Mark Cooper, a Brit with more than 25 years’ seasoning in the global meetings industry, was appointed CEO of the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) in late 2012. He recently shared his thoughts on IACC, the meetings industry and more with Meetings Focus.

There was a concerted effort during IACC’s CEO selection process to consider a leader who has experience in the meetings industry outside of North America, where your membership is growing at its fastest rate. What can you say about the future direction of IACC regarding the emphasis you place on North America?

During the recruitment process—and all that I was told in that period and since by President Peter Stewart and others on the committee recruiting the CEO and the board—it was clear that IACC was looking for a global leader who would be based in a global city, delivering global benefits, but not specifically inside or outside of the Americas. It was believed that the officer leading the association would deliver greater benefits if based in a global city and all that can provide.

There has never been a question over diminished effort supporting our primary membership, simply that we are globalizing many of our efforts to benefit every chapter, including the Americas. All chapters will continue to receive the support and be given the opportunities a truly global organization can provide. We have seen increased attendance at the European conference by those from the Americas, as an example.