AC Forum has several active strategic partnerships. These 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.

Our Current Partnerships

Boardroom Magazine

Boardroom Website

The goal of this partnership is to work together to promote AC Forum among Boardroom’s readership (international associations, based in Europe and other continents), and to uplift the Boardroom reputation among the meetings industry.

AC Forum contributes an article to be published in each of the quarterly editions of the magazine (print and online). The two organisations share a strong alignment of interests.

Both are focused on delivering high quality, educational content for the associations sector.

AC Forum strives to inspire and encourage its members to achieve excellence in association and congress organisation through the open exchange of information, while Boardroom prides itself on its position as an expert source of information for association professionals.

Read the latest articles here.

“I’m delighted with this continued partnership. Boardroom’s vision and mission are all about the education of associations based globally, and we feel there is a strong alignment between our two organizations. AC Forum is becoming more diverse and inclusive, and it perfectly makes sense – after all, the issues associations are facing are common across organizations and sectors.”

Cécile Koch, Founder & Managing Director, Boardroom

International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)

ICCA World Website

ICCA and AC Forum have a collaborative partnership to create a high-level annual signature event on the Future of Healthcare Meetings.

The programme is targeted to C-level, senior management participants of both associations and ICCA member suppliers.

The objective of the event is to create a platform where high level discussions and knowledge sharing will provide new solutions and strategies in running effective and more sustainable global healthcare meetings in future. The innovative event programme, co-created by a joint Programme Committee, creates a unique environment for valuable networking and knowledge sharing.

The first in-person event took place on 6-8 July 2022, hosted by the city of Cannes, France.

“As we grow our Association Community, we are always looking to offer peer-to-peer networking and knowledge sharing opportunities in a trusted environment. We are very much looking forward to joining forces with AC Forum on offering a truly unique event for associations and suppliers. By working together, we believe associations and suppliers can be more effective in partnering up to reach the best outcomes of international healthcare meetings.”

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA CEO


ICCA World Website

Once again, AC Forum had a hosted buyer group at IMEX Frankfurt, 31 May-2 June 2022.

AC Forum members automatically qualified as hosted buyers.

International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association (IPCAA)

IPCAA - International Pharmaceutical Congress Advisory Association

AC Forum partners with IPCAA on knowledge exchange and education.

In addition to a joint webinar in early 2021, AC Forum is connecting with IPCAA and other congress stakeholders in a roundtable on medical congresses, an open forum for building dialogue around opportunities to bring HCP education to the next level and the future of medical congresses.

Leading Centres of Europe (LCE)

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 next in the series, at MiCo in Milan, offered the opportunity to train and develop skills in ‘Persuasion in negotiation’.

“The first Collaborative Learning Experience event has been truly fantastic. As a group of association and venue experts, we learned together and developed new skills collaboratively. The workshop was dynamic and provided a training experience that will benefit the participants in their business and personal lives. The program was designed to test and take everyone out of their comfort zone.”

Kathleen Warden, Director of Conference Sales at the SEC


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.

The partnership includes, but is not limited to, co-creation of education and joint activities that benefit the community, including Convening EMEA, and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and intelligence between the respective communities. 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 to launch a new research study, funded by PCMA Foundation, into digital events. The insights gained from the study were introduced during a joint session at Convening EMEA. The full report, “Digital Events Outlook: Insights, Behaviours, Best Practices”, and Digital Event Planning checklist are now available and can be downloaded here.

Collaborative Learning Experiences (CLE) & Joint educational initiatives

We partner 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 partnerships 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.

  • A CLE with the Leading Centres of Europe took place at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow in July 2019 and explored the theme ‘The Language of Leadership’, while the next CLE in this series is scheduled for 27-28 June 2022 in MiCo Milano on the topic of ‘Persuasion in Negotiation’.

  • 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.
  • AC Forum has also organised joint online educational events on topics of mutual interest 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’.

  • A joint webinar with ICCA in December 2021 was the first in the series of annual joint events on the Future of Healthcare Meetings and addressed the question ‘Audience of the future – what does data show and how do we respond?’.
  • As part of the strategic partnership with PCMA, AC Forum co-organised a session at Convening EMEA, where the outcome of the associations’ joint research study on Digital Events Insights was presented, and AC Forum will continue to team up with PCMA on joint sessions at future Convening Leaders and Convening EMEA meetings.