Some of the most important audiences centres have to deal with are those in their own communities – the groups whose support (or lack of support) shape their working environment and influence areas like the availability of ongoing investment. For over 75% of AIPC member centres, the “owner” is some level of government, which means that the community is in fact the majority shareholder, and in such cases, both community and government relations become important factors.
Experience world-wide has shown that the best route to achieving community and government support is through enhanced awareness of the role the centre plays in community and economic development, either directly through the new spending it achieves from organizers and delegates or more broadly as catalysts for attracting new expertise, investment and attention to the destination. Yet these are often areas where there is still a lot of work to be done.
AIPC supports its member centre’s initiatives in this regard in a number of ways:
? First, we offer communications advice through educational sessions, guidebooks and the sharing of experiences amongst members;
? Secondly, we create specific materials such as articles about the value of a centre to its community for member adaptation and use;
? Third, we are supplying tools such as the AIPC Economic Impact Calculator to provide cost-effective, credible and consistent measures for key performance indicators;
? And, finally, recognizing that messages are sometimes most effective when they are delivered by a global authority, we will assist members directly by directly delivering presentations on the “state of the industry” to appropriate audiences.
Each of these measures is described and examples supplied in this web site. We welcome further inquiries or suggestions of ways we can support your local awareness initiatives!
Ongoing global economic concerns have created an atmosphere where there is not just an opportunity but an obligation to tell the economic story of a Convention Centre more effectively.
Our communities are most often the primary investors in centres around the world, and they need to know that their investment is producing a good return. From a convention centre perspective, it is also a good strategy to better communicate their broader values in order to ensure ongoing support and investment for the future, particularly in a time when conventional revenues may be challenged.
'Speak Up' is the most recent booklet prepared in cooperation with the Joint Meetings Industry Council: as the title suggests this has been prepared to encourage members of the industry to take the initiative to communicate the value of our industry more aggressively, whether to local governments and communities or simply colleagues and business associates.
Its companion piece 'A Meetings Industry Guide to Community and Government Relations' gets into the specifics of the kinds of actions that can be taken and how best to go about this.
Nowhere is this message more appropriate than to convention centres, which have a huge stake in the economic life of their respective communities and are in many cases owned or heavily invested in by local government.