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Williams to chair ICCA UK & Ireland chapter

Convention Edinburgh's head of business tourism to succeed Kerrin MacPhie

Pictured: new ICCA UK & Ireland chair Lesley Williams

Lesley Williams, the head of business tourism at Convention Edinburgh, will succeed Kerrin MacPhie as chair of the UK and Ireland Chapter of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA).

The handover will take place during the chapter’s meeting at IMEX in Frankfurt next month, where Williams will take over from outgoing chair MacPhie, who has been in the post since October 2013.

During her time at the helm, MacPhie, director of conference and exhibition sales at Arena & Convention Centre (ACC) Liverpool, has introduced initiatives such as the annual debate, has pushed the concept of big data and offered the opportunity for more suppliers to join.

She said: “Our membership base had stayed strong over the years and I know this will continue as I leave the Chapter in very safe hands with a strong chairperson supported by an equally strong Executive Committee.”

Williams has worked in international sales and marketing for over 25 years. As head of the business tourism arm at Edinburgh’s official promotional agency, Marketing Edinburgh, she leads eight specialists in the Convention Edinburgh team, to source and secure international and national conferences for the city. Edinburgh hosted 65,000 delegates at 208 conferences in 2014-15. Williams 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. Increasing our digital engagement with industry colleagues and our Executive Committee presents an exciting opportunity for us to further cement our position as a global knowledge hub and resource.”

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