BestCities appoints Gary Grimmer & Company to Manage Alliance

19/06/2009 - BestCities

The BestCities Global Alliance has appointed Gary Grimmer & Company (GG&Co) as its new management company. Eight of the world’s leading meetings destinations on five continents – Cape Town, Copenhagen, Dubai, Edinburgh, Melbourne, San Juan, Singapore, and Vancouver – are Partners in the Alliance.

Since its establishment in 2000, the Alliance has developed many innovative and effective initiatives as a group, from designing the world’s only set of professional service standards for convention bureaux, to staging collaborative client programmes and the ongoing development of best practices.

BestCities Chair, Sue Stuart, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Convention Bureau, said: “The Alliance’s focus is on enhancement of the meeting planner’s experience. Our first step was to develop the BestCities Quality Management System (QMS). Then, in 2008, the Alliance partners underwent a rigorous audit process culminating in certification by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) that the service standards are being met in each of the eight cities.”

”We’re not just talking about improving service standards, we are doing it,” she said. “And, when we say our bureaux offer the best client service experience, our claim is being backed up by LRQA.” (LRQA is one of the world’s leading independent standards auditing and certification companies.)

In an industry sometimes criticised for inconsistent levels of service quality and general lack of standards, the BestCities Alliance and its independent service standards certification promises clients quality, expertise and professionalism. The Alliance has established the industry’s first global client Service Charter to guarantee meeting planners and association executives service levels built around reliability, assurance, innovation, empathy and responsiveness.

Gary Grimmer, CEO of GG&Co, was CEO of Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau when the Alliance was formed. He said: “As both a founding member and a newcomer, I am excited to see how much the Alliance has progressed in the last few years. It is a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to work with the Partners to bring the Alliance to a new level.”

The former Regional Director Asia Pacific for the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), Jane Vong Holmes, has recently joined Gary Grimmer & Company, and will be serving as Managing Director of BestCities. She will remain based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition, Mike Williams, Senior Consultant of GG&Co, and Gary Grimmer will both support the effort in consulting roles.

BestCities will repeat an independent audit of 33 service standards every year to maintain the Alliance-wide certification. This year, BestCities activities include a clients’ workshop in Cape Town (June) and Client Post Bid and Post Event satisfaction surveys.

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