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Annual association meetings becoming an important sector

Travel professionals look forward to Association Day

Oct 06, 2011

SINGAPORE – Travel professionals who want to learn and network with leaders of the association community can look forward to participating in the second installment of the successful Association Day.

Annual association meetings are becoming an increasingly important sector as the association business is relatively recession proof and such events take place regardless of global economic conditions. Designed for association executives who want to explore and exchange new ideas in association management, and to attract and better service their association events, the first Association Day held alongside ITB Asia 2010 attracted over 100 attendees from 18 different countries.

Held on October 20 in conjunction with ITB Asia 2011, "The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market," this year’s diverse and topical program presented by over 10 industry leaders promises to once again provide association executives with unrivaled insight in a day of intensive learning and networking experience.

“Recognizing the importance and resilience of the association industry, we sought to build a first-of-its-kind platform dedicated to understanding and growing the association meeting sector in Asia. The inaugural event last year was a clear success, as participants indicated their happiness with the interactivity of Association Day and the strong content presented by international experts from the industry,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.

“This year, the team has worked even harder to ensure that participants’ experience at Association Day is as productive and enjoyable as possible. Association Day is now a recognized highlight of ITB Asia, and we’re confident that this year’s program will again deliver a unique networking opportunity for association members to learn and meet with hundreds of industry professionals from around the world,” added Nino.

“Upon collating the feedback from participants of Association Day 2010, we have specially shortened Association Day 2011 to a one-day comprehensive program to suit the needs of our participants.

"Furthermore, the content committee has carefully deliberated over the multiple diverse topics, as well as the format of presentations to deliver a program that stays interesting while maintaining relevance to benefit all participants,” said Nancy Tan, Managing Director of ACE: Daytons Direct.

“Following positive response from the year before, Association Day 2011 will continue to host round-table discussions that have been shown to encourage strong direct participation from all participants. This not only presents an opportunity for both speakers and participants to learn from each other but also to bond with like-minded association executives to form lasting relationships,” added Nancy.

Association Day 2011 comprises a one-day forum of specialist sessions and conferences dedicated to exploring association issues, expertise, and trends, followed by the Association Networking Evening at Marina Bay Sands where participants will be taken on a guided tour of the Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Sands Sky Park, and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

Melissa Ow, Assistant Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board, will kick-start the day with opening remarks at the Business Travel Plenary Session - Why Business Travel Matters More Than Ever in Asia. This will be followed by Adam Sacks, Managing Director of Tourism Economics, presenting research findings on the "Economic Impact of Business Travel on Asia" and moderating a panel discussion consisting of industry stalwarts like Jack Morgan, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Sabre Travel Network; Lena Khoo, Vice President, Global Travel Department, Credit Suisse; Andy Tan, Vice President, Sales, Pan Pacific Hotels Group; and Sim Beng Khoon, Regional Director, Asia Pacific Association of Corporate Travel Executives.

In the second session moderated by Greta Kotler, Chief Global Development Officer at ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, professional panelists, including Mr. Steven Yeo, Vice President of HIMSS Asia & Middle East and Ajay Kakar, Secretary Treasurer of the International Academy of Periodontology and VP of The Indian Academy of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry, will look at the overview of association management in the Asia Pacific region and examine how best to communicate value and drive up membership while increasing loyalty.

Other topics of conversation include contributions from renowned association professionals, including Anne Blouin, Chief Learning Officer of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership; Abdul Rahim Abdul Hamid, Vice President of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA); Marcel Ewals, Managing Director of Kenes Asia; Oliver Hennedige, Secretary General, Asia Pacific Dental Federation/Asia Pacific Dental Regional Organization; Bibiana Lau, Director of Sales from Suntec Singapore; and Kitty Wong President of K & A International Co., Ltd. These sessions will discuss a variety of new meeting session formats for effective learning and the benefits and challenges in holding association meetings in Asia.

This year’s education program will also include best practice case studies, practical tip sessions, and thought-provoking discussions moderated by Shannon Sweeney, Managing Director and Co-founder of Be Communications Asia.

Closing on a high note under the title. "Looking into the crystal ball: Association meetings in the next 5 to 10 years," participants will get to explore what the future holds for associations from two of the distinguished speakers: Noor Ahmad Hamid, Regional Director, Asia Pacific of International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA), and Monimita Sarkar, Managing Director of KW Conferences Pvt Ltd. As the industry faces new challenges and opportunities, association executives must consider a range of scenarios that will influence and change current business practices.

Association Day 2011 will once again see the joint collaboration of key industry leaders with international expertise such as ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, Ace: Daytons Direct, and Suntec Singapore. This must-attend industry event is also supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau (SECB), a part of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), and World PCO Alliance (WPCOA).

ITB Asia is a unique international platform that unites the travel and tourism industry to exchange valuable insights and business leads, attracting 6,605 attendees and 720 exhibitors from over 60 countries in 2010. ITB Asia is also a partner event of TravelRave, a mega travel and tourism festival week organized by the Singapore Tourism Board to be held in Singapore in October 2011.

Travel professionals look forward to Association Day
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