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Apply for an Incredible Impacts Grant to communicate the value of your association meetings

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Incredible Impacts Winners 2021

Trailblazing Legacies Rewarded - ICCA & BestCities Global Alliance Announce 2021 Incredible Impacts Winning Associations:

This non-profit promotes excellence in standards of care, research and education in HIV infection and related co-infections. The 18th European AIDS Conference, which will be held in London, UK in October 2021, aims to spread awareness of the challenges facing marginalized communities and improve quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS. Impact legacies include a new London EACS Respect Committee, which asks conference attendees, politicians, celebrities and the public to sign a pledge to end stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and provide equitable access to medical treatment and services. See their Case Study here.

This NGO founded the Asian Network of Women’s Shelters (ANWS), and has served Chinese Taipei for more than three decades. The organization spearheaded the Fourth World Conference of Women’s Shelters (4WCWS), held in Kaohsiung City, Chinese Taipei in November 2019 – the first time the conference has been held in an Asian city, thereby amplifying the voices of Asian communities through translation in multiple languages and more Asian speakers. Topics included art as a tool for expression and healing; LGBTQ shelter management; and the introduction of, a central platform integrating support mechanisms around the world for victims of gender-based violence. See their Case Study here.

A leading global advocate for gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women, Women Deliver held its largest conference ever in Vancouver, Canada in June 2019. The event was attended by 8,000 people from 169 countries, as well as 200,000 participants online and through satellite events. During the conference, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau made a 10-year, $1.4 billion (CAD) annual commitment to gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. President Kenyatta of Kenya committed to ending female genital mutilation. And for the first time, NGOs, grassroots advocates and survivor-led organizations united to develop a plan to end female genital mutilation/cutting by 2030. See their Case Study here.

What is the Incredible Impacts Programme?

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.

The partnership is a direct result of ICCA’s five-year strategic plan which was launched at the end of 2015, compromising of six strategic goals. With a number of these goals, including full engagement with association clients and more effective global knowledge sharing, closely aligned to BestCities’ own ambitions, discussions commenced in July 2016 to explore potential opportunities. The result is a strategic partnership that celebrates and directly advocates the “beyond tourism” value of international association meetings.

Lesley Williams, Managing Director of BestCities said: “At BestCities, we’ve always believed that the ‘beyond tourism’ impact of international association meetings is far more valuable than just delegates through the door.

The Incredible Impacts programme shines a global spotlight on the innovative thinking and creativity in the meetings industry, demonstrating the beyond tourism impact and lasting legacy we can leave behind us. It’s not just about rewarding associations who are showcasing examples of excellence, but also to inspire others to incorporate their own legacy initiatives into future events.

Every year we are inspired by the legacy-making, often life-changing work showcased through our programme, and we look forward to shining a light on associations who are helping to shape tomorrow’s world”.

ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath stated: “The biggest shift in the global meetings market over the last decade has been the mindset change from “part of tourism” to “economic and societal impact”.  It’s now broadly accepted that even though meeting delegates are one of the most valuable tourism sectors in terms of their direct spend in a destination, the biggest value from international association meetings comes from the vast quantities of knowledge that are created and shared, the inward investment and business connections that are stimulated, and the societal, healthcare and economic challenges that are addressed and solved. Incredible Impacts has been designed to celebrate some of the best examples of projects that showcase the wider impact of these meetings, and more importantly, to encourage greater awareness and new projects.  We’re grateful for BestCities generous support, and look forward to hearing some amazing stories about the power of meetings.”

Who can apply?

Any international association whose meeting fits any of the following criteria:
•   Knowledge and/or skills transfers to developing countries –
     especially if carried out in a creative manner or with very high impact.
•   Knowledge and/or skills transfers to disadvantaged groups.
•   Facilitating attendance and active participation by delegates from developing countries or
    disadvantaged groups (eg ex-refugees).
•   Public awareness-raising of an environmental, healthcare, or societal challenge or
     potential solution.
•   Policy-maker awareness-raising of an environmental, healthcare-related, or societal
     challenge or potential solution.
•   Educational outreach in the host destination (eg to schools or universities, or even the
     general public).
•   Advancing or empowering young, future intellectual and/or societal leaders – from
     within the association or beyond.
•   Long-lasting legacy programmes delivered within the host destination (could be
     charity, investment, R&D, scholarships, etc).

We are also open to any other proposal covers the general objective of this programme.

Nominate your association

Associations can nominate themselves or candidate associations can be nominated by any ICCA member. 

Application process

Qualifying criteria – 1st round
If the association meeting meets any of the given criteria, please sumbit the contact information a and the general description and argument why you believe your entry should be considered through this link. The deadline for the first round of submissions is 30 June 2022. 

After this first round, all shortlisted associations (a maximum of 12 entries) will be requested to submit more information for the 2nd round. All applicants will be contacted to receive notification whether they have been selected for the 2nd round or not by 15 July 2022.

Qualifying criteria – 2nd round
Shortlisted candidates are requested to complete a form with back-up documentation or links to websites for the following:
1.    Objective(s) of the programme/project
2.    Clear description (including history, how it works, who participates, etc)
3.    Particularly creative, innovative, or impact elements in the programme
4.    Evidence of impact/success
5.    Testimonials by participants, or from other stakeholders, or links to where this info can be obtained
6.    How they would like to expand or enhance the programme if their association received the grant of US$7,500.

The deadline for the second-round submission is 30 July 2022.

Judging panel

  • Joelle Verluyten, European AIDS Clinical Society
  • Gretchen Gasteier, Women Deliver
  • Yin-Chun (Ingrid) Yeh, the Garden of Hope Foundation
  • Kirstin Miller, Ecocity Builders
  • Deborah Thomas, Soroptimist International


The jury will select three grant recipients from the maximum of 12 submissions and announce three winners. The three winners will be requested to present their case study at the ICCA Congress*.  * Cost of attending the ICCA Congress (registration fee, travel and accommodation) will be covered by ICCA.

Past Winners

Incredible Impacts Winners 2020

Read the full press release

In 2020 we have also launched the Incredible Impacts Live Chat series - short  talks with associaitons that made it to the second round and their legacies. You can read and watch their stories through the links below:

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For More Information:
Email Ksenija Polla
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