The International Expansion of Industry Associations

european side of globe

More meetings industry associations have been moving into Europe, as evidenced by the latest gatherings by several leading organizations around the world.

While a couple of these organizations’ European events are recurring and returning to business after the pandemic slowed them down, even more are just beginning to introduce European initiatives or are still in the early stages of their European venture. In the face of news about Omicron subvariants, the show goes on.

What Countries Are Doing About Covid

Earlier this year, cases rose in several European countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Austria; Germany reported record high cases of between 250,000 and 300,000 in a day as a result of the Omicron BA.2. Luckily, none of these new strains appear to cause more severe illness than its predecessors, according to the U.S. CDC.

Read about the implications of returning to Europe for IMEX Frankfurt. 

Currently, 32 destinations in Europe have eliminated travel restrictions, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany and Greece. European countries with some restrictions in place include: France, Malta, Spain and the Netherlands, which still doesn’t accept unvaccinated travelers from outside the European Union to visit.

Despite this, many European associations are still moving forward with their events, like IACC Europe Knowledge Festival 2022—which has always been based in Europe—taking place in Amsterdam on Sept. 23-25;  as mentioned earlier, the Netherlands still has strict rules in place and is currently only taking non-EU visitors from its list of countries it deems “safe.”

See the list of Smart Meetings Experiences planned for the rest of the year.

Associations That Have Gone Euro

For the first time, PCMA Convening EMEA (representing Europe, the Middle East & Africa) will take place at Meeting Destination Vienna—named the world’s greenest and most livable city—Sept. 28-30, 2022. This will be PCMA’s second European gathering, its first was in Lausanne, Switzerland, at SwissTech Convention Center on the campus of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. This second installation has been built across three themes: future, engagement and planning.

In early June, at the launch of the first IMEX Frankfurt since 2019, Destinations International unveiled its European Pathfinders Program, designed to increase engagement across Europe by highlighting key trends in European destinations and understanding how leaders are addressing these opportunities for growth. This program is scheduled to one for one year, through IMEX Frankfurt 2023. On May 30, just before IMEX Frankfurt began, MPI hosted the inaugural 2022 European Business Events Forum, a half-day event where meeting professionals discussed how to build better meetings and events in Europe. MPI has rescheduled its European Meetings & Events Conference (EMEC) for March 26-28, 2023 in Brighton, UK.

The annual ICCA Congress’ 61st event is taking place in Krakow, Poland—one of the 32 European countries without restrictions—on Nov. 6-9; connecting meeting professionals and hundreds of associations from around the globe at the 400,000-square-foot ICE Krakow Congress Centre.

SITE recently hosted its second Incentive Summit Europe in Geneva and Montreux, Switzerland, in March. The first event took place in 2019 in Verbier, Switzerland. Given that its third event will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, July 2023 and its fourth in Andermatt, Switzerland, the reception must have been phenomenal. SITE’s Global Conference also took place in Europe, at Convention Centre Dublin, the first time the organization gathered since January 2020.

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