ICCA President James Rees issued the following Presidential Message on 23 March:
“ICCA Colleagues and Friends,
“It has become increasingly evident that the outbreak of coronavirus is affecting us all and presents the greatest challenge that most of us will have faced in our lives and professional careers.
“As a truly global organisation, this challenge is felt by ICCA members all over the world. At this time, we are taking the opportunity to demonstrate our selflessness, compassion and creativity as we unite as an industry to ensure we emerge together, stronger than ever. We are facing unprecedented short-term challenges but we are also more technically advanced, better connected and more willing to share ideas than we have ever been before. Our future success will be dependent on us working in co-operation rather than competition – this is what the ICCA family has always done best and what we will continue to do moving forward.
“In the coming days and weeks, it is important that we consider all the stakeholders across our industry, from the largest corporate to the smallest independent, in order to minimise the impact of this pandemic. Rather than act in haste, let us act reasonably and seek ways to look after our mutual commercial interests as best we can.
“At ICCA HQ in Amsterdam, we are putting all our efforts into supporting our membership through these testing times, and will activate and make use of the latest technology and platforms to deliver information, facilitate knowledge-sharing and allow the continued development of global relationships. Our webinar on Wednesday 25 March is just one of many such initiatives and our teams across the world remain here to help you, just as you are already helping each other.
“Ours is an industry that deals in the long-term; the relationship or idea that starts today may not come to fruition or deliver business for five or ten years. We are patient because we know we are part of an industry that can change the world for the better. In that respect, ICCA is here to help you prepare for when we emerge from this unprecedented time and we will also be there to play a major part in the recovery that will follow.
“Let’s look after each other and stand together while we are far apart.
“Stay well, and I wish you and your families my very best wishes.”
James Rees, ICCA President