IBTM World has revealed the first details of its new-look Association Leaders’ Forum, which will take place on day one of IBTM World and focus on how the associations community can contribute to the ongoing debate around sustainability and the challenges that come with it.

Taking place at Fira, Barcelona, on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, and produced in partnership with the prestigious ESAE (European Society of Association Executives), the IBTM World Association Leaders’ Forum highlights the power of event professionals to shape culture and drive the future of business. The programme has evolved into the annual meeting point for association leaders to exchange, learn and advance knowledge and best practices in a peer-to-peer setting.

High-level presentations, lightning talks and interactive debates are part of a fresh new format designed to infuse energy and foster culture among participants, to replace that sense of community which may have been lost in the shift to home working.

The programme will open with a thought-provoking exploration of association trends 2024 from Mike Morrissey, ESAE President and CEO of the European Cancer Organisation. This will follow a speaker-led debate moderated by Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General, UITP (The International Association of Public Transport). The debate will centre on travel and sustainability, with participants exploring the merit of carbon offsetting and the broader positive effects on society that a meeting or a conference can have. Following this, a selection of high-profile association leaders will participate in a panel discussion on how associations can change the world for the better. The discussion will include incorporating ESG into decision-making and operations and explore topics such as DEI, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.  

The afternoon’s sessions will feature fast-paced lightning talks on hot topics, including Artificial Intelligence, ESG and Impact vs Environment. There will be opportunities to network throughout the forum and network drinks afterwards.

Mike Morrissey said: “When associations come together to share knowledge and ideas, we know they can make a difference. This forum is a space for association and events professionals to debate the issues that are unique to them. We are delighted to be working with IBTM on the content for this important event. We invite all association events professionals to join us, make connections and share their inspiration and ideas.”

David Thompson, Event Director, IBTM World, said: “This engaging forum on the important topic of sustainability, incorporating environment, social and governance, is designed to fuel delegates’ curiosity, inspire attendees to make a difference and provide the stimulation delegates need to encourage culture to flourish. Business culture thrives when we are together, and the forum allows this culture to grow.”

The ESAE is the leading organisation in Europe for bringing together association professionals. It facilitates the exchange of best practices among peers and ensures that current and future leaders understand the association’s business and strategy. 

The Association Leaders Forum is open to Association Buyers and select Media attending IBTM World. To apply for the Hosted Buyer Programme and Forum, submit your details via the event website.