Manchester hosts its first Associations UK Congress

The Association of Association Executives (AAE) welcomed delegates to Manchester Central for its annual Associations UK Congress on 14 December.

It is the first time the event has taken place in the city. Around 257 association professionals came together for the two-day congress, which concludes 15 December. Delegates were greeted with a reception hosted by Manchester Convention Bureau at The Lowry in Salford Quays.

Shaun Hinds, CEO of Manchester Central, said he was “particularly pleased” the AAE had chosen Manchester Central to host its first congress out of the south of England. “There are great benefits to holding events here,” he commented. “It is relatively contained, so delegates get to experience the city as well as enjoying the event.”

Topics covered on day one included the importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and the threats and opportunities Brexit will present. Meanwhile, pre-booked workshops got delegates thinking about their digital marketing plans and crisis communication strategies.

Attendees were invited to the Macdonald Manchester Hotel for a congress dinner and to celebrate the annual Association Awards Ceremony.

Today’s content includes sessions on monetising video content and sorting the facts from the fiction surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This afternoon, new feature ‘Association Minds’ will see organisations work together sharing their skills, knowledge and experience to support a peer association that needs help with a particular project.

Formerly Associations Network, AAE is an international and European membership organisation with members from professional, scientific, medical and business associations, societies, federations and other membership organisations. It claims to be the largest network of association executives outside North America, with more than 15,000 members and subscribers.


Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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