China will be completing the liberalisation of nearly 70,000 industry associations and chambers of commerce by the end of this year, and their ability to survive as autonomous, professionally-run organisations will be tested.
With the liberalisation, policy, direction, funding changes, the availability of talent, and the organisation of association meetings could be impacted, as more global trade associations have set up in China as part of their market development plans and professional exchange.
(From left) GIS Group’s Stephen Liu and Haley So, Yao and Zhang
To help China’s business events industry tackle the impending changes, IAPCO Education, the international association for professional conference organisers, has appointed Beijing-based IME Consulting as its China representative, said general manager Alicia Yao, who is also deputy general secretary, China MICE Committee of China Association of Travel Services.
For the second time, IAPCO Education Seminars for the MICE Industry will be run in Suzhou.
The introduction of a “junior” level programme last year will be followed up with a “senior” level programme this year between April 12 and 14. IAPCO also offers a “master” level programme.
According to David Zhang, director, Suzhou MICE & Travel Promotion Centre, about 40 senior-level executives have registered so far. The event, organised by the centre, is supported by the Suzhou Tourism Bureau and a local sponsor.
Zhang said: “There were 60 participants last year, including delegates from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan representing CVBs, DMCs etc. I believe IAPCO has the opportunity to grow in China in the next two years,” he said.
Yao pointed out that IAPCO accreditation will be important as some international association meeting RFPs stipulate that only association management companies and PCOs that are its members can be used.
IAPCO members in Asia are MCI China (Shanghai), Hong Kong’s International Conference Consultants and Taiwan’s General Innovation Service (GIS), which won a bid as a result of its affiliation.