115 delegates from 33 countries in Asia, Australia, Africa, North America and Europe just met in Gdansk, Poland from 6-9 July to participate in the ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme, which uses a personalised approach that is unique amongst meetings industry educational events.
The delegates mainly represented the youngest generations junior to mid-level managers and client-facing executives from venues, destination marketing organisations and PCOs, often referred to as Generation X (a generation group born after the baby boom ended, extending from the early-to-mid 1960s to late 1970s) and Generation Y (also known as The Millennial Generation (1980-1990)). These generations are known to be highly educated and independent, are seekers of new and personalised experiences, and are ready to contribute.
ICCA responds to the needs of these young generations by allowing delegates to create their own tailor-made event with a personal approach. Delegates have the opportunity to make one-on-one appointments with faculty members as well as schedule one-on-one sessions with ICCA researchers to get specific answers to their ICCA Database questions and are encouraged to bring their own marketing or research challenges, collateral material and projects they are working on and get direct and personal advice on real work challenges. This is why attending the event should not be seen as time away from the office; delegates were bringing their offices to Gdansk!
The education session topics were ranging from selling and branding a destination, success and failure in bidding for international association events, building successful client relationships, social media and PR to “thinking outside the box”, presentation skills and career development within the international meetings industry and were aimed to be interactive to unleash the knowledge of the audience. A special four-part “Request For Proposal to bid presentation” programme took delegates through a detailed group task designed to illustrate every key phase of the bidding process for international association meetings.
Delegates also had a chance to bring home new high-value business leads by participating in the Business Exchange, where they are sharing background details on potential meetings with fellow participants.
ICCA Programme delegate Alexander Klimes of the Prague Convention Bureau says: “Before the event I was a bit sarcastic about the sharing and the networking which the ICCA Programme promised to deliver, and I was expecting to be a hidden participant which was about to be brainwashed with education sessions, but this time indeed I actively shared and networked with my fellow participants as never imagined before. I made some great new friends and I feel like I became part of an ICCA family”.
The next edition of the ICCA Research, Sales & Marketing Programme will take place in Bregenz, Austria from 13-16 June 2012.