ICESAP View: September

Nigel Gaunt, president, Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific

I am writing this exactly one month after closing the transaction for PCMA to acquire ICESAP. In the last month, I have been asked numerous times “What motivated you to merge ICESAP into the much larger global Association PCMA?”

The answer I have given each person can be summed up in the following points;

ICESAP was set up as a company and not an Association, this was done for the simple reason that a company can readily acquire or be acquired, and from day one, that was our desired path.

Scale: I believe to be truly effective for our members and for the Business Events sector overall, we needed to be part of a much larger global organisation. Merely surviving has never been a satisfactory situation, other professional bodies have shown signs of operating in survival mode, that cannot be good for advancing the best interests of its members.

To deliver significant, deliverable and sustainable benefits to ICESAP members over the long term it was imperative we had a solid growth plan, otherwise we are failing all our stakeholders.

Business Events is a cross-border global business, that is why ICESAP went to great lengths to build a member base across Asia Pacific, today we still have 80% of our members in Asia, which is entirely appropriate, given that’s where over 80% of the Business Events spend in Asia Pacific is derived.

I started talking to kindred bodies in Australia about merging or closer working cooperation two years ago, sadly it fell on deaf ears. Naturally I went further afield, PCMA liked what we had done in less than 4 years, and the conversation rapidly grew into a plan.

ICESAP under PCMA will be a driving force in Professional Development of people across all markets and industry segments across Asia Pacific.

PCMA has already grown well beyond its North American roots, with a significant presence in Latin America and Europe. PCMA has over 7,000 members in over 40 countries and now a significant presence in Asia Pacific through ICESAP.

PCMA rapidly convinced me they shared our vision of being a leader well beyond the conference and convention industry and well beyond the traditional association model. PCMA is well aligned with ICESAP’s focus on the corporate sector and its growing investment in Incentive, Conference & Event solutions as a business performance driver.

I am convinced Australasia’s Business Events community can be much more engaged with their Asian counterparts through PCMA-ICESAP and enjoy significant upside as a result. Greater interaction will be very positive for individuals and businesses from both knowledge transfer and business opportunities in both Australasia & Asia. ICESAP’s Agency Accreditation Scheme is testament to the commitment we have to making our sector more accountable and professional, now with PCMA’s support we are looking to take this well beyond the bounds of Asia Pacific.