September 2023 Newsletter

Interesting conversations, global perspectives

The northern hemisphere is slowly returning from summer vacations, and associations are getting in the mood to think seriously about big strategic issues that affect their members worldwide.  We’re delighted to provide a platform for some of these important discussions, as two of our strategic partners have scheduled online webinars this month.  I hope many of you will be able to join us!

First up is ASSOCIATIONWORLD, which is running a one-hour webinar on Managing Cultural Differences on Monday 11 September (1400 CEST, 0800 ET, 1700 GST, 2100 STG), packed with practical advice and case studies.  Whether you’re managing multicultural volunteer chapter leaders or globally-spread offices and staff, or want to redesign your offerings for new markets, there will be plenty to interest you.  Open to all!

Then on  Monday 18 September (1600 CEST, 1000 ET, 1900 GST, 2300 STG) ESAE, in association with ASAE, is offering A Transatlantic Look at Sustainability Legislation: From the Green Deal to the Inflation Reduction Act. Open to ESAE & ASAE members, and also any associations interested in ESAE membership (one-time access).  This is a must-attend event for associations aiming to navigate the fast-changing legislative landscape for sustainability in Europe and USA, which features both extreme dangers and enormous opportunities.

If you have a global issue you’d like to discuss with any of the Global Association Hub partner cities – Brussels, Dubai, Singapore and Washington DC – just let us know.  We’re always interested in interesting conversations about the future of associations!

Martin Sirk
Global Association Hubs International Advisor

Don’t go global (…..unless……..!)

Download the latest edition of our media partner Boardroom’s magazine, on the theme of “The Globalisation Dilemma”, and check out our article “Don’t go global….unless…” on pages 24/25.  This may sound self-defeating for a partnership dedicated to helping associations go global, but of course it is actually a (deliberately provocative) thought experiment to illustrate the many dimensions that frequently get overlooked or dismissed when associations are weighing up whether or how to allocate resources for activities beyond their current geographical boundaries.

The reality is that despite geopolitical fractures and friction, associations’ members live in a globalised world that will continue to spread new filaments and connections, competition (for both associations and their members) is becoming ubiquitous, and world-class content (the only category that will count in future!) knows no borders.

But isn’t it too expensive and complex to go global?  Check out the article for our answers, suggestions and solutions!

Will you be at IMEX America this year?  Make a date to see us!

Global Association Hubs partner cities be exhibiting at IMEX America in Las Vegas this year from 17 to 19 October.  Find us on these stands to discuss your association’s plans for future meetings and other activities:

Brussels  ( Convention & Association Bureau) – contact Martin Sirk
Dubai  (Dubai Business Events/Dubai Association Centre) – E1417
Singapore  (Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau) – F905
Washington DC  (Destination DC Convention Bureau) – C4423

To meet up with Martin Sirk, International Advisor to the partnership, who will be working on education sessions and wandering the aisles, please email

Brussels announces: European Funds linked to 2024 EU Presidency & practical Carbon Impact Projects support

There are two new sources of support for which international associations are eligible, but you’ll have to act quickly!

As part of the Belgian EU Presidency, association events taking place between January and June 2024 can apply for project funding linked to one or more of four key EU themes: Tourism; The Environment; Cohesion Policy; Urban Policy.
Up to 20 projects can each receive a grant of EUR 10,000, selected by an independent committee.
Deadline for applications is 1 October 2023. is inviting applications from international associations for carbon impact study support, aiming to enable more sustainable events taking place in the Brussels region.  The projects have to relate to events taking place in Brussels during calendar year 2024.  Support is not in cash, but rather provision of public transportation tickets for delegates, help to set up sustainability metrics, assistance with legacy projects and sustainability-related speakers.
Deadline for applications is 15 October 2023.
More information available from

Dubai gears up for crucial COP 28 later this year

The most critical-ever UN Climate Change Conference is entering the intensive final stages of preparation.  UAE plays official government host from 30 November to 12 December this year, but the brand-new Expo City Dubai will be the main venue for hundreds of tough-talking meetings taking place under the COP 28 umbrella.  What happens in Dubai is going to be massively impactful for all international associations and the world in general: here is where you can follow progress and keep up to date on the key issues.  To keep on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, we need to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030, an enormous challenge.

Singapore & Washington DC sustainability initiatives in the news

The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) has unveiled its new Asia hub in Singapore, which, will serve as a pivotal center for IETA’s activities in the region. This move follows the launch of the Climate Action Data Trust (CAD Trust) by IETA, the World Bank, and the Singapore Government, which is headquartered in Singapore and aims to enhance transparent carbon credit accounting.

Singapore’s prominence as a key hub for carbon services and trading in the Asia-Pacific region positions it to seize growth opportunities in the sustainability space. With over 70 organizations already offering carbon services in Singapore, the city-state’s strategic location and commitment to sustainability align seamlessly with IETA’s mission. 

Meanwhile, Washington’s destination marketing agency Destination DC has created an important new role and appointed Shelly Luzzi as Senior Manager Sustainability.  A major part of Shelley’s work will be helping meeting organisers reduce the carbon impact of their events, and encouraging awareness and take up of DC’s many sustainability initiatives.

Latest edition of the Business Events World

We are a proud partner of The Iceberg, publisher of Business Events World, which in the most recent edition leads with a challenge for destinations and international associations to align their thinking around the concepts of mission, legacy and impact.  All too often the two sides are talking at cross purposes, with associations looking for ways to advance their mission and strategic societal goals through their events, and too many destinations thinking about “meeting legacy” too narrowly and too locally.  Without effective communication the risk is that we will revert to a world of purely transactional relationships.  Lots of food for thought!

See more useful resources »

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to be updated on new resources, news and future events.

* Indicates required