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President's message

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Dear ICCA Friends and Colleagues

For all of us in the ICCA community, the past year has been an experience none of us expected and for which none of us could have planned. However, the resilience and determination we have observed across the global events industry gives us hope that this year, as our governments endeavour to support businesses and roll out programmes of vaccinations for their citizens, our industry will begin its recovery sooner rather than later.

To support that recovery, partnership between the traditional members of ICCA and the growing membership of our Association Community will be vital.  It is this recognition that we need each other to achieve mutual success, that will enable our organisations to recover quickly and flourish once again.

Throughout the pandemic, the ICCA teams have been working to ensure continuity of our services to members, innovative events and educational opportunities and, of course, hosting our record-breaking hybrid congress in Kaohsiung last November.

Whilst 2020 was a year to adapt ways of working and consolidate ICCA's position, 2021 will see us launch innovations that were not possible last year.

Our new certification programme, ICCASkills, was announced last month and will see ICCA take a leading role in developing and promoting skills and education in our industry. Later this month we will be looking to the future and launching the call for nominations to ICCA's new Future Leaders' Council, an exciting opportunity that will see young professionals from the ICCA Community support the ICCA Board and management team in shaping the future direction of the association.

Our first hybrid event of 2021 will take place this month – "From Resilience to Revival" – with over 500 delegates already registered to attend. The event is free-of-charge to all members, and I strongly recommend that you attend if possible.

The ICCA Association Community has seen significant growth since the start of this year. We now have over 100 members, with more international associations joining the Community each month, continuing to strengthen our engagement with the most important voice in the world of association meetings.

Already this year, I have had the privilege to attend chapter meetings and meet online with ICCA members from all over the world where I have had the chance to listen, discuss issues and understand what members want and need from ICCA both now and in the future. The ICCA Board, CEO and the teams in Amsterdam and at our Regional Offices worldwide are here to meet those needs and will be reaching out to every member in the coming months to ensure that ICCA continues to deliver the very best services and value.

After a year of great challenges, we are all making plans to be hosting and attending face-to-face events once again, and I very much look forward to seeing every ICCA member, in person, at some stage in the not-too-distant future.

Until that time, thank you for your support as we prepare for a very exciting year ahead.

With very best wishes to everyone.

James Rees

ICCA President

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