I recently wrote an article for the September 2020 issue of Boardroom magazine, entitled “Failure to Continue Thinking Globally is a Recipe for Failure”, in which I urged associations to resist the pandemic-driven temptation to pull back from their global development aspirations, and flagged up the role played by association ecosystems in achieving these strategic imperatives.
With many commentators predicting a mega-trend of working from home and virtually-distributed organisations, and almost daily stories about prominent individuals and cool companies relocating from major cities to rural idylls, one could be forgiven for thinking that physically defined (ie city-specific) business ecosystems are an irrelevance for where an association chooses to locate its offices or representatives, or from which it operates projects and where it chooses to run events. Here are a few reasons why that isn’t the case:
Association ecosystems are not check-lists of independent factors, they are entwined, interactive, dynamic environments, exactly as is the case with ecosystems in the natural world.
In this kind of dynamic system, powerful synergies emerge when disparate services are co-located, where key players can really get to know one another and communication lines can be short-circuited, and when unexpected beneficial relationships naturally evolve.
Associations benefit from a mix of institutional support and access to specialised private sector services. In a distributed, virtual world, these don’t naturally interact. In a well-run city, such interactions, involving both formal and informal networks, are as natural as breathing.
Associations need the proximity of other associations to thrive! To build trust and partnerships, to benefit from a larger talent pool and research capacity, to learn from each other, and to lobby more effectively for shared advocacy goals.
0945-1115 EST (Washington, NYC, etc); 1545 – 1715 CET (Brussels, Amsterdam, etc)
Global Association Hubs ask the question: “Still Going Global?”
We’ve designed an innovative, highly-interactive online education session for the international association community on the big strategic issues in global development.
What does “global” look like for associations in the “new normal”? How are international associations re-imagining their global development strategies and projects in the face of uncertainty, dislocation, increased competition, financial upheaval, engagement fatigue, and even more uncertainty? Is survival replacing growth as a key objective? Are Missions being questioned and old certainties being ditched? Are radical new business models being invented? And where do large international meetings fit into their plans?
Target audience: international association executives and volunteer leaders, AMC execs, others specialising in association strategy & development. If you fit this description, please register here.
Featuring insights and expertise from: Colleen Eubanks, CEO, Int’l Assoc for the Study of Pain Mohamed Mezghani, Sec Gen, UITP – Int’l Assoc of Public Transport Tracy Bury, Deputy CEO, World Physiotherapy & President, AC Forum Tommy Goodwin, Regulatory & Legislative Affairs Lead, Project Management Institute
#PlanetIMEX has a great week of education planned from 12 to 16 October, including an ASAE leadership programme on Thursday 15th, the day before our session.
“Many of the profound transformations Europe is currently undergoing are inevitable and irreversible. As decision-making will mostly become faster and enforcement stronger, EU associations must step up to the competition with the other stakeholders for the attention of the EU policymakers.”
Singapore Tourism Board has set up detailed protocols for organising Covid-safe events, and is inviting organisers to apply to run pilot events from 1 October for up to 250 delegates, who will have to remain in secure pods of no more than 20 persons.
Within a wide recovery plan for tourism and culture, Brussels has included dedicated support funds for conferences, meetings and B2B events. The aim of these funds is to assist B2B event organisers from the associations and corporate sector according to eligibility criteria.
Big news for business events: local events are kicking off from 15 September, and international events can take place from 1 October. And packed with invaluable resources for associations as well as companies, there’s a brand-new website about “Business in Dubai“.
Destination DC, the official Destination Marketing Organisation for Washington DC and Global Association Hubs partner, reported recently on the sometimes dramatic growth over the past decade but also the more uncertain prospects for future developments.
But however fast or slowly the recovery takes place, International associations will be at the centre of the city’s strategic thinking!