Building bridges in a world where short-term thinking and political games prevail

An interview with IAPCO president Mathias Posch
10th Apr, 2018

A chat with Mathias Posch, the newly elected president of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and president of International Conference Services Ltd, reveals his ambitions and hopes for the industry, and his faith in the young generation. By Vikas Tembhare

Mathias PoschMathias shared his views on the areas that are close to his heart and he would like to work to create better & positive impact in the society.

Why should we focus on the social and scientific impacts of association meetings?

Association’s goals are largely around a betterment of the status quo – be it scientific breakthroughs, human rights improvements, a cure or at least better treatment of medical conditions. As a meetings industry, we however usually judge association meetings by their economic impact and therefore miss an important potential that association meetings can have. If we shift our focus to the social and scientific impacts of association meetings to go alongside with the association’s goals, we are opening up a whole host of potential and a greater impact such meetings can have on a destination and the local professional community.

What role does association meeting industry play in the current socio-political climate?

While we see nationalistic tendencies around the globe, association meetings strive through international collaboration and exchange. It is therefore immensely important to highlight advances that are made through international collaboration and to continue increasing the involvement of an international audience. While short-term thinking and political games raise walls, our industry is building bridges for the long term and there is great power in this.

How does meeting industry contribute to the betterment of the society as whole?

A society that is educated, where scientific and societal advances are being sought and achieved, is a society that thrives. Positive mindset and a “can do attitude” create not just a more forward-looking community but also a wealthier one. I strongly believe, that the international exchange created through association meetings, creates more opportunities in many areas and therefore helps with advancing communities. Receiving international education and learning about best practices from around the globe, helps professionals to apply these new skills in their own communities and therefore have an immediate impact on society – be it medical, scientific or social.

What does young talent bring to the emerging markets?

A truly international meetings industry looks way beyond just inviting delegates from around the globe to meetings and really starts “sharing the wealth”. We see many associations eager to enter new markets and bringing their meetings to countries that were long ignored. In order for these markets to really benefit and recognise the full potential of these meetings, it is important to have a strong, educated and experienced meetings industry. Developing young talent is an important step towards making this a sustainable sector in many countries and it motivates me immensely to be able to play a part in this.

“I am incredibly honoured by the trust that IAPCO members put in me and energised by all the positive feedback I have received from all around the industry. This spirit is what we need to make the next couple of years count and I hope people continue to be supportive but also honest and open with me, so we can move the industry forward together.”

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