Bringing Change to the World through International Congresses

At GainingEdge, we are proud of our work with the world’s association community carried out in tandem with our clients. Such programmes give us, and our clients, valuable insights into the world of association meetings. GainingEdge has been moderating the Association Expert Seminar for ICCA since its inception in 2005.

Association Expert Seminar (AES) 2010 organised by the International Congress & Convention Association – ICCA.
Annually two days just prior to IMEX, Frankfurt.
Participants: Association executives and ICCA members (meetings supplier community)
Duration: 2 days
Format: Presentations, panel discussions, roundtable discussions and Q&A involving association meeting planners, association management company professionals, convention bureaux, professional congress organisers (PCOs) and convention centres.

This unique, interactive seminar brings international association executives and suppliers together to share information and experiences, and to update themselves on the latest trends and ideas relating to the management of international associations and their meetings. ICCA has been successfully organising this very popular annual programme since 2005.

At the 2010 seminar, the programme covered all issues that concern associations – from how to use social media technology and harnessing its various communication opportunities; to meeting planning issues; and from perceptions about the future of association meetings to the role of association meetings as agents of change in the world. Current day issues concerning sustainability for associations and the challenges of planning meetings were also discussed by the association and supplier parties. All agreed that networking at meetings remain a high priority for delegates. As the headquarters of some associations will move to emerging destinations in Asia, Middle East and Africa, risk management, and the need for meeting planners to be agile and flexible, are expected to play a bigger role.

Later, a session on Convention 2020’s Pathfinder Report offered some glimpses into the future of meetings as seen through the eyes of industry experts and meeting planners in both corporate and association sectors.

Gary has been a really inspired choice to lead our Association Expert Seminars over the last few years: his knowledge of the international association client side of life as well as his intimate understanding of supplier and destination issues, means that he has been able to effectively bring these two distinctive groups together to genuinely understand each others’ mindsets and business environments. Gary combines strategic understanding with frontline marketing and sales expertise, a rare combination that makes him an excellent moderator and seminar leader, and this combination of skills has enabled us to develop the AES programme in partnership with him to a really high level.” Martin Sirk, CEO, ICCA.