ECM Summer School – diversity, expertise, sustainability and highest standards in education – Vienna, August 2015

Vienna, one of the most successful meetings destinations in Europe, hosted the 29th edition of the ECM Summer School on August 22-26, 2015, providing evidence of the importance of education to face the continuing changes of the Meetings Industry.


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This year, the 29th edition of the ECM Summer School continued to inspire 51 students from 18 different countries lead by 15 Faculty members, a ratio of 1 high experienced faculty member for 4 participants. The set-up of the event also enabled maximum interaction between students and the experienced meeting professionals. The format of the school also guarantees participants to meet with as many counterparts as possible whereas for challenging speakers in plenary sessions, group work, networking or socializing.

The programme sets out the background and context of the industry (key players, exhibitions, press, social media, sustainability, clients, intermediaries, RFP and decision making processes) with a focus on European and international best practices. This time, the ECM Summer School also enlarged our horizons with trends in the North American market provided by DMAI, as part of the joint partnership signed last May. Christine “Shimo” Shimasaki, Managing Director of empowerMINT and Event Impact Calculator at DMAI, presented an overview of the RFP process in America.
“As first step of our collaboration, we are delighted to include the American perspective in the programme of ECM Summer School; this broadens the perspectives offered to the students and outlines ECM development in the Meeting Industry worldwide” says Ignasi de Delas, ECM President.

“We live in a constant changing world, and the Meetings Industry is no exception. Ongoing Education in the Meetings Industry is success factor for future business, whether you represent an important or second tiered destination. To me it’s a crucial task for top management in each organisation, whether it is a CVB, tourist office, congress centre, airline, hotel, DMC, PCO or meeting planner, to train every employee continuously”, outlines Bettina Bunge, freshly elected ECM Vice-President for the Meetings Industry, CEO and Managing Director of Dresden Marketing Board.

“An ascending concentration have been experienced in the classrooms during the course, with tightened rhythms of hard study towards the most important processes in the meeting business, explained by experienced professionals.” relates Pier Paolo Mariotti, course leader.

The faculty are all members/partners of ECM and give their time on a voluntary basis – a way of giving back to the meetings industry: Luca Favetta (Hewlett-Packard International), Elisabeth Hansa (Support & Strategy on demand), Cécile Koch (Headquarters & MIM Magazines), Cain Leathem (GB Fitness), Heike Mahmoud (Visit Berlin, Berlin Convention Office), Christian Mutschlechner (Vienna Convention Bureau), Nicola McGrane (IAPCO), Miguel Neves (IMEX Group), Annalisa Ponchia (ESOT), Olivier Ponti (Amsterdam Marketing), Christine Shimasaki (DMAI), Denis Speet (ICCA), Anne Wallin Rødven (Oslo Convention Bureau) led by the course leader Pier Paolo Mariotti, CMP CMM.

The 2014 ranking of the ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association) puts Vienna in second place as one of the most sought-after destinations for international congresses worldwide, making it the perfect place to host Meetings Industry events such as the ECM Summer School.
Pier Paolo Mariotti continued: “Vienna is a major and mature meeting destination, which offered to both faculty and students the opportunity to experience a best practice for our business: a sort of “Meeting Lab” where everything have been studied, researched and tested if valid for successful business.”

The event was certified as Green meeting by the Austrian Eco-label for Green Meetings & Green Events: use of public transportation, use of 100% recycled or eco-labelled paper for the programme, etc. The ECM Summer School qualifies for CMP certification and every student getting a ECM Summer School diploma also gets 17.75 Clock Hours for their overall CMP certification.

Pier Paolo concluded: “I am looking forward to the next edition which will be held in Zagreb (Croatia) from August 27-31, 2016 where we will proudly celebrate the 30th edition of the ECM Summer School!
*European Cities Marketing improves the competitiveness and performance of leading cities of Europe by providing a platform for convention, leisure and city marketing professionals to exchange knowledge, best practice and widen their network to build new business. European Cities Marketing is promoting and linking the interests of 110 members from more than 100 major cities in 32 countries.
For more information and pictures, please contact:
Flavie Baudot,, +33 380 56 02 00