For the year 2008 ICCA's research team identified almost 800 previously unknown, regularly occurring series of association meetings that rotate between at least three different countries.
"That represents more than 10% growth in our database of such events," said Martin Sirk, ICCA CEO, "and reflects the extraordinary dynamism of this market segment. Many of these events have been created as offshoots of established larger association events to service regional or precise subject-specific needs, generating new competition in the marketplace and tremendous opportunities for new business development in all regions of the world.”
ICCA claims that destinations with a healthy mix of inter-governmental, association, and corporate meetings are best positioned to do well during periods of economic crisis, but that the international association sector provides the foundation stone. Sirk stated: "Long decision-making lead times enable destinations and venues to plan the rest of their business mix around a strong portfolio of association events, which can be targeted to fill "soft" periods in the diary."
Sirk continued: "We have strategically positioned ICCA as the specialist expert association for this market sector, and as a result have seen membership growth continue over recent months despite all the turmoil in world markets - more than 50 companies joined ICCA in the first six months of 2009, and our annual congress which is taking place in Florence this November is projected to attract 10-20% more attendees than ever before. We believe the main reason for this performance is that more and more suppliers have realised they need to take the international association meetings market more seriously."
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