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Industry Associations Choose Collaboration Over Competition

A new alliance wants to coordinate standards and best practices, and improve membership opportunities among three overlapping international convention groups.

A new partnership has been announced to strengthen and standardize benefits and education between three global associations. The International Association of Convention Centres, the International Congress and Convention Association, and the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) have created the Global Alliance.

In a statement, Aloysius Arlando, AIPC president, said, “We are all organizations with a global membership and perspective and already complement each other’s activities in various ways. However, as the business models of exhibitions, congresses, conferences, and other types of business meetings evolve, the overlap of global associations servicing the industry is growing even further.” Craig Newman, UFI president, said the move meant the organizations will “choose collaboration over competition.”

Initially, the group will explore opportunities for collaboration in four areas: education, research, standards, and advocacy. The agreement calls for regular leadership meetings to discuss standards, terminology, and best practices.

The partnership should create efficiencies and also new opportunities for each organization’s members. AIPC represents more than 190 convention centers in 64 countries; ICCA has 1,100 member companies and organizations in 100 countries; and UFI represents more than 50,000 exhibition industry employees and has links to 52 national and regional associations.

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