IMEX Association Day, the annual event exclusively for association professionals, will feature a new, extensively researched and redesigned programme when it takes place the day before the IMEX in Frankfurt exhibition in May.
The IMEX team has collaborated with planners from across the globe to gather views and experiences before creating this new structure to meet audience requirements even more effectively.
The restructured Association Day programme will feature a new Association Management Stream, covering topics such as understanding why members leave and how to persuade them to stay. There will also be two Meetings & Events Streams (A and B), addressing issues such as how to maximise member participation at events, and how to identify and approach new sponsors.
Each session is case study led with the emphasis on sharing best practice. Time for peer to peer discussion and networking is also factored into the day.
The Association Management Stream, hosted by ASAE, has been specifically designed for those in senior positions. Managing associations through turbulent times; developing an effective volunteer strategy; small association management and how to engage with future generations are among the topics to be discussed. Speakers include senior executives from the European Golf Course Owners Association and the Entomological Society of America who are set to share their knowledge of ‘membership engagement and retention strategies’.
Davi Kaur, head of the congress unit at the European Cancer Association, will deliver a session in Meetings & Events Stream A on ‘how to create a world class event’, with a case study covering all aspects from event format to attendee experience and legacy. This new Meetings & Event Stream, chaired by the ICCA, will cover how to develop effective partnerships with convention bureaus and trends in meeting formats and designs. Speakers include Juliane Leyva Gonzalez, Congress Manager, European College of Sport Science and Roy Palmer, Executive Director, Association of International Seafood Professionals. It ends with a roundtable discussion on dealing with international cultural issues.
Meetings & Event Stream B features a case study presentation on ‘how to attract and retain more sponsors’ with speakers from the British Bankers’ Association and the International Diabetes Federation. Roger Simmons, regional sustainability director at MCI group is one of the confirmed speakers for ‘how can associations make their events more sustainable’. This stream will also cover: top tips for effective programme and content development, negotiating global hotel contracts and managing events with a small events team. Other speakers include Christine Gouillard, Head of Congress Account & Scientific Programmes at the European Society of Cardiology and Charlotte Balling, Event Manager at Danish Maritime Days.
Open to all levels of association professionals registered to attend IMEX as either hosted buyers or visitor buyers, Association Day offers a valuable opportunity for peer to peer education and networking, allowing participants to understand the successes and challenges faced by other associations.
Peter Reckling, from the Association of Social Work and Criminal Justice in Germany, who attended last year, says: «This is the one day each year when I can look outside of my job and at the world outside, and the future».
Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, explains: «We wanted to ensure that we offer content that is a real benefit to association professionals at all levels of seniority and experience so we consulted more extensively than ever. The resulting programme is really strong and, as always, we have some excellent and highly motivated partners to thank for their expertise and contributions».
The free afternoon of education, co-delivered by ICCA and ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership will be followed by the highly regarded networking reception, Association Evening hosted by Marriott Frankfurt.