The first ever ‘Association Collaboration Meeting’ took place at Searcy’s at the Barbican in London on 31 July, following a Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) meeting where it was agreed that events associations need to collaborate to better represent the industry.
Some 20 associations were invited to the meeting and around 9 attended, including Richard Foulkes, who sits on the international board of governors for the International Special Events Society (ISES); Samme Allen of MPI; Andy Grove, chair of the Local Authorities for Events Organisers (LAEOG); Simon Hughes of Eventia; Juliet Price of the HBAA; Caroline Jackson of AEME; and ESSA director Chris Skeith.
The meeting was chaired by Michael Foreman of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO).
Richard Foulkes said: "There are so many associations in the industry and, while there are crossovers, each sits in its own niche. We are not trying to create a new association or re-create the BVEP. The BVEP’s job is to promote better collaboration and this was a meeting to discuss potential initiatives that will enable each association to deliver additional benefits for their members.
"The meeting identified three areas for collaboration. The first aim is to create a dialogue with the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2014 to develop more aligned initiatives, which could see association AGMs and joint meetings taking place in Liverpool next year during the IFB.
"The second objective is to explore internships and training programmes to engage better with student bodies and young professionals. The third aim is to raise the profile of the events industry as a whole."
The next meeting will be held in three months’ time.