WORLD - The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) will open two new regional offices in Africa and the Middle East on 1 September 2012.
ICCA’s Board of Directors says its decision is a result of ICCA’s consistent growth in its membership in these two regions.
Chris Prieto, CMP, will become the South African-based Regional Director covering the African region, and Gamal Sadek from the Al Ketbi Consultancy will become Regional Director for the Middle East, based out of Dubai.
The appointments were announced during a keynote address to the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, by ICCA President Arnaldo Nardone (pictured).
“This isn't simply a move to deliver better services to our existing members in these two regions, but a recognition that the international association meetings market is continuing to evolve, and it is in the growth of regional meetings that we anticipate some of the most dramatic future developments,” he said. “This trend is already well established in Asia and Latin America, and it is certain that Africa and Middle East are starting to move down the same road, as we have seen from recent moves to create an African society for association executives.
“What this implies is that there is going to be more business for our existing members in these regions, more new events to identify and add to the ICCA Association Database, more new infrastructure developments, more understanding of the strategic importance of association events by city and national governments, and more interest in ICCA by potential new members,” he added.
Nardone also stressed it was strategically important for ICCA to build a long-term presence in these markets.
ICCA now has five regional offices in addition to its Head Office in Amsterdam, with established operations already serving Asia-Pacific, North- and Latin America.
“Chris has tremendous experience in attracting international meetings to South Africa, is already well known by many members, and knows ICCA inside-out, so we believe she’ll be an excellent asset for our members throughout Africa and will be able to help continue the excellent growth we’ve seen over recent years,” said CEO of the Cape Town International Convention Centre and Chairperson of the ICCA Africa Chapter, Rashid Toefy.
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