The convention conundrum

Apr 05 | 2022

Steve Jordan asks whether there are too many international moving associations and conventions and what the alternative might be.

And so, as the handcuffs of COVID appear to recede into history, at least for a while, many of us head off to our much-missed conference meetings. They really have been missed.  One of the great joys of this moving industry is the opportunity to travel the world, meet people from different countries and cultures, and make friends.  Without our conferences, and the trade groups that organise them, most of us would never have met in person, our lives would have been less colourful, our businesses less successful and our industry more fragmented. Trade groups are a good thing. That, I suspect, most of us would agree upon.

Now you know there is a ‘but’ coming.  There wouldn’t be much point in writing this story if there were not. So I ask, accepting that trade groups are a good thing in general, do we now have too many of them? Taking a pencil and paper I quickly scribbled down a list of the ones that came immediately to mind.  I am already into the mid-teens of organisations with international conferences and that doesn’t include all the regional ones and those organised by companies.  That’s a lot!

Not everyone is a member of everything, of course. Indeed, many companies don’t get involved with groups at all. But many companies are members of multiple groups and travel the world talking to the same people about the same things … largely.  It’s great fun of course. But it’s expensive.  And is it necessary?

Over the years the number of these organisations has expanded.  It has done so because, in each case, there was a perceived need for something new. But the world has changed. Maybe it’s changed enough for us to have a re-think ...

Photo: Steve Jordan.

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