A Message from the IACC-Europe President

Dear IACC European members,

Before we get too far into the year, I’d like to share with you, some of the exciting things that are happening in the chapter and some of our plans for this year.

Last year our chapter grew significantly and became the largest chapter in IACC! We took an important step forward in representing the top 1% of venues in every country globally.

We welcomed a record number of members to the European Knowledge Festival in the Netherlands last September and our members said they enjoyed the new format and education. At the end of the conference, we all agreed that we are mightier together than apart and that we belong to a unique community that are the disrupters in our industry. Fighting talk!

There is work to do in 2017 as our own members and buyer groups don’t know IACC as well as we would like. Our board directors, keep reminding ourselves that you continually evaluate association participation and we look hard for ways to deliver impactful and cost effective learning and industry networking to you.

So, what’s the plan for this year I hear you say. We elected new enthusiastic board directors at the end of last year, which gives us more talent in which to do more important work at a chapter level. In our January board meeting, we hit the ground running, making plans for the future. A warm welcome Oscar Orrvick from Balingsholm Sweden, James Russ from CCT Venues UK, Pieter Allaerts from Dolce Hotels and Resorts Belgium and Alan Corlett from Principal Hotels UK.

In 2017, the board will focus on:

  • Developing the IACC brand locally and regionally.
  • Developing membership in support of our global strategy of 500 members by 2020.
  • Provide more education, especially in operational areas.
  • Articulate trends and produce research that creates entrepreneurs.
  • Develop the Copper Skillet competitions, delivered to broader audiences.

So, what are our members saying about the state of the industry across the chapter? Whilst global political uncertainties continue to play their part in disrupting economic recovery in general, this doesn’t appear to have dampened performance for many of IACC venues. Talking with colleagues across Europe there are many seeing an encouraging start to 2017. Technological developments are impacting meetings, but maybe more importantly, we have skills gaps which are vital to our overall service delivery. For many, I am sure there remains an air of caution in terms of what the future may hold for the next couple of years at least, but equally our industry is about seizing opportunities. While the cautious snooze, let’s use IACC’s community experience, education and delivery of research to be the disruptors and make 2017 an incredible year!

On a personal note 2017 has started with gusto for me! I have been part of a team that has worked hard to launch our latest and largest venue. Now we just need to fill it with conferences! My daughter is growing up quickly and is now as tall as me! Gracie achieved her goal to be accepted into the school she has wanted to go to since she was 6, after working incredibly hard for the past 12 months. Her perspective on life often reminds me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it!

I look forward to seeing all of you at the IACC-European Knowledge Festival in London this September!

Rachael Bartlett
IACC Europe President

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