MIA unveils masterplan for 2008

The Meetings Industry Association (MIA) used its AGM last Monday to announce a series of targets for 2008 as it looks to expand as an organisation and continue driving its AIM accreditation scheme. The AGM saw the association announce a surplus of £4,111 in the year to August 31 2007, following a loss the previous year. The small surplus follows a deficit of some £4,000 in the year to August 31 2006 and MIA chief executive Jane Evans said at the association’s AGM last Monday that this put the association in a “strong and stable position”. “Financially this year we made a small surplus, which equates to an £8,000 improvement having made a small loss last year,” she said. Evans attributed the profit to “careful cost control and by growing our traditional income lines”. This has included selling-on the MIA mailing list. “Profit isn’t just about membership fees, it’s also about sponsorship and income streams,” she said. Looking ahead, the association’s accreditation scheme, AIM, which looks to provide a standardised quality indicator for meetings spaces and services, would continue to be MIA’s primary focus. “We are on target with accreditations but it has been tough – we have had to process hundreds of applications in a short space of time and we have had to make some tough decisions on discontinuing some memberships,” said Evans, who refused to name any of the expelled members. “But we have gained as many as we have lost and if you’re not prepared to go through a valid assessments I don’t believe you have a place in today’s industry.” MIA’s next step for AIM is to run a trade marketing campaign throughout this year and to determine if the scheme could be extended to non-members. To assess the viability of this, a feasibility study, three-quarters funded by Visit Britain, has been running since January and will continue until the end of May. “Our hope is that AIM proves feasible for non-members and that Visit Britain will then support us in promoting that,” she said. At the AGM, the trade body’s vice chair, and one of the longest serving MIA council members, Nick Milne, was officially installed in the role of chairman, replacing Michael Scroop. Elsewhere, MIA also announced plans to expand its staff by recruiting an online specialist and a PR executive.

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