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Association HQs in GAHP cities growing faster

Report on GAHP 1st anniversary validates strategy to help associations expand globally

Latest data from the Union of International Associations (UIA) confirms that the four members of the Global Association Hubs Partnership (GAHP) continue to grow their market share of association headquarters.
Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington, DC all built on their leading positions of the last 10 years in 2016, with particularly strong growth in the booming Dubai market.

"We are seeing encouraging growth in all our GAHP partner hubs. This year’s UIA data for locations of association headquarters and regional offices consolidates our leading position as global capitals and regional gateways for international associations," said Hervé Bosquet, GAHP Senior Advisor.

Steen Jakobsen, Executive Committee Member, Dubai Association Centre, adds "Whilst growth in association secretariats has averaged 6% worldwide in the last 10 years, evolution in our partner hubs is a little over 11%. In Dubai we have more than doubled our market share and the newly established Dubai Association Centre has already assisted 35 associations setup in the emirate."

The data comes exactly one year after Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington, DC launched the Global Association Hubs Partnership. The four cities joined forces to help associations expand globally and build capacity out of their hubs. Since then GAHP has engaged in open dialogues with international associations’ top management with a view to making the partner hubs uniquely competitive and convenient for international associations to transition into their regions and tap into growth opportunities.

GAHP Value Proposition: "going global" made easy for international associations
It is becoming clear to top management in many international associations that growth will need to come from outside their saturated home markets. To continue to grow, their best option is to better serve their overseas members by providing value and building engagement abroad.

“By partnering with the GAHP, associations can take advantage of the GAHP’s networks to go global. We do a lot of business match-making to connect associations with key industry stakeholders, and facilitate cross promotion of international associations across our partner cities. We also drive dialogue platforms with association decision-makers, making it easy and convenient for association executives to learn from best practices and network with potential partners,” said Ms Jeannie Lim, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings & Incentive Travel, Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau.

" We focus our attention on developing your business alongside our own focus areas. We share many of the same clusters in the GAHP and the partners exchange information and best practices. We have a joint interest in developing these clusters internationally with our clients and intend to reinforce this win-win partnership strategy," confirms Elliott Ferguson, President and CEO, Destination DC.

GAHP in 2017, and beyond
Providing value for associations that want to expand internationally will continue to be at the heart of the GAHP strategy and activities in 2017.

The focus will be on creating the proper working and learning environment and, beyond the practicalities, on providing opportunities for knowledge exchange and community building.

"Helping associations grow is why we joined forces one year ago," concluded Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Director of the Brussels Convention and Association Bureau. " We live in a globalizing world and start to see the first benefits of the GAHP strategy in response to the need for associations to go global if they want to continue to grow. We are determined to invest in making our hubs increasingly competitive. In Brussels for example, we plan on opening an association clubhouse in 2017, a place where executives can meet, connect, learn from each other, and foster partnerships."

Reactions from the market
Alessandro Cortese, CEO of ESTRO, the European Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology: "The GAHP value proposition is truly unique. The hubs increasingly live up to associations’ expectations and their staff understands the business rationale beyond just meetings… a breakthrough in the relationship between cities and associations."

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, the International Conference and Convention Association: "Last year at the launch there was a strong concept, that I strongly supported. Now you've put together the practical nuts and bolts to turn the idea into reality. I really like your updated concept. Congratulations."

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