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Home >  BULLETINPCMA acquires Nigel Gaunt’s ICESAP
PCMA acquires Nigel Gaunt’s ICESAP
Incentive, Conference and Events Society Asia Pacific joins US-based Professional Convention Management Association. Gaunt says PCMA will invest in and support education efforts

31 Jul 2017

ICESAP president and founder Nigel Gaunt has announced that the Incentive, Conference and Events Society Asia Pacific is now part of a US-based association for convention organisers.

In a message to members on July 31, he said the Professional Convention Management Association’s support and investment will take ICESAP’s networking and education efforts to the “next level”. The ICESAP name, alongwith its Singapore secretariat and Gaunt’s role as founder and president will remain.

“By joining PCMA, we will be able to deepen our offerings to our members and provide elevated education and event experiences,” Gaunt said in an announcement to members issued at 6pm Hong Kong and Singapore time.

Gaunt told MIX that the acquisition involved a modest amount in payment that covered his original capital investment when establishing ICESAP.

Following Gaunt’s announcement the PCMA issued a statement saying the move will strengthen the Chicago-headquartered organisation’s influence in Asia Pacific.

“Today PCMA already has strong and valued relationships with prominent organisations in the APAC region,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA president and CEO. “The addition of ICESAP further strengthens our endeavours to enable industry collaboration and deliver superior education to this important region.”

When asked about how the acquisition came about, Gaunt told MIX: “We have been in discussion with PCMA for several months, we knew PCMA had growth plans afoot in Asia and Europe and took the initiative to open dialogue.

Who wins if Asia turns into MICE battle ground?

“PCMA is very successful, mainly North American association so it was clear they could support ICESAP in fast-tracking what we were doing in Asia Pacific. ICESAP is now a fully integrated part of PCMA; however, we will retain our own unique brand, and programmes such as agency acccreditation in Asia Pacific,” he said. 

In his statement to members, Gaunt said: “I am proud to announce that ICESAP will now be part of the world’s foremost professional body in our sector, PCMA. Founded in 1954, PCMA inspires, connects and innovates the global business events community. They are the world’s community for business events strategists; providing senior education and networking for the events sector.”

“The ICESAP name and focus on Asia Pacific will remain. The healthy balance of corporate, agency and partner members will continue, as well as our certification and accreditation schemes. Our secretariat and team will remain in Singapore and I will continue as president of ICESAP.”

Expert on Belt & Road to deliver ICESAP keynote

ICESAP came onto the Asia MICE scene in 2013 with launches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and later Australia. Gaunt says he formed the organisation to raise standards and professionalism in the region’s business events industry and to represent corporate buyers – or end users – of events. There are also membership categories for intermediaries (agencies) and suppliers (venues). ICESAP’s website states that the membership has since grown to more than 250-plus corporate members.

After a career in sales and marketing in Asia Pacific with leading international hotel groups, Gaunt went into the incentive travel sphere and formed two agencies, the Forum Organisation and the Mint Organisation. PCMA’s website reports that Forum was sold to Carlson marketing in 1990 and Mint to BI Worldwide in 2012. ICESAP came as Gaunt said he “wanted to give something back to an industry I have enjoyed and benefited from over 30 years”.

In the PCMA statement, Gaunt said of the latest move: “For me personally, it is validation of the investment of time and money I have made over the past four years in establishing what I felt was needed for our industry in Asia Pacific.”

ICESAP is now preparing for its fourth annual conference to be held at the W Shanghai, September 6-8.

Main picture: From left, (seated): Nigel Gaunt and Claire Smith, of ICESAP, with PCMA chief operating officer, Sherrif Karamat; (standing): Philip Pang, of ICESAP, and Michelle Crowley, of PCMA at the signing of the deal on the fringes of the SIngapore MICE Forum

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