“I was planning on going to South Africa
next month and had someone say to me,
‘Do you really want to go to Africa?’”
she says. “That’s like saying something’s
happening in California; do you really
want to go to New York? We now have
a measles outbreak; will it be the same
thing? Do you really want to plan in NYC?
Again, one must use common sense.”
But planners who see once-derided
global locations rebuilding reputations
with the determination applied to build-
ing infrastructures also point to those
triumphs, and the cyclical nature of the
“A place like Colombia—there are
locales like Cartagena that are so beautiful,” Curnyn says. “The Colombian
government and the CVB are working very
hard to change its perception.”
There’s so much at stake for associa-
tions planning international meetings,
Directors as the final arbiter in 50 percent
of occasions—saw site committees as
decision-makers falling from 22 percent
in last year’s tally, to 10 percent this year.
The largest gain? That went to association
executives; their number rose in a year from
27 percent to 35 percent.
To Vijeh, this speaks to a general, across-the-board shift toward greater efficiency.
“When you have a huge site selection
committee vs. executives and management
and your boards, that’s more a key group
discussing things. Management brings in
the facts and the board discusses it, and we
move forward,” she says.
The fewer the people making the
decision, Couturier suggests, the more
versatile the moves can be, especially when
shifts seem necessary.
“We’ve seen that even though some
executives are more involved in decisions,
it allows them to change the decision,”
he says. “We’ve seen an association has
committed 10 or eight years ago to a
destination, and now two years prior,
they’re reviewing that selection and
maybe making a change. I don’t know if
that will affect lead-time later on. We’ll
see; we’ve had a couple of examples the
last six months that surprised us, but I
guess it’s a reality.”
And for Mach, who retains the corporate
mindset, the idea of giving the board or
executives the final call goes to the heart
of what makes a good association—and
a good business—strong, effective, and
poised toward the future.
“We have to make decisions based on
data,” he says. “It’s also about what’s best
for the customer. We’re looking for ways to
keep the organization more efficient.” ■
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distance. Being centrally located for excursions, our region is an ideal departure point
for visiting Switzerland.
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