Necessary pivot: international association forum goes virtual

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The inaugural Geneva International Association Forum (GIAF) will be a virtual event this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

GIAF was set up by ASSOCIATIONWORLD in collaboration with the Geneva Convention Bureau and Congrex Switzerland. The aim of the forum is to gather representatives of international and European Associations, non-profits, federations, societies, NGOs and universities for a knowledge-sharing event.

When the forum was announced in February 2020, Kai Troll, president of Brussels-based ASSOCIATIONWORLD said: “The GIAF’s primary mission is to bring together the Geneva-based and international and European associations and non-profit organisations to share knowledge, best practices and design joint initiatives to tackle common challenges, to help achieve better results and greater impact.”

However, instead of postponing and adding to the “uncertainty” that the pandemic has already caused, the GIAF team has decided to go virtual as they believe “the benefits from all the hard work already done by our speakers and partners should be reaped as soon as possible.”

“We strongly believe in the power of hybrid events and tried hard to make the live event work this year, especially since GIAF addresses the Geneva- and Swiss-based international and European associations and federations. We were enthusiastic about creating a good practice case in-person/hybrid event until the end. However, the Covid19 situation doesn’t allow us to do so this year,” Troll said in a statement.

“Moving GIAF to a digital event, we bring the discussions online and allow our renowned speakers to share their knowledge,” he added.

“Event design of the digital edition will build an association community over the next months that will create a positive impact on GIAF 2021, of which date will be announced soon. Keeping our promise, everyone will be fully reimbursed of their registration fees. I want to thank everyone who registered for GIAF this year and we can’t wait to see everyone back at GIAF 2021 and/or online in a few weeks.”

Dates for the virtual Geneva International Association Forum are yet to be announced.

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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