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The Power of the Meetings Industry

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With yet another successful Global Meetings Industry Day behind us, I can’t help but to reflect about the ‘Power’ of our industry.

I strongly believe that ‘Meetings’ are where change happens, ideas are discussed, compromises are reached and face-to-face contact is an ideal opportunity for people to show they care.

The ICCA Congress is the embodiment of this and the Silent Auction proof of how much the entire industry cares. When we asked for donations last year, I thought it would be a good idea to also ask association executives to donate to the Silent Auction and help Young Meeting Professionals. The support from the association community was overwhelming and many have donated their time to talk to our members about their meeting, visit their office and provide some education and training.

 

This is not a one-way exercise benefiting only the Young Professionals who enjoy the support of proceeds of the Silent Auction, this is equally beneficial to ICCA members and associations alike.

It was great to hear feedback from Silke Schlinnertz, Head of Events at Euroheat & Power, who was one of the association executives who donated her time. She has visited the office of ICCA member MeetingLinq in The Netherlands and brought one of her younger colleagues along. Silke’s colleague, Pauline, has attended one of the Forums for Young Professionals in Barcelona, so she had experienced at first hand the value of this great programme. Both Silke and Pauline, found their visit to MeetingLinq inspiring and an eye-opener. Here is what Pauline Benoit, Marketing & Events Assistant, Euroheat & Power said:

 

“It was a great experience for me to go to the MeetingLinq office to see a bit how things work from our suppliers’ point of view: especially during the period when I was looking for a badge supplier for our upcoming congress. It is also always nice to meet people with whom I will collaborate in the future.  From the content side, it was great for me, now that I have just started in the association world, to have a short recap on the differences between associations, federations and so on. Getting even a deeper insight into Silke’s experience in event management made me understand that there is a solution to any problem in our job. As she said “we are solution providers”. I very much liked this vision and it is a very motivating state of mind for me. I also kept in mind the 3 must-haves at an event: relevant content, provide a real event experience and have the right audience. The exchange with our supplier on how to work better together was a huge benefit as well; it is important to have this kind of conversation to facilitate exchanges and business for both parties.
 

This story leaves me hopeful that our industry and meetings will remain one of the most important facets of human interaction and I think it proves the Power of Meetings. Hope this will inspire many associations to use their meetings to show they care and initiate change in their fields, I also hope it will inspire many ICCA members to look out for opportunities to be involved in our annual Silent Auction.

Thank you all for caring!

Ksenija Polla, CMP
Director Association Relations
ICCA

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