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2008 ICCA Congress in Victoria, Canada: highest attendance for any ICCA Congress held in the Americas


734 attendees at this year's ICCA Congress is a record for either North or South America, and the third highest of all time.  "We were delighted with the overall numbers and particularly with the strong geographical spread and the seniority of the delegates", said Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO, "and Victoria worked brilliantly for this size of event - our delegates really felt they "took over" the city".

Strong business focus

ICCA presented the latest business outlook survey by its members.  The recent global financial turmoil is starting to have an impact on future expectations, but 2008 is still anticipated to be an excellent overall business year, with only a small minority of ICCA members planning marketing budget or staff cuts in 2009 (full results and comments here).

126 delegates participated in the Congress Business Exchange, sharing inside knowledge on international association meetings they had recently won or hosted.  This open sharing of detailed knowledge on events which rotate around the world is one of ICCA's unique features.

ICCA launched a new approach to measuring the Return on Investment from attending the Congress, based on each delegate evaluating their personal objectives.  Initial feedback from delegates indicated that an overwhelming majority believed they generated valuable insights into the state of the market, new management and marketing ideas they can implement, and in many cases concrete new sales leads.

ICCA General Assembly

ICCA reported continued financial stability and growth in membership in all regions of the world, and 95% annual membership retention rates.

Member benefits were significantly increased with new products included within the Membership Fees, such as a comprehensive PR Kit to enable members to easily manage their communication to over 300 meetings industry media.

International association meetings are the most resilient market segment in times of economic turmoil, and ICCA is positioning itself as the most cost-effective means of winning business from this market segment.

ICCA will increase investment in its International Association Database to assist members through the current challenging economic times: more research staff will be employed and more investment in IT systems will be done in 2009.

ICCA Congress education programme “best ever"

"We are still waiting for the final delegate survey responses to come in, but based on the initial feedback from over 40% of the delegates I am confident this year's programme will be judged the strongest ICCA has ever put on" said Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO.  Over 90% of the sessions were custom-designed specifically for this Congress and its senior international audience, with top international corporate and association clients and outside experts supplementing ICCA's members.

ICCA's Best Marketing Award, one of the few plenary sessions, received particularly outstanding evaluations.  "Where else but at the ICCA Congress could one expect to hear outstanding marketing ideas from three finalists from such varied places as Liverpool, Salt Lake City and Sarawak" said ICCA President Leigh Harry (find a separate article and background on Best Marketing Award here).

2008 ICCA Silent Auction raised 24000 Euros!

This year’s
ICCA Silent Auction in Victoria, Canada was a great success! It raised EURO 24,000 for the ICCA Education Fund (double the amount of what was raised last year!).

The ICCA Education Fund provides educational opportunities for Young Meetings Professionals and the fund financially supports the Forums for Young Professionals at EIBTM and AIME.

I&MI Media Charity Golf Classic

I&MI Charity Golf Classic
On the Saturday morning before the ICCA Congress delegates were off to an early networking start 'Tiger Woods style' at the Bear Mountain Golf Course, one of the most beautiful golf courses in Canada. The I&MI Media Charity Golf Classic raised CAD 16,000 for Jeneece Edroff's coin drive supporting a BC Children's Hospital!

ICCA member news and initiatives

Several ICCA members
used the ICCA congress to promote their new products and services and to announce new initiatives.

The following new products and services were announced by ICCA Members:

Cape Town & Western Cape
Energy Cities Alliance
Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism

Supporting press conferences were held during the ICCA Congress by Congrex and the Energy Cities Alliance.


ICCA's Board of Directors including five newly elected members meets in Victoria.
ICCA's Board of Directors including five newly elected members meets in Victoria. The newly elected members are: Sector Destination Marketing: Mr. Steen Jakobsen (Wonderful Copenhagen), Sector Meetings Management: Ms. Miranda Ioannou, (SCS Ltd., Cyprus), Sector Transport: Mrs. Sus Nygaard, (Scandinavian Airlines, Denmark), Sector Venues: Mr. Brian Horsburgh, (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, U.K.) and for Africa/Middle East representation: Mrs. Nina Freysen-Pretorius (The Conference Company).

First time attendee session: a unique feature of the ICCA Congress.
First time attendee session: a unique feature of the ICCA Congress. Over 200 delegates signed up for a half day working session before the main Congress began, designed to familiarise them with ICCA's business culture and networking tools, and to pre-plan their individual congress programmes.

Bill LaViolette, Managing Director of I&MI Media presenting the proceeds of the I&MI Media Charity Golf Classic
Bill LaViolette, Managing Director of I&MI Media presenting the proceeds of the I&MI Media Charity Golf Classic


For more press releases, background information and pictures on the 47th ICCA Congress & Exhibition in Victoria, Canada visit the ICCA Congress website: 

Other press releases related to the 47th ICCA Congress & Exhibition in Victoria, Canada:
ICCA: "Global financial turmoil hits future meetings industry expectations, but few marketing or staff cuts are planned for 2009"
Sarawak Convention Bureau, Malaysia, wins ICCA Best Marketing Award 2008!
Arnaldo Nardone honoured at 47th ICCA Congress & Exhibition in Victoria, Canada with Moises Shuster Award

Pictures by 
Jon Benjamin Photography. You can download high-res versions by clicking the pictures. Please recognise Jon Benjamin Photography as a source when publishing the pictures.

ICCA Press contact:
Mathijs Vleeming, Phone: 31 20 398 1962 (direct line), Email:, Website:

Chamber of Commerce registration number: 40409074