Wednesday 18 April, 2018
Dear ICCA Members,
I am sure that for many of you the next couple of weeks will be frantic with the preparations for the IMEX Industry Trade show in Frankfurt taking place from 15-17 May. It always seems to take me by surprise how very quickly the time passes, and again it is time to meet up with friends, clients and colleagues to network, exchange ideas and do some business!
What is commendable and noteworthy is that IMEX have not only created and grown a platform for countries to showcase their destination, services and unique hospitality, but also incorporated the opportunity for political and strategic discussion. As greater advocacy and awareness of the business events sector is a strategic prerogative of ICCA, this type of engagement is tremendously valuable and impacts on all our members in more than 100 countries they represent.
At the recent ICCA Board strategic meeting, considerable discussion took place regarding the importance of advocacy within our sector as well as inclusivity and extended collaboration with all stakeholders. We need to make the circle bigger to ensure that our collective objectives as an association and a sector are met.
This year as a new edition to the IMEX show, a session has been created that will be taking place on Monday, 14th May with the topic “She Means Business”. With the heightened awareness surrounding gender equality and equal opportunities, this session comes at a very opportune time in our history. When researching - aka “googling” - the topic of gender equality, the number of world bodies, institutions and research to address the challenges pertaining to gender inequality are extensive. Yet with all this expertise and financial investment to address the matter, it is still very much around and sadly “well”. Representing ICCA as your president, I have been invited to participate in the panel, “Woman in the meetings industry – on eye level with men?”, with Sherrif Karamat, Sarah Sigloch, Edgar Hirt and ICCA member Karen Bollinger. I hope to see you there!
The research team have been working frantically - as always at this time of year particularly - to launch the 2017 country and city rankings, a report that is something that I know many members look forward to receiving!
The ICCA Hosted Buyers and Members Reception will be taking place on Monday evening and you need to be sure to book in advance to attend the event.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Frankfurt in a couple of weeks. Wishing you all the best with your preparations for the show, travel safely and see you there!
Nina Freysen-Pretorius, ICCA President