Relevance, consistency and the ability to speak with a single voice were amongst the key recommendations emerging from a day-long Conference on Industry Communications held in Barcelona last week. Attending were a broad cross-section of Meetings Industry leaders and communications / advocacy experts who had gathered to explore new strategies for advancing industry profile with key audiences including governments as well as business, academic and professional communities that benefit from the meetings, conventions and exhibitions that are the industry product.
“This conference – the second in a series of industry-wide gatherings organized by the Joint Meetings Industry Council to address key industry challenges – demonstrated a remarkable degree of consistency amongst industry leaders as to what our critical issues and messages need to be in order to gain traction with audiences that are and will continue to impact our collective future”, said JMIC President Philippe Fournier. “At the same time, it secured the views of both outside observers and professionals in the areas of communications and advocacy to help us better understand what we need to do in order to advance our proposition more effectively. Together, these perspectives have given us a better idea than ever before of what we need to communicate, who we should be addressing and how we can best deliver the message”.
The day-long session combined political, professional and media perspectives with practical case studies on successful communications initiatives and workshops in which industry leaders worked with advisors on the development of recommendations to guide future industry initiatives in this area. Amongst the recommendations that emerged as areas of consensus were:
“Given the nature of our industry as one comprised of a number of specialized organizations rather than a single entity representing everyone, it is important that we have a collective agreement on key messages and a basis for developing joint initiatives in order to project a sense of unity to governments and communities that make up our most important audiences” said Fournier. “This conference, like its predecessor on Industry Valuation, has provided a basis for doing this and we will be using the results to shape our materials and initiatives going forward with the hope that constituent industry organizations will follow suit”.
The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) is an organization that represents the combined interests of 15 international Meetings Industry associations. It has provided a forum for information exchange amongst industry groups for over 50 years and has recently become more engaged in the process of articulating and delivering industry messages as well as the mechanisms for documenting the value of the industry.
The active member associations who comprise JMIC today are: