by Sven Bossu, AIPC CEO
AIPC—the global association of event venues—launched its change process during its Annual Congress of 2019. The current crisis will accelerate this process as the AIPC community is facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. A six-pillar program—actively supported by the AIPC Board of Directors—will focus on creating maximal value for its members and the event industry.
Created in 1958, AIPC has a longstanding tradition in providing value to its members across the world. The association is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention center management, while at the same time providing the tools to achieve such high standards through its research, educational and networking programs.
The reality in which our members operate has fundamentally changed over the last months. Event venues have demonstrated their community engagement by transforming themselves into health and care facilities to support overwhelmed health systems and at the same time were confronted with measures which implied to close for business.
AIPC—in collaboration with UFI and ICCA—launched a series of guides providing best practices when confronting the challenges imposed and which provided tangible support during the first phase of the crises: survival.
With exit strategies now being rolled out in different regions we enter a different phase. Thrust needs to be regained that organized events can take place in a safe and secure way and still achieve their core objective: connect people, exchange ideas and drive innovation. All of which is dearly needed to relaunch the world economies.
This reality offers an opportunity to AIPC to accelerate the change process initiated by the Board of Directors in 2019. A change program, focusing on six key areas, has been set up and will be implemented in the next six months. Each of those areas will be “patronaged” by a member of the Board of Directors.
The outcome of this change program will provide a tangible toolkit allowing our members not only to adapt to, but to thrive in a new reality. This is indeed the ambition we should have as an event community: to come out of this crisis stronger together.
This will require leadership, creativity and imagination. We will need to boldly go where no person has gone before in the space of events and chart these unknown territories in order to create value for our customers and for the ecosystem in which we function. Venues can indeed no longer see themselves in isolation: we are part of a larger ecosystem and can have a tremendous impact beyond the purely economical one.
The recognition of this impact has already started pre-COVID-19 and will now be accelerated. Organized, safe and secure events are a key element for achieving a wide range of society objectives—economical, health, sustainability and so much more.
Achieving this will require even closer partnerships with key stakeholders such as local authorities and event organizers. AIPC will be there to support its members in creating those partnerships and to bring them to the level needed to support the goal of our association: make the community grow together.
Sven Bossu was appointed as AIPC’s first CEO on May 1. In his previous role, Bossu was the managing director for innovation at ESTRO, the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology. He also has eight years of experience in the meetings industry from his time at SWIFT, where he was responsible for the organization of their world-renowned SIBOS conference. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIPC represents a global network of more than 190 leading centers in 64 countries with the active involvement of more than 1,000 management-level professionals worldwide. It is committed to encouraging and recognizing excellence in convention center management, based on the diverse experience and expertise of its international representation, and maintains a variety of educational, research, networking and standards programs to achieve this. AIPC also celebrates and promotes the essential role of the international meetings industry in supporting economic, academic and professional development and enhancing global relations amongst highly diverse business and cultural interests. For more info, visit aipc.org.