ICCA embraces a harmonious, connected solution to deliver Congress

ICCA embraces a harmonious, connected solution to deliver Congress (1)
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    The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) represents a global community and knowledge hub of the international association meetings industry.  Founded in 1963, ICCA is now one of the most prominent organizations in the world of international meetings. As an association themselves, they have the intrinsic ability to connect with their members and bring together their entire community of meetings professionals.

    The annual ICCA Congress is the highlight of the ICCA calendar and 2022 saw the 61st Congress hosted in Kraków, Poland. 

    Key results

    • 1200+ in-person attendees
    • Delivered a harmonious blend of in-person sessions, plenaries, and engaging breakout formats
    • Real-time “Best Marketing Award” a huge hit!
    • Abundance of positive feedback received from attendees

    Building community, togetherness, and belonging

    “At the core of every Congress, we really want our delegates to feel a sense of community, togetherness and belonging,” shared Petra Ucenic, Events Manager for ICCA.

    “Throughout the Kraków event, we maintained a distinct focus on our core pillars: Sustainability; DEI; and Legacy. It gave us a working concept we could theme everything around. We also focused on embracing innovation because ICCA is very much about future-proofing our industry. And of course, Congress is all about business opportunities, networking, and highlighting many other components to ensure our delegates feel inspired to make meaningful connections with their peers” Petra continued.

    As a global organization, Congress is also one of the only chances each year to unite all the ICCA regions. However, because of their global reach, this also comes with the challenge of promoting to multiple geographies to secure registrations.

    “Prior to Covid-19, it was fairly easy to predict registrations. We could see patterns and follow delegate behaviors, and over time, we could predict these patterns,” said Petra. “Covid-19 completely changed the format of events. It got harder to predict registrations and peak registration times – we’ve seen the advent of a lot of last-minute registrations.”

    “Now, we’re also seeing external factors being considered. Budget restrictions or the distance to the event destination, for example, are new challenges as well,” reflected Petra. “The unpredictable – and often dangerous – global situation is often a factor. But we’ve seen that our attendees exercise that intrinsic need to meet in person. We missed it badly when lockdown meant it could not happen. Everything that we can do in terms of technology to help elevate this experience to make the process easier, to share in advance, and to communicate clearly is essential.”

    To deliver an outstanding event year-on-year, Congress takes months of meticulous planning and organization. So, having an effective and reliable event management platform to help support their entire event delivery is critical for ICCA.

    From simple surveys to bespoke registration

    Throughout the lead-up to Congress, ICCA consistently promotes, markets, and communicates with their members and attendees. Because of this, they require a versatile platform that handles everything from simple surveys and RSVPs to user-friendly logic for bespoke registration flows.

    “EventsAir provides us with a lot of flexibility in its use. What is fantastic is the ability to customize so much whilst also ensuring everything is linked together and synchronized,” said Petra. “For example, our event website hosts an interactive agenda which also links to the Attendee App, and that syncing process is instantaneous.” 

    “There are a lot of connecting parts in events so having everything in the same place is so effective. For our communications alone, we can update branding, add personalized links, change banners, and create individual certificates – it’s all there,” Petra continued.

    The practicality, ease-of-use, and enjoyment of using EventsAir makes it the stand-out solution for ICCA.

    A harmonious, seamless success

    The 61st ICCA Congress was hosted in Krakow, Poland and attracted over 1200 attendees. The 2022 event was a harmonious blend of in-person sessions, plenaries, and engaging breakout formats. In their post-event survey, ICCA received a deluge of positive feedback from attendees, highlighting the event’s resounding success.

    ICCA has been using EventsAir since 2019 and takes full advantage of the comprehensive tools and features available. From the seamless handling of in-person sessions to their globally recognized “Best Marketing Award”, Petra highlighted several key aspects that make Congress a resounding success, year after year.

    Cloning for time-efficiency

    Due to the scale of Congress each year, efficiency and customization play a pivotal role in pre-event setup and planning. The cloning feature allowed ICCA to replicate elements from previous years, saving them valuable time and effort.

    “The cloning ability in EventsAir saves us so much time. You can piece things together what you’ve seen – and know – work well, clone these to your new event, and then customize as you go. You know you don’t have to reinvent or recreate things because you can use the best assets you already have,” said Petra.

    Real-time voting and reliability

    The Best Marketing Award has gained a global reputation for recognizing outstanding achievements of the associations’ meetings industry marketeers and the marketing community.

    “We heavily rely on EventsAir for our Best Marketing Award announcement. Our entire audience votes onsite at Congress for the winner so there is a lot of technical setup and organization required for us to make the right decision,” shared Petra.

    This involves a multi-step process, from member submissions to judges’ panel reviews and real-time audience voting. EventsAir’s technical expertise ensures that the voting process ran smoothly, displaying accurate scores and data to determine the rightful winner.

    Invaluable team training

    “The Fast Track Learning Platform is very handy. When you have new team members you can easily introduce them to the full platform, not just the day-to-day elements that we use. It’s great having constantly updated information and resources,” said Petra. 

    The EventsAir Fast Track Learning proved invaluable for onboarding new team members and keeping experienced users up to date with platform enhancements. The wealth of resources, including videos, white papers, and case studies, ensured that ICCA had all the information they needed at their fingertips.