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October 28, 2009

Association business is no quick fix

A long-term strategy should be taken towards securing association meetings and events business, rather than short-term approach, according to James Rees, chair of the ICCA UK & Ireland Chapter.

Rees’ comments were made to delegates at the recent ICCA Masterclass held at Virgin Atlantic’s training centre in Crawley, south of London.

More than 60 delegates attended the event, which focused on attracting association business, including key advice from experts ranging from in-house professional conference organisers to external agencies.

The association view was presented by Dr Nicholas P Gair, chief executive of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), who regaled delegates on his experiences, good and bad, when dealing with venues and suppliers of association events.
“Association business can be seen as an insurance policy to safeguard business in these challenging economic times, which explains the fantastic attendance and enthusiasm for the master class,” said Rees.
“Attendance was more than double what we expected, so we’re delighted with the response and are now looking at content for the next masterclass, as we intend to make this an annual event.”
Research was described as another key to the understanding and winning of more association business. Delegates were shown how to use the ICCA database to search out potential association prospects and help them with their research.
Companies represented at the event covered a wide range of organisations, including MCI, Congrex, VisitBritain, Tourism Ireland, Visit Manchester, Visit London, Hiscox and Marriott Hotels International.

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