These are dark times. The aggression by Russia’s President Putin against Ukraine has brought together democratic nations around the world in condemnation and to levy unprecedented economic and social sanctions, whilst crowds of protestors have thronged the streets of almost every major city, including many brave souls in Russia itself. Companies are severing their commercial ties and liquidating their investments, and in the business events sector, IMEX has just announced that official Russian state exhibitors will be banned until further notice.
International associations have been taking early action, supporting their Ukrainian members and providing verifiable news-on-the-ground channels from and into Ukraine (so vital in an era of weaponised disinformation), encouraging Russian scientists and other influential figures to speak out against the war (many of whom have already done so), and encouraging acts of kindness and practical support, such as UITP, which is widely promoting the offers of free travel by its public transport members across Europe to all Ukrainian refugees, both between and within cities.
Just as COSPAR (The Committee on Space Research) provided an influential and de-escalating back-channel during the Cold War between US and USSR scientists, and through them to their countries’ policymakers, every international association today should be thinking about how their own networks can help to influence Russia in the direction of peace. Each application of association soft power will help, no matter how small.
It can’t be business as normal until this conflict is resolved. The role and societal value of associations are even more important during such dreadful times.
Catch up with our latest article in media partner Boardroom’s website and magazine, on new ways to think about the prospects for growth and survivability of your association. Why is it that almost no-one has been writing about the life-cycle of associations, when there is voluminous insightful literature on equivalent models for companies, bureaucracies, cities, products and even events? We cannot continue thinking that our organisations are impervious to the natural ravages of time.
Two important dates for associations in Brussels: sign up to attend BIAF & EAS
Not long after, from 3 to 5 May, visit.brussels will organise the 10th edition of the European Association Summit. The last Summit took place in March 2020, and for many of us it was the last face-to-face conference before the Pandemic closed down the world of meetings. It will be wonderful to be back in person, and Global Association Hubs will be present in force, contributing to the education programme and rediscovering how to network with our association friends! For more information and registration, please click here.
The third edition of the Dubai Association Conference was successfully organised on 21 February 2022 in the brand-new Dubai Exhibition Centre located on the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
A total of 172 registered attendees from 14 countries, including 25 hosted association leaders from outside the Gulf region, attended an intensive full-day education programme on the theme “Associations and the New World: Resilience & Reinvention”. Dubai Association Centre is a Destination Partner to ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives, and as in previous editions of this event, ASAE brought over a VIP group of 6 top association executives, led by President and CEO Michelle Mason.
The faculty of 26 speakers and facilitators from 9 countries on three continents led delegates through a mix of plenary sessions and breakout workshops featuring lively interactivity and novel meeting design concepts, with opportunities to exchange perspectives, case studies and cutting-edge ideas between local and international experts.
International delegates and speakers enjoyed a VIP visit to Expo 2020, and numerous one-on-one meetings were arranged with Dubai-based leaders in the visiting association executives’ fields of interest.
Destination DC’s Elliott Ferguson recently held a wide-ranging conversation with Vicki Deal-Williams, CEO of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, covering such hot topics as accessibility, diversity, generational shifts, staff and member retention and motivation, as well as the many merits of Washington DC as a great location for associations to meet, set up their office, and advocate for societal progress.
Click on the title of this article to access this fascinating YouTube recording.
We’re delighted to announce that Global Association Hubs will be one of the sponsors of this year’s Association Focus, one of Europe’s most important educational events for international associations. Representatives from all four cities will be present during the afternoon’s programme and during the evening reception, and International Advisor Martin Sirk will be involved as a moderator in the education programme. Look out for us in Frankfurt!
Click on the title of this article for more information and to register for this always-excellent programme and the main IMEX trade show taking place from 31 May to 2 June.
Global Association Hubs partner cities will be present at ASAE’s flagship event this August, and we are organising a wide-ranging strategic global discussion as part of the education programme: “Looking over the Horizon: Exploring the Future of Global Associations”.
Please let us know if you plan to be in Nashville and would like to get involved in what promises to be a lively, interactive highlight of the education programme!
For more information about this event and to register, please click on the link in the article title.
This edition of Business Events World, issued by our media partner The Iceberg, maps out the emerging signs of post-COVID recovery across the world, as restrictions on business events are lifted in most regions, and as delegates, exhibitors and visitors cautiously unpack their business cards and prepare for some distinctly friction-filled but essential travel. Where there is a strong purpose to the gathering, or where there are mission-critical business imperatives, events will be back at full steam ahead, but second- and third-tier meetings and exhibitions which can’t guarantee the presence of A-listers (buyers, speakers, peers) are sure to struggle.
Please click on the article title to access the full newsletter.