Building Powerful Connections: Millennials in meetings to gather in Barcelona for the 12th ICCA Forum for Young Professionals

10th Jul, 2018

Young meetings industry professionals are invited to apply for the 12th ICCA Forum for Young Professionals, in partnership with ibtm world, a unique chance for free education and guidance from the meetings industry’s most influential trailblazers. Padraic Galligan, Managing Partner at SoolNua, is leading the faculty.

Hosting 35 delegates, the FYP is an exclusive event, and the intimate, informal atmosphere affords participants working for both industry buyers and suppliers the chance to network and strengthen their connections with peers and industry experts alike. Saskia Dean, Conference Manager at the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, found this aspect of the programme to be incredibly advantageous to her as an industry newcomer:

“The FYP gave me a unique opportunity to meet with and learn from both leaders in the industry and relative newcomers like me, from across the sector. I found it informative but also really motivating to hear about others’ experienced and to share mine.”

Lauren Pascu from, International Bid Manager at Conference Partners International was informed about the event by the Head of Glasgow Convention Bureau, her then-employer. She credits attending the FYP in the early stages of her career with growing her industry contacts. She said:

“The connections that were made, both with fellow ‘FYPers’ and the [faculty of] experts, have really been invaluable. Just by talking to one of the experts about possible career opportunities and keeping in contact led to me the Meetings + Millennials network, established by former FYP delegates.”

The founding of Meetings + Millennials, a network for young professionals in meetings and events to share ideas and help shape the industry’s future, is just one example of the Forum’s long-lasting impacts. Takeaways from the interactive education programme - which focuses on enhancing professional skills and sharing the wealth of knowledge offered by the industry veterans making up the faculty – continue to resonate with many delegates throughout their careers.

Alexandra La Rocca, Manager Membership and Cooperations Department at the European Association for Geoscientists and Engineers vividly remembers how through a practical exercise that involved designing an event around the use of the human senses, she learnt the importance of not only logistics but the entire event experience. Aurélien Bandini, MICE Specialist for the Japan Convention Bureau, was impressed by the varied programme, commenting:

“In a short and intense period, [the FYP] combines thought-provoking talks with highly-qualified speakers, enjoyable networking breaks, and interactive sessions that allow the participants to sharpen their skills.”

In addition, the FYP exposes newcomers to business events to the industry’s diversity and sheer size. Delegates come from an array of MICE sectors, from destinations and venues to associations, and gain valuable insights into the requirements of industry stakeholders by working in multi-national buyer-supplier teams. Anne Berrevoets, Senior Events Coordinator at the European Association for International Education said:

“The Forum gave me a unique opportunity to discuss key topics with suppliers outside of a direct business negotiation, something which was invaluable.”

For Oscar Cerezales, COO Asia Pacific of MCI Group, the FYP was the first time he experienced an international environment after working in his home country, Spain. He told ICCA:

“Suddenly, I found there are people from different countries, cultures, norms and etiquettes. It helped me a lot to understand that […] we see things and do business in different ways. It opened my mind.”

ICCA Forum for Young Professionals takes place in Barcelona, Spain from 25-27 November 2018, just before ibtm world 2018. Anyone under the age of 30 with less than three years’ meetings industry experience is invited to apply for a place on the programme via The deadline for applications is 12 August 2018.

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