ICCA Congress 2015
Media resources & story ideas

Featured on this page:
  1. ICCA Congress preview article
  2. Story ideas related to the education programme
  3. Interview requests
  4. Congress pictures
  5. Latest ICCA Press Releases
  6. Latest ICCA Member Press Releases
  7. Access the ICCA Press Kit
ICCA media members have exclusive access to the ICCA Congress and benefit from exclusive networking opportunities with potential advertisers and respected spokespersons in the international meetings industry. Want to be on the inside? Here are 10 reasons for meetings industry media to join ICCA.

The ICCA Congress: Bringing together the world's experts on international association meetings

54th ICCA Congress Buenos Aires, Argentina 1-4 November 2015: Preview

Top quality educational content for senior executives
The education programme is custom-designed every year to meet the interest of ICCA’s global mix of senior level delegates with lots of choice within every timeslot of the programme.
Each year ICCA puts together a comprehensive 3 day education programme specifically for that year’s Congress, bringing together a creative mix of clients, external experts, and a wide range of those ICCA members who are undertaking the most innovative and exciting initiatives around the world. 

Some highlights:
Copenhagen-Denmark Lecture speaker
Claus Meyer, the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed chef, restauranteur and entrepreneur will take the stage during the Copenhagen Denmark Lecture at this year’s Buenos Aires edition of the ICCA Congress.

For more than 30 years, Claus Meyer (51) has been a gastronomic entrepreneur. Besides his countless companies employing more than 800 staff, Claus Meyer is an affiliated professor at Copenhagen Business School and co-founder of the Melting Pot Foundation. He has inspired a generation to rediscover local nordic produce through his portfolio of businesses, cookbooks, TV shows, lectures and agenda-setting viewpoints. He continuously strives to push his dream of unfolding the potential of indigenous food cultures worldwide, exemplified by the co-founding of the Worlds' Best restaurant Noma in Copenhagen as well as Restaurant GUSTU, La Paz which works exclusively with Bolivian produce. In August 2015, he moves to New York City with his family to open a food court and a restaurant in the city's iconic Grand Central Terminal, Manhattan and, as a charity, a food school and cafeteria in Brownsville, a poor Afro American neighbourhood east of New York City. Claus Meyer reveals how he actively searches for territories and challenges where there is a basis for creating a movement, which will bring about changes of avalanche proportions. For more information visit: http://www.meyersmad.dk/

Presidents Choice session
A fresh new addition to this year's education programme is the President's Choice session, which we plan to make a regular feature in many future congresses to come! WE are truly honoured to have with us this year, Dr. Khetsiwe Dlamini, Chief of Staff at the Office of the Executive director, UN Women. 

Dr. Dlamini will discuss the imperative role of women within our inernational meetings industry - an issue close to our President's heart, being only the third woman in Presidency at ICCA! Nina has made no secret of her passion to include important women's issues in our congress agenda, believing our industry can and should play a bigger role in helping to communicate and advance these issues both within our community and among those we have the power to influence.

This session will take place on Tuesday Morning after the BMA. Please always refer to the congress programme online and on SPOTME for the most up to date timings and locations. Find out more: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/index.php?eventid=115004&tabid=315471

ICCA Best Marketing Award and Best PR Award
Traditional highlights are the ICCA Best Marketing Award and ICCA Best PR Award. Finalists for both these awards are sharing their best marketing and PR case studies with their colleagues from all over the world during the ICCA Congress. The winners of these prestigious awards will be announced at the Closing Session at the Congress.

Outside the Box Session - With an authentic Argentinian taste!
Returning to the congress programme this year, are three opportunities for delegates to experience the congress off-site. As well as experiencing another dimension of the education programme, delegates also have the chance to visit the world renowned 
BOCA Juniors Football stadium and delve deeper into the corporate machine that has propelled the team to the successful heights of other sporting brands. Visit the neighborhood, meet the executives, and learn about the business of sports in Argentina. 

The other outside the box session will take delegates on a trip to the Piacolla Tango, where specialist speaker, Juan Fabbri, will tell the tale of two intertwined stories of immigrant passion mixing with native environments - one urban, the other rural, that created the two most uniquely Argentinian icons. 

Listen to the history of the "second rate" vines that found a natural home and flourished to produce world-class wines from the soils of Mendoza. Hear how dock workers' melancholy of being separated from their homeland created a musical identity for their new country's destination marketing, including the drive to win more congress business - Bianchi, Greco, Giol...Pioneers of Malbec; Fiorentino, Dagostino, Piazzolla...Creators of Tango! Their passions from the past are the powerhouse of the marketing of today...

The third outside the box session is a tour to the new Convention Centre which is located in a ground-breaking new development in the fashionable Recoleta neighborhood. The sustainable project has been designed as part of the city government's extensive Green Agenda, combining urban development with the recovery and maintenance of green spaces. The vast 18,000m2 center, largely underground but with solar panels integrated into its exposed exteriors, will have a total capacity of 5,300. The development includes a future subway station and several bus stops, and will bolster Buenos Aires' position at the forefront of the Meetings industry both in the region and worldwide. Visit the park-side development, meet the project leaders and learn more about the growing potential of the Meeting industry in Argentina.

More education programme highlights:

  • Regular favourites The Copenhagen-Denmark Lecture, Best Marketing Award, and Monday Morning Wake-up Call all return with fresh new speakers and cutting edge concepts.
  • Two joint ICCA-IAPCO sessions designed for senior Meetings Management executives: How to package content and replicate successful formulae at different scales and for different audiences; the latest innovations in delegate boosting and engagement; lessons from top corporate and medical association meetings.
  • Other sessions designed to include expertise from or be of particular value to Venues, Destination Marketing, Meetings Support, and Transport.
  • More speakers drawn from international associations than ever before: IEEE, FCA, UITP, EHP, FIP, WFH, ISTH and more!
  • Extended length sessions to explore critical topics in depth: CEO Deep Dive; Fundamentals of Bidding; "Reverse Hybrid" (meeting design issues); The Experience Economy (delivered in partnership with Maritz); Healthcare Meetings - critical topics, trends & challenges.
  • Outside expert speakers from Prezi, HP, International Olympic Committee, Siegel+Gale, Novartis, and more!
  • "Outside the Box" sessions offsite to learn valuable business lessons from Argentinan icons: Malbec, Tango and Boca Juniors! Click here for more info.  
  • A young rocket scientist from Africa; a leadership guru from USA; a team of trained moderators from three continents; a host of ICCA members from all regions of the world who've already volunteered as speakers, panelists or table discussion leaders to share their knowledge, experience, successes and failures, and new ideas.

Whether you're interested in setting up a new Ambassador Programme or launching a national advocacy campaign, whether you've been to 20 ICCA Congresses or are just thinking about attending your first, we know this year's programme has content that will inspire you, provide fresh perspectives, and give you concrete solutions to some of your biggest business challenges.

New session formats
We’ll also be featuring some short, sharp sessions to stimulate fresh thinking, lots of small group sessions with selected speakers for delegates who want to explore subjects in even more depth than usual, and offsite surprise sessions that combine local flavours with innovative ideas to improve your business. More than 100 contributors drawn from all regions of the world participate each year as speakers, panellists, moderators, and discussion leaders - not only sharing existing know-how and experience, but creating entirely new practical ideas and alternative ways of thinking about the meetings industry. 

View the full programme
The international association meetings market segment is proving itself to be the most resilient segment, enabling destinations and companies which have targeted this business to cope, and in some cases to thrive, during the current turbulent economic environment. ICCA membership is the most cost-effective way to penetrate this market segment, and attendance at the Congress represents an intensive “Master Class” in how best to achieve this penetration. This is probably the most compelling business rationale for attendance for any ICCA members who are not yet fully exploiting this market segment.
More and more delegates are signing up for the “Business Exchange” option at the Congress, to exchange detailed information about key international events they have recently hosted or helped to organise. This allows them to return to their offices with literally dozens of potential business leads, or new and invaluable information about specific events which they are already in the process of trying to win for their company or destination. We will be using the Spotme mobile application to assist delegates to identify and meet up with colleagues who hold information on events they are interested in. This process runs throughout the whole length of the event.

Also part of the ICCA Congress is the “Expert Advice Appointments” programme. Those members who are offering services to other ICCA members will be available throughout the Congress for one-on-one meetings which can be set up in advance or on site – this is a particularly valuable new (and free) service for consultants, media, IT and AV, marketing representation companies, and other suppliers of Meetings Support services, enabling them to showcase their areas of unique expertise and knowledge, and helping delegates create a personalised Congress that meets their specific business needs.

Ask any delegate to an ICCA Congress about what makes it unique, and the most common answer is sure to be that we deliver high level delegates (two thirds are CEO’s, company owners, or senior level directors) and a truly global audience. We have invested heavily in technology (the Spotme mobile application), so that each delegate will find it easy to identify and get in touch with every attendee they wish to communicate with.
The contacts ICCA members make at the Congress can play a powerful role in delegates’ future personal career development, providing help and advice in solving problems, offering information on recently hosted international events, and exposing individuals to new business cultures and ways of overcoming business challenges.

Social media
ICCA used social media to improve event value and networking. Last year’s ICCA Congress in Antalya, Turkey propelled on social media (see related press release). This year, ICCA members will be sharing their journey and preparations for the ICCA Congress using hashtag #RoadtoArgentina. ICCA’s #RoadtoArgentina Tango competition created a great buzz at IMEX in Frankfurt this year. ICCA members could win a free registration for this year’s Congress by taking a picture with a tango dancer. See pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1139975706019894.1073741928.154496667901141&type=3

Register now!
ICCA Members can register here.

Non-ICCA members who are granted Observer status are entitled to attend the ICCA Congress incorporating the General Assembly once only in order to better understand the workings of ICCA. As suppliers of professional services to the international meetings industry, Observers are strongly encouraged to apply for ICCA membership. For more information on attending as an Observer, please contact Pat Soen, Director Membership. 

Story ideas related to the education programme

We have identified some key themes in the education programme to help ICCA member press identify story ideas for during the Congress. 

Last year's ICCA Congress generated a huge buzz on social media; almost 60% of all ICCA Congress delegates were active on social media at the ICCA Congress
We highly recommend all media members to join the online conversation and publish your articles during the ICCA Congress. We will actively share and promote these stories on our social media channels, via email and our website to the ICCA community of associations and suppliers. This will give you exposure towards suppliers and meeting planners in our industry, generate traffic to your articles, and could give you new story ideas and interview opportunities during the ICCA Congress.

How is the international association meetings market evolving?
General – interview some of the international association executives in our speaker line-up.  Key theme is that the ICCA Congress aims to be the world’s most important platform for discussing this issue.

Related sessions:
  • Monday AM – Latest thinking and trends amongst Association Management Companies (AMCs) (possible feature story on AMC Institute’s most recent research into association service delivery).
  • Monday AM – ABC of Ambassador Programmes (interview delegates whose destinations who are planning to invest in this).
  • Monday PM – Fundamentals of Bidding (possible story – why is this regular session always so popular at the Congress; are bidding skills just as important today as they used to be?).
  • Monday PM – How can ICCA and ICCA members help associations develop in emerging regions (possible story relating to Africa, India, Middle East, etc, depending on focus of the publication; more philosophical story – does ICCA need to empower associations before its members can gain business success; is this altruism or hard-headed realism?).
  • Monday PM – New ways to create international association meetings (use speaker case studies for feature articles – link to general trend that leading destinations and innovative PCOs are no longer waiting to bid for events in their target fields, they are actively creating new events, with the help of academic, scientific and business communities – this is a big future trend, ICCA predicts).
  • Tuesday AM – Advanced Ambassador Programmes (feature – how are the destinations with greatest experience in Ambassador Programmes innovating? What does this imply for competitiveness in the market?).
  • Wednesday AM – International association strategic challenges & solutions (potential story on either the challenges themselves, or the meeting design approach ICCA has taken – in this session the delegates “give back” to the speakers, by crowd-sourcing real solutions to their international meeting problems).
Inspirational ideas – design of meetings and inspirational speakers from beyond the meetings industry
General – stories that could look at either the innovative design elements used by many of the sessions in this year’s Congress, or at the inspirational messages from our outside speakers.

Related sessions:
  • Monday AM – Monday Morning Wake-up Call (Feature on how ICCA uses this now traditional kick-off plenary to re-set the mentality of the delegates, to ensure that everyone is as open to new thinking, ideas, and contacts as possible.
  • Monday PM – Strategic content orchestration (excellent and varied case studies on how to fully exploit the intellectual resources of an international meeting, comparing the approach of multinational companies with those of international associations; content is one of the critical competitive dimensions for meeting professionals, yet few are really thinking innovatively about this field).
  • Monday PM – Reverse Hybrid (unique approach that we haven’t seen in other meetings industry events, bringing in world-class video presentations for a deep discussion on both the topics covered by the speakers, and on the relative merits of live versus recorded speakers, the role of moderation, how preparation and engagement can be built into event design).
  • Tuesday AM – President’s Choice (see separate briefing).
  • Tuesday AM – Sustainability & CSR in the courtroom – you be the jury on whether CSR policies help win business as well as being good for the planet (a fun way to address a serious, controversial question).
  • Tuesday PM – Visual storytelling (top executive from Prezi, suggest an interview on the importance of storytelling in presentations, and the need for international associations to develop these skills; could also cover the dramatic growth of Prezi itself as a company).
  • Tuesday PM – The Experience Economy (first time collaboration with Maritz, who have brought in top clients from corporate and association sectors to help run this workshop; stories could be about the big picture changes in how meetings are being designed, so that the delegate is placed at the true centre of attention, or about Maritz’s own strategic attempts to differentiate the company by using this strategy).
  • Wednesday AM – The Big Debate: are we draining the swamp or wrestling with alligators? (How strategic are most of the organisations and leaders in our industry? Are we guilty of being too short-term in our thinking? A chance for a story with strongly held but very different viewpoints on our future direction.)
  • Wednesday AM – Copenhagen-Denmark Lecture (see separate briefing)
New ways to think about marketing
General – the ICCA Congress is where some of the best, strangest, and most innovative marketing ideas are shared, enabling new thinking to cross national borders and industry sectors.

Related sessions:
  • Monday AM – Models of City Competitiveness (How can cities use their position in the most important global rankings to articulate their brand distinctiveness and competitive advantage?  Could be linked to a bigger story on the move from tourism-centric strategies to Intellectual Capital as a continuing major shift)
  • Monday PM – Big Data or Smart Data (this will include the launch of our new (third) Big Data tool – “Find a Sponsor”; an opportunity to write a feature on Big Data either in general, or in terms of ICCA’s strategic embrace of this as a way to expand the services provided to its members).
  • Tuesday AM - ICCA Best Marketing Award (see separate briefing – always a strong line-up of finalists, for separate case study stories or one about the whole competition).
  • Tuesday PM – PR Excellence (Featuring the shortlisted finalists in ICCA’s PR Award competition – should be some very strong case studies; this year another story is possible about the growing integration between traditional PR and media relations, and social media and related tools).
  • Tuesday PM – Staff-centric marketing (A human interest storyline possible here – all case studies involve ICCA members who used their staff very innovatively in some of the marketing – featured in advertising; producing the material; engaging in social media marketing).
  • Tuesday PM – Getting Away from it All (How can destinations which aren’t in easy-to-get-to locations survive and thrive – interesting case studies).
  • Tuesday PM – Learning a new Marketing Language (Top marketer Philip Davies from Siegel+Gale will explain how mainstream marketing is being re-invented, and why the meetings industry needs to catch up – stories could feature the actual concepts themselves such as native advertising or brand simplicity index).
New management/leadership thinking
  • Monday PM – CEO Deep Dive (now a regular feature in the programme, each year exploring different angles of leadership – could be a good topic for a feature on what makes a successful leader in our industry; what new skills are needed; etc).
  • Tuesday PM: Change management for small companies (With so many companies in our industry being relatively small, there is a big challenge in undertaking major changes whilst keeping the business running effectively; could either be a story on the case study featured, or interviews with delegates who are facing these challenges, with a feature on “how is our industry changing for the small players”).
Industry sector-specific topics – stories on what PCOs, venues, destinations are focusing on today
  • Monday AM – PCO Hot Topics (in collaboration with IAPCO) – How to transform a single event into a cost-saving or profitable re-usable product)
  • Tuesday AM – How to reinvent your venue!
  • Tuesday AM – How to intelligently add Airlines to your bids, offers, and marketing strategies.
  • Tuesday PM – Healthcare meetings (mini-conference on the latest key topics that will influence this most important segment of the association sector).
  • Wednesday AM – ICCA Venues Survey (results of comprehensive venue survey on issues such as investment, marketing, policies, ownership/management structure, etc)
Industry advocacy
  • Tuesday PM – Meetings industry advocacy (JMIC and CIC representatives outline the latest global campaigns, new resources, and showcase initiatives from different parts of the world – together with detailed discussions on how to improve collaboration and coordination of advocacy projects).
  • See also Wednesday AM: Big Debate (covered above).
Local flavour (education, rather than just focusing on the social events)
  • Monday PM – Growth and opportunities in Latin America (We’re bringing in three outside speakers with different perspectives – could be the basis for a story on how Latin meetings market is likely to evolve, the unique challenges this region faces, etc).
  • Tuesday PM – Outside the Box (see separate briefing – editors might wish to sign up for one of these trips offsite to write a story with an Argentinian twist).

Interview requests

All ICCA media members present at the ICCA Congress have the opportunity to do max. 0.5 hour one-on-one interview sessions with ICCA CEO Martin Sirk and/or ICCA President Nina Freysen-Pretorius. We would very much appreciate it if you could plan ahead a theme for a feature story that you want to focus on. Please send interview requests directly to Martin Sirk via SpotMe or Email to make an appointment.

We will not have a separate Press Room this year but you can use the Social Lounge to use wired Internet connection, should you need it to send high-res images or video.

Congress pictures

Please note that during the Congress all official ICCA Congress pictures will be made available in high-res to all participants via Flickr.