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ICCA Presidential Message // March 2018

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Dear ICCA Members,

In February the ICCA Board of Directors met in Istanbul, Turkey to evaluate our associations existing strategy and deliberate the relevance of what is currently in place.  The weather was frosty and cold, if not downright freezing for a girl from the coastal tropical town of Umhlanga in South Africa!  But the warm welcome reception, inspiring conference setting, wonderful hospitality and ICCA member industry engagement was truly world class and most memorable.

ICCA Board members were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire by our facilitator to independently ascertain if all board members representing chapters and sectors, still felt confident that the current ICCA Vision and Mission was still relevant.

The ICCA Vision: “Shaping the future and value of international association meetings”. Our Mission: “To be the global community and knowledge hub for the international association meetings industry, creating:

  • Competitive advantage and business opportunities
  • Successful outcomes for association meetings

The feedback from the board members, was that the ICCA Vision and Mission still very much resonates with what ICCA is about and the shared values that we have as members. It was also good to learn that the hours and work put into compiling the vision and mission about 5 years ago now, was and continues to be effective.

Interestingly the 6 key strategic goals for ICCA are the areas that the board identified which needed to be re-evaluated and re-interpreted. These goals are probably ones, as a member, you will agree will benefit you.

  1. New business opportunities and competitive advantage
  2. Engage association executives
  3. Global knowledge hub
  4. Expanded advocacy
  5. World class, highly specialised Congress
  6. Effective & sustainable organisation

Whilst we have touched on, and in certain areas explored how these goals can be addressed to benefit members, we may well need to turn what we know and how we do it on its head! Something that other industries and associations are having to do to ensure that the original reason for their existence is relevant today and for the future.  Being “Uniquely Better” is a catch phrase that has stuck with me personally, on a business level and for ICCA.

In fact, we already are the funnel for all experts involved in association meetings. So how do we make the funnel larger, filter better and utilise the information and intelligence that we capture? Perhaps it is a perspective and approach internally that we need to change starting with when we are exposed or come across new ideas and concepts, instead of saying “How can this be used?” We should rather be saying “Wow!” and then collaborate to find the best “how”.

The ICCA board with our CEO, Martin Sirk and CVO, Dennis Speed have identified specific board working groups to explore how these strategic goals can be approached to address the changes and challenges we face as an association.

Based on the strategic meeting and looking towards the future, the quotes by Keith Coats who is a leadership expert resonated with me.

“The greatest threat for most leaders right now is not the turbulence in their marketplaces and industries, but rather applying yesterday's logic to tomorrow's world. The global context, complexity and connectedness present entirely new challenges for contemporary leaders.”

“In a global context of exponential change, the organisational imperative becomes one of intentionally building the capacity to change and evolve. Adaptability is critical to survival; this was an accepted evolutionary insight long before it was understood within the realms of business as per global leadership”

Greater collaboration with you our members to gather information, ideas and recommendation is something that remains paramount. Should you have an idea or approach regarding the strategic goals that you feel strongly about or feel worth sharing, please do not hesitate to send this to me or the ICCA team, as with this collaborative knowledge sharing, it will ensure that ICCA continues to strive as the industry association for international association meetings.

PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi has said that “Every morning you have got to wake up with a healthy fear that the world is changing, and a conviction that, to win, you have to change faster and be more agile than anyone else”.

Yours in ICCA, 

Nina Freysen-Pretorius, ICCA President


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