Event Management Groups Partner to Benefit Members

Two associations representing venue managers and exhibits and events announced they will come together to cross-promote each other’s products and services.

Borrowing from the trend of groups coming together to benefit one another through co-locating events, two international groups are combining their efforts in a similar yet different fashion. The International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) have formed an alliance to cross-market educational programs, networking events, and other products and services, the groups announced last week.

When our organizations met to discuss an alliance, several areas were identified where it makes sense for us to partner with one another.

They will also endorse each other’s certifications: IAEE’s Certified in Exhibition Management designation and IAVM’s Certified Facilities Executive designation.

Discussions to combine efforts began shortly after both organizations welcomed new chief executives. David DuBois, FASAE, CAE, was named president of IAEE in October 2012, and Vicki Hawarden took over as president and CEO of IAVM a year earlier.

“When our organizations met to discuss an alliance, several areas were identified where it makes sense for us to partner with one another,” said Cathy Breden, CAE, chief operating officer for IAEE. “We believe that when two industry organizations can collaborate and benefit each other’s members, we should make every effort to move forward with the collaboration.”

How members would be affected by the alliance was the most important element of the discussions, Breden said.

“This was about nothing more than added value for each of the memberships,” she said. “Certainly we’re hoping to see some increase in revenue that we’re otherwise not able to generate by getting both memberships involved, but it’s two-sided. We increase revenue, but it’s about adding value for our members.”

Through the agreement, both associations will be doing their part to support women in leadership roles in the exhibition, event, and venue industries. IAVM will help promote IAEE’s Women’s Leadership Forum, which will kick off in May, and both organizations will host events and educational sessions at various other meetings.

“Hopefully we will draw an audience to each others’ events that might not have attended otherwise and provide valuable experiences to those attendees,” Breden said.

The keys to the success of this partnership and others like it are twofold, said Breden.

“There needs to be a certain level of trust between the two organizations and good [strategic] alignment,” she said. “You don’t want to harm one organization or the other. You need to sit down and look at how it’s going to benefit both organizations and memberships so that it’s pretty equal on both sides.”


Rob Stott

By Rob Stott

Rob Stott is a contributing editor for Associations Now. MORE

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