Events ISTMA World Assembly
ISTMA World presented its first ever online General Assembly on 30 June.
ISTMA World President, Bob Williamson, says although the decision to postpone the tri-annual event came as a disappointment he is optimistic that 16th World Conference in 2021 will be one of the best world conferences ever. He says the event will be historic in many respects as it is the first time that China will act as host country for the ISTMA World Conference.
The online General Assembly, chaired by ISTMA President Bob Williamson, featured 31 attendees from a record number of 19 countries, five global partner representatives and 13 invited guests from four countries. For the first time representatives of four non-member African countries – Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda attended as observers.
The ISTMA Plan of Activities and 2020 Budget, discussions focused on ISTMA activities at world level to promote sector recognition, exposure and visibility and the enlargement of ISTMA membership. Tapiwa Samanga from South Africa reported on the status of the ISTMA Africa grouping. He stated that Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda are expected to join the ranks of ISTMA in the near future. Bob Williamson said exploratory contact would be made with FADMA (Asian Association) to enlarge Asian membership while Mexico, Canada and Brazil started exploratory discussions to re-establish ISTMA Americas.
Peter Aspinal, Managing Director of Strategic Business Services Pty Ltd who facilitated the virtual General Assembly says the company has always been in the forefront in adapting new technology. “The current situation, however, demands much more than just new technology — it involves a complete rethink on how we structure and manage events under Covid-19 lockdown and the future” says Aspinal. “Fortunately the ISTMA General Assembly had a specific target audience and agenda and the event therefore served as a good stepping stone for the company to break into this new dimension of event management. The General Assembly was well controlled by ISTMA President Bob Williamson and Manuel Oliveira of ISTMA Secretariat who kept things going and on time. The highly successful General Assembly again underlined the value of networking and personal interaction in the virtual space” says Aspinal.