The most important associations of the MICE industry - Colombia Mice

The most important associations of the MICE industry

Colombia-MICE is part of the Pelecanus Travel Group. We are located in Bogota, Colombia. We are specialized in corporate travel and all services around Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions.

The associations and institutions of the MICE sector play a fundamental role in its development. It is therefore very important to differentiate them and recognize the services and features that each of them offers.

Below are the main associations in the field of international business tourism, with a focus on the main associations in Latin America and Colombia.

The most important associations of the MICE industry

These are the most important international associations of the MICE industry:

GBTA – Global Business Travel Association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the leading international organization specializing in the meetings and business travel industry.

Headquartered in Washington DC, USA, the company is represented on all continents and has a global network of more than 28,000 industry experts and around 125,000 active contacts. Within the organization there are more than 9,000 professional members who directly control more than $345 billion in annual global business travel and meetings spent.

GBTA Functions and Objectives

One of GBTA’s primary missions is to bring together leaders in the business travel industry to share information and new ideas among its members. GBTA provides its members with world-class education, training, professional development, events, advocacy, research tools, advertising and media to promote and strengthen this growing industry.

ICCA – International Association for Congresses and Conventions

ICCA is the International Congress and Convention Association , which since 1963 has brought together professionals from around the world involved in the organization and logistics of the meetings industry. The ICCA is headquartered in the Netherlands and has regional offices in Uruguay, Malaysia, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa.

ICCA has more than 1,100 members, including companies and organizations in more than 90 countries. ICCA members are representatives of the world’s leading destinations and leading providers specializing in the management, transportation and accommodation of international meetings and events.

Tasks and goals of the ICCA

ICCA specializes in the meetings sector for all types of international associations. It provides accurate industry data, communication channels and business development opportunities. It is also the trusted association for finding solutions to all event goals. This includes venue selection, technical advice, transportation assistance, complete congress planning or other required services.

ICCA ranking

This organization annually compiles the ICCA ranking, which ranks the various destinations according to their suitability for hosting international meetings and events. These congresses, conferences and events, which are included in the list, must be held on a rotating basis and alternate at least three years.

MPI – International Experts for Meetings

Founded in 1972, Meeting Professionals International is the world’s largest international association for the meetings industry. The organization is represented in 22 countries and has 25,000 members.

The tasks and goals of the MPI

One of MPI’s main motivations is to take a leading role in the world of meetings and events tourism. It does this through educational programs, networking, and innovative solutions that not only advance the meetings and events industry, but also the careers of meetings and events professionals.

The MPI serves all stakeholders and associations in the meetings and events industry, regardless of need, target group or specialization. In addition, it provides leadership and training to identify new problems and offer solutions to all of the Association’s clients and its various members.

Other MPI units
MPI Foundation

It is a not-for-profit organization that funds grants, scholarships and industry-wide research in support of the global meetings and events industry.

MPI Academy

To invest in education, MPI offers members hundreds of free hours of industry knowledge meetings and events, CE credits, certified courses, and live webinars.

SITE – Society for Excellence in Incentive Travel

The Society for Incentive Travel Excellence is an international association founded in 1973. It brings together professionals from the incentive travel industry and motivating experiences. It is present in over 90 countries and has more than 2,000 members, including agencies, corporates, airlines, cruise lines and participants throughout the destination supply chain.

Functions and Objectives of the SITE

SITE’s primary missions include global and local networking, provision of online resources, education, certification and advocacy. SITE has a strong commitment to empowering the next generation, offering a program for young industry leaders and an annual conference for all destinations, subjects and members of the incentive travel industry.

Other SITE Facilities
SITE Foundation

The SITE Foundation is a non-profit organization established to raise funds and support research, education and advocacy projects for the incentive travel industry.

PCMA – Association for Professional Convention Management

The Professional Convention Management Association was founded in Philadelphia in 1956 and is now based in Chicago, USA. It is a non-profit organization with over 6,500 members.

functions and goals

The primary focus of the PCMA is the education and networking of leaders in the global meetings, conventions and corporate events industry. Its main objective is to train future players in the sector through grants and research funding.

Other PCMA units

The PCMA has 4 other brands under which it operates in different ways to achieve its goals. These are:

PCMA Foundation

The PCMA Foundation supports the industry through education, research and charitable giving. It funds scholarships for students, teachers and other professionals and recognizes industry achievement with the annual Visionary Awards.

PCMA conference

This is an award winning magazine. It is a leading publication in the MICE industry with more than 36,000 subscribers, mostly qualified meeting planners.

CEMA – Event Marketing Society

The Corporate Event Marketing Association brings together the community of senior events leaders, association peers and industry partners.

CEMA promotes professional networking opportunities, facilitates the sharing of knowledge between like-minded people and drives the development of industry standards. Through alliances with strategic partners, this organization promotes both the search for innovative solutions to business problems and the continuous promotion of the professional development of its members.

PCMA Institute for Digital Experience

The PCMA Digital Experience Institute offers live streaming of training, digital events and hybrid meeting strategies and productions.

UFI – World Association of the Exhibition Industry

The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry is the association that brings together more than 760 member organizations in 84 countries and regions around the world. UFI members offer the international business community a unique marketing medium to develop business opportunities for the industry.

It brings together trade fair organizers, trade fair operators and international trade fair companies from all over the world and represents more than 50,000 employees in the trade fair and exhibition industry worldwide. More than 930 international trade fairs currently carry the UFI seal of approval, which means a guarantee of quality for visitors and exhibitors.

Tasks and goals of the UFI

The UFI is the world’s leading association of trade fair organizers and trade fair site operators as well as leading national and international trade fair companies and selected partners in the conference industry. The main objective of this organization is to represent, promote and support the commercial interests of its members and the exhibition industry.

GBM – Global MICE Collaboration

This organization offers MICE industry professionals an alliance that gives them access to a network of contacts in 126 countries, as well as destination advisory services, skills development tools and annual events focused on all types of congresses and meetings.

Additional features and objectives of the GBM

In addition, in partnership with IBTM Americas through 2022, the above services have been reinforced through initiatives such as “Latin American Opportunities for North American MICE Market and North American Opportunities for Latin American MICE Market” to introduce the Latin American MICE market to the rest of the world.

IAEE—International Association of exhibitions and events

The 1928 as National Association of Managers is the world’s leading trade fair industry association. Today the IAEE has more than 12,000 members in over 50 countries organizing and supporting exhibitions around the world.

More than 50 percent of IAEE members are directly involved in the planning, management and production of exhibitions and events. The remaining percentage consists of those who provide products and services to the industry.

In addition, the organization encourages member diversity in terms of company size, products and geographic area. Each active member organization gets one vote, regardless of size.

Tasks and goals of the IAEE

Key activities of the IAEE include professional development, a network of industry news and publications, professional resources, discounts for service partners, lobbying with government agencies and the media, and leadership development.

The most important associations of the MICE sector in Colombia

These are the main Colombian associations belonging to the MICE industry:

AIFEC – Association Colombiana de la Industria de Ferias , Congresses , Convenciones y Actividades afines

AIFEC is a non-profit association that brings together companies involved in the organization of trade fairs, congresses, meetings and related activities in general. It was founded in 2010 by a group of trade fair and congress organizers with the aim of representing Colombia on the international stage of these activities.

Tasks and goals of the AIFEC

The main objective of this organization is to increase the visibility of the sector and the competencies of the human resources of the sector.

MPI Colombia – Meeting Professionals International Colombia

In 2020, the MPI Colombia became part of the Vitrina Turística officially recognized by ANATO as the second institution in Latin America to emerge from the MPI after Brazil. It has more than 52 members.

Tasks and goals of the MPI Colombia

MPI Colombia is an association that represents the interests of its members through professional development, networking and business opportunities. It creates knowledge, support and works for the collective good of all members to advance the industry of those who are part of the meetings and events industry value chain in the country.


PROCOLOMBIA is one of the most important institutions in the country. She is responsible for promoting tourism, foreign investment, exports and the image of Colombia.

Tasks and goals of PROCOLOMBIA

This organization aims to offer its clients, through its national and international network of branches, comprehensive support and advice through various services or tools aimed at facilitating the design and implementation of internationalization strategies in order to create, develop and close business opportunities.

In addition, PROCOLOMBIA maintains alliances with national and international, private and public entities to increase the availability of resources to support various initiatives. It also offers its clients the opportunity to be involved in bringing entrepreneurs together through trade promotion, investment and international tourism.

Bogota Business and Events Tourism Cluster – Colombia

This is not just an association, but an initiative of the tourism cluster founded by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce.

Key players supported by this initiative include: hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, theme parks, tourist attractions, air and ground transportation, exhibition centers and professional organizers of congresses and events.

Functions and goals of the cluster for business and event tourism in Bogota

The main goal of this tourism cluster is that all the above entities work together to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the sector and integrate the tourism chain in Bogota and the region.

From 2022, the initiative includes economic activities related to the promotion of convention tourism, as well as holiday tourism in the city of Bogotá and the municipalities of Cundinamarca , falling under the jurisdiction of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce.

Colombian Convention Bureaus

In 2020, the Colombian Convention & Visitors Bureaux network was officially launched, which includes the following cities: Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Cali, Pereira, Manizales , Quindío , Bucaramanga and Ibagué. The aim is to strengthen the tourism industry in the MICE segment, especially at events and conferences.

Mission and goals of the Colombian offices

Their main motivation is to promote the meetings, incentives, congresses and exhibitions industry in the country, as well as position the tourist destinations, attract national and international events, improving the cities’ competitiveness through training and creating business opportunities.

ASOEVENTOS – Colombian Association of Event Organizers and Suppliers

It is a non-profit association that was founded in 2011 but has only played a role in the industry since 2014. It brings together operators and suppliers in the event industry.

Tasks and goals of Asoeventos

Among the main activities of this organization is the promotion of the events industry by creating spaces where the activity, development and growth of the sector can be professionalized. It offers consultancy services for organizing events, agreements and training, and has a job board on its website.

The most important associations of the MICE industry in Latin America

These are the main associations in Latin America belonging to the MICE Industry:

COCAL – Federacion de Entidades Organizadoras de Congresos y Afines de America Latina.

This is the Federation of Organizers of Congresses and Related Organizations in Latin America, founded in 1993. It brings together public institutions, funding bodies and private companies from 16 Latin American countries involved in the meetings industry.

Tasks and goals of COCAL

The purpose of this association is to promote the professionalization of the MICE tourism sector, thus giving the opportunity to create encounters between the different actors in order to strengthen this Latin American sector and implement the latest sector trends in the region.

Convention & Visitors Bureau Latam association

The Convention & Visitors Bureaus Latam Association is a non-profit organization that has as members public, mixed or private organizations from most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Players include those who are part of the meetings industry value chain, such as hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, retailers and carriers, meeting and event technology service providers, leisure facilities and other players in the MICE segment.

Tasks and goals of the Convention & Visitors Bureaus Latam association

These organizations aim to promote their destinations and encourage the growth of their visitor flows, primarily motivated by businesses and events.

The association also offers its members to work as a team to achieve common goals that are the essence of the work of convention bureaus in Latin America and the Caribbean.

ABEOC – Brazilian Association of Event and Convention Organization Companies

Founded in 1977, ABEOC is currently present in 12 Brazilian states and represents 500 member companies. Its aim is to coordinate, direct and defend the interests of its members, represented by companies that organize, promote and provide services for events.

Tasks and goals of the ABEOC

The tasks of this organization include the following:

  • Regular meetings with members.
  • Debates and conferences on topics of interest to the tourism and events industry.
  • Training and exchange with companies and associations in the segment.
  • Guidance for interested parties on how to hire professionals for events.
  • Promoting compliance with high ethical standards in the relationships between members and the market.

AOCA – Argentine Association of Organizers and Vendors of Exhibitions, Congresses, Events and conference offices

This is the Federation of Events Industry in Argentina. Its members include: congress organizers, fair and exhibition organizers, organizers of corporate and social events, suppliers and offices, among others

Tasks and goals of the AOCA

The missions and services of this organization include platforms dealing with the marketing plans of the companies, training of all staff and general advice and management of the procedures.

AMDEMAC – Mexican Association of Destination Management Companies

AMDEMAC is the Mexican Association of Destination Management Companies and represents the best providers in Mexico.

The aim of this organization is to train all its members and, in general, all those involved in the sector, through workshops, seminars and/or studies that share the ideals of the association, in order to promote their destinations for meetings and incentives trips.

Tasks and goals of AMDEMAC

The association has various missions, but the main one is to offer its members and customers all the necessary services to carry out their trips and to promote their destinations. Key services include conferencing, sponsorship, sporting event options, tour management and hospitality services.

AFEP – Association of Trade Fairs of Peru

The Exhibitions Association of Peru was formed in 2009 to represent, coordinate and promote the Peruvian meetings industry. It is a private non-profit organization that brings together the most important trade fair organizers and suppliers.

Tasks and goals of AFEP

The mission of AFEP is essentially to promote the development of the exhibition industry in the country through the creation of new fairs in strategic branches and sectors and to contribute to the development and management of exhibition infrastructures. In addition, she offers administrative and training services to help all stakeholders in the industry achieve their goals and grow professionally.