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IMEX 2007 Association Day welcomes record numbers

( A record number of influential association delegates attended the IMEX Association Day at Messe Frankfurt’s Congress Centre yesterday.
260 association buyers participated in a lively mix of round table discussions and debates based on a programme drawn up with input from all the leading meetings industry associations involved including lead association ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), the ASAE (American Society of Association Executives) and the Center for Association Leadership. The German Convention Bureau (GCB), with the support of the German Society for Association Management (DGVM) and the Association of Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF), also invited association event planners to the IMEX Association Day. They participated in a dedicated German-speaking programme, for which MCI Germany is responsible, for the second year running.

The Association Day provided delegates with a choice of concurrent professional education sessions. Presentations included “The 7 Measures for Success – Running a Successful Association”, “Risk management for international events” and “Contracting and negotiating with international suppliers.” Two German-language sessions also examined the issues of “Hosting international congresses in Germany” and “External and internal communication.”

ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership presented research findings based on the work of famous author and business guru, Jim Collins. Participants gained valuable insights into what distinguishes great associations from mediocre ones and what customer service culture really means for a membership organisation.
Michael Anderson, CEO of The Canadian Society of Association Executives was joined by speakers Richard Torriani, Conference Manager, International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis and Kate Pilkington, Conference Manager, World Youth & Student Travel Conference, to examine three different perspectives on risk management.

A new element for 2007, the VAT “Doctor”, Adrian Houston from Kingston Smith Association Management, offered association buyers free consultation clinics in between sessions in order to help them solves issues of VAT taxation relating to international meetings management.

As usual, Association Day ended with the enormously popular Association Evening - a special networking reception at Frankfurt’s Intercontinental Hotel which was attended by more than 800 enthusiastic buyers and guests.

As Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA explained, “The evening event gives association delegates a great opportunity to share experiences and learning from the day while also opening doors to meeting recognised suppliers to the association industry. This is the sort of networking event that IMEX and ICCA excel at – it delivers knowledge plus personality and a dash of fun, and it sets a high quality benchmark for the next three days in Frankfurt.”

Lar Andersson of the Nordic Gerontological Federation commented, “Association Day works very efficiently and the sessions have helped me to remember several important things that I’d long forgotten.”

Sylindria Bynoe of the World Airline Entertainment Association said, “I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the seminars – as a result I learned a great deal today.”

Damian Hutt of the Wireless Development Forum, who has attended every Association Day since the start, added, “I wouldn’t miss it because it’s the only opportunity to meet and network with such an international group.”

Earlier this morning ICCA also held a breakfast seminar entitled “Feeling optimistic? Worldwide views on future meetings industry prospects and challenges.” Martin Sirk was joined by Christian Mutschlechner, Director, Vienna Convention Bureau; Gary Grimmer, CEO, Gary Grimmer and Company and Mary Power, President and CEO, Convention Industry Council. They instigated a stimulating discussion and shared strong personal views on the current state of our industry and the hottest future concerns.

Media Contacts:
- Carina Bauer, Tel +44 (0) 1273 227311
- Kit Watts, Mob (0)7968 417518

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