Trade bodies act to counter criticism by their members

The sector’s trade bodies are upping their game for 2006 following a year of criticism from members. At its EGM on 22 November, ITMA members will vote on the name change to Eventia, marking its merger with the Corporate Event Association – as well as a new vision and constitution drafted by the board under new chairman Nigel Cooper. Changes to the constitution include giving the board the authority to set fees and opening up membership to freelancers. Members will also vote on a new fee structure, which has been designed to encourage more small agencies to join. "We are making it more cost-efficient for smaller agencies to join," said Visit Denmark marketing manager and board member Jonathan Cohen. "If Eventia is to be the voice of the industry – which is the vision – then we need more members." If accepted by the membership, Eventia will come into being in January. Meanwhile, the MIA has started work on phase two of its new accreditation scheme (C&IT, October), launching in January, as part of its five-year plan to create awareness of MIA members to buyers. The second phase will see the creation of a new website and the option of members being assessed by their peers. "There is no one better to assess you than someone in the industry who does your job," said chief executive Jane Evans. "It’s about making MIA membership important to buyers – at the moment it doesn’t mean much." Finally, the long-mooted collaboration between the BACD, MIA, MPI, HBAA and ABPCO is again under discussion with a joint buyers’ networking event at next year’s International Confex being mooted. l The HBAA has replaced its current outsourced secretariat Resources for Associations with Lawson Pegg Associates. The Cheltenham-based company will take over duties from 1 January.

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