ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, is the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry. Its members are over 1,100 leading, international meeting suppliers from almost 100 countries, dedicated to providing world-class services and engaging with association executives to exchange knowledge and share best practices. The launch of the ICCA Association Community will officially integrate associations within ICCA’s global community, helping to shape ICCA’s future and provide opportunities for a closer, long-term collaboration.
Rees elaborates on the various initiatives created in recent years to develop closer engagement with associations and stresses the importance of this latest development as the culmination of years of building relationships and completing the global association meetings picture: “To stay relevant for our members, evolve with the times and be true to our mission, ICCA has developed a series of initiatives in recent years to develop closer engagement with associations. These have included the launch of our Association Portal, the creation of ICCA Verified Associations and increased participation of association executives in our meetings and workshops, the latter with the support of our Association Relations Partners. ICCA’s next step is now filling the missing link and embracing associations in our community as true partners. ICCA is, therefore, inviting senior association executives, meetings managers and volunteer leaders to join the ICCA Association Community.”
ICCA’s target group will be association executives with decision-making or a decision-influencing role on where their international meeting is held and criteria for joining will be the same as ICCA’s criteria for inclusion in the ICCA database: They must be non-governmental organisations not managed by third parties with at least one internationally rotating meeting, which attracts a minimum of 50 participants per meeting, and is held on a regular basis.
Shaping the future and value of international association meetings
James Rees continues: “This is a crucial step for ICCA and ICCA members. With associations integrated into our community, ICCA will have direct input from an important voice in the world of association meetings, something which is currently missing from the ICCA community. Embracing associations provide us with a greater understanding of associations and their needs now, and in the future. Including associations in the ICCA community creates greater awareness of the challenges and opportunities that associations and their meetings are facing today, and it allows for a privileged peer-to-peer exchange with the ability for ICCA members to engage with these executives on a regular basis at regional or international events. There will be more face-to-face informal networking opportunities between members and associations through larger attendance at ICCA events and it will lead to more accurate data in the ICCA Association Meetings Database, all contributing to our vision to shape the future and value of international association meetings”.