BestCities Global Forum 2024 Concludes in Melbourne

BestCities Global Alliance welcomed international association representatives, trade media, industry thought leaders and representatives from 13 BestCities destinations to its annual Global Forum, which took place January 18-21 in Melbourne, Australia with the support of Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB).

BestCities’ flagship event had an education program with speakers including:

  • Mark McCrindle, social researcher and futurist, who discussed five demographic trends transforming associations today
  • Belinda Moore, consultant on association strategy and membership, who leveraged new research to demonstrate how associations can advance their purpose and provide value to members
  • Mike van der Vijver, co-founder of, who discussed the added value of well-designed programs for meetings and events
  • Olena Lima, digital marketing expert, who shared how digital trends such as AI tools can benefit professional associations
  • Natalie Simmons, global business consultant, who hosted a team-building activity aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Across the four-day program, conference attendees experienced many of the venues Melbourne is known for—the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre; Cargo Hall by Showtime Event Group, a redesigned former docking shed with a nod to its maritime past; and the recent AU$225 million redeveloped Marvel Stadium.

Social programs included a tour of The Lume Melbourne digital art gallery; a progressive dinner starting at rooftop bar Madame Brussels; and a reception at The Langham Melbourne, followed by a boat ride to the Australian Open for evening matches at Melbourne & Olympic ParksRod Laver Arena.

Sustainability remained a central focus of the Global Forum. BestCities partnered with Trees4Events to calculate and offset 149 tons of carbon emissions generated by flights, transportation, catering, venues and other conference elements. Projects to offset the Global Forum’s emissions included UN carbon credits investing in renewable energy as well as planting 967 trees. Conference delegates also helped to raise $2,500 for the food rescue organization OzHarvest through Engage for Good, a program that incentivizes delegate engagement for a worthy cause.

The next BestCities Global Forum will take place in Dublin in January 2025. Further details, including dates and programming, will be announced in the coming months.

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