Wednesday, November 13, 2013
With IMEX 2013 as its backdrop in Las Vegas last month, IACC CEO Mark Cooper announced the association’s ambitious goals for the upcoming year. IACC dramatically increased it participation at IMEX 2013 where Mark Cooper was a presenter with DCI, Development Counsellors International IACC used educational sessions at the trade show to deliver the results of their joint survey “Exploring the Generational Preferences of Meeting Planners”. IACC was also recognized as a parter to IMEX’s popular Association Planner Forum which takes place on the Monday before the main trade show and is attended by hundred’s of Meeting Planners representing some of Americas largest trade associations and societies.
At a media luncheon hosted by IACC, Mark Cooper announced additional IACC goals for 2014 that include the development of the IACC Institute, a certification program for conference centre operators in 2014. “Cooper noted, “IACC has long sought to increase its presence and influence in the certification of professionals in our industry.” The benefits of a certification program for IACC members focusing on the excellence and best practices adopted by Conference Centres and the IACC Institute aims to “deliver learning and training opportunities which will form the backbone of professional and personal development of our members.”
IACC saw a record number of pre-booked Meeting Planner appointments at IMEX this year and greatly appreciated the support of 6 IACC members who supported the IACC stand over the three day period.
In the coming year, IACC will also step up its presence and participation in industry trade shows in 2014 to include AIBTM Chicago, CIBTM Beijing, IMEX Frankfurt, AIBTM Orlando, IMEX Las Vegas, and EIBTM Barcelona. Educating Meeting Planners will be the key focus at IACC's Camp-Fire sessions at MPI's conference in February. This is consistent with the association’s goals to increase and strengthen awareness and to grow membership in the association. IACC has successfully increased global membership in 2013, achieving its highest number of new members in the Americas in the last five years.
IACC’s CEO, Mark Cooper, embarked on a comprehensive tour of Asia and Australia Pacific this September, taking in 5 Countries and 6 major cities in the space of just over 2 weeks.
The tour began in Beijing, China, where Mark used the annual CIBTM Trade Show as the backdrop to understand more about the potential for IACC to participate in China in future and the best approach to participating in this major economy which has recently opened its doors to global meetings trade. The importance of this market was evident from the involvement of other global industry players such as MPI and IEEE, with both associations CEO’s leading educational sessions aimed at Chinese Meeting Professionals. Furthermore, the US Department of Commerce has officially certified CIBTM, the only tradeshow they have certified outside of the US and the number of US exhibitors in attendance highlighted further the importance put upon being part of China’s developing meetings industry.
In a visit to Tokyo, the opportunity for growth of the IACC Meetings Concept was also highlighted, with training and meetings being an important part of Japanese corporate culture. Hosted by Benchmark Japan and Joined by IACC’s Global President Peter Stewart, IACC’s two current member properties and other potential member conference centres were visited and leaders met and introduced to IACC.
The next leg of the trip included a visit to the Philippines capital Manila, to inspect IACC’s first member property, First Pacific Leadership Academy and to meet with their leadership team. Peter and Mark were impressed with the global benchmarking that FPLA undertake, including recent trips to GE’s Crotonville and to the IACC-Americas Conference earlier in the year to seek out new innovative ideas to set the academy further apart from its national completion. IACC’s visit to FPLA was later featured in the national press, which it is hoped will raise the profile of IACC in the region.
The next stop was Sydney Australia, where Mark Cooper and Peter Stewart conducted a roadshow of potential members in the Hunter Valley region, a popular conference destination and where there is a collection of venues focused on meetings. The visit included a meeting with the leadership at Chateaux Elan, who have since become the latest new member of IACC in the Chapter.
The final stop was Melbourne, where Chapter board members had staged a current and new potential members meeting at Bellinzona Grange Conference Centre as well as a new member luncheon in Central Melbourne where Mark Cooper and board members spoke of the benefits of IACC membership and future aspirations for the region. Discussions with new prospect members are ongoing and it is expected that new members will join in the coming months following this visit.
Mark Cooper commented on the trip “The trip to Asia and Australia was extremely beneficial and allowed me to understand these very different markets much better and to start to build a presence and relations further. Doing business in Asia requires an understanding of the region and it is important that we have opened an IACC office in the region to support our future projects and activities”.