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December 21, 2008

ITM creates working party on meetings and events

Showing further recognition of the close links between meetings and events and the international travel business, the Institute of Travel Management (ITM) UK & Ireland has created a Meetings & Events Working Party.

Chaired by existing ITM board director Faye Sharpe, the group is tasked with managing a cross section of meetings and events stakeholders to drive content and membership from the sector into the association to fulfil the requirements of MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) buyers and suppliers.

The move coincides with the ITM board’s unanimous decision to change the association’s name at the AGM in 2009 to reflect the consolidation of the travel and meetings sectors and the pledge made by the association’s chairman, Caroline Strachan, at the 2008 conference to begin to introduce a strong meetings and events element to the association’s work.

Sharpe, the joint managing director of Zibrant and a recognised leader in the sector, was brought into the ITM board to provide a perspective on meetings and events and will lead the working party to create a Meetings & Events Toolkit with definitions of different parts of the MICE process, information on measuring spend and identifying stakeholders within organisations. The working party will also seek to bring together under one roof the work done by other associations representing different elements of the sector and to create better links with these organisations.

“I’m delighted to take this position,” said Sharpe. “We want to drive innovation and provide focus to meetings and events buyers and suppliers. Our aim is to provide them with the tools, assistance, unique insight and expertise that can only be gained with access to some of the industry’s leading lights from both suppliers and corporates. We have a great team and we aim to launch the MICE toolkit by the end of the first quarter of 2009 and are confident this will deliver real value to all ITM members.”

The output from the group will be targeted across three member levels. Those new to procuring meetings and events, established buyers who have been dealing with the sector for a few years but want to ensure best practice, and those considered pioneers. The association also intends to recreate its Meetings & Events Breakfast Forums, established for the first time in November, for buyers of different levels to discuss issues and solutions.

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