BestCities Global Alliance, a strategic collaboration between the world’s premier meeting destinations, this week announced the appointment of Jonas Wilstrup, Convention Director of Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau, as its new Board Chair. Taking on the baton from Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive of the Melbourne Convention Bureau and elected by the BestCities Board, Jonas will play a pivotal role in the Alliance’s ambitious plans for growth, his first appearance as chair being at a breakfast for visiting media at IMEX Frankfurt.

Jonas Wilstrup

Wilstrup has been running Wonderful Copenhagen Convention Bureau since January 2014, cementing the city’s position as a leading meeting and convention city. Previously, in his progressive career, Jonas has held positions at the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Danish Association for Hotels and Restaurants, where his responsibilities included lobbying efforts, eco-labelling and exports.

Alongside senior representatives from the other eleven BestCities convention bureaus – Berlin, Bogotá, Cape Town, Dubai, Edinburgh, Houston, Melbourne, Singapore, Tokyo and Vancouver – Wilstrup will be a driving force in positioning the Alliance as an innovative industry leader.

Karen Bolinger, said: “Over the two years, BestCities has refined its offering and value proposition for our clients. Having forged strategic partnerships and relationships with organisations such as PCMA, Kenes Group and INCON, BestCities has strengthened its position and profile as thought-leaders for both the industry and associations. Thanks to his strong vision and leadership, Jonas is ideally placed to help BestCities build on that success and drive BestCities forward to the next stage in our tactical development.”

Jonas says: “BestCities is the biggest and most established Alliance in our field and I look forward to extending our position even further. Our Client Advisory Board (CAB), is also providing in-depth insight into association planners’ needs, concerns and industry trends impacting on the way congresses should be planned and run – from the global economy to the impact of Generation Y. BestCities guarantee our clients well-informed strategic guidance and practical support, delivering lasting legacies, way beyond clocking good delegate numbers and well-known speakers.

Sheriff Karamatt, Chief Operating Officer, PCMA; Michael Foreman, founder, Kindology; Jonas Wilstrup, BestCities board chair and convention director, Wonderful Copenhagen; Steen Jakobsen, director, Dubai Conventionn Bureau

“Core learnings from our CAB sessions will also shape 2016’s revamped annual client workshop – now known as the BestCities Global Forum – is our most important business development opportunity in the calendar. Hosted in Dubai this December, the Global Forum will see us team up with our strategic partners, PCMA, offering interactive, educational sessions which help delegates advance the purpose of meetings to ensure longer term legacy development.
“With a number of successful bid wins under our members’ belts this year, the Alliance will continue to build on our strengths, helping associations make partnerships with a multitude of BestCities destinations. This not only ensures the highest possible quality standards, but will see the benefits left by a congress in one host city, carried forward to the association’s next destination as they learn from best practice.”

The BestCities Global Forum will take place from 4-7 December in Dubai.


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