France takes lead on European trade body

The French equivalent of the ITMA is spearheading an alliance between a number of European meetings associations. The Association Nationale des Agences d’Evenements (ANAé) held a meeting last month with association representatives from the UK, Spain and Germany. The group’s aim is to design common practice in the industry across Europe. ANAé vice-president Dan-Antoine Blanc-Shapira said: “It is not just about forming another body but creating a professional meetings industry at a European level.” Other aims include creating a common definition for the industry and ensuring effective lobbying of the EU. It will also regulate best practice. Germany’s Forum Marketing-Eventagenturen, Spain’s Asociacion Espanola Agencias Eventos and the ITMA were all present at the meeting. ITMA executive director Charles Robinson said the alliance could be invaluable. “We can create a voice for the industry that will have genuine benefits for our members,” he added. Association bodies from Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria and Italy have also expressed an interest in joining, and representatives will attend the next meetings scheduled in to take place during Confex and EIBTM. After the next two meetings, the alliance expects to have put together an action plan and organised a convention for the member associations. BI Worldwide director of event management and ITMA member John Hooker sees the alliance as an excellent idea. “The industry can be very insular considering its global perspective, so it is important to have a credible, regulated sector,” he said.

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