The Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) announced that its first chairperson will be Lyn Lewis-Smith - Chief Operating Officer of Business Events Sydney.
Lewis-Smith was the unanimous choice of the seven member cities - Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Business Events Sydney, Durban KwaZulu Natal Convention Bureau, London and Partners (formerly Visit London), San Francisco Travel Association, Seoul Tourism Organization and Tourism Toronto. The strategic research and development partnership is managed by Fast Future Research – authors of the Convention 2020 study on the future of the meeting industry.
Samuel Koo, President and CEO of Seoul Tourism Organization said “At the First FCCI Action Forum in Seoul in March we agreed on an exciting research agenda but we were also clear that implementing the findings quickly would be the real source of competitive advantage. When the idea of appointing a chair came up in discussions, Lyn Lewis-Smith was the natural candidate. She has the relevant research experience, commands massive respect in the industry globally, and from our first meeting in Hyderabad has shown real commitment to the FCCI project.”
Tara Gordon - Vice President, Meeting & Convention Sales – Tourism Toronto said “FCCI’s ambitions and the resulting programme of research are growing rapidly. Through the cutting edge innovation program she is leading at Business Events Sydney, Lyn Lewis-Smith has hands-on experience of conducting this kind of research and implementing the findings. This expertise will be very valuable to the other members as we venture into what is pretty new territory for most of us. We know Rohit and the team at Fast Future will deliver us great research material – Lyn’s experience will help us implement it in the most effective manner.”
Tracy Halliwell – Director of Business Tourism - London and Partners said “One of the overriding goals of all the FCCI members is to minimise administration and to avoid overloading us with a lot of emails. However, we also know the interest in FCCI is rising exponentially and there is now a growing flow of enquiries from potential new members, the media and those wanting to partner with us. Fast Future are keen that the decisions on these opportunities are made by the members and we felt the most efficient way of dealing with these contacts was to have the chair act as the initial interface and then bring the rest of us in when appropriate. Lyn Lewis-Smith was the natural choice to be the first person to take on this role.”
Lyn Lewis-Smith - Chief Operating Officer - Business Events Sydney said “I was honoured to get the unanimous support of my fellow members to become the first chairperson of FCCI. They are a great group of people to work with – everyone has a genuine belief in the value of what we are trying to do. We know nothing like this has ever been done before in the industry and I’m very excited to be the first chairperson helping to steer FCCI through the launch of our first strategic research projects.”
Rohit Talwar – CEO - Fast Future and Executive Director of FCCI said “I think the growth in interest in FCCI has surprised everyone, and it made sense to have one of the members serve as chair of the group and act as a spokesperson for the members. When we discussed what the role might entail, Lyn was an obvious candidate to be the first chairperson. The other members clearly have huge respect for her experience, creativity and passion for research. I look forward to working with her.”