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Meeting suppliers officially open door to associations

An association of meeting industry suppliers has formally welcomed its customers into the fold, more than half a century since its inception.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has launched the ‘ICCA Association Community’ for association executives who want to get closer to the meetings industry.

ICCA, whose members include convention centres, destination marketing organisations and professional congress organisers, says the historic move means it now, ‘encompasses all major stakeholders in the world of association meetings’.

Although associations have not been offered full membership, access to the Association Community will give them ‘education, connections, tools and resources to organise more effective meetings’.

Established in 1963, ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering members education and business development and networking opportunities.

CEO Senthil Gopinath said: “Our past relationship with associations has shown how important their contribution is in the development of global association meetings and I am delighted that ICCA has managed to create a new platform to officially include associations in its midst. I am extremely excited to welcome associations to this new era for ICCA. We greatly value their support of this new initiative and join forces in shaping the future of international association meetings!”

Thomas Reiser, executive director of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH), said: “Networking with international associations among each other is critical for the success of our activities as the peer-to-peer sharing and learning is one of the most powerful aspects. Doing this on a well-established platform like ICCA and combining this with the community of destination partners is even more beneficial particularly in our joint efforts to professionalizing the way to collaborate in planning and executing successful events. This is why ISTH is happy to be part of the ICCA Association Community and we look forward to the benefits – such as access to data, sharing new ideas, thought-provoking education and peer to peer networking – this will afford us.”

ICCA president James Rees said: “The launch of the ICCA Association Community will integrate associations with our membership, helping to shape ICCA’s future and provide opportunities for ever-closer collaboration.”

Associations can sign up through a form on the ICCA website.