Insights from the Associations World Congress
The Associations World Congress 2022 took place on 5-7 September, in Lisbon, Portugal.
Over 200 people took part in the three streams: Association Strategy, Conference & Events Strategy and Executive Skills, as well as the Medical Associations Meeting, over three days at the Altice Arena Convention Centre.
This year's congress took a different approach, with topics addressed in half-day deeper sessions, and led by experts in their field, with excellent facilitation skills. The session leaders introduced the topics, presented their view of the current challenges and situation and shared their experiences and case studies. Sessions included delegates sharing case studies and experiences with the room. Some sessions completed exercises and reflection on these.
Paul Walsh, who has just joined the AAE team, provided some interesting insights into elements of the congress
This week I spoke with Sylvie Fodor at the Associations World Congress in Lisbon. She talked me through the 10-year David versus Goliath saga of how her small association, CEPIC, sued a massive multinational tech-company and won, with the result that her members (mainly picture agencies) now get paid for content shared online.
Listening to Sylvie’s story was inspiring. And it was just one of the many memorable moments I experienced this week during an extremely engaging conference.
The team at AAE deserve enormous credit for putting this year’s Associations World Congress together. In particular, they’ve raised the bar when it comes to creating relevant and engaging conference sessions.
- Thought-provoking strategy session led by Tim van der Rijken on how to overcome disruption and remain relevant to members
- Learning how to create a culture of innovation with Dan Torjussen-Proctor
- Getting insights on how to deliver value for sponsors and maximising event success with Rodney Cox.
- Presentation from Craig Dale CEO of the SAP User Group UK and Ireland on how his association introduced mental health workshops on topics such as stress, resilience and mindfulness.
And of course, there was the location, one of my favourite cities. The food, the wine and above all, our gracious Portuguese hosts contributed massively to the overall experience.
Very few people consciously decide to become an association professional and do the necessary study in advance. Most of us, like me, are learning as we go.
That’s why opportunities to learn from each other are so important. I met some fascinating people this week in Lisbon, and I hope that it won't be too long before we all get to meet again.
Some feedback on the congress
"Let me say that having us think and write beforehand about the topics we will see is extremely useful and helps us to take the most out of those 2 days. It is extra work for you, the organization, and to the speakers, but they handled it very well."
Miguel Alves Agostinho, CEO, APFM
"The execution seemed flawless. And more importantly, you absolutely nailed the content. I’ve rarely seen that level of engagement at a meeting of association executives."
James Lancaster, Editor, Association Meetings International
See his review >>
"I can honestly say that I've never been to such an engaging conference before. EVERY SINGLE SESSION was completely interactive. It was refreshing. Tiring. But definitely refreshing. Didn't see anybody on their phones or laptops as you quite often see during conference sessions. We were all kept on our toes for 2 full days which is not an easy feat. We were motivated to be ready to engage in sharing experiences, challenges, what worked, what didn't, in our own events."
Carolyn Gill, Conference & Events Manager, Brussels
View the LinkedIn article >>
Thank you to our Host Sponsors
Congress Dinner Gallery
Maria Ana Borbone on Spotify