We present the first CMW column from AIPC’s new CEO Sven Bossu, who prefaces a six-month, six-pillar programme of change for the association.
AIPC, the global association of event venues, launched its change process during its 2019 Annual Congress in Antwerp. The current crisis will accelerate this process as the AIPC community is facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. A six-pillar programme – 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 of providing value to its members across the world. The association is committed to encouraging and recognising excellence in convention centre management, while at the same time providing the tools to achieve such high standards through its research, educational and networking programmes.
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 closure for business.
AIPC – in collaboration with industry associations 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 organised events can take place in a safe and secure way and still achieve their core objective: connecting people, exchanging ideas and driving 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 programme, focusing on six key areas, has been set up and will be implemented in the next six months. Each of those areas will be ‘curated by a member of the Board of Directors.
The outcome of this change programme 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 no longer see themselves in isolation: we are part of a larger ecosystem and can have a tremendous impact beyond the purely economic one.
The recognition of this impact has already started pre-Covid 19 and will now be accelerated. Organised, safe and secure events are a key element for achieving a wide range of society objectives – economic, health, sustainability and so much more.
Achieving this will require even closer partnerships with key stakeholders such as local authorities and event organisers.
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: making the community grow together.