ICCA’s Board of Directors chose Stavanger, Norway out of three shortlisted bids at Meetings Africa last week.The Association Meetings Programme (AMP) is ICCA’s new annual event, where ICCA members and international association executives will learn from each other and from a top faculty of experts about key aspects of bidding and decision-making, organising, promoting, and designing international association meetings. It is replacing the old Research, Sales and Marketing Programme (RSMP), which was open to ICCA members only.
Mr. Per Morten Haarr, Convention Director of the Stavanger Convention Bureau: “We’re thrilled that ICCA has chosen Stavanger to host the first ever AMP!
This will also be the first global ICCA event to be held in Scandinavia since the 2002 Congress, and we know that our ICCA friends from across the region and beyond will be eager to participate. Stavanger has built an excellent reputation in the international association meetings sector over the past 20 years, and we plan to use that experience and expertise to deliver a programme that the participating international association executives and ICCA members will remember for many years to come!”
ICCA CEO Martin Sirk on why ICCA created this new event: “Success in tomorrow’s meetings industry will increasingly depend on an ability to partner and collaborate with clients and with other suppliers. To avoid becoming caught up in a commoditised marketplace where low cost and standardised services are the norm, ICCA members need to learn new skills and adopt new business concepts. Likewise, to reach the often ambitious objectives of their meetings and deliver ROI to their delegates, international association executives need to learn how to build more constructive relationships with destination marketers, venues, PCOs, and airlines. AMP aims to bridge this gap: to build mutual understanding of objectives and business cultures; to identify practical new ways to work together; to generate ideas for improving the effectiveness and value of the meetings themselves.”
“The AMP is not a new meeting concept”, Martin Sirk continues. For many years we have been running an event linked to IMEX in Frankfurt called the ICCA Association Expert Seminar (AES). Enormously popular and always with a waiting list, this event brings together 20 association executives and 40 ICCA members, for a structured series of discussions on issues of mutual interest. AMP could be described as an “AES on steroids”!”
“There will be a larger faculty; more in-depth education sessions; tougher group exercises; more opportunities for private consultations and advice; extensive guidance on using all of ICCA’s research tools and business services; and inspirational meeting design concepts. It’s important to note that this is not a workshop or hard-sales event: the emphasis is strongly on education, mutual understanding and relationship building.”
The inaugural edition of the AMP aims to attract 150 participants: 120 members; 20 associations (hosted by the host destination) and 10 faculty members. These small numbers enable the delivery of highly personalised sessions and advice to every attendee. AMP will take place from 5-7 July for ICCA members, while associations will start a day earlier (4-7 July).