San Diego. At a time when the convention centre world can most use some new ideas, delegates to the 2011 AIPC Annual Conference in San Diego were treated to a new supply of innovative management, marketing and operations concepts as a result of this year's edition of the AIPC Innovation Award - and the two winners exemplified the diversity and creativity this Award represents.
"The AIPC Innovation Award reflects AIPC's mission of encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention centre management", said AIPC President Edgar Hirt. "The Award is made for specific projects or initiatives that represent "innovation" in the true sense of the word; that is, the development of a new, more creative or more effective approach to any aspect of congress centre management, operations or marketing".
The Award is divided between an overall Award winner that is selected by a panel of judges including AIPC Board representatives, previous Award winners and outside industry / business consultants, while the "Member's Choice" Award which is determined on the basis of a vote by Conference delegates following their participation in a poster session. The poster session is an integral part of the conference program, and all Award finalists participate by preparing a poster-formatted description of their innovation and engaging with other delegates to answer questions in a special session.
The overall 2011 Innovation Award winner was the Vancouver Convention Centre, which it earned for its Service Excellence Program, comprised of distinctive service practices and standards reflecting the organization's purpose, values and guest service promise. The Service Excellence Program touches every area of operation, every department and supplier and each employee, from Daily Service Line-Ups and a Guest Ambassador Team to creative delegate giveaways and a public tour program.
The 2011 Member's Choice Award winner was Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre for their Touchpoint system which was conceptualised and designed internally and built as a first-of-its kind mobile interactive digital signage to meet the varied requirements unique to the Centre. It affords a fully integrated digital platform with sophisticated displays and high interactivity encompassing a variety of services, including a business directory of events, real-time live information including news feed, weather and transport details and an interactive way-finder.
"On behalf of the AIPC Board and members, I want to recognize the achievements of the 2011 winners and acknowledge the important role they have played in encouraging innovative approaches to our collective benefit" said Hirt. "These winners are true leaders in the sense that what they are doing is not only advancing their own centres and their ability to compete more successfully in the global market but also contributing to the overall future of the industry by helping make us all more responsive to the changing conditions and expectations that are reshaping the industry".