Cyber Experts Secure the Future in The Hague

June 23, 2017

Cyber Experts Secure the Future in The Hague

From 25 to 29 September, The Hague will host the second edition of the international Cyber Security Week. More than 40 events will see hundreds of experts in cyber security and cybercrime sharing their knowledge, discussing the latest developments and pitching innovative ideas. Together they will look for innovative solutions for one of the biggest challenges in our modern, digital world: how can we guarantee a secure cyber future? Important events at the Cyber Security Week are the Europol-INTERPOL cybercrime conference and the final of the EC-Council hacking competition Global CyberLympics.

Europol, INTERPOL, NATO, representatives of various European security clusters from the UK, Belgium, Germany and France, among others, will participate in seminars, lectures, workshops, challenges and show cases, will hear the latest ‘ins and outs’ with regard to cyber security and be invited to share, enhance and apply their knowledge.

The Cyber Security Week is an initiative of The Hague Security Delta (HSD), where many events of the CSW will take place. However, other locations in the Hague will also host events, including the WTC, the Fokker Terminal and New Babylon.

June 22, 2017

UIA Places Korea in 1st Place for Association Congresses in 2016

Korea now ranks in the #1 spot worldwide for global congresses hosted the previous year, according to the most recent International Meetings Statistics Report released by the Union of International Associations (UIA), reflecting the country’s strong growth.

According to the findings, Korea had a 11.89% increase in meetings over the previous year, with Seoul as well as other cities ranking in high places hence contributing to the country’s increasingly diverse business events portfolio.

Korea’s infrastructure is expanding nationwide with the construction of a second terminal of the Incheon International Airport, luxury hotels and boutique hotels boosting budget accommodation options for business visitors.

Meanwhile, operational services are growing in new regional hotspots, such as convention bureau established for Cheongsong in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and establishment of the Gangwon Convention Bureau. Event planners have also been able to enjoy an expanded range of services and support for locally-hosted events from the Korea MICE Bureau of the Korea Tourism Organization, the nation’s officially government-sponsored agency for business events.

June 21, 2017

An Invitation to Switzerland

The Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau (SCIB) based in Brussels, organises its traditional workshop on October 17th at 6 pm which will take place in the Botanical Garden Meise in the Plant Palace and Bouchout Castle. Associations are invited to discover the many possibilities for meetings and events in Switzerland.

This year the workshop will focus on nature as a constant source of inspiration and will demonstrate Switzerland’s venues and hotels surrounded by nature to guarantee excellence for organisers of meetings and events. The workshop will include information speeches on Swiss destinations and will be followed by a dinner where the main speaker will introduce alpine plants as sources of innovation and a return to tradition.

This evening is exclusively for professional organisers of meetings and incentives and is by invitation only. To obtain your own personal invitation, please contact


June 21, 2017

Association Salary Survey – A Report

Operating in Brussels for more than 10 years placing many candidates in public affairs, communication and association leadership positions, Ellwood Atfield has launched a new 28-page report on remuneration within European associations. Through regular contacts with clients and candidates they have amassed considerable data on compensation packages in Brussels, across sectors and seniority levels. The core of this salary report is based on an in-depth survey we finalized in 2017 of over 200 senior association secretariat staff.

Words Mark Dober, Senior Director, Ellwood Atfield

EU-focused associations are big business. According to the Federation of European and International Associations (FAIB) there are 2,265 associations based in and around Brussels, which have a total estimated annual income of €2.9 billion, and employ 13,400 people. These include professional associations representing specific professions; important Non-Governmental Organisations; and some 1,600 European trade associations representing business sectors.

The key finding of our previous remuneration analysis was that salaries in Brussels vary enormously. Again we found this to be the case with associations, across all levels of seniority. There are a number of new elements presented here, including job satisfaction. Notably, according to our 2017 study of senior staff in Brussels-based European associations, almost three-quarters reported being happy or very happy in their jobs. There are many reasons and interesting personal examples behind this data. In our one-to-one interviews we do find tremendous satisfaction amongst association leaders which is often explained by a strong sense of freedom to operate, and long term thinking, especially compared to corporate environments.

Overall European association salaries are considerably higher than those found in the general Belgian economy, reflecting the premium paid for European affairs positions, which attract high calibre staff from around the European Union. Although association staff are relatively well paid they are also highly taxed; data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that Belgium has the highest income taxes in the developed world. Belgian taxation partly explains why associations do not tend to have a strong bonus culture. According to our research almost half of secretariat staff receive no bonus whatsoever, and only about 15% receive more than a 10% annual bonus. However, there are a number of perks and benefits available to association staff in Belgium, which are less common elsewhere. For instance, cars In Belgium with the free use of fuel are fairly common for senior staff due to their relatively favourable tax treatment.

While some Brussels Director General (DG) salaries may seem high, they are not the highest in the world. On a recent visit to meet our Washington DC headhunter associates at Lochlin Partners we discovered that the average DG/CEO of a US trade association earns in excess of US $650,000. Indeed, the US Chamber of Commerce CEO earns more than US $6 million in base salary and bonus per year. DGs can also earn very high salaries in other European jurisdictions where we operate especially when running international associations in Geneva. In the UK, Ellwood Atfield recently partnered with the Trade Association Forum to survey salaries from 102 trade associations that together employ 1,530 staff. According to the research UK DGs typically earn £73,000 to £124,000 with a number earning up to £332,000 per annum excluding bonus. The detailed report is available on request.

 Association Leaders

Whether salaried or independent the DG of a European association statistically speaking on average earns €144,550 income per year. Around one-quarter of DGs are employed as independent contractors, with the rest operating as salaried employees of the association.

Although around half of independent DGs earn €120,000 up to €210,000, over 40% of Independent DGs we surveyed earn €210,000 – €350,000 per annum, with a fortunate few earning more than €350,000. Of the salaried employee DGs, just over a quarter earn less than €100,000, almost 40% earn €100,000 – €160,000, and just over 30% earn €160,000 to €300,000 with only a very few earning higher amounts. Salaried DGs enjoy the highest amounts of benefits with the majority having meal vouchers, group pension plans, smartphones, private healthcare, car leases and petrol cards.

According to our research, the majority of heads of policy or public affairs in trade associations are highly experienced, with almost 70% having between 10 and 20 years’ work experience since leaving university. Around 85% are salaried employees and 15% are self-employed. Almost two-thirds of Heads of Policy earn under €100,000, while only around one-fifth earn €120,000 to €200,000, with a fortunate few earning higher amounts normally as independents.

According to our research, 85% of policy officers in trade associations have less than 10 years’ work experience, and nearly all are salaried employees. The vast majority of policy officers or public affairs managers earn less than €80,000 per annum. The average salary for this category is around €45,000 with around 40% earning less than €40,000 per annum.

Communication roles

Interestingly, around two-thirds of heads of communications are women, and the majority are highly experienced with over 15 years’ of work experience. Around 70% earn less than €100,000 as a gross salary, and only 20% earn more than €120,000.

Communication managers are less experienced, with around three quarters having less than 14 years’ of experience. Salaries are much lower, with the vast majority earning less than €70,000 per annum. The overall average salary for communications managers is around €55,000.

In our experience, money is only one part of overall job satisfaction, it is also about having positive colleagues and bosses, work/life balance, job autonomy, career development opportunities, job security, and possibly even a higher purpose to what you do. European association jobs typically tick many of these boxes.

This report is available for free download here.

June 20, 2017

Brisbane Gathers Experts in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine

Some of the world’s leading anaesthetists, pain specialists and other medical practitioners from the healthcare sector were among 2,000 delegates and attendees meeting at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) last month for the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), which celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The meeting has a tradition of successfully bringing together clinicians, science and industry to produce continual improvement in patient outcomes and safety.

‘Think Big’ was this year’s theme addressing topics of scientific, social as well as technological content, such as obesity, legislation around the eating habits of Australians and the use of medicinal cannabis, through 140 workshops and 40 concurrent sessions. The “Think Big” theme was also evident in the program’s activities with pop-up simulation emergency events using full-on emergency services and enacting a live theatre scenario on stage with doctors, nurses and technicians.

Among the facilities offered in the Centre, a crèche was available to the increasing number of women anaesthetists.


June 19, 2017

Melbourne Poses for Professional Conference Organisers

Boardroom joined a delegation of European conference organisers in Melbourne from 7 – 11 June 2017 for five days of immersive experiences to learn about Melbourne’s capabilities as Australia’s leading business events destination.

Europe is Melbourne’s largest source market with over 40 per cent of all association conferences secured by Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) coming from a European city.

The educational program, which was developed in partnership with MCB and Tourism Australia’s Business Events Australia (BEA), addressed European key association planners and decision makers. The program highlighted the city’s various accommodation and event venues and was followed by a regional program that took attendees to the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island.

17 MCB partners participated in the event, including Crown Melbourne, South Wharf Events, The Langham Melbourne, Grand Hyatt Melbourne to name but a few, aiming to demonstrate how the city’s infrastructure and products can facilitate a successful outcome for business events.


June 15, 2017

Rethink the Way You Think about Learning

The editors of Convene, the PCMA magazine, partner of Boardroom, have reported on the digitalNow conference which took place in May 2017 in Orlando. The event focused on how digital technology is changing everything associations do – especially how they approach delivering education.

According to the speakers of the conference, digital technology is disruptive, warping how people consume news, it changes the way people learn. However, new opportunities are created for organisations. Learning should become more extended over one’s lifetime, specific and prescriptive training should be replaced by active and creative learning. What’s more, associations can use this new technology as a protector of information battling fake news.

Read the article here.

June 14, 2017

The Agile Asian Association: A Perspective

Reflecting from Manila, Octavio ‘Bobby’ Peralta argues that Asian associations need to be agile organizations – active, quick to adapt to changes, and business savvy – especially in this age of disruption. To achieve this, Asian associations must strive to be well-governed and professionally managed.

Having been an association executive for the last 25 years (and counting) and having had the opportunity to travel to many countries around in Asia and Pacific and elsewhere because of my work, I can say that I am a living witness to the phenomenal economic growth of the region over the years. With this journey to progress, I also noted how associations have evolved with a sense of purpose and commitment to be part of this development process.

I have also learned quite a bit about associations in the U.S. having been a long-standing member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). So, I could say that in my case, I am fortunate to know about association governance and management from both perspectives of “the east and the west”.

Governance in many associations in Asia, and in particular, in the Philippines, however, has not kept in pace with governance developments elsewhere in both the non-profit and corporate worlds. Most associations in the region adopt the board governed and managed model or so-called “volunteer-run” type unlike the board-management delineated model or “volunteer-driven, staff-run” one that is pre-dominant in U.S. associations and which is in the same mould as corporate governance.

A typical association governance structure consists of the board of directors (or trustees) who are elected by members and who acts in their behalf, committees, task forces, components (or chapters) and staff. In the “volunteer-run” (VR) model, this governance system is undertaken solely by volunteers who are not compensated for their work. The difference between the two models lies in the staff complementation. As contrasted with the VR model, in the “volunteer-driven, staff-run” (VDSR) version, the management staff, headed by a chief staff officer (CEO or executive director) is composed of professionals, i.e., salaried employees.

Based on the study of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), hereunder are some basic differences between the two models.

  • Activity focus – In the VR model, activity focus in associations is built around successful programs and short-term membership services while in VDSR, activities are driven by strategic priorities and professional business planning in a holistic view, with focus on the return of investment (ROI).
  • Strategy positioning – Emerging needs and market opportunities are restrained by lack of resources in the VR model while in the VDSR, resources are proactively planned with a focus on integration and delivery of strategy.
  • People resource availability – In VR, knowledge and talent are not that steady since they are based on volunteer availability while in VDSR, knowledge and talent allocation is planned, recruited and cultivated, hence, knowledge is stored and retrievable.
  • Community dimension – A responsive community with key drivers is how best to describe the VR model while in VDSR, the community is multi-driven by as many in the group.

It is apparent from the above-cited differences that the VDSR model would be a better option to emulate and adopt by associations in this part of the world and this is what the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE) has been advocating on. But this is easier said than done.

Read the rest of the article in the second issue of Boardroom. You can download it here.

Bobby Peralta is presently the Secretary General of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP), the focal point of 106 development banks and other financial institutions engaged in sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. He is also currently the Secretary General of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI), the umbrella organization of 328 development banks in 154 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. With over 25 years of experience as an association executive, Bobby Peralta is a long-standing member of and contributor to the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the CEO & Founder of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE).


June 14, 2017

How to Leave a Legacy with Sibos in Geneva

The Iceberg, partner of Boardroom, has published the second of a series of high-level academic case studies investigating meetings legacies. The report – part of the Joint Meetings Industry Council’s Case Study Program – examines the legacy cross-pollination between a group of start-ups exhibiting during Sibos 2016 in Geneva and the delegate audience attending the huge financial services event.

Sibos 2016, which took place in Palexpo, Geneva from 26th to 29th September, hosted a Swiss Fintech Corner in an attempt to connect local Fintech companies with the global financial institutions.

You can read the article here.


June 12, 2017

Associations Get More Access to Japan in Paris

The Japan Convention Bureau, a division of the Japan National Tourism Organization, established its fifth international MICE office in Paris beginning April 2017 as an addition to its global team of specialists. The Paris convention specialist, Mr. Aurélien Bandini, will be the main point of contact for association meeting planners in France, Belgium and Monaco.

Associations can now enjoy more direct advice on appropriate venues for their events, ideas for social programs or incentive tour itineraries and provision of promotional materials, such as brochures, videos, images and other resources. The appointment of a specialist in Paris makes JNTO even more accessible as it facilitates communication between host cities and local organising committees.

Ms. Kawasaki, Executive Director of JNTO, says: “Japan has always been a popular destination for European meetings and JNTO can now provide more targeted support to French-speaking meeting planners with our new MICE office in Paris.”