When is the best time to generate new association leads?

Generating new international association leads…..

That old adage “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” has never been truer than in the global conference and meetings industry.

Natural disasters, terrorism, governmental issues and even exchange rates are sadly a daily occurrence and if it’s not happening in your city, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is happening in several cities where MICE industry colleagues will be trying to earn a crust.

Remember the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and the New Zealand earthquake that destroyed parts of Christchurch in 2011?  Working as destination representatives providing international association lead generation services in both of those regions at the time, gave us first- hand experience of the difficulties faced by our convention centre and convention bureau clients.  But look now at the extensive international convention centre developments in New Zealand with a new convention centre for Christchurch as well as plans for Auckland and Wellington.  Similarly Indonesia, Sabah and several other regions in Asia have plans for fantastic new facilities and everyone, globally, will be competing for new meetings and events business.

And the ones that bounce back the best and are most successful are those who have vision and know that a bad time economically is the best time to start planning for the future.  It may be that budgets are slashed and staff resources are stretched to breaking point but it’s refreshing that many still strive for their long term goals and not just a quick, short-term fix.

Everyone in the meetings industry knows that International Association congresses bring in huge economic benefits not only for the international convention centres and hotels but also for the cities in which they are held.  Furthermore, International Association conferences book two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight years or more in advance and knowing that there is a good meaty chunk of business in the diary is a sound long-term investment for everyone involved.

It’s always surprising to hear of new convention centres formulating their destination marketing and lead generation strategy only one or two years prior to opening but very often the relevant staff are not in place prior to this to help implement such plans.  There are some great examples though of venues and cities that have succeeded in raising awareness of their meeting facilities way in advance of their opening and it’s always great to hear their stories as finalists at the ICCA Marketing Award or in the meetings industry trade press.

Don’t be despondent in the quiet times, it’s a brilliant opportunity to generate leads for future business!  Make good use of your ICCA membership and use the ICCA Database!ICCAMemberlogocolourweb

I am always happy to answer any questions.  Please email me at julie@watterston.com if you would like a free consultation on your current marketing and research activities.

International association lead generation, new international convention centres, convention bureaux, tourist offices, convention and visitor bureaux, destination representation


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