International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services and Greek Meetings Alliance Forge Strategic Partnership to Elevate Global Meetings and Exhibitions Industry

13.11.2023 | IFES Press Releases | 0 comments

Brussels, 13 November, 2023 – The global meetings and events industry thrives on collaboration among organisations and stakeholders. In this spirit, the International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES) and the Greek Meetings Alliance (GMA) have formalised a partnership that is poised to create mutual benefits for both membership bodies and strengthen the Exhibition Industry.

The partnership between GMA and IFES was announced on 10 November at the Open Stage of Philoxenia 2023 during a panel on the benefits of fostering partnerships in the MICE industry that is focused on meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.

The panel featured the Executive Director of IFES, Uta Goretzky, alongside representatives from major stakeholders of the Greek MICE industry: Kyriakos Pozrikidis (Managing Director of TIF-Helexpo), Prodromos Monastiridis (President of the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau) and Sissi Lygnou (President of HAPCO & DES). The event was moderated by Tina Toribaba of the This is Athens-Convention & Visitors Bureau.


In an initial step to promote the exchange of educational content and industry synergies, IFES has opted to host its upcoming Masterclass Europe 2024 in Athens, in collaboration with GMA, and the Athens Film Office (AFO) Industry Days, an event attended by leading international film production companies.
High-profile members from both IFES and GMA have undertaken to deliver educational content at each other’s events throughout the year, focusing on relevant exhibition and meetings industry trends and developments. Industry knowledge sharing will include the participation of an IFES Executive or Board Member in panel and round-table sessions at GMA events in Greece, to promote valuable insights and discussions within the industry.
As part of their mission to enhance industry growth, both associations commit to collaborating on at least one education-focused event per year at relevant industry gatherings, one of which will be an educational workshop at IMEX Frankfurt 2024 to provide enriched educational content and boost attendance.
As part of a joint effort to identify and analyse emerging trends in the global industry, IFES and GMA intend to pool resources on research projects, surveys, and other initiatives, with relevant white papers being shared as appropriate.

Interconnected global events community

Members of both associations will enjoy increased visibility, with both organisations actively promoting the collaboration and its benefits to the industry.
In addition, IFES and GMA will explore opportunities for member-to-member connections, fostering networking and collaboration within the industry. This initiative aims to create a strong and interconnected global events community.

“On behalf of IFES and myself, I am very happy to sign this MOU with GMA. Together we will raise awareness of the exhibition and events industry through an additional, powerful voice! We believe in the strength of collaboration and sharing knowledge and are looking forward to what this partnership will bring and how it will help us to create a bigger impact. From advancing sustainability and attracting our next-generation workforce to making pan-European commerce and travel more seamless, the challenges facing the business events industry are global in nature and will require global solutions, ” says IFES Executive Director Uta Goretzky.

Speaking on behalf of the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers & Destination Event Specialists (HAPCO & DES), Sissi Lygnou added: “We are proud to participate as HAPCO & DES, and as an active member of the Greek Meetings Alliance, in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IFES. This strategic partnership represents a significant step forward for the MICE industry as a whole and highlights one of the core goals of our synergy: building international connections. IFES is internationally recognized for its dedication to excellence, innovation and sustainability in the support of events, conferences, and especially exhibitions. Their expertise and commitment to industry best practices make them an ideal partner as we work towards a shared vision that promotes and elevates the MICE industry worldwide. We look forward to the multiple opportunities this partnership will bring, including the ability to create a single voice for our industry, promote sustainability, enhance education, and share best practices that benefit all our members and partners.”

On behalf of the This is Athens-Convention and Visitors Bureau, the CEO of the City of Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, Epameinondas Mousios remarked, “The on-going success and growth of the Greek meetings and events industry relies on collaboration between like-minded organizations and different stakeholders more than ever before. As one of the founding members of the Greek Meetings Alliance, the City of Athens is helping to set the agenda for an industry that has experienced tremendous growth, achieved a very high level of international visibility, and is building the capacity to lead the tourism industry toward sustainability, accessibility, and inclusivity. We are tremendously proud of this success and we are excited to be taking the next steps.”

The President of the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau, Prodromos Monastiridis, added: “The signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding between the Greek Meetings Alliance and an internationally recognized organization in Thessaloniki – a city that is home to the largest exhibition centre in the country – is also of great importance for the partnership between the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau, This is Athens-Conventions & Visitors Bureau, and HAPCO & DES. The expansion of our cooperation demonstrates the strong dynamics within the sector, creates a broader scope for joint actions, and enables us to closely monitor the international practices and contemporary trends that characterize the meetings Industry today. With this initiative, we see positive development opportunities for the members of the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau and for Thessaloniki as a destination.”
The IFES and GMA partnership, with a focus on education, knowledge sharing, and enhanced visibility, is set to create a meaningful impact on the Exhibition and Meetings Industry. By working together, these organisations aim to elevate the industry, fostering innovation and creating a stronger, more united global events community.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:
IFES AISBL, Rue de l’Amazone 2, B 1050 Brussels;

Robyn D’Alessandro, [email protected] ,
+27 67 684 3376

About IFES:
The International Federation of Exhibition and Event Services (IFES) is a global association dedicated to representing the interests of companies and organizations providing products and services to the exhibition and event industry. IFES strives to promote and support excellence within the industry by fostering collaboration, innovation, and best practices among industry professionals worldwide.

About GMA:
Three major stakeholders from the Greek MICE industry have joined forces to promote Greece as a destination for high-quality conferences and events. The Alliance is designed to boost the economic impact of the meetings industry by connecting the regions of Greece, creating jobs and promoting investment.
The new Greek Meetings Alliance expands and amplifies the long-standing informal collaboration between the largest organisations in the meetings and events sector: the City of Athens/This is Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Hellenic Association of Professional Conference Organizers & Destination Event Specialists (HAPCO & DES) and the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau (TCB).




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