Earlier this year Headquarters came up with the idea of organising an event for our association readers. We immediately thought of a festive meeting, an end-of-year ball for example like the ones held at Hofburg Vienna. The first edition took place on December 5 and was a resounding success!
December saw the first edition of the Associations Grand Ball, not in Vienna but in Chateau Sainte-Anne in Brussels. Cécile Caiati-Koch, Managing Director of Headquarters, had some kind of epiphany earlier in 2014: why not organise a refined ‘soirée’ in an elegant venue where associations would come, chat and dance all night? – no strings (or workshops) attached! The ball has already become an annual event. Please make a note for next year: Thursday 17 December 2015.
Thanks to our supporting partners, guests were presented with a delicious dinner, with each course representing the different regions they came from. Leena Sipilä and Johanna Grönberg from Finland treated us with a very special salmon. Danielle Neyts and Orla Kraft of Tourism Ireland told us everything about Irish beef. Coralie Delaubert and Monica Peterman from Rimini had prepared an unusual but very tasty Zuppa Inglese. Later that evening, we all danced to the inspiring beats of a great live band.
The objective of the Headquarters Grand Ball is first to bring together the association community in Europe in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. But we also have a hidden agenda to be honest! As a professional trade organisation, we are also responsible for progress in the world. And as a magazine, we can see a major challenge in the future, namely the education of young professionals from the meetings industry in emerging countries such as Africa, Latin America and Asia. In this respect, we have created a foundation - the Meeting Media Group Foundation - that will collect funds to allow young people to participate in training programmes. We have sent a letter to all our dear guest with a request to contribute - and so far feedback has been tremendous! Of course, you as a reader, can also make a donation.
We are convinced that the number of participants at next year's Ball will double. A heart-warming tradition has begun and will undoubtedly resound in the 28 members states of the European Union.
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.