MANAMA – Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (BECA), the national voice of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s business tourism industry, was recognized for exemplary service delivery by the Middle East African Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) at the inauguration of the 10th International Congress of MEACO in Bahrain .
Under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, The Prime Minster of the Kingdom of Bahrain, MEACO 2009 was held at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre from March 26-30 in collaboration with the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, the International Council of Ophthalmology, and the Bahrain Ophthalmological Association.
Debbie Stanford-Kristiansen, deputy chief executive officer of BECA, received the award from the council on behalf of the Authority. MEACO acknowledged BECA for demonstrating its commitment to helping the council exceed its expectations for the 10th Congress on the basis of BECA’s dedication and responsiveness.
“In the many years we have spent organizing the biennial international MEACO Congress throughout the Middle East and Africa , BECA, together with the full support of Ms. Stanford-Kristiansen, is the only organization we have come across which would say “yes” to all our requests,” said Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Rajhi, president of MEACO. “BECA has gone above and beyond our expectations for a venue partner. We thank them for enabling our continued success.”
BECA functions under the Ministry of Industry & Commerce with His Excellency Dr. Hassan Abdulla Fakhro, The Minister of Industry & Commerce as chairman of the board of directors of BECA.
Above and beyond expectations
“We are honored to receive such a high level of recognition from MEACO, one of the world’s most prominent ophthalmic societies,” said Ms. Stanford-Kristiansen. “Customer satisfaction is of the highest importance to BECA and to receive an award that rewards our commitment to quality, logistics support, and industry leadership is very satisfying and demonstrates not only our achievements – but also that of Bahrain’s – in these areas.”
BECA assigned a team of expert events, licensing, operations, and public relations staff from within the authority dedicated to addressing MEACO’s requirements 24/7.
In addition, BECA’s strategic alliance with Gulf Air enabled the authority to secure special discounted fares for MEACO and their delegates and stretch their marketing dollars further.
Ms. Stanford-Kristiansen, a seasoned executive with more than 22 years experience in the global Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) sector having worked on International renowned events in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Brazil, and Australia, explains that this level of recognition is a rarity.
“That it was conferred upon BECA at the first-ever international Medical Association Congress won by Bahrain with more than 2,000 high-spending medical professionals and over 500 international speakers visiting the destination, makes this award especially remarkable,” said Ms. Stanford-Kristiansen.
International associations and corporations have begun buying into the value of Bahrain’s strategic location as a gateway to the important Saudi Arabia and Northern Gulf markets following strategy to diversify its portfolio. In addition to a great deal of interest from the USA, France, Germany, Italy, and India, Dubai-based organizers are looking to launch events in Bahrain having realized the potential on offer in the destination.
Largest ophthalmic meeting
With HRH Prince AbdulAziz bin Ahmed bin AbdulAziz Al Saud as its chairman, MEACO is one of the four supra-national organizations of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the executive body of the International Federation of Ophthalmological Societies (IFOS). All national ophthalmic societies of the Middle East and African countries are members of MEACO, including Turkey and Iran, making MEACO the largest supra-national organization in the world.
MEACO 2009 featured a scientific program that attracted more than 500 international speakers, 90 of whom were from the elite group of ophthalmologists in the world who shared their experiences with regional colleagues. More than 120 companies were represented at the technical exhibition, which encompassed 2,200 square meters of exhibit space, a 50 percent increase from the 9th MEACO Congress and Exhibition held in Dubai in 2007. Highlights of the event included two live surgery sessions, which were transmitted from the Salmaniya Medical Complex to the Congress venue at the Bahrain international Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Held every two years, the MEACO Congress is the largest ophthalmic meeting of the region with a truly international scope that attracts ophthalmologists, eye care professionals, and exhibiting companies from the region, as well as from Europe, the Americas, south and far east Asia, and Australia.
Its distinguished leaders include the president of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), the American Academy of the Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS), the International Society of Refractive Surgery and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology, and many other professional international ophthalmic associations and societies.
About Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (BECA):
Bahrain Exhibition & Convention Authority (BECA) is the forerunner organization with a mandate to market the Kingdom of Bahrain as a preferred, all year-round business destination and cultivate partnerships with key Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry stakeholders by pursuing market development work in the international business sector. Its MICE, Destination Marketing & PR Department seeks to achieve this mandate by nurturing a healthy business environment for the exhibition, convention, meetings, and incentive travel community in partnership with the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre (BIEC), the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Gulf Air, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Tourism Affairs, and the hospitality and leisure tourism industry.