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Meetings Industry Association clarifies position after email shared on Twitter

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has underlined its commitment to setting standards and ensuring best practice across the meetings industry after it was accused of looking to secure 'free' photography.

Professional photographer Paul Clarke shared a copy of an email received from the mia on Twitter, 9 August, which was interpreted that the industry association were looking for ‘free’ photography for its upcoming events.

Jane Longhurst (pictured above), mia chief executive, however, told CN exclusively that the association is “mortified” at the email, which she says was “not as well worded as it should have been”, and that mia does “not endorse any free favours”.

Longhust said: “We would like to acknowledge we have seen and responded to the tweet shared by Paul Clarke this morning regarding our approach to invite him to be part of the miaList campaign this year.

“As an association representing the industry we recognise we need to set the standard and champion best practice across the industry. We do not endorse any free favours from suppliers, but instead invite them to be partners or sponsors. In some cases, photographers have sponsored our events, but we regularly pay for photography as we appreciate this is a high value, well-respected profession and it’s important for us as a representative body to endorse their professionalism in this way.

“We do however, also offer them additional marketing to showcase their talent and unfortunately the letter that was sent to photographers and suppliers from the mia was not as well worded as it should have been. The intention was to seek partners, supporters, sponsors and suppliers and to initiate conversation to involve more people in the miaList celebrations which draw a huge amount of coverage and recognition for our industry.

“We are mortified this was interpreted in this way as a plea for free services and would like to reiterate this is not the stance the mia takes or endorses and we have now spoken to Paul Clarke to explain the situation.”

The mia’s next event is its Connect Agent’s Day, which takes place at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium on 16 August. This is followed by it Business Breakfast on 3 September at Imago Venues, Loughborough, which will look at the challenges of managing South Asian events.

Meanwhile, the industry association has released the list of nominees for its miaList 2018, which you can read here.

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