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Association meeting planners slay their dragons in Japan

Almost 150 association conference organisers met in Fukuoka for three-day AMP event

ICCA AMP faculty members Jason Yeh and Bobby Peralta are ready to slay some meeting dragons and welcome delegates to the AMP in Fukuoka during the Opening Ceremony.

Association conference organisers were told to ‘slay your meetings dragon’ at the second edition of ICCA’s Association Meetings Programme (AMP), held in Fukuoka, recently.

Some 144 delegates from 32 countries met in the Japanese city for the three-day conference, 29 June-1 July, which followed last year’s inaugural AMP in Stavanger, Norway.

Gamification was part of the mix with delegates encouraged to bring their own ‘dragon’ challenge with them and the faculty ‘masters’ will teach them how to ‘fight’ it.

The main idea behind AMP is to help association executives and ICCA members, suppliers to the meetings industry, learn from each other and build lasting business partnerships.

It also exists to help those present create better meetings.

ICCA chief executive, Martin Sirk, said: “Success in tomorrow’s meetings industry will increasingly depend on an ability to partner and collaborate with clients and with other suppliers. To avoid becoming caught up in a commoditised marketplace where low cost and standardised services are the norm, ICCA members need to learn new skills and adopt new business concepts.

“Likewise, to reach the often-ambitious objectives of their meetings and deliver ROI to their delegates, international association executives need to learn how to build more constructive relationships with destination marketers, venues, PCOs, and airlines.

“AMP aims to bridge this gap: to build mutual understanding of objectives and business cultures; to identify practical new ways to work together; to generate ideas for improving the effectiveness and value of the meetings themselves.”

Izumi Shimada, director of Marketing, Sales & Business Development at the Fukuoka Convention & Visitors Bureau, said: “I was so happy to share such wonderful moments with the ICCA AMP participants. It was an incredible experience. Not only for Fukuoka City to have created 150 new ambassadors from all over the world, but also for me personally to recognize and share what Associations and CVBs from all over the world are currently struggling with.”

ICCA aims to increase its relationship with associations and together with ICCA member-suppliers shape the future and value of international association meetings. As a result, associations are invited to attend the annual ICCA Congress and the new AMP. Around 30 took up the offer in Japan.

AMP 2018 to take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia

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