Samantha Whitehorne is editorial director of Associations Now in Washington, DC.
In April, the Asia Pacific Federation of Association Organizations held its first general meeting in Hong Kong. The group wants to advance the sector and provide a boost to the meetings and convention industry there.
April 10 marked a milestone for the Asia Pacific Federation of Association Organizations (APFAO). On that day, the group held its first general meeting at the start of ASAE’s 2016 Great Ideas in Association Management Conference, Asia-Pacific, in Hong Kong.
APFAO’s four founding members—the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives (PCAAE), Korean Society of Association Executives (KSAE), Associations Forum, and Australasian Society of Association Executives—as well as representatives from tourism boards, convention bureaus, and business federations from the region agreed to form a core group that will provide guidance and direction to the initiative.
“It was a very productive and thorough meeting, and I know APFAO will continue to grow and help association executives in the region,” says Octavio B. Peralta, founder of PCAAE and APFAO’s secretariat. “I am very excited to see this federation move forward.”
APFAO was launched in March 2015 with a goal of building an umbrella body of national societies of association executives in Asia Pacific that would advance the sector and provide a boost to the meetings and convention industry there.
Association management is generally not recognized as a profession in the region. Founding members recognized that association executives needed a place to exchange knowledge and best practices if they were to build efficient and sustainable organizations.
The April meeting took steps to make that happen. A steering committee has been formed to help guide the secretariat. PCAAE and Peralta will also continue to coordinate APFAO’s activities and to manage its initial programs, such as the website and soon-to-be-launched APFAO e-newsletter.
“We have a great group of people—dedicated not only to the work they do personally but also to the work of APFAO. Because of this, I know we’ll grow and be a reliable resource for all our fellow association leaders in the region,” says Peralta.—Samantha Whitehorne
[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Focus on Asia Pacific."]