What is in this article?:
- Why Four Event Industry Association CEOs See a Vital Future
- What trends have had an impact on your association's meetings and how have you adapted?
- What must the industry do to better promote the value of meetings?
- How has competition affected the way you do business?
- How has globalization affected your business and growth?
- How has membership evolved?
- Given all the changes, is the meetings industry at a turning point?
The leaders of ASAE, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Meeting Professionals International, and Professional Convention Management Association are bullish on meetings.
How has globalization affected your business and growth?
Over 60 percent of our members are involved with meetings outside of the U.S., so we are going to continue to provide education so our members can be better at what they do as it relates tomeetings. Everything we do goes back to education, and because of that, our global community is growing. It’s growing on the supplier side because they know more of our members are involved in global meetings and because they’re benefiting from the education.
We’ll continue to do some of the smaller international meet ings, like the recent corporate global summit in Glasgow. We’re going to do aglobal summitin London next July. We’ve done smaller events in Canada, Mexico, South America, but our goal is not to go around the world and try to create chapters and build membership that we maybe can’t support. Our goal is to continue to build and expand on the education that benefits the global community.
It’s a mixed bag, but maybe a little less mixed than it was 20 years ago when we decided to go global. At that time we were hearing people say, “I do business in St. Louis or Tampa or Albuquerque. What are you going overseas for? Why do I have to pay for that adventure as part of my dues?” You don’t hear that anymore. You hear “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to expand my event with international exhibitors.” But [U.S. organizations] are latecomers in most new markets. The Germans, French, and Italians are decades ahead of us in developing exhibitions in places like China and India.
Associations are eyeing global expansion as a viable option to increase their market shareand deepen their positive impact on their international constituencies. Many of the industries represented by U.S. associations, like healthcare, financial services, and technology, are global industries. Just like many other associations in the U.S., global activities are one of the top priorities for ASAE. ASAE’s International Section Council is working to provide resources and education for association practitioners operating in the global realm. In addition,
ASAE has launched a new group for U.S.-based association leaders from associations that have a robust global engagement. The Key Global Associations Committee aims to provide a networking and education platform to advance the U.S. association sector globally.
We’re proud to be a global meeting professional community. We don’t intend to change that, but we are taking a very measured approach to expansion. As one of the most experienced global communities, we have learned that our current chapter model needs to be looked at and re-imagined in some markets. Rather than focus on a multitude of new global markets, we will focus on a very specific few markets. For us, that’s Europe, China, and Brazil.