SEM-logoThe organisation of the ninth edition of the Mediterranean Economic Week took nine months of hard work on the part of a dedicated team, service providers and partners. Here we look back on nine months of preparation and the resulting four days of events last week.

It all started in February when the Mediterranean Economic Week Steering Committee announced that the theme of its ninth edition would be “Cities and Territories, drivers of economic development in the Mediterranean”. OCEMO coordinated the event for the fourth consecutive year and for our team, it was the start of a real marathon to ensure that everything was ready for 4 November 2015.

The first step was to create a comprehensive programme that could bring together 3,000 people around the 2015 theme. In March, a call for projects was launched to stakeholders involved in cooperation and economic development in the Mediterranean and to businesses around the Mediterranean Basin. This call for projects was sent by OCEMO by e-mail and published on the website - and on social media sites. It was also shared by OCEMO and Mediterranean Economic Week partners. A total of 40 events were presented to the Steering Committee, each with the same specifications: the event topic had to fit with the chosen theme, the speakers had to be top-quality, and as far as possible, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries had to be represented. A total of 35 events were approved and scheduled.

In parallel, calls for tenders were launched to select the service providers who would support OCEMO throughout the organisation of this international event. Three work batches (press relations, communication and logistics) received 11 bids which were assessed by the OCEMO team before the selection of 3 agencies, “Live! by GL Events”, “Comme ells disent” and “Klarte”.
Throughout the year, there were many meetings with the event’s Steering Committee and the various service providers working on the Mediterranean Economic Week. The event’s graphic charter was chosen in April, after which event communication could begin. With mailing lists, articles, poster campaigns and community management, those involved in Mediterranean cooperation saw the Mediterranean Economic Week develop over 6 months. The programme evolved between May and September, with an almost definitive version ready in early September, when the official programme was launched and registration opened.

The OCEMO team travelled to Paris, Tunis and Casablanca to raise press awareness on the international event’s stakeholders, issues and programme. OCEMO also contributed to the event by organising and supporting various events, such as the opening session, the EDILE awards, the “Innovation for cities and territories” workshop and the Finance and Metropolis workshop, “Growth of financial services and the development of Mediterranean cities”.

The organisation of the 9th Mediterranean Economic Week in figures: 9 months of preparation, over 40 partners involved in organising the event, around 20 countries represented, 300 speakers, 2,500 participants, 2,000 likes for the event's Facebook page, 23 media partnerships and 2 new institutional partners (Bouches-du-Rhône Council and the Union for the Mediterranean), resulting in 4 days of exchange and events, the sharing of experiences and best practices, and presentations of projects and actions that will drive the Mediterranean forward and increase the international influence of the region and its stakeholders.