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International Confex: The Rise of Intellectual Capitalism

By Michael Jones.

International Confex 21’s Association Event Forum’s informative panels continued on Day 1 of the show, with a third discussion held under the title ‘The Rise of Intellectual Capitalism’. The growing trend towards destination/association alignment in sectors that contribute towards the purpose of an association congress was a key topic under discussion.

Speakers for the event included: Barbara Calderwood, divisional director engagement for associations and communities, MCI UK; James Latham, producer of The Iceberg; Mickael Benaim, head of research for SFA Connect; Samantha Shamkh, head of conventions for ExCel London; and Suzanne Singleton, head of associations for London & Partners convention bureau.

All speakers focused on the importance of legacy impact to an association congress. They referenced Estro, a global association for oncology, which has made legacy and social impact a critical aspect of the bidding process for its congress.

On this theme, Latham stated: “Associations are not just about disseminating knowledge. Frankly, this kind of education can and should be done online. It is important that association events offer social and public health impacts that elevate its impact above education. Without doing this, I don’t see much of a future for the sustainability of the industry.”

Calderwood added that it was a time for a collective coming together of associations, as some were on the fence regarding change management, and help them make a difference in the future of economy and public health. “If people try to stay how they were years ago, they will fail to survive,” she said.