Lausanne welcomed international associations from around the world for the International and European Associations Congress 2015, held at the Swiss Tech Convention Center on May 5-7. Growing from strength to strength over the last few years, ACIE, as it is fondly called, proved to be particularly popular this time around, with 210 association employees attending.
The International & European Associations Congress 2015 was designed specifically for Association Executives who work in International and European membership organisations. Over two dedicated intense days, delegates could choose from four different streams focusing on issues identified by association employees as most relevant and challenging to them at this time, and a meeting for Association CEOs and Executive Directors the day before. Topics ranged from strategic alliances and partnerships (should associations work with PCOs?), how to develop member communities or the challenges faced my medical associations, and much more of course.
Organisation was flawless at the the brand-new Swiss Tech Convention Center, and networking was easy given the human size of the event. Exhibitors here - destinations, convention venues, technology companies... - were called business partners, as, after all, they provide, on a daily basis, consultancy and advice to associations organising conferences.
It also made sense for ACIE2015 to take place in Lausanne, as it continues to attract international associations to locate their headquarters within the city, like the Federation Mondial du Bowling (World Bowling) and the International World Games Association (IWGA). With these new additions, there are now more than 70 international sport and other industry associations headquartered in Lausanne. Among them are some 60 international sports organisations, including 55 sports associations, plus the International Olympic Committee, making the city one of the primary centres for international association headquarters in Europe.
Olivier Mathieu, Congress and Meetings Manager at Lausanne Tourisme and Convention Bureau, says: “Lausanne is highly attractive to associations thanks to the strong culture of learning and development within the city, its accessibility and of course the fresh Swiss air which can stimulate creative thinking and open endless possibilities!"
For the first time, ACIE organised an award ceremony at the gala dinner. As Damian Hutt, Executive Director, Associations Network explained:“The Association Awards is a no-fee initiative established to recognize excellence in leadership, development and service in membership organisations. The Awards focus on the talent that associations consist of, both executive and voluntary. At Associations Network we believe that Associations have the ability to lead and develop all sectors and industries and the passion and dedication that associations and their employees put into their work is clear. This should be recognised widely."
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