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Epic fails brought centre stage for ‘Eventful Cities’ 2019 conference in Edinburgh

The European Cities Marketing Meeting in Edinburgh, 13-16 February, 2019 is set to tackle both the successes and failures of large urban events.

The Eventful Cities conference programme will bring event owners and selected international showcases to provide attendees with insights and inspiration they need to cultivate the event scene in their city.

Organisers ECM point out there is always a chance that what is local might go global. Pamplona, Davos and Sochi being just three examples. They add that the major events business can also be a minefield of public dispute and taxpayers’ money has to be justified. For host cities, major events in culture, commerce, science or sports have become a complex and high-risk business with many pitfalls and diverse stakeholder interests.

“The fully loaded two-day conference with leading international experts, event owners and selected international showcases will provide attendees with all the insights and inspiration they need to cultivate the event scene in their city. The conference will present event leaders and creatives from some of the world's leading happenings and dissect the strategies that made them successful,” says Dieter Hardt-Stremayr, ECM President.

Hardt-Stremayr also promises the conference will also uncover the dark side of the moon with a ‘festival of failures’, where brave survivors of epic disasters in event management will share their experiences and valuable learnings. Indeed, some events just don't go as planned and three examples will be presented during the conference:

First, Wonderful Copenhagen veterans Emil Spangenberg and Peter Rømer Hansen will list everything they learned from the project from Hell, aka the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

Another Nordic example will examine how Gothenburg got severely burnt on a European horse show in 2017. Now, the city is well back in the saddle, and Camilla Nyman, former CEO of Göteborg & Co, will look back and share the lessons for the future.

Finally, the Fêtes de Genève, it is the big, traditional summer festival in the Alpine city by the lake, but in 2016 and 2017 the party resulted in a serious financial hangover that killed the fun.

And, after a year on gardening leave, Philippe Vignon will be back from the sack and happy to share his - now former - CEO confessions for the common good!

the experiences and lessons learned by these former ECM members should help the ECM Spring Meeting conference attendees in their own future decision-making.

“Members destinations will talk about their failures which is really brave. It might not be often the case everywhere but this is the perfect example of the ECM spirit: going beyond fiascos to share the real picture and foster the culture trust between members. That's what makes all of us learn even more,” Hardt-Stremayr adds.

Registrations for #ECMEdinburgh2019, 13-16 February,  are now open at: