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Presidential Message - 2020: ICCA’s year of transformation

2020: ICCA’s year of transformation

First, I would like to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year. 2020 marks an exciting year for ICCA; It is a year of transformation, in many ways.

To stay relevant for its members, evolve with the times and be true to its mission, ICCA has developed a series of initiatives for the year 2020 to develop closer engagement with associations and to reinforce our position as a truly global and leading trade association.

Joining forces in shaping the future and value of association meetings

ICCA has been educating the meetings industry for almost 60 years and is the catalyst to bring together the major destinations, venues, and service providers, under a common mission to shape the future and value of international association meetings. As the world of meetings has evolved, so has the relationship between ICCA members and the association clients they serve, moving from the supplier-buyer relationship to that of real partnership and collaboration. 

To enhance this collaboration, ICCA has opened its doors to associations with the launch of the “ICCA Association Community” on 8 January 2020. ICCA now encompasses all major stakeholders in the world of association meetings, allowing us to play an even stronger role in shaping the future and value of our industry

By joining ICCA, Associations have access to education, connections, tools and resources to organise more effective meetings. Through the ICCA Association Community, associations can get closer to the international meetings industry by making their voice heard in ICCA’s global community on how their association and their meetings will make a difference in the future.

We have been overwhelmed by the initial response after the launch and registrations are pouring in from around the world, including USA, Canada, India, Nigeria, Switzerland, Ireland and Belgium.

ICCA members will have the opportunity to meet and engage with a record number of association executives at the 59th ICCA Congress, which will be held in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei from 1 – 4 November 2020. The ICCA Association Meetings Programme taking place in Tirol, Austria from 29 June-1 July expects an increase of at least 15% in association attendees.

Reinforcing our position as a truly global industry association

Being true to our mission, ICCA is reinforcing its position as a truly global trade association by building new partnerships and growing the number of activities and members in Africa, Asia, Latin America and throughout the whole world.

A great number of new regional events create an excellent opportunity for ICCA members to meet with our association partners and to further understand their needs and enjoy high quality meetings education.

Europe

We continue to strongly support our largest member region: ICCA staff and ICCA Board members will be more involved at the 6 European Chapter meetings in 2020 than ever, in order to enhance advocacy and further develop meetings industry knowledge. We have lots of ambitious growth plans to increase our membership in what continues to be the largest region for international association meetings.

For the first time in years we will have a presence at CONFEX this year and we are closely collaborating with regional industry organisations to speed up the growth of the Association Community in the European region, for which we hope to announce a new partnership soon.

Asia Pacific

The membership growth for ICCA in China-P.R. is expected to continue strongly. ICCA is seeking to double its presence in China, where it currently already has 96 members, making China-P.R. the largest represented country in ICCA’s global membership.

Following the success with the inaugural Asia Pacific Summit in Penang last December, ICCA will continue to organise the AP Summit in 2020. Host destination and date for this event will be announced by early February. The AP Summit will be the unique platform for Asia Pacific members to interact, share expertise and have one voice for the global meetings industry. The 59th ICCA Congress in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei will of course also provide an excellent platform to reach out to the Asia Pacific meetings market.

Africa

Africa will see the launch of the ICCA Africa Summit in the 2nd half of the year. The Summit will create a platform for the Africa members to meet, network and discuss topics of common interest to pave the way for member-to-member collaboration.

Latin America

The increased collaboration between ICCA and FIEXPO, the Latin American and Caribbean Worldwide Meetings & Incentives Exhibition, creates a stronger platform for FIEXPO to target the international association meetings market, and for ICCA to enhance its growth and advocacy in the Latin American region. For the first time in 2020 an ICCA hosted buyer group will attend the FIEXPO in Cartagena, 08 - 10 June 2020.

Middle East

In the Middle East ICCA continues to support its members with tailor-made workshops in each destination. The 5th edition ICCA Middle East International Meetings Forum will be organized in Muscat, Oman from 2 – 3 September 2020. The purpose of the event will be to raise awareness about the value of international meetings for destinations, venues, PCO/DMCs and other suppliers across the region, and to explore how the region can increase its competitiveness and win more meetings business.

North America

We will increase our contribution to the North American meetings market with the inaugural Association Expert Seminar which will take place prior to IMEX America in Las Vegas 13 – 14 September. To encourage a personal experience and effective knowledge sharing, the event has a maximum attendance of to 20 Association Executives and 40 ICCA members. Like the AES in Frankfurt, the programme emphasises on collaboration and connection between ICCA members and associations, enabling both the suppliers and the buyers to establish stronger and more productive business relationships through knowledge sharing and networking in a small group setting.

We will also be able to announce an exciting new partnership with a North American industry organisation soon.

Enhanced online platforms and global branding

Meanwhile, ICCA is making steps towards modernising its online platforms and optimising it’s global branding to represent its transformation and further encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing and networking within the global association meetings industry.

We are very excited for the year ahead and would like to thank our ICCA members and association friends from all over the world for their continuous support in this new phase for our global organisation.

I hope to see all of you soon, somewhere around the ICCA World.

Yours in ICCA,

James Rees
ICCA President