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Grants worth $7,500 for associations who can show legacy

ICCA and BestCities launch joint fund to showcase ‘beyond tourism’ value of meetings

Pictured: Martin Sirk

Associations are being offered a cash incentive to improve the legacy impact of their meetings.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) has teamed up with destination marketing group BestCities Global Alliance to launch the project, which seeks to demonstrate the value of international association meetings beyond delegate spend and tourism.

The Incredible Impacts Grants are awarded to associations who can explain how they would use the money to support, expand, extend or enhance their chosen programme or a future project.

Examples of beyond tourism impacts or legacy include:

• Knowledge and/or skills transfers to developing countries.

• Public awareness of healthcare or environmental issues, or achievement of improved outcomes.

• Positive impact on national and regional policies and practices.

• Advancing future intellectual and/or societal leaders (could be general young members of the association, or young women, or young people from developing countries, etc).

An independent jury will determine which three associations will be awarded a grant of US$7,500 each. The winners of each year’s grants will be announced at the ICCA Congress in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The partnership is a direct result of ICCA’s five-year strategic plan which was launched at the end of 2015, comprising of six strategic goals. With a number of these goals, including full engagement with association clients and more effective global knowledge sharing, closely aligned to BestCities’ own ambitions, discussions commenced in July 2016 to explore potential opportunities.

Paul Vallee, Managing Director of BestCities said: “Creating a lasting legacy has become pivotal in the planning of meaningful meetings and events and we want to educate associations on how this can be achieved successfully. Incredible Impacts will not only showcase examples of excellence but will inspire others to actively incorporate this into their own events. At BestCities we aim to nurture and develop the purpose of events beyond traditional planning, focusing on vital areas including legacy development, sustainability and accessibility so we’re excited to see what will come of the Incredible Impacts programme and the diverse range of entrants that we receive.”

ICCA CEO Martin Sirk added: “The biggest shift in the global meetings market over the last decade has been the mindset change from “part of tourism” to “economic and societal impact”.  It’s now broadly accepted that even though meeting delegates are one of the most valuable tourism sectors in terms of their direct spend in a destination, the biggest value from international association meetings comes from the vast quantities of knowledge that are created and shared, the inward investment and business connections that are stimulated, and the societal, healthcare and economic challenges that are addressed and solved. Incredible Impacts has been designed to celebrate some of the best examples of projects that showcase the wider impact of these meetings, and more importantly, to encourage greater awareness and new projects.  We’re grateful for BestCities generous support, and look forward to hearing some amazing stories about the power of meetings.”

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