The first ever ‘Association Collaboration Meeting’ took place at Searcy’s at the Barbican in London on 31 July, following a Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) meeting where it was agreed that events associations need to collaborate to better represent the industry.
Some 20 associations were invited to the meeting and around 9 attended, including Richard Foulkes, who sits on the international board of governors for the International Special Events Society (ISES); Samme Allen of MPI; Andy Grove, chair of the Local Authorities for Events Organisers (LAEOG); Simon Hughes of Eventia; Juliet Price of the HBAA; Caroline Jackson of AEME; and ESSA director Chris Skeith.
Richard Foulkes commented: “There are many associations in the industry and, while there are crossovers, each sits in its own niche. We are not trying to create a new association or re-create the BVEP. The BVEP’s job is to act as a unifying umbrella body and to encourage initiatives such as this.
“The forums objective was to discuss potential collaborations that could enable each association to deliver additional and better benefits for their members.”
The forum identified three potential channels of initial collaboration:
To establish a dialogue with the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2014 to enable some aligned activity to be developed. This could see association AGM’s, joint meetings and events taking place in Liverpool next year during the IFB.
The exploration of internships and training programmes as a common programme to engage better with student bodies and young professionals across the industry.
The raising of the profile of the events industry as a whole by ensuring better communication of individual and joint activity across the sector.
Michael Foreman from the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers’ (ABPCO) chaired the meeting, and said: “It was a positive first meeting with much common ground identified. I see a great number of benefits developing from this and I am very pleased with the output.”