ICESAP rolls out educational and accreditation initiatives

THE Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia-Pacific (ICESAP) has formed a joint-venture partnership with Angliss International Singapore, part of William Angliss Australia, to offer professional development courses.

ICESAP president Nigel Gaunt said the programmes will start in December with a six-part online introductory course and followed by intermediate courses in 2016.

Gaunt added: “The majority of content will be delivered online and in late-2017 ICESAP will offer a degree course in IC&E management.

“ICESAP is further committed to growing the IC&E sector by implementing a universal accreditation scheme for the intermediary agency businesses operating in the sector across Asia-Pacific.”

Established in January 2014 and headquartered in Hong Kong, ICESAP is still the only association in the region to represent the IC&E segments.

Gaunt said: “Being by nature a cross-border industry there needs to be a consistent approach in key areas, such as industry standards, education and accreditation.”

Gaunt also said there were many customer examples where all incentive, conference and event components, and not just one, were required to meet different business needs.

He gave the example of Tupperware where several thousands of top achievers were rewarded with an incentive to Macau, and where a conference and an exhibition were also organised.

In 2014, the estimated IC&E sector in Asia-Pacific was valued at over US$120 billion, Gaunt said, adding: “Eighty per cent of this spend came from within Asia-Pacific. Despite the scale of the industry there has been no peak body until the formation of ICESAP.

To professionalise and “up-skill” practitioners in the industry, ICESAP will form an accreditation scheme early 2016. Applicants must abide by a code of conduct, demonstrate financial security and participate in a guarantee fund to “de-risk” customers and suppliers.

Although accreditation cannot be mandated, Gaunt said the scheme will be made attractive and be a “game changer” for the industry.

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