There’s so much competition in this world. About everything. Results, jobs, money. More money. People stress. They have sleepless nights and burnouts. Does it really have to be like this?
Although we compete against each other in the congress business, we also have a very strong sense of togetherness, and we have come to the conclusion that cooperation (combined with healthy competition) is the key to success.
ICCA unites us
Most professionals in the congress business are members of ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association). With its headquarters in The Netherlands, ICCA members are divided into geographical chapters. We Finns are part of the ICCA Scandinavian Chapter Team together with Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands. We meet up at different events, and every spring we have a spring meeting in the destination of the current chapter president. This year we had the great honour to visit Anna Lindström’s Uppsala.
These trips are not only excellent for benchmarking (many a good idea was noted to be copied!), but it’s an opportunity to share best practices. And by sharing with each other, we all get to be better professionals and the industry as a whole prospers. Imagine – sharing your best ideas with your competitors. How great is that?!
Together is the new black
Together we share our thoughts and ideas on how to market our destination, and we try to find solutions to common problems. By joining our forces we also have a bigger team at work, more brilliant ideas and a louder voice. Together we have made great things happen: at our spring meeting in Tampere in 2012, all members signed the Sustainable Meetings Accord. This means that we are all committed to following our Sustainability programme, which aims to compare and communicate the actions taken in all Scandinavian destinations towards more sustainable meeting practices.
I think it’s this kind of openness and genuine care for each other that keeps us congress people in the business. That, and our wonderful clients, who after all are the ones that make things happen.
I’d like to finish off with a thouht from the great Dalai Lama: “Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality”. Not bad, eh?