This article was originally published by our partner The Iceberg on 8 January 2018 as part of the Incredible Impacts Programme, a programme collaboratively supported by ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance that celebrates the "beyond tourism" value of international association meetings. It has been featured below in full with their permission.
In November 2017, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) welcomed a record number of delegates to its 56th annual congress. Almost 1,300 members, including more than 40 association executives, travelled to Prague for four days of education, chapter meetings and networking.
During the event, the inaugural winners of the “Incredible Impacts” grants supported by both ICCA and BestCities Global Alliance were announced at a session called “A celebration of the beyond tourism impact”. The three winning international associations have each made legacy a central part of their thinking and activities.
The Iceberg is currently running a series of videos recorded at the event which celebrate “Incredible Impacts” and the wider effects meetings have on a destination and its region. In this second video of the series, Jane Cunningham, BestCities Global Alliance’s Director of International Associations, delves further into the stories behind two of the “Incredible Impacts” winners…. “…because it’s not just about the conference. It’s about what is left after that conference…", she explains.
The two winners Cunningham discusses so enthusiastically are: the World Parkinson Coalition (WPC) and the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT).
A unique global forum on the latest scientific discoveries relating to Parkinson’s Disease, the WPC describes its four-day congress as a “Parkinson Festival”. The “Incredible Impacts” judges were particularly impressed with the “Patients Included” element of the programme, through which people with Parkinson’s become part of the discussion and decision-making process. From covering travel costs for attending patients, to free webcasts of the educational content being made available worldwide, judges commended WPC on its fresh approach to inclusivity and accessibility.
Meanwhile, the WCPT’s congress is the largest global gathering of physical therapists. It is where the latest research and best practice is shared in a bid to bring about positive change to world health. The association places a heavy emphasis on enabling knowledge transfer between its attending and non-attending audiences, through the effective use of social media and also by sharing outcomes from proceedings free of charge post event. The legacy of WCPT’s congress is the result of many of its efforts: public outreach, fundraising for pubic engagement in physical activity, a school competition getting pupils to create movement break videos, and the “Gift of Congress” programme supporting delegates from under-resourced countries.
The video also looks at the knowledge hub impacts around Melbourne’s winning bid for the 2016 International Congress of Immunology, and at the wider understanding and appreciation of meeting legacies.
Incredible Impacts Video One: "Making a Mark".
Part one of this series – “Incredible Impacts: The Winners’ Stories” – is here.
The Iceberg‘s video feature on “Incredible Impacts” – published after its IMEX launch in May – is here.
Association Meetings International’s coverage of the “Incredible Impacts” winners – published in November – is here.
Apply for an Incredible Impacts Grant to communicate the value of your association meetings
The Incredible Impacts Programme celebrates the “beyond tourism” value of international association meetings to create a powerful platform to advocate their positive societal impact. A panel of independent judges form the association world will determine which meetings have proven impact to award three grants of USD 7,500 on behalf of BestCities Global Alliance and ICCA.
Nominations should be sent to ICCA’s Director of Association Relations Mrs. Ksenija Polla, CMP by email.
For more information about the Incredible Impacts Programme, please visit: https://www.iccaworld.org/incredibleimpacts.