Newsletter – December 2021

Wishing us all a genuinely “New Normal” for 2022

It’s been a hell of a last couple of years, obviously worse for some than others.  Many international associations’ members have been in the front-lines of the fight against COVID-19, all across the healthcare sector from epidemiology to cardiology to virology to physiotherapy to the many unsung heroes working in public health.  We salute the work that these associations have done to give unstinting support for their hard-pressed members, saving lives and mitigating suffering wherever they can.  

But whichever association sector you work in, from tech to trade, from public transport to office cleaning, what has become apparent during this global crisis is that our organisations and their communities have never been more essential.  To provide peer-to-peer empathy and support; to share best practice and new insights; to give accurate information to policymakers (even when ignored!); and to provide vital global connectivity in a world that has visibly regressed into a more nationalistic mindset.

Let’s not forget that the global meetings sector has also been hugely impacted by the Pandemic, with many thousands losing their jobs, especially in those roles that are inextricably linked with face-to-face events.  But we have seen remarkable innovation in the move to digital programmes and online events, and the invention of new hybrid and geographically-distributed formats.   International association meetings will never be the same as in 2019!

There has also been a growing recognition – by associations and suppliers and destinations –  that “purpose” and “impact” and “outputs” are the most important considerations for any association meeting!  That has to be a great development to come out of these dreadful times, and should be a key element of the “New Normal” that we hope will emerge some time during 2022 as we – finally – enter the post-Pandemic era!

On another hopeful note, all the Global Association Hub partner cities look forward to seeing you in Frankfurt 25-28 April 2022 for the next edition of IMEX and their always-excellent Association Focus programme!

We wish all our association friends a wonderful Holiday season with your families and loved ones.

Martin Sirk
Global Association Hubs International Advisor

Boardroom presents: We’re going to Need a Bigger Dictionary!

Catch up with our latest article in media partner Boardroom’s website and magazine, on why it’s not a good idea to discuss the future shape of associations and their meetings using only the terminology of the past, which tends to constrain and limit our thinking about possible new opportunities and solutions.  A radical new future requires new paradigms and frameworks, and new vocabulary as well! 

Intellectual Capitals: Destination DC

In partnership with Association Meetings International, Washington DC has developed this comprehensive overview of the intellectual capital resources located in and around the city.  Home to 1,800 life science companies, 70 Federal laboratories, and a host of world-class academic and private sector research institutions; with over 15,000 tech companies and the nation’s #1 rating for tech employment for women, there are incredible assets for any scientific, healthcare, or high-tech association wishing to set up operations or to bring their international events to DC.

A great example of DC’s intellectual capital is the recently announced inaugural Quantum World Congress, taking place in autumn of 2022.  For more information on everything related to this exponentially-growing field, from pure academic research to applied uses, please follow this link.

Brussels International Association Forum – BIAF

Originally planned to take place 6 & 7 December this year, the BIAF has been rescheduled for 14 & 15 March 2022, with the same programme and outstanding line-up of speakers, and a risk-free cancellation policy in case of COVID restrictions. 

BIAF is designed to complement VisitBrussels’ longstanding European Association Summit, which will take place later in 2022.

Click on the article title to access more details about the programme and how to register.

Dubai Association Centre presents:
Associations & the New World: Resilience & Reinvention

Registration is now open for this essential face-to-face event taking place in Dubai on 21 February 2022!

The 2022 Dubai Association Conference features a line-up of globally respected thought-leaders and association innovators from around the world, covering the most pressing issues that will determine association success in the post-COVID world, delivered alongside the amazing Dubai EXPO 2020.

A small taste of our topics:
*Radical uncertainty & existential imagination
*Risky business for risk-averse associations
*Membership or Community or Customer?
*Falling in love with the problem, not the product: digital innovation & incremental reinvention
*Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & what these mean for globally-engaged associations

Senior international association executives can request hosted delegate status by registering via this website.

The Iceberg presents: Business Events World issue 94

This edition of Business Events World, issued by our media partner The Iceberg, leads on the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative presented at COP26 in Glasgow by global business events industry leaders, and supported by hundreds of organisations, companies and individuals, but goes on to document the many initiatives within our industry looking at the subject of legacy and impact.  This is an area where international associations have been pioneers for years, with organisations such as European Cardiology Society and ESTRO measuring health outcomes from their events and activities, and encouraging partner suppliers and destinations to embrace these metrics as part of their bidding and engagement process with the association.

It isn’t enough to simply reduce the harmful carbon impact of the events that we organise: we have to much more effectively measure and articulate the beneficial impact of what happens when we bring together the smartest people in our communities to identify solutions for the most important, complex, intractable problems, and to discover the most valuable opportunities and previously unimagined horizons for societal progress.

See more useful resources »

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