ECM Summer School #LondonIsOpen: An educational programme created to build connections between Meetings Industry professionals and the hosting city

The best-rated destination in the world*, London, hosted the 33rd edition of the ECM Summer School on August 24-28, 2019, providing evidence of the importance of education to face ongoing changes within the Meetings and Events Industry. This year’s edition graduated 64 students from 3 continents. Constant education and knowledge sharing are the success factors for future business development.

Ongoing education and professional training are crucial to face the continuing changes within the Meetings and Events Industry. Since 1987, the ECM Summer School is a programme that sets out the background and context of this industry sector with a focus on European and international best practices.

“The ECM Summer School is the first step of this ongoing journey. This year, the 33rd edition continued to inspire 64 students from 23 countries from 3 continents lead by 17 Faculty members. The set-up of the event allowed once again maximum interaction between students and our experienced meetings’ professionals, challenged in plenary sessions, group work, networking or socializing.” said Pier Paolo Mariotti, Meeting Manager at EURAC Research, Course Director of the ECM Summer School since 2011.

“I can truly say that ECM Summer School has been a wonderful experience for me! I brought home lots of new insights from the MICE-industry & I made many new connections with very talented people from all around the world. Thank you, ECM Summer School for the great programme and organization and London & Partners for your great hospitality!” said Silvio Hidalgo Gonzalez, Project Manager at Antwerp Convention Bureau and student during the 33rd ECM Summer School.

An experienced and dedicated faculty

The faculty are all members and partners of ECM and gave their time on a voluntary basis – a way of giving back to the meetings industry: Lone Alletorp Callard (Wonderful Copenhagen), Nicholas Barrett (EuroELSO 2020), Nalan Emre (IMEX Group), Christian Funk (tw tagungswirtschaft), Barbara Jamison (London & Partners), Sam Johnston (Convention Bureaux of Ireland), Cain Leathem (GB Fitness / IMEX Group), Sissi Lygnou (AFEA Travel & Congress Services / IAPCO), Heike Mahmoud (Congress Center Hamburg), Kristin McGrath (Visit Albuquerque / Destinations International), Christian Mutschlechner (Congrex Switzerland), Miguel Neves (, James Rees (Excel London / ICCA), Mathias Sondermann (SAP), Dennis Speet (ICCA) and Daniel Waigl (CIRSE) led by the Course Director Pier Paolo Mariotti, CMP CMM (EURAC Research).

A worldwide scope for the European educational programme

As a result of the partnership with Destinations International (to develop joint opportunities to promote and deliver key research and educational resources to respective members), the ECM Summer School 2019 welcomed four students from the USA and Canada as well as a Destinations International faculty member [Kristin Mc Grath – Ed.].

Five students from the South Africa also came to this year’s edition, a result of the excellent cooperation between South African Convention Bureau and ECM since 2016.


London is united and open for business and remains entrepreneurial, international and full of creativity and possibility, while reassuring the more than one million foreign nationals who live in London that they will always be welcome as Londoners.

New this year at ECM Summer School was the innovative stronger connection between attendees and the hosting city. London Convention Bureau put their best expertise into enhancing the London experience for participants through contrasting meeting venues, a varied and relevant social programme and business event site inspection locations. A private discussion with one of London’s key players: Nick Bodger, Cultural and Visitor Development Director for the City of London was instrumental for participants to get a full understanding on how the City of London maintains and develops growth through business events and tourism. Attendees also had the privilege to hear an inspirational speech at the gala dinner from Stephen Darke, Head of Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) of the British Government.

“We were delighted to welcome the ECM Summer School to London. The students, faculty and content reflected diversity and talent which is so key to our culture and beliefs. London as a City has an exciting future for all types of meetings and events and requires the skills and knowledge to move forward and develop. The London Convention bureau as host wants to ensure meetings and events provide a legacy of investment and future skills which are good for London and for its residents and visitors.” concluded Barbara Jamison, Tourism Sector Head at London & Partners, ECM Vice President City Marketing, ECM Summer School faculty member and host of the 33rd ECM Summer School.


The ECM Summer School qualifies for CMP certification and every student getting an ECM Summer School diploma also gets 20 Clock Hours for their overall CMP certification.

Registrations for the 34th ECM Summer School will open in Autumn 2019.


*according to TripAdvisor in March 2019




European Cities Marketing is a non-profit organisation improving 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 members from more than 120 major cities in 39 countries.

For more information and pictures, please contact Flavie Baudot,, +33 380 56 02 00