Initial feedback suggests Eventia has “the green light to go ahead with the proposal” to merge with the IVCA (International Visual Communications Association), Eventia chair Simon Hughes told members attending the first open forum on the proposal.
Around 30 Eventia members attended the meeting on 14 August at the Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London, appearing largely supportive of the plans to create a new trade association to represent the communications industry sectors involved in the management and production of meetings and experiential events, travel and incentive, film, video and interactive media.
The major concern mooted was that proposed education and networking would be aimed at niche audiences as well as to general ones.
Head of regulation committee Brian Kirsch (Event Assured) noted: “Any new association would not abandon the travel market. It will remain all the things we’ve always been. We’re just a different shape nowadays.”
Immediate past chair Rob Allen, of TRO, reiterated that following two years of discussion concerning the matter: “We’ve even asked, What about the portaloo providers? How can we be the association for them, too?”
The meeting also heard that no job losses were being discussed and that IVCA’s chief executive Marco Forgione would head up any new body. No new fee structure has been devised, although both IVCA and Eventia’s fees were at similar levels now. IVCA and Eventia members would have a 50-50 representation on any new board.
Hughes also touted that one area of potential discussion would be to hold the IVCA’s LiveCom awards during its own Summer Eventia show.
Other hopes alluded to included having a stronger voice to market to BRIC countries and reinstating a parliamentary advisor (Eventia has not had one for three years because of money-saving concerns).
The final decision will rest with members of both associations. Eventia proposes future member forums on the matter in Birmingham, Manchester and, again in London. A joint proposal for formal consultation will be produced in November and an extraordinary general meeting will be arranged in January at which members can vote on the issue.