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Global participation in ICCA’s hybrid workshop “bidding for associations”

Over 600 viewers from 75 countries joined ICCA’s hybrid workshop on bidding for international association meetings on Wednesday 10 July. ICCA’s first hybrid workshop turned out to be a very successful event and received very positive reactions from the global meetings community.

The 2-hour hybrid seminar, sponsored and supported by the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, was broadcast live from the ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme in Amsterdam, and had a live link with another ICCA seminar which took place simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand. In the run-up to the workshop, additional hubs around the world were spontaneously formed; ICCA members and other interested meetings industry professionals from China-P.R. (50 people!), The Philippines and Australia to Mexico, and from Zimbabwe and South Africa to Norway, Sweden, Spain and Italy send in pictures reporting that they were joining the live stream and the online discussion with large groups with their computer, tablet or smartphone from their office, or from home in their pyjamas.

Bidding for international association meetings
The workshop was especially designed for meetings industry suppliers, associations and any other professionals interested in the bidding process. The session focussed on subjects as: what do associations look for in a bid, what are the biggest challenges and frustrations they face, and are there any changes in the internal decision making processes that affect meeting suppliers?

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk: “Bidding is without a doubt the most critical specialised skill for success in the international association meetings sector. This online event allowed us share the insights and updates on trends from our panel of experts with as many ICCA member and other industry professionals around the world as possible.”

The panel included Juan José Garcia, ICCA Board Members and Director of Marketing and Sales of Barceló Congresos in Spain, one of the most experienced PCO’s in the meetings industry, ICCA CEO Martin Sirk and two association clients: David Owen, Managing Director of DISTRIPRESS and Helga Severyns, Senior Director of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). 

Hybrid “experiment” very successful
The online session was presented by Gerrit Heijkoop of How Can I Be Social (HCIBS). Gerdie Schreuders of LiveOnlineEvents moderated the online discussion. Martin Sirk led the panel discussion and Heijkoop asked questions which came in through the online chat on and Twitter via hashtag #ICCAbidding.

In the online chat 403 messages were sent by 171 unique users and 347 Twitter messages on #ICCAbidding were posted by 119 unique users, which shows the engagement of the online audience was very high.

Gerrit Heijkoop said: “This was an amazing experience for us. We have organised quite a number of hybrid events already, but never before we could reach out to so many people in a short time and share our knowledge for the benefit of all. We are very happy with all the positive response, with the number of online questions we receeved and with the way the online audience assisted each other.”

This was the first time ICCA organised a full hybrid session. ICCA was overwhelmed with positive reactions from all over the world. The Twitter hashtag #ICCAbidding reached a visibility of 42,210 Twitter accounts with a grand total of 282,098 impressions. 

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk said: "This event was an experiment for us on a number of levels. We were able to schedule the pre-planned ICCA Thailand seminar to coincide with our Amsterdam session, so we could test how well two separate live sessions on the same topic could interact, and could compare this with the experiences of ICCA members in their offices and homes. What we hadn't anticipated was the number of impromptu study groups that sprang into being to take advantage of the seminar, from Denmark to China. This demonstrates what a hot topic international association bidding is, and how little we really understand about the self-organising capabilities of our members around the world! I'm particularly pleased that we didn't try to do this on the cheap: we worked with great consultants, great technical supporters and we were in a venue, the RAI Amsterdam, with great internet infrastructure; we needed to carry out extensive and carefully planned marketing, build new websites, and think creatively about the format of the session so that we could engage both our live audience and the participants all over the world. I'd particularly like to thank Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, whose sponsorship enabled us to organise this so professionally."

A Storify overview of the #ICCAbidding Tweets and other highlights, and a chat overview of the hybrid event is available on Recorded videos of the workshop will be available on the same website on 24 July.

About ICCA
ICCA - The International Congress and Convention Association - represents the main specialists in organising, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, comprising over 950 member companies and organisations in 88 countries worldwide. ICCA is the only international meetings association specialised in the international association meetings market, and has been tracking international association meetings for 50 years; ICCA is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013. ICCA has five regional offices in addition to its Head Office in Amsterdam, with established operations already serving Asia-Pacific, North- and Latin America, and new regional offices in the Middle East and Africa. For more information visit: 


Pictures from global participants available on the HCIBS Facebook page:

More pictures available on: