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ICCA and BestCities announce changes to Incredible Impacts Programme

  • Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA (left) and Lesley Williams, Managing Director, BestCities.
  • Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA (left) and Lesley Williams, Managing Director, BestCities.

Flagship programme awards funding to international associations advancing impact and legacy in conference planning

BestCities Global Alliance and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) have unveiled exciting changes to their flagship Incredible Impacts Programme. Celebrating the “beyond tourism” value of international association meetings, the programme provides a global platform for meetings that have proven impact while recognising their contributions with a cash reward.

Starting this year, the Incredible Impacts Programme will award one association a grant of $20,000 (USD) – a change from previous years, where three grants of $7,500 (USD) were distributed. The new selection process will involve a jury shortlisting three finalists, who will each present their entry during a plenary session at the annual ICCA Congress in November. For the first time, congress attendees will be able to vote on the winner, with the final score evenly weighted between jury and audience.

The Incredible Impacts Programme will also provide a seed grant of $5,000 (USD) to associations seeking to establish a new legacy programme. Interested parties will need to submit a business case, and one winner will be awarded the funds. This new addition supports BestCities and ICCA’s commitment toward advancing legacy and impact in the international meetings industry, and advocating for associations that are helping to shape a better world for future generations.

“We are thrilled to introduce the latest evolution of the Incredible Impacts Programme, which not only recognises associations demonstrating innovative thinking and creativity to achieve impact, but also inspires others to incorporate legacy initiatives into future events,” said Lesley Williams, Managing Director, BestCities. “We’re also pleased to provide support to associations eager to implement a legacy programme, with an eye towards encouraging most, if not all, international associations to integrate legacy and impact into their conference planning going forward.”

“The dynamic new change to Incredible Impacts is led by a genuine growing interest and engagement in the initiative,” said Senthil Gopinath, CEO, ICCA. “We want to celebrate the best of the best and raise the stakes to a ‘winner takes all’ scenario because the stories our associations are telling – and the legacies their initiatives are leaving – thoroughly warrant a solo moment in the spotlight. By bringing Congress attendees into the final judging process raises the impact value, kudos, and ‘wow’ factor to the Incredible Impacts win.”

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