by Matt Alderton | April 15, 2016

In honor of Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) on April 14, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) yesterday launched a new campaign and released new industry data, both in an effort to highlight the global significance of the meetings industry.

Helping the World Say: 'Meetings Mean Business'

Designed to raise awareness of the fact that even global advocacy campaigns must have strong local roots to succeed, ICCA's new initiative seeks to translate the United States' "Meetings Mean Business" slogan into equivalent slogans in every language used by ICCA's members. To start with, the organization has identified pro-meetings slogans in 17 different languages, including German, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Norwegian, and Arabic, just to name a few.

"This year is just a start. By 2017 GMID, we hope to have every language covered, and we can then also encourage all members to share their local advocacy campaigns whenever they take place, using GMID itself as a platform for further communication and sharing of success between countries," said ICCA CEO Martin Sirk. "'Meetings Mean Business' is a great English-language slogan, because it works on multiple levels....However, when literally translated into other languages, the hard-hitting verbal impact of the slogan and all these subtleties of meaning are lost. Once we let loose the creativity of ICCA members to find local language slogans with at least as much power and meaning, we ended up with a wonderful range of word-plays."

Among the English translations of slogans developed so far are the following:

• German: Meetings Create Added Value
• Italian: Congress is Progress
• Chinese: Convergence Possibilities

"Each new slogan works in its own language, with double meanings, well-known cultural references, or simple verbal rhythms, and each will help our industry get the same hard-hitting message across to the politicians and officials we want to influence, from Korea to Argentina, from Denmark to the United Arab Emirates," Sirk said.

Record Number of International Association Meetings

Meanwhile, ICCA also reported data from its annual audit of international association meetings: Its members organized nearly 12,000 such meetings in 2015, which is the largest number ever reported by ICCA. According to the organization, its database now includes 220,000 meetings and 20,000 regularly occurring meeting series organized by 11,500 international associations.


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