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May 2, 2008

MIA opens doors to organisers

Corporate conference and meetings organisers, including procurement professionals, can now gain access to quality, accredited venues and suppliers at preferential rates through the Meetings Industry Association (MIA), which they are now eligible to join.

What’s more, 850 top-level buyers of conference and meetings facilities will be offered their first year’s MIA membership free of charge.

The decision to expand the MIA to include “corporate and association meeting buyers, as well as procurement officers and other professionals tasked with meeting and conference purchase” was voted in by the organisation’s current members this week. The move will see a re-categorisation of MIA membership, to include the three main sectors of: venues (any venue offering meeting facilities); suppliers (any supplier to the meetings industry, including all third-party agencies); and associates (end-user buyers).

Commenting on the move, MIA chairman Michael Scroop said: “This is a forward-thinking change to the structure of the MIA, bringing the full range of meetings professionals under our membership and ensuring long-term member benefit.”

The change will also mean additional value for existing members, who will be given the chance to meet, network and garner feedback with clients and end users.

“With these three sectors all represented within the MIA, we are able to offer mutually beneficial value to everyone involved,” added Scroop. “This will include reduced-rate access to venues and suppliers, regular networking and educational opportunities, tailored online search facilities, and opportunities for inspection and familiarisation visits within the membership.

“The MIA recognises that market conditions are progressively more competitive for our members and to be successful we must seek new ways in which to give back to them. By expanding the pool of individuals and organisations that can become MIA members, we increase the volume and quality of the information shared between members and the opportunities for them to meet.”

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