MICE (meeting, incentive travel, conferences and exhibition) industry has taken a huge shape these days. In today’s globalized world it is a very important constituent of the tourism and travel industry. It is estimated that with an almost 400,000 events a year its annual turnover is around 280 billion US dollars. Now today in the given blog the author attempts to give a brief introduction to an organization which had played a very important role in the overall development of the MICE industry. Known as ICCA that is international Congress and Convention association it brings together all the players which are into organization of business events and taking care of related activities like transportation and accommodation. It comprises of around 900 players from 86 countries and mainly includes players like PCOs (professional conference organizers), Convention centers, hotels, meeting planners, airlines, logistic companies, resorts etc. (ICCA, 2010) It was founded in 1963 and is head quartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
In ICCA member companies are divided into chapters and sectors. All the companies coming under a specific type of business come under one specific sector where as companies coming from a particular geographical area comes under one chapter. The reason of dividing members into chapters and sectors ensure better interfacing, networking and sharing of knowledge between members with commonalities.
There are following sectors #:-
• Destination marketing: - this includes organizations and bureaus which are into marketing & promotion of a city, or a part of country.
• Meetings management:- companies which are into managing meetings.
• Meetings support: - Companies that provide support functions in a meeting.
• Transport: - Airlines
• Venues: - includes convention centers, hotels with meeting rooms, exhibition halls, resorts etc.
There are following chapters: -
• African chapter
• Asia pacific chapter
• Central European chapter
• France-BeneLux chapter
• Iberian chapter: - member countries are Spain and Portugal. It was established in 90s and in every two years the chairmanship rotates between the two countries. (ICCA Iberian chapter website, 2010)
• Mediterranean chapter: - the chapter is composed of ICCA members who are registered in Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, South-East France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, and Turkey. (ICCA Mediterranean chapter, 2010)
• Middle Eastern chapter: - member countries include Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Syria, Jordan, and Kuwait. Member organizations include Qatar expo, ADNEC, Dubai world trade center, Abu Dhabi tourism authority, IHG, MPI, Dubai national convention center etc. ( ICCA Middle Eastern Chapter, 2010)
• Scandinavian chapter
• North American chapter: - member countries include Canada, USA, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico.
• UK/ Ireland chapter: - members include UK and Ireland. There are presently 70 member companies coming from various areas of conference management such as venues, meeting management, airlines, accommodation etc. Every year once in winter and once in summer it conducts a well attended exciting debate for its members. ( ICCA UK/Ireland chapter, 2010)
• Latin American
Rules and regulations for Chapter formation (ICCA Mediterranean chapter, 2010): -
• Every member can be a part of one chapter only and it happens automatically depending upon the geographical region.
• Under some particular circumstances one country might be part of more than one chapter. In this case it is the choice of the individual member to join which chapter it wants to join.
• Generally separate chapter membership fee are not charged on existing members.
• A group of members from a geographical area might request ICCA board for the formation of new chapter. Board will review the issue and based on the activities of existing chapters and the views of the requesting members will take decision.
• If majority of the member of a chapter wants to dissolve the chapter then the chapter will dissolved.
ICCA provides a wide range of products and services to its member organizations. Many of the services and products are sector and chapter specific where as some are general in nature. The following part of the blog will give a brief idea on the kinds of products and services ICCA provides (ICCA website, 2010):-
• Wide range of well documented databases.
• Market intelligence reports based on frequent online surveys conducted by ICCA among meeting planners and ICCA members on international meetings.
• Statistical analysis: - Every year it comes up with two reports giving a comprehensive idea of the international meeting industry statistics.
• Takes care of the advertising, branding and PR of its members.
• Each year it prepares city and country rankings for the best business tourism destination. This ranking is valued highly in the industry circles. Members get the 1st access to this.
• ICCA destination comparison report which helps in comparing the meeting statistics of any five destinations over the last 10 years. This helps a lot in getting background information for a destination.
• A comprehensive directory which has the name, destination, products, services, contact details and addresses of all the ICCA members. This directory is circulated to 3500 associations and meeting planners all around the world responsible for conducting meetings. Thus it brings its members in the eyes of a wide range of potential customers.
• Educational programs are conducted for fellow members.
Other than these regular benefits in the form of excellent products the biggest benefit associated with ICCA is the unique networking and interfacing opportunity which it provides to its fellow members. Since most of the members are senior executive form various organizations across the globe it provides a very unique and excellent networking opportunity for its members.
For further knowledge on ICCA the organization website can be visited. Here goes the link:-
(Note: - # In the chapter’s section description has been provided for only those chapters which have their separate websites.)
1> ICCA, 2010, home page, accessed on January 2011, available at < http://www.iccaworld.com/>
2> ICCA Iberian chapter website, 2010, homepage, accessed on Jan 2011, available at < http://www.iccaworld.com/dbs/iberia/>
3> ICCA Mediterranean Chapter website, 2010, Home page, accessed on Jan 2011, available at < http://www.iccaworld.com/dbs/mediterranean/index.cfm>
4> ICCA Middle Eastern Chapter website, 2010, homepage, accessed on Jan 2011, available at < http://www.iccame.org/>
5> ICCA Mediterranean Chapter website, 2010, Chapter guidelines and objectives, accessed on Jan 2011, available at < http://www.iccaworld.com/dbs/mediterranean/dyncat.cfm?catid=1088>
6> ICCA, 2010, ICCA benefits, accessed on Jan 2011, available at < http://www.iccaworld.com/cdps/benefits.cfm>