Eventia/BACD unveil blueprint for merger

Trade associations Eventia and BACD (the British Association of Conference Destinations) are set to merge. Details of the deal are still being fleshed out, with both parties set to go to their memberships with proposals early in January. “Both boards agree that in principle a merger would be beneficial for both memberships and for the industry,” Eventia immediate past chairman and P&MM divisional managing director Nigel Cooper told C&IT. “We have wide ranging support, but only in principle. Both boards will be preparing papers for their memberships to review regarding who does what, how, where and when.” It is expected that the BACD name will go if the merger is agreed, with the enlarged Eventia representing “one larger consolidated event industry association representing all aspects from destinations, venues, hotels and transportation to agencies, production companies, caterers and florists. In short, anyone and everyone involved in creating and managing meetings and events in the UK and overseas”, Cooper added. Under the current working plans, a centralised secretariat is being mooted involving senior BACD figures such as chief executive Tony Rogers alongside others such as Eventia executive director Izania Downie. A board involving representatives from both associations would back the secretariat. This could mean a rethink of Eventia’s ‘gang of four’ succession system, put in place last July. This saw the immediate past chairman role created for Cooper, TRO’s Rob Allen unveiled as chairman to be followed by vice chair, Patrick Collins of Universal. However, Cooper said that at present, Collins is still scheduled to take over from Allen in July and no changes to this plan have been discussed. “The plan is to merge in 2008 at an appropriate time when we have agreed everything,” he concluded. No one from the BACD was available for comment as C&IT News Tracker went to press.

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