VB’s ‘Coalition of the Willing’ Drives Association Impact

VisitBritain Business Events attracted scores of UK-based associations, AMCs, PCOs, and member DMOs to the launch of its BE (Business Events) Impactful Framework© at its Association Conference titled ‘Beyond the Plenary’ held recently in Edinburgh – itself a scientific cluster and home to Dolly the Sheep.

VisitBritain Business Events’ continued efforts to build impact capacity through association meetings hot on the heels of last year’s ‘Future of Events’ programme, delivered in partnership with Geneviève Leclerc of #MEET4Impact and GDS-Movement’s Chief Changemaker, Guy Bigwood, was warmly welcomed by the association delegates as Destination International’s director of European Engagement, Jane Cunningham, moderated the 2-day meeting.

Bigwood: “We need to create different social and environmental value because if we don’t we’re not creating enough for people to become members [of associations].”

The highlight of the VisitBritain BE Impactful Toolkit© came in the form of 8 supporting ‘Impact Capitals’ aligning to the mission and purpose of the associations and, by default, their events, but what became apparent during the course of the ‘Try Before you Buy’ exercise was that the application of the Toolkit went far beyond the event planning initially anticipated by the associations, instead offering a complete re-engineering of organisational strategy. Further, the strategic priorities of attending destinations included Visit Scotland’s Rory G. Archibald who cited the relevance of the 8 Capitals to Scotland’s own National Performance Framework across key sectors and agendas.

But not all were confident that the Toolkit weighted the association interests sufficiently over those of partner destinations, with Caroline Mackenzie of the Hip Preservation Society eager to point out that the pursuit of mission-based impact was the domain of the association first, while the destinations served to embellish and support the impact strategies of their guest communities.

British Tourist Authority Chair, former MP Nick de Bois CBE was confident, however, that the Framework was a positive step towards enhancing the benefits to UK society beyond the visitor economy and an opportunity for competitive advantage in bringing international association meetings to the UK.

More from VisitBritain Business Events here: https://www.visitbritain.org/business-events

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