ICCA, the Amsterdam-based association representing suppliers to the meetings industry, has broken with tradition by inviting its customers - association executives - to join the organisation.
But associations are not being offered full membership status. Instead they are being offered ‘affiliate status’, which will allow them to attend ICCA educational events and meetings.
For a fee of €250 per association, they will also have access to a database of international association contacts, ICCA's Big Data Tool, where they can find potential speakers and sponsors, and ICCA’s Destination Comparison tool, which provides information on cities’ hosting records.
ICCA has developed various initiatives in recent years to develop closer ties with associations, including an Associations Portal and increased participation in meetings and workshops.
In a letter to members ICCA president James Rees said: “ICCA’s next step is filling the missing link and embracing associations 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 in regard to where their international meeting is held. They must belong to an organisation that has at least one internationally rotating meeting, with 50 or more delegates, held on a regular basis.
So what will associations NOT be able to do?
Why does ICCA want to forge closer ties with associations?
- Associations will not have a separate sector
- Associations will not officially belong to a specific Chapter but may attend Chapter events
- Associations will not have voting rights during General Assembly
- Associations will not be able to stand for election to the Board of Directors
It believes making associations part of the community will lead to more accurate data in the database and help its members get closer to potential clients through networking. At the same time members will develop a greater understanding of associations’ needs and challenges.
AMI editor James
Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international
association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation
for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk,
read, listen to music, and drink beer.