High-profile professionals of the meeting industry gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece on 31 January-2 February 2013 to participate in the ICCA Joint 4-Chapter Summit 2013. The summit was jointly organized by four ICCA Chapters - Mediterranean, UK/Ireland, Central European and Middle East, aiming to deliver inter-chapter education and create business synergies opportunities among its members.
The ICCA Joint 4-Chapter Summit, originally initiated by the Mediterranean Chapter, was attended by Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs), Convention & Visitors Bureaus, conference and exhibition centres and congress tourism businesses, all playing a key role in raising the profile of their cities as a major conference destination.
Featuring international speakers of the highest level, the ICCA Joint 4-Chapter Summit brought together experts and high-profile professionals in panels on: creativity; sponsorships and other creative solutions in dire times; digital strategies; technologies for the Meetings Industry; green meetings/hotels certification and innovation; strengthening/recovering during/after crises; fast track to securing association business; synergies for companies and students.
Miranda Ioannou, ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Chair and ICCA Board Member, noted “One of our goals was to forge synergies with destinations close to Thessaloniki to enable business development to take place before-during and after the Chapter Summit”.
Martin Sirk, Chief Executive Officer of ICCA said “It is time to understand that the Meeting Industry is not only playing an important role in the development of tourism sector in a country but also in the growth of the national economy itself”.
"We are very pleased to having hosted this event in our city which will hopefully boost the city’s conference potential and promote its tourism product", said Valentini Amarantidou, head of ARTION Conferences and Events that had submitted in the past the bid for the Summit jointly with the Thessaloniki Convention & Visitors Bureau.
One day before the Summit, an ICCA Masterclass was also held which was attended by industry professionals and ICCA members, covering issues of membership benefits and opportunities, database use, developing utilizing one’s ICCA membership etc.
The event sponsors Helexpo, Grand Hotel Palace, The Met Hotel, Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki Concert Hall and Splendid Travel Center supported the organisation and made it a successful one.
On the third – the last day of the summit ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Chairperson Miranda Ioannou, who held the position for four years, handed over the chairperson position to Elif Balci Fisunoglu - Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau General Manager. Valentini S. Amarantidou Artion Conferences and Events General Manager will be the Deputy Chair of the Chapter and they will serve for a 2 year term and will come to an end of term in February 2015, when new elections will take place.
The Chapter is composed of ICCA members who are registered in Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, South-East France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, and Turkey.
Currently the Chapter has 124 members from 12 countries located in the Mediterranean region and it is the largest geographical Chapter of ICCA.