ICCA wraps up in Antalya, launches new tool

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) wraps up its 53rd Congress in Antalya, Turkey today (5 November) with over 900 members in attendance and the association on track to crack the 1,000 membership mark.

CEO Martin Sirk (pictured) told the General Assembly that a record year for recruitment had brought the 1,000 members number into sight for 2015.

“Because recruitment is looking so healthy, we are projecting a slightly larger than usual net growth in membership at the end of the year. We have budgeted that we will start 2015 with 991 paying and eight honorary members. We temporarily climbed above 1,000 members in 2013 and also this year, but in 2015 we should move permanently above this level.”

Sirk did predict a dip in some revenue streams with next year’s congress in South America likely to draw a lower attendance and 40,000 euros less in revenues from it.

Membership fees are to increase by one per cent.

Meanwhile, five months after introducing its first-ever Big Data tool for members’ research needs, ICCA has announced the launch of Edition 2.

The Big Data Search functionalities give ICCA members a simple way to search vast public databases of academic content and contacts, and to link the results to the structure of ICCA¹s own Association Database, enabling them to identify local representatives who could help them to bid for an international association meeting.

Utilising the databases of Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic Search, ICCA members are able to identify leading academic contacts in specified cities and regions, related to a specific meeting in the ICCA Association Database or a specific meeting subject.

The new Edition 2 adds an extra sophistication to the original ambassador search, identifying whether selected ‘ambassadors’ in local universities are also featured within the websites of associations and congresses in the selected academic field.

Edition 2 also significantly upgrades the module which identifies the relative academic strength of the local university in a particular field, to now enable ICCA members to more easily identify new scientific, technological or healthcare fields where they have an academic advantage, or to compare their academic strength with that of direct rivals in any competitive bid.

“When I first became aware of ICCA back in 1989, data updates consisted of piles of photocopied printouts; in the mid-90s ICCA moved to CD-Rom updates; then at the turn of the century, just before I joined ICCA as CEO we moved to an Online Database,” says Martin Sirk.

“This Big Data development, which is still at a very early stage, is at least as significant as any of those changes.  We are now in the process of changing from an organisation that has been 100 per cent focused on the data we can control and update ourselves, to one which is aiming to make every piece of relevant information about international association meetings available to our members, no matter where it is held.”

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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