When Velo-city announced that its forum would be in Taipei, many were surprised. The event was devised by the European Cyclists Federation to promote cycling as a means of transport, and few were aware of how special cycling had become in Taipei.
GIS Group, the Taiwan-based professional conference organiser and destination management company, devised a four-day programme highlighting the role of the industry as a strength for the city of Taipei and linked it with the annual cycling trade show. Speakers and side events blended local and wider appeal and sponsors were encouraged to be innovative.
More than 1,000 delegates from 43 countries attended Velo’s Asia debut, making it the largest Velo-city event held outside Europe. The European Cyclists Federation called it a “real global cycling summit”.
GIS was involved as both designer and organiser.
GIS is a multi-award winning PCO and DMC and has been recognised by the Ministry of Economic Affairs for a number of events it has worked on, including the 2011 IDA Congress and The 5th Asian Congress of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
The four-day event kicked off February 27 at Taipei International Convention Center to coincide with the annual Taipei International Cycle Show and Tour de Taiwan professional road race.
Themed the “Evolution of Cycling”, the conference focused on five core topics: urban transition, moving lifestyle, sustainable economy, sharing societies, and design in motion.
Incorporated into the programme was a Cycling Design Exhibition, featuring shortlisted solutions for parking, bike sharing, and advocacy.
Side events were held alongside talks, including cycling tours, a bike parade – which saw some 6,000 local cyclists and conference delegates take to the streets – and VelO2, an interactive installation highlighting the positive impact that cycling can bring to the environment.
The event closed with a Handover Ceremony, passing the baton to Velo-city 2017 host cities Arnhem and Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
ECF president Manfred Neun said the conference was “outstanding” and “a real global cycling summit”.
Going one step further to praise GIS’ efforts, ECF series manager Marcio Deslandes said: “It was the smoothest organisation I have ever seen in my whole career.”
GIS was awarded the Meet Taiwan Convention Gold Award 2016 from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for its organisation of the event.