The International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA) recently held its Annual General Meeting at The Travel Club in London where it agreed on a new set of all inclusive benefits for 2012 set to greatly enhance value for its members.
Currently members benefit from representation of their fairs at all member events, media support via a structured media partnership programme, quality accreditation associated with the ITTFA brand, inclusion in marketing materials and exhibition catalogues and the support of a secretariat to oversee general administration, as well as extensive PR and marketing support across relevant industry channels.
However the global financial downturn has made it hard for all industries, not least that of travel and many event organisers are suffering and looking hard at ways in which they can sustain business. It is in such times that the support of an association such as ITTFA is vital, offering the opportunity to discuss mutual issues, to glean new ideas and learn from colleagues. During the AGM members discussed the key benefits that they wish to gain from membership and following this, ITTFA have restructured their membership offering with the aim of providing members and their businesses with more relevant benefits that will assist in achieving ROI.
As of January 2012 membership fees will now also include an annual membership per member for The Travel Club, London as well as three one day workshops throughout the year with guest speakers from across the industry. It is hoped that in the future these workshops can be extended to offer members key exhibitors and potential clients advice and inspiration.
“This is exactly what ITTFA is all about”, states Tom Nutley, Chairman of ITTFA. “The origins of ITTFA go back to a need for travel show organisers to work together for the common good and it is this essential element that we need to encourage. By offering regular workshops and opportunities to discuss current issues relevant to our specific business arenas, our members will be more equipped to keep ahead of the game. This will then encourage membership growth as other events appreciate the benefits of strength in numbers.”
At the AGM the association also elected its new executive committee to lead the Association through the coming year.
Zeljka Tomljenovic, Senior Event & Sales Manager, was elected as president of ITTFA, following her year as Vice President and Per Magnusson, TUR Exhibition Manager, was elected the new Vice President. Tom Nutley Chairman and Founder of ITTFA, commented on the appointments, “I feel confident that in Zeljka and Per we will be strengthening the central administration of ITTFA and providing a firm base for the continued growth of the association. We look forward to a successful year with fresh enthusiasm to fully support our members, new members and the industry in general.”
Ms Tomljenovic commented on the role; “I am delighted to take on this prestigious role and look forward to a successful year ahead. We hope to continue to broaden our membership base, particularly in the area of support and guidance for new and upcoming shows in less established markets and I personally look forward to welcoming members from all corners of the tourism exhibition world. The internationalisation of ITTFA is of value to all our members as we take on new challenges and create more opportunities to share ITTFA’s vision and knowledge with a larger audience.”
“As organizer of Scandinavia’s largest event we have been a supporter of ITTFA for many years”, says TUR’s Per Magnusson, “and I am aware of the important role that the Association plays in supporting trade events such as ours. This is particularly relevant in the current financial climate when collective support can reap benefits on many fronts.”
ITTFA is dedicated to the continual development of the travel trade show industry, increasing participation and setting high standards worldwide. Recent changes to entry requirements and the annual fee structure mean that membership is more accessible to smaller and developing shows, as well as more established ones. This underlines the primary goals of the Association as it strives to improve travel trade exhibition standards across all markets and help maximize the benefits and levels of professionalism for both visitors and exhibitors.
Chairman of ITTFA, Tom Nutley, said that the association had come a long way in the past decade, recognising the huge changes in the travel exhibition industry brought about by the growth in emerging markets, technology and the recognition of the value of the industry in general. He added that in the current, challenging times it is even more important that exhibition organisers work together to promote the benefits and opportunities they offer for all sectors of the travel industry.