An Engaged Member is a Retained Member…

April 23, 2019

An Engaged Member is a Retained Member…

Giuseppe Marletta joined the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in February this year. As a member of Boardroom Advisory Board, we have asked him to contribute a column on his experience as he goes about his new role. This is Giuseppe’s first contribution and it’s all about association membership.

As the new Managing Director for Europe for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and the former General Manager at the International Association of Young Lawyers, much of my day-to-day involves planning and executing the best experience for association members. As associations look to maintain strong membership year over year, member engagement is often the difference between whether someone will renew his or her membership or become a lapsed member. An engaged member is a retained member.

In my 15 years as an association leader, here are some of the ways I have learned to engage your membership:

Take members’ pulse on critical issues

The first step towards engaging members is knowing what matters to them. Membership surveys are a valuable tool to gauge what issues are top of mind and how members like to interact with the association and each other. In addition to regular full-membership surveys, segmented “flash polls” are a less formal way to generate almost instant feedback. Recently, ACC created a two-question survey for our Canadian members regarding the program theme they’d most like to see at our annual Canadian conference. Gathering this intelligence was fast and free, and helped us make an important decision.

Offer a variety of programs

With membership survey data on hand, it will be clear that one size does not fit all. For larger surveys, cross-section your data by demographic criteria (location, age, company size). Doing so is especially crucial for an international association. At ACC, we know that the top issue affecting company decisions in 2019 for in-house lawyers in Europe, Asia, and the United States is new regulation. We also know that among in-house lawyers in Australia and Canada, brand/reputation is most important, and for members in Latin America, the leading issue is mergers and acquisitions. The information helps us tailor our regional programming and even determine which legal resources should display first for a member accessing our website from a particular region. We can better customize our content to what members need – saving them valuable time.

Membership data also tells you how members like to interact with your association. Our younger members are less likely to attend in-person events. Our focus then becomes offering new and better virtual programming to this constituency. Review your data to make sure there is some type of programming that appeals to everyone – networking, video content, roundtables, webcasts, etc.

Meet members on social

Ensure that the community of your association extends online. Keep the association’s social media profiles active, visually appealing, and newsworthy. Members should visit your pages and profiles often and always see a variety of relevant content. Know whether your members visit social media for news, networking, photos, or a combination, and curate your feeds accordingly.

Offer many opportunities for feedback

Not every member will provide feedback in every scenario, but create an opportunity for feedback at every event. This can be as simple as having an iPad with a five-star rating system for conference check-ins (tap the number of stars representing the ease of check-in). Or, offer short surveys after virtual learning opportunities so you know which topics and presenters are best. Most importantly, make it clear to members that you act upon feedback they share.

Recognize and honor members

With constant efforts to expand conferences, create new learning opportunities, and ensure the most up-to-date content, it can be easy to forget that one of the main reasons professionals join an association is connection. Members want to get to know their peers. For that reason, always spotlight the human side of your membership. Honor your outstanding members, spotlight interesting members, and simply find ways to demonstrate the stories of your association membership. The spotlighted members will appreciate the recognition and others will like learning more about their peers. Fueling these connections drives members to engage more with each other – and ultimately with the entire association.

 

April 20, 2019

Rennes Takes E-Health to the Next Level

The capital of Britanny, Rennes is a vibrant yet quite relaxed city, the place to enjoy some Breton culture and medieval heritage. As a knowledge hub, it’s a leader, among many fields of endeavor, in health technology. No wonder the International Conference on Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS) chose it and its now famous Couvent des Jacobins for their next venue.

The CARS conference is an international and interdisciplinary conference bringing together radiologists, surgeons, computer scientists, engineers, physicists, and other researchers at a unique meeting, where together they contribute to, and in fact lead, the development of novel methodologies and applications in this fast-growing field of technology for health care.

For its 33rd conference, it will be hosted at the brand-new conference centre, the Couvent des Jacobins, in the capital city of Brittany. Rennes’s history goes back more than 2,000 years, at a time when it was a small Gallic village named Condate. Regularly cited as “the most liveable city in France”, Rennes has been selected not only for its historical ambiance, exquisite cuisine and affordable hotels, but also because it’s a leader in health technology, imaging and e-health, and with a unique expertise in biotechnology. Rennes, indeed, bridges the divide between scientific research and clinical excellence with a very specific entrepreneurial spirit.

Only an hour and half from Paris by high-speed train, Rennes is the beating heart of the Brittany economy with four competitiveness clusters leading the way, including Images et Réseaux (Images and Networks), ID4CAR (vehicles and mobility) or Valorial (food sector) and Sea Brittany. Its health sector has been heavily invested in, and isstructured around an academic research hub of 25 research institutes and a network of over 200 companies. Two high-profile university hospitals complete the picture.

If you add the pleasant parks and gardens, as well as a delightful old town with restored streets and squares, colourful traditional timber-framed houses, outstanding buildings by famous architects and one of the biggest outdoor markets in France to this, you might have the most intriguing conference destination worth exploring.

Since its opening, the Couvent des Jacobins (pictured), Rennes’ main convention centre, has increasingly been attracting the attention of international and European associations. Able to accommodate events of all nature and format, it boasts two auditoria for up to 1,000 people, 4,000 sqm of exhibition space and 25 meeting rooms, and is housed in a former convent, making it really one-of-a-kind. With 4,000 hotel rooms, 2,100 of which are in the city centre, a stone’s throw from the Couvent, Rennes is definitely one of those emerging destinations that clearly stand out on the meetings map.

Contact couvent@destinationrennes.com/ www.centre-congres-rennes.fr/en. This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May edition of Boardroom.

 

April 17, 2019

After the Associations World Congress in Gothenburg

There was definitely something going on in Gothenburg, Sweden, last week during the two-and-a-half days of education and networking of the Associations World Congress. As several hundred association executives and exhibitors from the meetings industry gathered under one roof, you could feel there was an eagerness to learn and make the most of the time out of the office.

The programme was rich, that was obvious. The selection of the right workshops and sessions to attend was hard. It was almost like you were going to miss out on something if you chose one stream over another.

The Congress kicked off  with a special forum for medical associations, which proved quite popular. The keynote opening speech was delivered by Paul Welander, senior adviser to the CEO of Gothenburg-based automotive company Volvo, who emphasized the power of collaboration to do business properly.

New this year was the Congress’ format: participants were encouraged to move freely between streams throughout the day. This allowed for greater flexibility and enhanced the opportunities for high-quality learning. Highlights included sessions on governance, or how to rethink and re-engineer the board for the modern association, communications, or how to adapt the look and feel of your communications can be a great way to re-energise members’ interest and engage more effectively with external stakeholders, or reflections on the association of the future. How do, indeed, associations renew themselves in a rapidly changing world full of disruptors? That was a much debated topic at a well-attended session.

The Congress took place at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers (pictured) in Gothenburg, a city which made sure all the participants felt welcome. Europe’s largest fully integrated hotel and congress venue in the city centre, only 20 minutes from the international airport, the complex will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021.

Delighted to be able to host so many association executives at the same time, Gothenburg has put meetings at the core of the city’s sustainable tourism strategy. With a vision to create a dynamic meetings destination, the city council assigned its destination marketing organisation, Göteborg & Co, to develop a strategic plan to support efforts to attract scientific congresses, in close collaboration with the industry and academia.

In this context, Gothenburg Convention Bureau provides easy access to the local meeting industry, the two universities and cutting-edge industries in the region, e.g. Volvo and AstraZeneca. The region of Gothenburg is characterized by relatively high business R&D expenditures, a highly educated workforce and many people employed in knowledge-intensive industries such as Life Science, Automotive/Transportation, ICT, Green chemistry and materials.

April 16, 2019

Titanium Expertise at La Cité Nantes Congress Centre

The largest city in northwest France and the sixth-largest in the country, Nantes is a centre of history, culture, technological innovation, and green sensibilities. Recognised by the European Green Capital label, regularly coming first as the most liveable city in France, it is attracting associations like the French Titanium Association, the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials (SF2M) which were instrumental in getting the World Conference on Titanium to La Cité Nantes Congress Centre next June.

The World Conference on Titanium (Ti-2019) is the fourteenth in a series of meetings that have been held every four years since 1968. Expected to attract 1,000 delegates, it will bring together the world’s titanium community to present and discuss progress in titanium science and technology. Supported by the French Titanium Association, the French Society for Metallurgy and Materials (SF2M) with the endorsement of Region Pays de Loire and Nantes city council, it is chaired by Patrick Villechaise, director of research at the CNRS.

“Nantes was selected by the International Organizing Committee thanks to the city and region’s significant group of industrial and academic actors, who are all experts on titanium, its high value alloys, and its many applications,” explains Patrick Villechaise. “The attractiveness of Nantes also made the difference. The city is easy to reach (2 hours from Paris by high-speed train), with a wealth of possible cultural activities, and it is very easy to discover by foot or public transport. La Cité Nantes Congress Centre also enjoys an ideal location in the heart of the city, and has a very ‘we can do it’ attitude when it comes to the organization of high-profile conferences like Ti-2019.”

The French industrial cluster for advanced manufacturing technologies, EMC2 was designated operational support of the event. Led by CEO Laurent Manach, it aims to reinforce the regional innovation and growth ecosystem in order to help the French industry become more competitive with a focus on advanced manufacturing technologies as a shared cross-disciplinary feature.

“This is the first time that Nantes hosts the World Titanium Congress” says Patrick Villechaise. “The program will have new features, including the visit of industrial sites. The idea is to meet key players in the territory working on titanium and discover their expertise, their way of working, their equipment…” A competitive and innovative regional capital, Nantes has indeed witnessed a booming of new high-tech industries over the last decade. Today, the territory is a centre of excellence for a large number of key industries such as science and technology.

La Cité Nantes is located just opposite the high-speed train station and 20 minutes from the international airport, and can host any type of events from 200 to 4,000 participants, with state-of-the art equipment in line with environmentally-friendly practices. It is also the only French convention centre with the AIPC ‘Gold’ Quality Standards, and has 1,100 hotel rooms within walking distance.

Contact: olivier.lefloch@lacite-nantes.fr\ lacite-nantes.com.  This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May edition of Boardroom.

 

April 8, 2019

A Wealth of Knowledge
in Smart Nice

A well-known smart destination, the Nice Côte d’Azur Métropole is riding the wave of new technologies and new sectors, currently pursuing an ambitious policy designed to improve the lives of its inhabitants and optimize the management of the city while creating jobs.

Ranked 13th smart city in the world and 4th in Europe by the American Juniper Research, the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur has placed innovation and sustainable development at the heart of its economic development strategy. The many Smart City initiatives undertaken in its territory have reinforced the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur’s collaboration with major industrial groups, local SMEs and start-ups, especially those linked to the French Tech network and the world of research and education.

The Métropole recently opened its ‘Smart City Innovation Centre’, the first French platform to bring together stakeholders in research and higher learning as well as leading smart city-focused companies in a single location, the Mediterranean Institute for Environmental Risk and Sustainable Development (IMREDD).

Case Study: Innovative City Convention

No wonder Nice hosts, each year in June, the Innovative City Convention, attracting more than 3,000 global experts in urban innovation –from France, Europe and beyond –for two intense days of conferences, exhibitions and BtoB meetings, where opportunities for new partnerships and contracts are aplenty.

Taking the Smart City concept off the drawing board and into the hands of practitioners to demonstrate how innovation enhances the quality of urban life, Innovative City Convention gathers decision makers, representatives of local authorities, companies, public sector institutions, R&D entities, sociologists, investors, start-ups and think-tanks all under one roof. It offers them a platform to discuss creative solutions that will ultimately contribute to the resilience of local communities and services, thanks to a wealth of new technologies serving connected lifestyles.

A place for research & innovation

Nice, together with the French Riviera, is a knowledge hub and has been attracting the attention of associations for this reason. In terms of Research & Development, its expertise lies in ICT, eco-technology and health.

Nice’s ICT cluster is of world fame, with advanced expertise in three key technologies, namely microelectronics, telecommunications and software. Meanwhile, eco-technology lies at the heart of the Smart City Innovation Center and its Eco Valley, one of the largest Operations of National Interest in France devoted to sustainable development, focusing on the preservation of natural heritage with state-of-the-art innovations.

Last but not least is Nice’s focus on health and well-being. Through on-going constructions and developments in its Eastern district, Nice aspires to become the European Healthy City, with the new Pasteur 2 Teaching Hospital.In this context, the 27 Delvalle facility is home to a true health ecosystem, putting innovative technologies at the service of persons with impaired autonomy and of elderly people.

Contact: bertrand.puissegur@otcnice.com/ www.meet-in-nice.com. This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May  edition of Boardroom.

 

April 2, 2019

Be Responsible in Green Monaco

A small principality of just two square kilometres that is perhaps best known for its glittering blue seas and its Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, Monaco might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think about sustainable destinations. However, the Principality has been acting as a pioneer in the matter for a few years, thanks to outstanding initiatives across the whole value and supply chain.

Beneath the surface of Monaco’s deep blue sea lie some very good creative activities and ideas designed to create – and protect – a sustainable environment that safeguards its inherent beauty. Over the last two decades, the Principality has witnessed a boom in sustainable tourism practices, and organizations of all kinds and formats have embraced the sustainability message wholeheartedly.

As a dynamic, competitive and innovative community of experts in the key sectors of science, industry and sustainability, Monaco has repositioned itself as a destination that is responsible and sustainably managed. At a time when the environment and the problems of climate change increasingly affect business decisions, it has, in 2018, joined the Global Destination Sustainable Index and was ranked 13th for its first participation (out of 60 participating destinations) with very high supplier performance. The Principality also recently won the Green Palm for Europe’s best carbon balance sheet, with a reduction of 15 to 40 % of your carbon footprint compared to other European cities, should you choose to spend some time there.

The initial push came from Prince Albert II via his Foundation in 2006, which set out to promote sustainable development on a global scale. Now it’s the whole country that is mobilized by its Sovereign on the over-arching theme of the environment. “Thanks to the pioneer work of its Sovereign, H.S.H. Prince Albert II, Monaco has been tackling environmental challenges for some time now. The official partner of many international conventions such as Kyoto Protocol, Paris agreement, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and now the GDS Index, we are raising awareness and providing high standard sustainability practices through all our activities,” says Sandrine Camia, Director of Monaco Convention Bureau.

In this context,all hotels, representing a total of 2,500 rooms and Monaco’s main convention centre, the Grimaldi Forum, are eco-certified, while all its tourism professionals are committed to energy transition, the aim being to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

The Principality of Monaco has also recently given the starting signal to its new offshore extension project and will expand its territory by six hectares in 2025. The project includes the construction of an eco-district mainly offering housing, public parking and facilities, a lively harbor with pedestrian quays, a green park, a coastal promenade, a shaded passage along the Japanese Garden as well as an extension to the Grimaldi Forum – all sustainably managed of course.

More information: scamia@gouv.mc/ www.monaconventionbureau.com. This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé and is part of an extensive France feature in the May edition of Boardroom.

 

March 26, 2019

Calgary: Meet in an Expanded, Vibrant City

Calgary is a centre of energy, not only because of its natural resources sector, but because of its vibrant communities and welcoming people. It prides itself on being a boutique city with big-city energy making it a great choice for conferences. Collaboration between the two large convention venues, Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and the BMO Centre at Stampede Park, offers a wealth of flexible space to accommodate large groups.

The BMO Centre is moving forward with proposed expansion plans, changing the game in terms of what size of events can be accommodated in Calgary. The expansion will double the current size of the BMO Centre to about 10,000 sqm of meeting space. The construction is expected to break ground in spring 2019 and be finished by 2025, in time to host the anticipated 20,000 to 40,000 attendees from over one hundred countries for the Rotary International Convention. This expansion is also expected to fuel development of hotels and restaurants in Victoria Park, rounding out the east end of downtown.

In addition to ample space to host global business events, Calgary offers convenience. Just four blocks away from Stampede Park is the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC) and the convention district filled with cultural venues such as Studio Bell, the National Music Centre, and plenty of retail shops, restaurants, bars and theatres. CTCC itself is directly connected to three hotels through Calgary’s skywalk system called the Plus 15. Kaili Cashin, Manager of Marketing & Communications for CTCC says “the boutique feel of our Centre and the convenience of our city location is one of our greatest strengths.”

Ultimate hosts

But CTCC doesn’t just rely on their convenient location; over the past year, CTCC has put time into rethinking their event space to accommodate new ways that event planners want to use it to create experiential programs. These renovated spaces are meant to foster collaboration and increase interaction that fuel innovative ideas, including bright colours, state-of-the-art technology, furniture flexibility and different room configurations.

Calgary is a breath of fresh air outside of event space as well – literally. With nearly 800 kms of pathways within city limits, event planners and delegates can see the city by foot or bike. And just an hour away from Calgary are the beautiful Rocky Mountains and nearby UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Banff and Jasper National Park.

Anticipating event planners’ needs and delivering exceptional meeting experiences is what Calgary is all about. In the end, they love to be “the ultimate hosts” to visitors and for over 700 cultural events each year, including the world-famous Calgary Stampede, and annual Global Petroleum Show.

This article is powered by Meetings + Conventions Calgary. For more information on Calgary as a conference destination, visit MEETINGSCALGARY.COM

March 20, 2019

Kigali: Building on Solid Ground

Imagine a place where strong African culture meets modern urban life, where years of troubled history gave way to cosmopolitan regeneration and where millions of inhabitants strive to upkeep one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world; add a pioneering convention centre like the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC); and all that surrounded and protected by green hillsides. That is Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, the ‘land of a thousand hills’, located in the central-east part of Africa.

Years of government and private investing, aided by the people’s ‘Umuganda’community-oriented spirit, have produced a secure, spotless environment with an upcoming economy in sectors like tourism, services, mining and agriculture. The city’s spike-like road network provides good connections to the rest of the country whereas local public transportation is modernising and runs smoothly.

Infrastructure development is evident throughout the city with facilities covering all types of events. New hotels pop out at constant pace with plans of big chains investing in the city,summing up actually to more than 2,600 hotel rooms. The Central Business District, in particular, is home to numerous hotels ranging all prices and categories. As accommodation is expanding, so is international connectivity; due for completion in 2020, a new airport will network the country further with the world.

A Committed Bureau, A Modern Centre

Established in 2014, the Rwanda Convention Bureau and its innovative leadership has been of fundamental importance in the promotion of Kigali as a meetings destination.Its services go beyond mere publicity for the city; it provides guidance and personalised solutions for the unique needs of associations, such as engaging with government and private sector specialists in supporting events. As a result, Kigali reached third place in the ICCA 2017 Africa rankings and has proven to be a major player in the business events industry over the past few years, with conferences such as the Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) and the Transform Africa Summit just this past year portraying the city’s ability to receive such heavyweight events.

Conferences of this calibre could only be held at pioneering facilities such as the Kigali Convention Centre (KCC), the country’s biggest and newest events venue, located in the heart of Kigali, five kilometres in proximity to the bustling city centre but as well Kigali International Airport. Officially launched in July 2016, KCC has definitely made an impact on the city, both aesthetically and financially. Its dome-shape exterior, resembling a traditional Rwandan King’s palace, attracts attention as much on the outside with its light show as on the inside with its functional spaces. Eighteen different venues and an auditorium of 2,600 attendee’s capacity are what makes this centre adept for any kind of conference. Nagen Naidu, KCC Director of Convention, comments on the Centre’s work: “With the highest standards in East Africa, advanced technology and offers, KCC’s occupancy grows substantially every year and 2019 follows this trend.

The Director mentions their efforts to find the right fit when it comes to associations: “We are very active in terms of research and development and we work hand in hand with ICCA, the Rwanda Convention Bureau and local ministries in order to attract the most suitable association conferences for Kigali. Results have shown that medical, scientific and technology conferences will advance both experience and development in these fields.” And he continues stressing out the importance of sustainable meetings: “We have implemented ‘responsible business’ strategy in all our meetings, offsetting carbon emission for all events at KCC. ”

The full version of this article, written by Boardroom Editor Vicky Koffa, is available in the February issue of Boardroom available here.

March 11, 2019

Northern Territory, Australia:
Into the outback

With its spectacular scenery, ancient Aboriginal culture and laid-back way of life Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) is a mecca for tourists keen to sample an authentic Australian experience. It is, however, its unique set of knowledge clusters, attention to local engagement, and the innovative ways it delivers ideas and learnings that makes it stand out as a congress destination.

More than dirt, rocks and crocs

Equivalent in size to France, Italy and Spain combined, Australia’s vast Northern Territory (NT) is divided into two distinctly different regions, each with its own weather system. The lush, green ‘Top End’ has a tropical climate and is home to the cosmopolitan capital city Darwin and the World-Heritage listed Kakadu, the country’s largest national park. In contrast, the ochre-coloured, desert-like landscape of the south has a semi-arid climate and is where you’ll find landmarks such as Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Alice Springs, Australia’s most famous outback town.

Darwin is acknowledged for its expertise in tropical medicine, food production, architecture, climate change research. Its Menzies School of Health Research is internationally renowned for its work in indigenous health, tropical diseases and infections. The Darwin Convention Centre is situated overlooking the harbour and can cater for up to 1,200 visitors. For delegates looking to tag some leisure time on to their trip, Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, and Litchfield National Parks are all within driving distance.

As well as a site of historic interest, Alice Springs provides a central meeting point for events, being situated within three hours flying time of most Australian airports. Its Desert Knowledge Australia facility showcases the state-of-the-art solar energy research and development projects for which the NT is famed. Local community organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air provide scope for educational off-site visits for groups. The 1,200-seat Alice Springs Convention Centre is the town’s largest conference facility. It is complemented by a range of other smaller hotel and resort venues within close proximity.

Engagement and delivery

The territory’s other economic and social strengths lie in agribusiness, land management, mining, education and defence. Planners looking to host events in NT can benefit from the Northern Territory Business Events Support Fund (NTBESF). Financial assistance of A$100 per delegate is available, up to a maximum of A$50,000 per event. To meet the criteria, the event needs to be at the consideration or bidding stage, align with NT’s industry strength sectors, and yield delegates from interstate and beyond.

The Northern Territory Convention Bureau (NTCB) is a key contact for setting the wheels in motion for any event. With 25 years of experience, it has built up an invaluable network of local contacts from the professional sector, government, business and industry. It also provides free, expert advice and assistance on the planning, bidding and delivery of business events in the NT.

This article was written by Boardroom editor Chantelle Dietz. For more information on Northern Territory contact esther.almendros@nt.gov.au/ or visit www.ntconventions.com.au

Picture: Uluru, Central Australia -The spectacular Field of Light – Northern Territory

March 5, 2019

Share and Co-create at the European Association Summit

Already in its 7th year, the European Association Summit (EAS) was held last week at SQUARE – Brussels Convention Centre. The annual gathering for those representing international associations, it brought together about 200 participants under the theme “Share and Co-create.”

Challenges in a changing world

How to adapt to the rapidly changing world? How can we respond to new trends? How to face the digitalization of our organisations? How to effectively communicate? These were some of the questions that were addressed during an intense two-days of workshops, presentations, and other engaging sessions to which more than 30 associations had successfully submitted abstracts for.

New this year was definitely the level of engagement from the participants. If delegates listened to occasional one-way presentations, they were invited to actively participate in their colleagues’ workshops, and practical tips were shared during the sessions, covering subjects that include risk management, evacuating events, the development of communication campaigns or activities to involve young people in associations.

Nik Claesen, chairman of the EAS 2019, put it like this: “It is the role of associations to bring people together. Bringing people together in a context in which people are becoming more distant. We aim to be relevant not only to our members, but also to the entire community. Thanks to co-creation, our associations are becoming more important and relevant. We have lots to share with the world. The European Association Summit was a fantastic forum in which to exchange ideas and make new contacts.”

Particularly popular were sessions on the digitalization of associations, or the need for them to transform themselves digitally in order to create new services for their members using technology (“Choose hard and be agile” recommended speaker Audrey Benoit, of Brain & Belly), on strategies for growth (“Being glocal is the key – you have to expand globally while keeping in mind the local specificities” stated Matthew D’Uva, of the International Association for the Study of Pain), on how to communicate effectively. This last UIA-powered session had participants do short exercises and help them better define their organisation’s mission and vision.

Co-creation is key

In this regard, the co-creation aspect of this edition was well-woven into this year’s summit. Co-creation was indeed a key aspect during the sessions about community development, opening headquarters on other continents or dealing with the challenges of today’s environments. Thanks to the tremendous networking opportunities at the event, a learning culture has definitely developed over the years. EAS participants are people who wish to improve their skills and make progress so they can be better association professionals.

Worth noting is that this year also focus on sustainability. The intention was for the EAS to be an eco-friendly event. Participants received plenty of green tips for organising events and for daily use. As with many other initiatives in the Brussels-Capital Region, the focus is on sustainability and an environmentally-responsible attitude.

The European Association Summit is organised by the visit.brussels Association Bureau in collaboration with ESAE (European Society of Association Executives), FAIB (Federation of European & International Associations Based in Belgium), UIA (Union of International Associations) and GAHP (Global Association Hubs Partnership), the Solvay Brussels School in Economics & Management, PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) and ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association).

This report was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé (editor@boardroom.global)page1image1522890992