ICCA community creates Global Association Meetings Protocol

Event Africa Contributor 22/02/2022 Industry Association News

Re-imagining the future of events during a global pandemic is one of the industry’s biggest challenges. ICCA’s Global Association Meetings Protocol is intended to serve the worldwide industry with a road map to keep the industry moving forward.

During its 2020 Congress, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) delivered the Kaohsiung Protocol as a strategic recovery framework to guide the global meetings and events industry forward. Late last year, after guidance and input from ICCA’s global community, they released the 2021 Global Association Meetings Protocol.

“This new framework is based on insights from ICCA members and Association community who helped us determine how priorities and ways of working have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.

Four key pillars

“Our survey revealed four key pillars that are vital to moving the industry forward — sustainability, equity and legacy; advocacy and policy; crisis planning and mitigation; and sector and community alignment strategy. Within each of these pillars, we see a strong desire for our industry to take a central role and collaborative approach to driving change. 

“As was the case with the Kaohsiung Protocol, the Global Association Meetings Protocol is intended to serve the worldwide industry with a roadmap to keep the industry moving forward. It’s a document that can shed light on opportunities for collaboration and innovation.”

The report contains recommendations from the Global Association Meetings Protocol Advisory Group and the team at MMGY NextFactor. It delivers a list of strategies and key takeaways by sector.

Mind the gap

“Another crucial discovery is the gap between what the industry currently offers and what customers believe should be prioritised. This reveals an ideal starting point for strengthening partnerships and ensuring the industry continues to offer the utmost value to associations,” says Gopinath.

Paul Ouimet, Partner and President of MMGY NextFactoradds that the purpose of the Protocol is to identify how association clients and their destination partners can collaborate more effectively on developing business events in a rapidly evolving world. 

“This strategic framework was based on multiple surveys asking event professionals and convention and visitor bureau leaders to identify the most important strategies that destinations should prioritise today. You will find the gaps in the survey results between the two audiences illuminating. 

“There is clearly more conversation needed to bring association clients and destinations closer together around long-term shared goals for the future. As all participants in the business events industry reassess their strategic objectives and initiatives in 2022, the Global Association Meetings Protocol provides a clear overview of the opportunities and challenges before us… We hope you and your organization can benefit from this strategic framework,” Ouimet says.