Associations and the ABCs of the Meetings Industry

By Clara Fernández López

UIA’s 2015 Survey on International Meeting Issues shows that 51% of international associations worldwide are not familiar with the services offered by a CVB – and only 14% have used the services of a CVB in the past 5 years.

Furthermore, only 12% of international associations regularly attend trade shows on travel and meetings, another 20% attend such shows occasionally. And only 7.3% are familiar with, and have profited from, “hosted buyer” programmes. Still 21% of international associations, organize their events without any professional help.

According to UIA’s associations database “Yearbook of International Organizations Online” there are over 37,000 active international organizations worldwide and approximately 30,000 of these organize meetings. There is a huge potential for business in destinations worldwide and a huge need of increased communication between the meetings industry and international associations.

• Which players in the meetings industry are important for associations’ needs?
• Which are the links between the meetings industry and international associations?
• How can industry and associations cooperate?
• Where is there a potential for win-win interactions between the meetings industry and international associations?

Discussing and finding answers to these questions is crucial for an enhanced networking and interaction between international associations and the meetings industry.

The team of UIA works with associations representatives and discusses with players of the meetings industry, how associations can learn more about the variety of professional support offered by the MICE industry, how the MICE players can learn to enhance their approach to associations people and make them aware of their services and support portfolio.

The UIA focus and aim is to encourage and undertake all activity aimed at promoting the development and efficiency of non-governmental networks, as well as intercommunication between people working in the international framework and in interassociative co-operation.
One of the most important tools for associations work is their meetings and congresses, and UIA encourages the interaction between the meetings industry and associations by providing a networking space.


Clara Fernández López
External Relations Manager
Union of International Associations