James Rees, ICCA, Craig Newman, UFI and Aloysius Arlando, AIPC James Rees, ICCA, Craig Newman, UFI and Aloysius Arlando, AIPC

AIPC, ICCA and UFI launch alliance

The risk of competing rather than collaborating, and a growing overlap, are behind an alliance agreement between three global meetings associations serving the international meetings industry.

AIPC (The International Association of Convention Centres), ICCA (The International Congress and Convention Association), and UFI (The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry) have launched a Global Alliance to facilitate collaboration and generate more comprehensive and better aligned benefits for their members.

The alliance will explore exchange and reciprocity in four primary areas: educational content, research, standards and advocacy.

It would implement a flexible framework of collaboration between the three associations in order to achieve these benefits without compromising the focus and platform of each member organisation.

The three partners will begin by engaging in a series of educational exchanges incorporating each other’s knowledge content into their respective conferences and starting to align approaches taken to areas of common practice such as research and advocacy activities, beginning immediately. At the same time they are initiating a regular exchange between their respective leaderships to align interests on issues like standards, terminology and best practices. 

‘We are all organisations with a global membership and perspective and already complement each other’s activities in various ways,’ says Aloysius Arlando, AIPC president. ‘However, as the business models of exhibitions, congresses, conferences, and other types of business meetings evolve, the overlap of global associations servicing the industry is growing even further.’

‘This carries the risk of competition replacing collaboration as the driving force for industry associations. With our Global Alliance, the three of us choose value for our members, choose collaboration over competition,’ adds Craig Newman, UFI president.

‘It is our hope and expectation that these initial activities will lead to the identification of opportunities for further collaboration in areas of mutual interest and benefit for our members around the world,’ says James Rees, ICCA president.

In addition to the immediate practical outcomes, the partners believe the alliance also offers potential to enhance the credibility of the industry as a whole by providing a vehicle for development of greater consistency within a mutually agreed industry framework. ‘Certainly the exchange of content and insights will provide better access for members to additional resources, but there is another factor here which is the opportunity to increase consistency in the areas where we overlap,’ says Rod Cameron, executive director of AIPC. ‘This will not only enhance overall industry performance but boost our collective credibility amongst other industry sectors.’

AIPC represents a global network of more than 190 leading centres in 64 countries with the active involvement of more than 900 management-level professionals. It is committed to encouraging, supporting and recognising excellence in convention centre management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international membership, and maintains a full range of educational, research, networking and standards programs to achieve this.

AIPC also recognises and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic academic and professional development as well as enhancing global relations amongst highly diverse business and cultural interests.

AIPC Members are purpose built facilities whose primary purpose is to accommodate and service meetings, conventions, congresses and exhibitions.

ICCA - the International Congress and Convention Association - represents the world's leading suppliers in handling, transporting and accommodating international meetings and events, and now comprises over 1100 member companies and organizations in almost 100 countries worldwide. Since its establishment 55 years ago, ICCA specialises in the international association meetings sector, offering unrivalled data, communication channels, and business development opportunities. 

UFI is the global association for the world’s tradeshow organisers and exhibition centre operators, as well as the major national and international exhibition associations, and selected partners of the exhibition industry.

UFI’s main goal is to represent, promote and support the business interests of its members and the exhibition industry. UFI directly represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and also works closely with its 52 national and regional associations members. Around 800 member organisations in about 90 countries and regions around the world are presently signed up as members and more than 1000 international trade fairs bear the UFI approved label. UFI members provide the international business community with marketing media aimed at developing face-to-face business opportunities.