ICCA UK and Ireland Chapter (ICCA UK&I) has announced Lesley Williams, head of business tourism at Convention Edinburgh and the Chapter’s deputy chair, will take up the post of chairperson for the association. The handover from current chair Kerrin MacPhie, will take place at IMEX in Frankfurt (19-21 April) during the Chapter meeting.
MacPhie, director of conference and exhibition sales at ACC Liverpool, has held the position of chair since October 2013, a time during which she launched an annual debate (which has seen two successful events in Brighton and Leeds), as well as pushing big data and for more suppliers to join the association.
MacPhie said her key focus had been to deliver strong educational events in addition to driving social media activity to engage with members and industry colleagues across the ICCA network.
“Our membership base had stayed strong over the years and I know this will continue as I leave the Chapter in very safe hands,” she added.
Williams has worked in international sales and marketing for 25 years and, as head of the business tourism arm at Edinburgh’s official promotional agency, Marketing Edinburgh, she leads eight specialists in the Convention Edinburgh team.
Edinburgh has risen to No. 31 in the latest in the latest ICCA World City Rankings and hosted 65,000 delegates at 208 conventions in 2014-15.
Williams also sits on a number of committees focused on raising the profile of Scotland as a conference destination and is also deputy chair of Business Tourism for Scotland – a group dedicated to the delivery of the National Tourism Strategy, aiming to grow business tourism in Scotland from £1.9bn to £2.3bn by 2020.
She added: “ICCA plays a crucial role in shaping industry conversations, offering thought leadership on the issues facing our sector today… My priority is to work with the rest of the committee to ensure ICCA UK&I grows from strength to strength and continues to deliver for its members through an inspiring education programme and through business development opportunities.”