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January 18, 2009

JMIC summit identifies key issues

The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) completed an industry issues review as part of its recent summit discussion at EIBTM in Barcelona and is now proceeding to develop a strategy to address key industry issues in the coming year.

The summit was organised to give member organisations an opportunity to review current industry issues, determine what member associations were doing to address them and identify any opportunities that existed for either sharing strategies and materials or taking collective action as an industry.

Along with an agreement that members would be willing to share all relevant information about how each is addressing key issues, was a decision to develop a strategic plan that would address the need for an overall industry initiative in areas of common interest and concern.

"JMIC now has the greatest strength of membership in our history, but also the highest expectations from those members,” said the council’s president Barbara Maple.

"The current and anticipated challenges we face as an industry mean that the need to work together on overall industry profile and positioning has never been greater. However, we also need good mechanisms for sharing information and taking a collective approach to addressing issues that represent the common concerns of all industry sectors."

As expected, members identified the current global economic crisis as being the top shared priority. However, there was also recognition that, as this crisis resolves itself, other challenges will emerge that again require a concerted effort by all members.

These were identified as labour and training issues, increasing expectations for demonstrable actions on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, as well as transportation concerns.

In each case, members were able to identify both specific actions that individual associations had or intended to take, as well as overall industry-wide activities that would help create a more efficient and unified approach where appropriate.

Overall, members acknowledged that, while current global conditions presented challenges, they also offered an opportunity for the industry to distinguish itself as an economic driver and an important vehicle for economic recovery.

The plan now under development will address both opportunities and is expected to be complete early this year.

JMIC members include:
– AIPC (the International Association of Congress Centres)
– COCAL (the Latin American Confederation of PCO and Related Companies)
– DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International)
– ECM (European Cities Marketing)
– EVVC (the European Association of Event Centres)
– IAPCO (the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers)
– ICCA (the International Congress and Convention Association)
– MPI (Meeting Professionals International)
– PCMA (the Professional Convention Association Management Association)
– SITE (the Society of Incentive & Travel Executives)

It is also supported by UFI (the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) and the CIC (Convention Industry Council).

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