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Association meeting suppliers land in USA after 32-years absence

A gathering of international association meeting suppliers is taking place in the USA for the first time in 32 years.

Almost 1,000 delegates from 75 countries have arrived in Houston, Texas, for the 58th ICCA Congress – making it the largest edition of the event ever held on North American soil.

The last time ICCA met in the USA was in Albuquerque in 1987.

ICCA’s annual flagship meeting will explore collaboration and industry advancement from various perspectives under the umbrella theme ‘Innovation and Technology’.

Speakers include NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski, the first man to have flown in space and climbed Mount Everest; business woman Soulaima Gourani and Scott Stratten, an expert in viral marketing.

Interdisciplinary association Pumps & Pipes, who specialise in creating interactions and knowledge transfer between unconnected professional groups and are based in Houston, will share their expertise on facilitating innovation through cross-industry collaboration as part of the programme.

“Out of the box sessions” include technical tours of Houston Spaceport, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and TMCx, a healthcare and life-science incubator.

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA chief executive officer, said: “The changing face of our industry is a constant source of debate and discussion. Through the unique opportunities for knowledge sharing on offer at the ICCA Congress in Houston, we aim to cement our industry’s vital role as a driver of global progress, with our members as the leading innovators.”

Daniel Palomo, director of Global Sales, Visit Houston said: “The ICCA Congress has been long awaited in Houston and is finally here. It will be a great platform to help position our destination even further among the leaders in the international association meeting market, especially in the US. We are very proud and excited to host 50 international associations clients and at least 100 global PCOs that can potentially bring additional business to our city. Also, the Congress will be a great platform to educate our local industry and community through a series of engagement programs mainly focusing on the relevance of the meetings industry beyond the tourism impact.”