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ICCA Launches New Regional Representation for Africa and Middle East

Consistent growth in ICCA’s global membership and the concurrent expansion of the international association congress market are the twin foundations that have enabled ICCA’s Board of Directors to announce the opening of two new regional offices on 1 September this year.

Chris Prieto, CMP, will become the South African based Regional Director covering the African region, and Gamal Sadek from the Al Ketbi Consultancy will become Regional Director for the Middle East, based out of Dubai. Both bring a wealth of experience in frontline sales and marketing, and in-depth knowledge of the meetings industry in their regions of the world.

Announcing the appointments during a keynote address to the SAACI (Southern African Association for the Conference Industry) Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, ICCA President Arnaldo Nardone said: “This isn't simply a move to deliver better services to our existing members in these two regions, but a recognition that the international association meetings market is continuing to evolve, and it is in the growth of regional meetings that we anticipate some of the most dramatic future developments. This trend is already well established in Asia and Latin America, and it is certain that Africa and Middle East are starting to move down the same road, as we have seen from recent moves to create an African society for association executives. What this implies is that there is going to be more business for our existing members in these regions, more new events to identify and add to the ICCA Association Database, more new infrastructure developments, more understanding of the strategic importance of association events by city and national governments, and more interest in ICCA by potential new members. It is strategically important for ICCA to build a long-term presence in these markets.”

ICCA now has five regional offices in addition to its Head Office in Amsterdam, with established operations already serving Asia-Pacific, North- and Latin America.