AIPC, ICCA and UFI Launch Global Alliance

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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 a value for our members, choose collaboration over competition”, adds 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.

“It is our hope and expectation that these initial activities will lead to the identification of opportunities for further collaboration in areas of mutual interest and benefit for our members around the world”, 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 the 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,” says 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”, says 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”, adds UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf.

The Alliance Organizations are:

AIPC represents a global network of more than 190 leading centers in 64 countries with the active involvement of more than 900 management-level professionals. It is committed to encouraging, supporting and recognizing excellence in convention center management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international membership, and maintains a full range of educational, research, networking and standards programs to achieve this.

AIPC also recognizes and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic academic and professional development as well as enhancing global relations amongst highly diverse business and cultural interests.

AIPC Members are purpose-built facilities whose primary purpose is to accommodate and service meetings, conventions, congresses, and exhibitions.

ICCA – the International Congress and Convention Association – represents the world’s leading suppliers in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, and now comprises over 1,100 member companies and organizations in almost 100 countries worldwide. Since its establishment 55 years ago, ICCA specializes in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities.

ICCA members represent the top destinations worldwide and the most experienced specialist, suppliers. International meeting planners can rely on the ICCA network to find solutions for all their event objectives: venue selection; technical advice; assistance with delegate transportation; full convention planning or ad hoc services.

UFI is the leading global association of the world’s tradeshow organizers and exhibition center operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry.

UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 52 national and regional associations members. Around 800 member organizations in about 90 countries and regions around the world are presently signed up as members and more than 1,000 international trade fairs proudly bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors alike. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities.

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977). He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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