A Room with a Zoo for the Associations World Congress 2018

Associations seem to have found a home at the Associations World Congress. Organised by The Association of Association Executives, the 11th version of the event took place last week at The Flanders Meeting & Convention Centre in Antwerp and was attended by over 240 employees and officers of professional, scientific and trade membership organisations interested in exchanging knowledge and expertise.

There was a unique characteristic in this year’s congress as the venue where it was held was part of a zoo. The participants were impressed and inspired by the nature and the animal life around them, which gave the event a vibrant feel.

Well known keynote speakers, various simultaneous streams to choose from, workshops, success stories and expert briefings made for a varied program covering areas like problems associations are currently facing and future trends in the industry. Some of the topics included association governance, member recruitment, engagement and retention, revenue development, communications and lobbying, management and CRM systems and – my personal favourite – technology. I particularly enjoyed the advice given on how to take advantage of the rise of social media and which are the top technological innovations for conferences, for example using facial recognition as a faster way of registering for an event.

The wealth of information and topics was delivered by speakers from within the industry but also by experts from different fields. Roy Gluckman, Amanda Hammett, Philip G. Forte, Alex Inchbald, Miguel Neves and Dries Herpoelaert are only some of the names on the board of speakers. On the second day, Damian Hutt, Executive Director of AAE, presented Gothenburg, the host city for next year’s congress.

Social events like a welcome reception on 12 March and a gala dinner including the International and European Association Awards ceremony the following evening completed the program of the congress.

Winners recognized for their excellence in leadership, development and service included:

Executive Director of the Year
Angela Cherrington
Institute of Directors in Southern Africa

Young Association Executive of the Year
Drilona Shtjefni
European Biomass Industry Association

Best Conference Development
World Endoscopy Organization

Best Website & Integration
Union for International Cancer Control

Best Membership Engagement
Institute of Directors in Southern Africa

Best Association Video
International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies

Best Social Media Campaign
International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis

Best Association E-Newsletter
AOSpine

This report was written by Vicky Koffa, Boardroom digital editor / digital@boardroom.global

 

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