Three global meetings associations have announced they will collaborate more closely in the future.
AIPC (The International Association of Convention Centres), ICCA (The International Congress and Convention Association), and UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) have launched a Global Alliance to generate more comprehensive and better aligned benefits for the three associations’ respective members.
“We are all organisations with a global membership and perspective and already complement each other’s activities in various ways,” said Aloysius Arlando, AIPC president.
“However, as the business models of exhibitions, congresses, conferences, and other types of business meetings evolve, the overlap of global associations servicing the industry is growing even further.”
The alliance has agreed to begin a program of exploring exchange and reciprocity in four primary areas: educational content, research, standards and advocacy. It would implement a flexible framework of collaboration between the three associations in order to achieve these benefits without compromising the focus and platform of each member organisation.
“This carries the risk of competition replacing collaboration as the driving force for industry associations,” said Craig Newman, UFI president.
“With our Global Alliance, the three of us choose value for our members, choose collaboration over competition.”
The three partners will begin by engaging in a series of educational exchanges incorporating each other’s knowledge content into their respective conferences and starting to align approaches taken to areas of common practice such as research and advocacy activities, beginning immediately.
At the same time they are initiating a regular exchange between their respective leaderships to align interests on issues like standards, terminology and best practices.
“We operate in a world of constant change and by seeking ways to cooperate and share the knowledge bank that our associations hold, we believe there is great scope to identify opportunities for further collaboration for the benefit of all our members globally,” said James Rees, ICCA president.
In addition to the immediate practical outcomes, the partners believe the Alliance also offers potential to enhance the credibility of the industry as a whole by providing a vehicle for development of greater consistency within a mutually agreed industry framework.
“Certainly the exchange of content and insights will provide better access for members to additional resources, but there is another factor here which is the opportunity to increase consistency in the areas where we overlap,” said Rod Cameron, executive director of AIPC.
“This will not only enhance overall industry performance but boost our collective credibility amongst other industry sectors.”