The Post-Event Pulse: 53rd ICCA Congress 2014 – Turkish Delight!

From November 1-5, around 900 delegates gathered in Antalya, Turkey for the 53rd ICCA Congress. The annual congress is a fantastic opportunity for members of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) to meet up and exchange ideas with industry peers and colleagues. With approximately 50 education sessions taking place, the event offered great possibilities for delegates to learn about different topics and broaden their horizon, or simply discuss about challenges and hot topics in the industry.

Let me share my insights with you and give you an idea on what was discussed at this year’s congress.

Denmark As A Role Model in Sustainability

As my colleague Mark Pritchard recently put it in a webinar: “Green is the new black.” The industry keeps thinking about sustainable practices in event management and how to convince more organizations to implement green strategies in their business.

In an interview with ICCA, MCI Sustainability Director Guy Bigwood underlined the urgency of sustainable actions with regards to the environment, but also the business benefits and PR impacts that organizations might experience from “going green.” He is a big supporter of the initiative "BeeSustain" which was launched by Copenhagen CVB in May 2014 in order to create awareness on sustainability in the events industry.

The campaign is an innovative approach towards green actions in meeting and event management as it combines nice and easy-to-follow storytelling elements, but also straightforward honesty – or, as ICCA puts it, “quirky humor” to communicate a “serious sustainable message.” It was very well-received by the industry and was awarded with ICCA’s "Best PR Award" at the congress. With a strong green and environmentally-friendly profile, Copenhagen is often referred to as the “Capital of Sustainable Meetings.” An outstanding green role model in the industry!

ICCA’s Search for Big Data

Some sessions of the educational program were dedicated to the ICCA “Big Data Search Tool” project – an initiative that was launched earlier this year to give ICCA members the possibility to identify local representatives who could help them with the bidding process for international association meetings.

ICCA launched "Edition 2" of the tool at the congress and is happy to support associations that are looking for local ambassadors and preparing a bid to host their association meetings. The new edition also features possibilities to look for local university's strengths and competitive advantages in certain academic fields.

Martin Sirk, CEO of ICCA, commented on the project: "We are now in the process of changing from an organization that has been 100% focused on the data we can control and update ourselves, to one which is aiming to make every piece of relevant information about international association meetings available to our members, no matter where it is held.”

ICCA's Big Data Search Tool is available to ICCA members only via the My ICCA Section on

Next year, the ICCA Congress will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I am already looking forward to this valuable industry event!

What about you? Did you attend the 53rd ICCA Congress in Antalya? What were your personal highlights? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the congress. Connect on Twitter or contact me via email!

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