International Special Events Society (ISES)
President Richard Foulkes has said the number of trade associations supporting
the meetings and events industry is “confusing” and “expensive” for potential
Foulkes was speaking following the
inaugural joint executive committee meeting this month between ISES and Meeting
Professional International (MPI) Presidential teams. The new committee was
co-chaired by ISES Past President Zanine Adams and MPI Past President Anthony
The associations say they set up the joint
executive committee to explore membership benefits across both associations,
adding the move was was also in reaction to frustration with “an already
oversubscribed trade association presence”.
Both associations promised to jointly
promote activities to each other’s membership and offer rates to encourage
cross event attendance.
The also agreed to co-ordinate events and
avoid date conflicts. Each association would lead in its own specialist event
niche, with ISES representing the creative events industry and MPI representing
meeting professionalism and educational forums.
ISES and MPI also agreed to meet under the mistletoe again this Christmas and encourage other wider industry associations to
participate in their annual festive event.
Foulkes believes the two international
trade associations can learn from each other and “demonstrate economies of
MPI President Fiona Pelham said there was
an opportunity to demonstrate a higher value membership by exploring a collaborative
working relationship with ISES. “We are two very complementary UK associations,
both with international networks that respect each other’s niche. Together we
can share best practice and provide richer education and opportunities to
connect,” Pelham said.
ISES was founded in 1987 to represent those
involved in creative event marketing activity and has 7,000 members in 45
chapters throughout the world.
MPI membership is 24,000 in 71 chapters and
clubs worldwide. The UK & Ireland chapter has 350 members consisting
of corporate and agency planners and suppliers.
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