of the QFA and Khalifa Al Haroon of the Qatar Stars League

Qatar may be under scrutiny for treatment of workers as it invests US$200bn in infrastructure projects before the FIFA World Cup in 2022, but senior figures in football administration point out that the event is an important part of the country’s process of human development. 
“The government of Qatar made a clear vision in 2008 to transform from being dependent on natural resources and they aim to be an economy based on knowledge and people. As a result, well-being becomes the number one priority of the nation,” Mushtaq Al Waeli, Executive Director, Strategic and Institutional Development, Qatar Football Association (QFA) tells delegates at World Football Forum in Paris.
This development plan, National Vision 2030, has four pillars: economic, human, social and environment – and football is a key element of that vision. 
“Through sports you ensure people are engaged in physical activity. It’s also a vehicle of social cohesion and integration,” says Al Waeli. 
“The social structure of the country is based on people coming into the country from different cultures. Integration is key. Sports – football in particular – has that magic and charm of bringing people together.”
Bidding for the FIFA World Cup was a statement of intent to put the Middle East on the world stage – not just for the nation but for the region. “When we started the bid process in 2009, the message to the world was clear: this is not just a tournament for Qatar,” says Al Waeli. 
“We are united with the region – the Middle East and western Asia. The message is to say we have the right for this major event to come to our land and it will be an amazing tournament – from the visitor experience to the field of play.
“We are also delivering legacy: a physical legacy of venues, and also contributing to how to prepare for any event that comes beyond or before the World Cup. We are creating a new process of developing sports and events.”
But the World Cup is about much more than sports events for the host nation. “I think Qatar has made all that effort and bid for the 2022 tournament – not only showing the great passion that the nation has for football and to bring the tournament to the region – but also to drive the progression towards realising National Vision 2030. It’s a catalyst, a key milestone,” says Al Waeli.
However, the value of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in is rarely presented in such a positive light in the media. Few people feel this more acutely than Alexander Koch, FIFA’s Head of Corporate Communications. 
“We are working very hard in order to leave a positive legacy of the events,” he points out. “Looking at Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, I could talk for an hour about all the efforts that are being done and all the progress being achieved with this new focus. We hope that these positive elements will find their way into the media,” he says.
“When it comes to Qatar, we are being criticised for worker’s rights situation, for environmental aspects: how can you play in a desert country; what is the legacy; why are you going where there is no football tradition; and so on. 
“But you can turn this all around and see what the legacy will be in an event like Qatar, and what the actual effect is for the people and the foreign workers in a country like Qatar.
“Do you really believe that this is negative, with all the media attention and for the first time ever people have a contract signed by the international trade union and Amnesty International and so on?”
A “Workers’ Cup” has been set up for people working on World Cup venue construction projects. Attendance has been high, with around16,000 people having attended matches so far.
Khalifa Al Haroon, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications, Qatar Stars League says: “We aim to be as inclusive as possible. That’s why we are organising the Workers’ Cup. Any company that wanted to compete had to sign up to the Workers’ Charter, to makes sure human rights are upheld – and to give these people the opportunity to become players. This is something we will be continuing as long as possible.”

A ladder to the stars
Qatar is the only country that has a National Sports Day that is a national holiday when everyone takes a day off to take part in sport. The country also stages a number of other different community events, such as the Asian Communities Football tournament. 
“We are creating different levels of leagues, from professional to amateur, to encourage people to play the sport and maybe be future superstars,” says Al Haroon.
Crucial to the creation of Qatar’s potential future football stars is the Aspire Academy, which is open to the general public.
“The QFA is focussed on training players on how to invest their income. It’s not just about football; it’s about creating an industry that didn’t exist four years ago. 
“We won the AFC U19s in 2014 and hosted the AFC U23 in 2016, which we were told was the best organised. That knowledge is being passed on to the players and the general public.”
Mushtaq Al Waeli says: “I had the honour to be part of the Aspire Academy’s creation. The first youth that joined went on to win the Asian Youth Cup, so the system proved that it’s working.
“The elite from the clubs, we bring them to a different part of the academy so they play with the best teams in the world. We work on creating a holistic player who is ready to compete anywhere in the world. If we qualify for the 2018 World Cup you will see players that came through that system.”
Even if Qatar doesn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup it will automatically qualify for 2022 as hosts. But is automatic qualification necessarily a good thing for the country? Peter Hutton, CEO of major broadcaster Eurosport is not convinced that Qatar will be ready to compete at that level. 
“You have to be realistic – it’s important to play teams that are in the same sort of FIFA team rankings area as you, and to have targets that are just above you and look to achieve target by target. 
“What’s not helpful is to go to an international tournament and then be wiped out, because your whole sense of identity with your country as national football pride actually falls apart. 
“And that’s the concern for Qatar – how will the Qatar national team play when they get to the World Cup, because if they don’t do well, then that can be negative story.”

The Josoor Institute
Mushtaq Al Waeli is acting director of the Josoor Institute, a centre of excellence for the sports and events Industries.
He says “Josoor is an Arabic word that means bridges. We wanted to connect the knowledge of the present, the past and the future. 
“It’s all about knowledge. We are not just a training institute. We aspire to become a centre of excellence. We develop knowledge through research, we embed knowledge through training and education, and we consult on the future. 
“We created Josoor when Qatar won the right to host the 2022 tournament. They set up a government vehicle called the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, to keep our promise that we will deliver an amazing tournament in the best possible time. We also wanted to create excellence in human capital development; that responsibility was given to Josoor. 
“Our remit is not for Qatar only. We want to reach everybody who has an interest in working in sport or event industries or wants to move from one academy to another.” 
Launched in 2013, the Josoor Institute delivers a set of products, including certificates and diplomas, working with partners in Qatar and overseas, including leading educational institutions.

This article was written by Ben Avison of Host City at the World Football Forum 2016. The comments from Mushtaq Al Waeli and Khalifa Al Haroon were made in conversation with Simon Chadwick, Professor of Sports Enterprise, Salford University

Hosting exhibitions brings major socioeconomic impact

Host City conference and exhibition takes place in Glasgow on 21 and 22 November

The value of hosting major sports events has long been debated, not just by city officials but also by the person on the street. Indeed, perceived public benefit is often what makes a bid sink or swim.
What is much less widely discussed and understood is the impact of hosting exhibitions – the trade fairs of the major industries that serve our daily life.
Launched by UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) and IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) the first ever Global Exhibitions Day was held on 8 June 2016 with the aim of raising awareness about the social and economic benefit of hosting exhibitions.
On this day, it was announced that the global exhibition industry is valued at USD 55 billion. Around 4.4 million companies exhibit each year to more than 260 million visitors per year worldwide, boosting trade and globalisation.
The value to the host city extends beyond direct visitor spend. The crucial benefit is this: at a time of breakneck urbanisation worldwide, hosting exhibitions raises a city’s international status and profile. Exhibitions bring thousands of influential individuals and companies into the city. If used as part of a wider strategy of building a brand identity, staging exhibitions is vital in enabling cities to keep ahead of their competitors. 
Host City 2016, which takes place on 21 and 22 November in Glasgow, is the largest meeting of cities and sports, business and cultural events. One of many exciting topics to be discussed at Host City 2016 is “Business Events and Economic Development”, featuring speakers from the world’s largest exhibitions, the most dynamic cities and more.  
Exhibitions are as valuable to cities as major sports events. At Host City 2016 you will have access to both these markets, as well as cultural and entertainment events – all part of the diverse range of shows through which cities raise their profile on the world stage. I look forward to discussing these opportunities with you there. For more information visit