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Guest Blog: Association Man -

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Association Meetings Programme: 

As CEO and founder of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), the country’s “association of associations”, I was invited to be part of the faculty of the Association Meetings Programme (AMP) organized by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The event gathered 145 participants from 31 countries in Fukuoka, Japan, from June 29 to July 1. The Philippines was also represented by two delegates from the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).

Amsterdam-based ICCA created the AMP to put together association executives and meetings professionals in one learning, sharing and networking forum. The event serves as a “buyer-seller” meet-up, with associations as “buyers” of the services provided by the “seller” meetings sector (destinations, venues, conference organizers, meeting planners, etc.) who are member-constituents of ICCA. The AMP is also ICCA’s strategic move to relate to and engage more with the association community worldwide, realizing that associations are generators of most conferences, meetings and events.

The three-day program covered site inspections, seminars, discussions, business exchanges and networking sessions with a “gamification flavor”. Themed “Slay Your Meetings Dragon”, it encouraged participants to bring their most pressing challenges (dragons) when organizing events and try to solve them (slay the dragon) at the AMP. I played the character of the “Association Man” in the “games”. This gamification idea was also conceived because the host city of Fukuoka is transforming itself into a technology and innovation business start-up hub of Japan.

I co-handled a session, entitled “Practical Aspects of Association Management”, which covered four topics: membership lifecycle, differentiating factors between association and corporate management, financial management ,and fund-raising. (The first two topics were subjects of my March 15 and April 26 columns.)

On membership lifecycle, the key message is that there is framework called “membership lifecycle”, which an association goes through in the normal course of its membership program and which consists of: membership acquisition (awareness and recruitment) and membership retention (engagement, renewal and reinstatement).

On association vis-à-vis corporate management, the main message is that there exists a field of management for associations that corporate management does not cover, such as volunteer management, membership management and fund-raising.

Relating to the AMP in the context of boosting business event tourism in the Philippines, it has been PCAAE’s work and advocacy to assist the TPB and vice versa by putting together association executives and meeting professionals of the country in one forum. One such event is the annual PCAAE Associations Summit that is jointly supported by the TPB and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

For the fifth Associations Summit (AS5), PCAAE is also teaming up again with the Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers  Inc. (PCAEOS) for concurrent seminars on meeting management as well as a tabletop B2B exhibition.

The PCAAE Associations Summit is the country’s largest and only learning, sharing and networking event dedicated for and focused on association boards, management, and staff and, like the AMP in a way, envisions a broader collaboration between the association community and the meetings industry.

This article was published by the Business Mirror on July 6, 2017 and may not be reproduced without prior consent from the author and Business Mirror.

The writer, Octavio ‘Bobby’ Peralta, is concurrently the secretary general of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), CEO & Founder of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE) and Pro Tem Head of Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Federation of Association Organizations (APFAO). The purpose of PCAAE — the “association of associations” — is to advance the association management profession and to make associations well-governed and sustainable. PCAAE enjoys the support of ADFIAP, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Email the author at: obp@adfiap.org for more details on PCAAE and on association governance and management.

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