33 Hospitality Industry Associations You Should Know

The Convention Industry Council is comprised of 33 member organizations that make up the foundation of the hospitality industry.

Do you know who they are?

Do you know what they do?

If you can name all 33, your name is probably Karen Kotowski, CAE, CMP (and Chief Executive Officer of the Convention Industry Council).

If you can’t, read this quick guide:

AMC Institute: The AMC Institute is an international nonprofit trade association comprised of companies that provide association management and professional services to volunteer-governed organizations and for-profit companies.

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA): The AH&LA represents the interests of the U.S. lodging industry at the national level on federal legislative and regulatory affairs; the national media; the educational community; research groups; and the general public.

ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership (ASAE & The Center): The ASAE is a membership organization and voice of the association profession. ASAE now has more than 22,000 association CEOs, staff professionals, industry partners, and consultant members.

Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International (ACCED-I): The Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors-International consists of over 1,500 campus professionals who design, market, coordinate and plan conferences and special events on the campuses of colleges and universities around the world.

Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADME International): ADME International’s mission is to increase the professionalism and effectiveness of destination management through education, promotion of ethical practices, and availability of information to the meeting, convention, and incentive travel industry and the general public.

Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA): The mission of CEMA is to promote professional networking and knowledge sharing; provide thoughtful leadership and education; advocate the value of event marketing and integrate with other marketing disciplines; and drive industry standards. CEMA offers professional networking, knowledge sharing, thought leadership and education for senior level event marketing professionals.

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI): DMAI represents over 1,500 professional members from more than 600 destination-marketing organizations throughout 30 countries. The association works to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness and image of CVBs and tourism boards.

Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA): ESPA (formerly ACOM) is an international organization for convention professionals dedicated to providing needs-directed continuing education; enhancing professional values and standards; and advancing and promoting quality customer services to encourage growth and recognition of the convention services profession.

Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA): ESCA is a professional organization of firms engaged in the provision of materials and services to trade shows, conventions, exhibitions and sales meetings.

Federacion De Entidades Organizadoras De Congresos Y Afines De America Latina (COCAL): COCAL is a non-government, non- profit organization of Latin American professional congress organizers(PCO’s) specialized in congresses and events representing 13 different countries, being the most representative entity of MICE in the Latin American Region.

Financial and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP): FICP provides high-quality information, education and a networking forum to enhance business and professional development opportunities for financial and insurance meeting planners. It provides intimate relationship-building and educational forums that create a deeper understanding of the needs of the financial services and insurance sector so that members and hospitality partners can increase their success and value within their companies and the industry.

Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA): HCEA is a trade association of more than 700 organizations united by a common desire to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of healthcare conventions and exhibitions as an educational and marketing medium. It promotes the value of exhibits as an integral part of healthcare meetings.

Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI): HSMAI is an international, individual membership organization comprised of over 7,000 members representing travel sales and marketing professionals dedicated to enhancing the travel and hospitality industry through education and networking opportunities.

International Association of Conference Centres (IACC): IACC is a not-for-profit organization to advance understanding and awareness of conference centers as distinct and unique within the hospitality industry.

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International Association of Exhibitions & Events (IAEE): Organized in 1928 as the National Association of Exposition Managers to represent the interests of trade show and exposition managers, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events is today the leading association for the global exhibition industry.

International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO): IAPCO represents professional organizers and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events.

International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB): IASB member bureaus subscribe to a code of professional conduct and accepted practices. Being in direct contact with a member bureau assures meeting professionals of securing the right speaker or trainer for their event.

International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM): IAVM represents venue managers who oversee some of the world’s most impressive and renowned venues including arenas, convention centers, stadiums, racetracks, amphitheaters, ice rinks, performing arts venues, and many others.

International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA): ICCA provides a worldwide network of experts in all aspects of hosting and organizing congresses and conventions.

International Special Events Society (ISES): ISES educates, advances, and promotes the special events industry and its network of professionals. ISES cultivates high standards of business practices through their “Principles of Conduct and Ethics”, and fosters cooperation among members and other special events professionals.

Meeting Professionals International (MPI): MPI is the largest association of meeting professionals, with over 20,000 members in 68 chapters and clubs across the world. MPI empowers meeting professionals to increase their strategic value through education, clearly defined career pathways, and business growth opportunities.

National Association for Catering and Events (NACE): NACE is the oldest and largest professional association for caterers in all disciplines and their affiliate vendors. NACE serves hotels, off-premise, club military and on-premise caterers, providing top quality educational and networking opportunities, and affiliate vendor interaction.

National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP): NCBMP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the training needs of African American meeting planners. NCBMP’s purpose is to educate its members so that they will be able to maximize a greater return on investment for their respective organizations; effect positive change in the hospitality industry; and become a voice in the hospitality industry on issues that affect the African American community.

National Speakers Association (NSA): NSA is an international association of more than 3,800 members dedicated to advancing the art and value of experts who speak professionally. For more than 25 years, NSA has provided resources and education designed to enhance the business acumen and platform performance of professional speakers.

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA): The mission of PCMA is to serve the association community by enhancing the effectiveness of meetings, conventions, and exhibitions through member and industry education and to promote the value of the meetings industry to the general public.

Protocol & Diplomacy International – Protocol Officers Association (PDI-POA): The mission of Protocol and Diplomacy International “ Protocol Officers Association (PDI-POA) is to provide the highest level of collective expertise, training, information, and advice regarding internationally and nationally accepted rules of protocol.

Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA): RCMA is a professional non-profit interfaith organization of those who plan and manage meetings, conferences, conventions or assemblies for religious organizations. RCMA is dedicated to enhancing the professionalism of its members and to improving the experience of religious meeting attendees throughout the world.

Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP): SGMP is dedicated to improving the knowledge and expertise of individuals in planning and execution of government meetings through education, training, and industry relationships.

Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE): SITE is a worldwide organization of business professionals dedicated to the increased recognition and use of incentives as a motivator and reward in programs designed to achieve defined objectives.

Southern African Association of the Conference Industry (SAACI): The Southern African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) is dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards of efficiency and professionalism for the conference and events industry in South Africa.

U.S. Travel Association (U.S. Travel): The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $770 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States.

Want to learn more about hospitality industry associations?

What is the purpose of the American Hotel and Lodging Association?

The AH&LA represents the interests of the U.S. lodging industry at the national level on federal legislative and regulatory affairs; the national media; the educational community; research groups; and the general public.

What is hospitality organizational management?

Hospitality organizational management is the practice of managing the many moving parts involved in the hospitality industry. It deals with structuring org charts in hotels and hotel brands to ensure that business is conducted efficiently and that guests are satisfied.

What acronym is used to describe the meeting sector?

Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions is the meeting sector of the hospitality industry, and is abbreviated as MICE.

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