The 59th ICCA Congress has paved a clear path for the future of events.


ICCA, the International Congress and Convention Association, has concluded its 6 week long Congress culminating in a series of online and in-person sessions in Kaohsiung and 8 hubs

The congress attracted 1500 delegates, 280 associations, and featured 220 speakers in 100 hours of content.

With the conclusion of ICCA’s first global hybrid Congress, the association has defined a blueprint for the transformation of association meetings and by signing the Kaohsiung Protocol, a framework of macro and micro trends and strategies for meetings, ICCA has paved a clear path for the future of events.

Back in March of 2020, during their Board meeting in Paris, the ICCA Board knew they had to create something different to respond to current times. They knew that ICCA members valued mostly the opportunity to meet face to face and they knew ICCA needed to offer the opportunity to learn and engage online. Above all, they knew ICCA needed to be flexible and allow each delegate to choose their own Congress experience, letting them choose what they were most comfortable with. This was the basis of the concept of ICCA’s first global hybrid Congress, that was then developed further by collaborating with Maritz Global Events.

In the extremely short timespan of just over 6 months, ICCA created a 6 week programme which included 4 days of live broadcasts – 22 September, 22 October, 2 November and 3 November – which were open to the wider ICCA community providing speakers and topics beyond the meetings industry, from macroeconomic trends, to health and safety protocols and certifications, and trends in technology and education, to diversity and inclusion.

These live broadcasts featured outside the industry experts and world-renowned speakers such as Bob Bejan - Microsoft, Salman Khan - Khan Academy, Jean Pierre Lacombe – IFC Global Macro, Yu-kai Chou – The Octalysis Group, Yasmin Poole – Plan International Australia, Lars Oskan-Henriksen – Copenhagen Pride, Anne Skare Nielsen – Universal Futurist, and many more. With a total of 220 speakers and 100 hours of content this ICCA Congress was by far the richest ever in terms of speaker profiles and valuable content. All the content is available to delegates until the end of the year.

The demonstration of the richness of the programme was the programme offered in the hubs all designed in collaboration with ICCA to ensure the consistency of the messaging but including the local flavour and needs.

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA CEO said: “In a time when our industry has been suffering more than any other, it was heartwarming to see such great support from the governments in our host destination and hub locations. This is a sign that the authorities are recognising the importance of our industry to the economic recovery of destinations, and are supportive of this new hub-and-spoke model as a safe way to meet even during the pandemic.”