Three global associations serving the International Meetings Industry 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) agreed to launch a Global Alliance. Together, they will facilitate collaboration and generate more comprehensive and better aligned benefits for the three associations’ respective members. “We are all organizations 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.”
“This carries the risk of competition replacing collaboration as the driving force for industry associations. With our Global Alliance, the three of us choose value for our members, choose collaboration over competition,” added Craig Newman, UFI President. 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 organization.
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.” “By creating better integration of our efforts we will be in a position to better leverage everyone’s investment and create greater efficiencies for the use of our member’s time – one of the most valuable resources we all have these days,” said Senthil Gopinath, ICCA CEO. “This means we can optimize the benefits we can deliver to our respective members while at the same time creating a platform for the efficient delivery of our collective industry proposition into areas where this kind of experience and expertise will be of real help,” added UFI CEO, Kai Hattendorf.