AC Forum has several active strategic collaborations, which primarily focus on alliances for thought leadership and advancing association and congress management. These have been developed in line with AC Forum’s current strategic plan and corporate relations policy.

IMEX

Once again, AC Forum will have a hosted buyer group at IMEX Frankfurt in May 2024.

There are three different AC Forum hosted buyer group options so members can select the option that best suit their needs.

Find more information in the member-only section.

IPCAA - International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association

AC Forum collaborates with IPCAA on knowledge exchange and education, holding webinars and sessions on topics of mutual interest and of benefit to members of both organisations.

Leading Centres Europe - 10 of Europe’s Largest Venues

The collaboration agreement between AC Forum and the LCE is for an educational event on a topic of shared interest annually, in an LCE member venue.

The topic is selected to be of mutual educational benefit and the programme is co-created by a joint committee of the LCE and AC Forum and targeted to senior management of AC Forum members and LCE members.

The first event, at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, was around the topic of ‘The Language of Leadership’, while the second in the series, at MiCo in Milan, offered the opportunity to train and develop skills in ‘Persuasion in negotiation’. The third edition, on ‘Web3 Learning Expedition – Impacts of Web3 in the Event & Congress Industry’, took place in Paris.

The fourth event will take place at Palexpo, Geneva, in April 2024, and will offer participants an opportunity to come together, to exchange and to strengthen their leadership as they gain a deeper knowledge of ‘Leading and influencing in turbulent times’.

Find more information in the member-only section.

PCMA - Business Events

AC Forum’s and PCMA’s strategic partnership seeks to strengthen both organisations through collaboration, advocacy and advancing professional development of their community by co-creating and organising activities mutually beneficial to the respective membership, facilitating the exchange of knowledge and intelligence between the respective membership, and enhancing the profile of association professionals and the business events they organise as true drivers of social and economic change. Further details of the Strategic Partnership Benefits for AC Forum members are available in the Member-Only section.

In 2021, AC Forum and PCMA partnered on a research study, funded by PCMA Foundation, into digital events. The full report, “Digital Events Outlook: Insights, Behaviours, Best Practices”, and Digital Event Planning checklist can be downloaded here.

Solvay Lifelong Learning

AC Forum is pleased to collaborate with Solvay Brussels School on the 2024 edition of the Executive Master in International Association Management (EMIAM).

Solvay’s Executive Master provides a targeted, pragmatic, and action-oriented curriculum focusing on the specific challenges facing the association sector in today’s economy. It empowers the participants to develop into efficient and effective leaders with a keen understanding of the economic, managerial and political landscape as well as practical skills in the management of international associations.

It is spread into 6 modules, each dedicated to a specific aspect of association management: Leadership & Change, Strategy and Change Management, Strategic Marketing & Communication, Project Management, Finance, and Governance & Stability.

The Executive Master starts in January 2024 and we are pleased to announce an additional discount on the registration fee for AC Forum members.

Collaborative Learning Experiences (CLE) & Joint educational initiatives

We collaborate with other organisations to deliver key collaborative learning experiences (CLEs) and other educational events for our members. Aligned with our forward-thinking approach to education and recognising that the format in which people want to learn has changed, we aim to link strategic and operational considerations together. Mindful of this shift, we are committed to seeking out innovative learning opportunities and organising joint learning activities with partners, which align with our four key principles: education – specifically in terms of learning from each other and external experts, excellence – raising standards in association and congress management, innovation – sharing good practice and expanding thinking, and neutrality – providing a forum free from commercial influence.

Our progressive collaborations present a different value proposition to members, combining education and discovery, which reflect the societal changes in learning and personal development by challenging members to move out of their comfort zones and discover new opportunities and challenges put into context with external partners.

  • CLEs with the Leading Centres of Europe have taken place at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow in July 2019, exploring the theme ‘The Language of Leadership’, at MiCo Milano in June 2022, on the topic of ‘Persuasion in Negotiation’ and at the Palais des Congrès de Paris in June 2023, on the topic of  ‘Web3 Learning Expedition – Impacts of Web3 in the Event & Congress Industry’.

  • AC Forum has also organised joint online educational events on topics of mutual interest – with ICCA, ‘Audience of the future – what does data show and how do we respond?’, with LCE, ‘Back to live – as we know it? The road of collaboration towards the future of association meetings’ and ‘The future of hybrid meetings’, and with IPCAA, ‘Moving together into a hybrid future’.

  • AC Forum organised a series of annual joint events with ICCA on the Future of Healthcare Meetings, attended by stakeholders across the field of healthcare meetings. The first event took place in May 2022, hosted by the city of Cannes, and the second in June 2023, hosted by the city of Istanbul.

  • As part of the strategic partnership with PCMA, AC Forum has co-organised sessions at Convening EMEA and Convening Leaders and will continue to team up with PCMA on joint sessions at future Convening Leaders and Convening EMEA meetings.

  • A joint event with the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau discussing ‘New meeting designs & approaches’ due to globalisation, consumer behaviour and trends was held in January 2020.