19 Niche Event Industry Associations

Are you an event professional looking for a community that caters to your specific niche? Look no further! In addition to the well-known event industry associations like Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Professional Convention...

Niche Events Industry Associations

Are you an event professional looking for a community that caters to your specific niche? Look no further! In addition to the well-known event industry associations like Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), there are a plethora of niche associations that cater to every aspect of the event planning industry. These associations provide specialized education, networking opportunities, and resources specifically tailored to your unique needs. Let's take a closer look at some of these niche event industry associations.

Association Planners

International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA)

ICCA specializes in serving the international association meeting sector, providing education, data, communication channels, and networking opportunities. With over 1,100 member organizations in nearly 100 countries, ICCA hosts its signature event, the annual ICCA Congress, in different cities around the world.

American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

ASAE focuses on association management and serves both organizations and individuals in trade associations and membership societies. With 48,000 members and supplier partners in 7,400 organizations, ASAE offers tools, resources, community, advocacy, and signature conferences such as the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition.

Event Marketing Pros

Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA)

CEMA provides a non-selling, peer-to-peer environment for senior-level event marketers in corporate settings. Through educational and networking opportunities, such as CEMA Study Tours, participants can share best practices and knowledge about industry events.

Special Event Planners

International Live Events Association (ILEA)

ILEA serves the global community of event professionals involved in making live events happen. From event planners to decorators, ILEA's extensive network offers educational resources, networking opportunities, and its annual ILEA Esprit Awards at ILEA Live.

National Association for Catering and Events (NACE)

NACE serves over 3,500 catering and event professionals across the United States, providing education, tools, resources, and a community. NACE also offers the Certified Professional in Catering and Events (CPCE) designation for industry professionals.

International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA)

IFEA is a not-for-profit organization that serves festival and event professionals worldwide. With an annual convention, magazine, enewsletter, online marketplace, job bank, and networking resources, IFEA supports the professional global event industry.

Business Travel Professionals

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)

GBTA represents over 9,000 business travel professionals worldwide, including travel and meeting planners, as well as suppliers. GBTA offers its annual GBTA Convention and the Global Travel Professional (GTP) certification.

Trade Show and Exhibition Planners

International Association of Expositions and Events (IAEE)

IAEE represents professionals involved in planning, managing, and supporting exhibitions around the world. IAEE offers the Certified in Exhibition Management (CEM) designation, webinars, events for senior-level professionals, a Women’s Leadership Forum, and its signature event, Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition.

UFI: The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry

UFI serves top trade show organizers, venue owners, exhibition associations, and industry partners worldwide. With over 770 member organizations in 84 countries, UFI hosts a variety of in-person and digital events, including the UFI Global Congress and regional conferences.

Academic Planners

Association of Collegiate Conference & Events Directors-International (ACCED-I)

ACCED-I connects collegiate conference and events professionals through virtual education, networking events, online learning, roundtable discussions, forums, and benchmarking and salary studies.

Government Meeting Professionals

Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP)

SGMP is dedicated exclusively to serving individuals who plan and execute government meetings in the U.S. With 2,000 members in 19 chapters, SGMP hosts the annual SGMP National Education Conference and Expo and offers the Certified Government Meeting Professional (CGMP) certification.

Black Meeting Professionals

National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP)

NCBMP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the training needs of African American meeting planners. NCBMP provides networking opportunities, a Career Center, and its signature event, the NCBMP Annual Conference.

LGBTQ Planners

LGBT Meeting Professionals Association (LGBT MPA)

LGBT MPA is committed to connecting, advancing, and empowering LGBTQ+ meeting professionals worldwide. Through research-driven data, best practices, and industry events like IMEX America and PCMA’s Convening Leaders, LGBT MPA works to promote inclusion throughout the industry.

Healthcare Industry Planners

Healthcare Convention & Exhibitors Association (HCEA)

HCEA aims to increase the effectiveness and quality of healthcare conventions and exhibitions as educational and marketing platforms. With its annual HCEA Annual Meeting and other learning opportunities, HCEA brings together exhibitors, organizers, and industry suppliers.

Financial and Insurance Industry Planners

Financial and Insurance Conference Professionals (FICP)

FICP provides education, resources, and networking opportunities for financial services and insurance meeting professionals across North America. FICP maintains a balanced planner-to-hospitality partner ratio at all events to foster meaningful connections.

Incentive Planners

Incentive Research Foundation (IRF)

IRF serves incentives and rewards professionals in corporations and incentive houses worldwide. With access to research, education, annual events like the IRF Education Invitational, and partnerships with industry organizations, IRF supports this unique sector of the event industry.

Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE)

SITE is an international association dedicated exclusively to the global incentive travel industry. With extensive resources, certifications, educational opportunities, and networking events, SITE champions the value of incentive travel.

Religious Meeting Professionals

Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA)

RCMA connects planners and managers of religious meetings, conferences, and assemblies. With its annual Emerge Conference and Aspire magazine, RCMA provides a platform for religious planners and suppliers to network and learn together.

Military Event Planners

Military Reunion Network (MRN)

MRN is a community of veterans planning military reunions and destinations, hotels, and attractions that serve this market. MRN's resources, including event insurance, checklists, workshops, and special offers, aim to help veterans stay connected and reduce the suicide rate among military veterans.

General Event Industry Associations

Meeting Professionals International (MPI)

MPI is an international event industry association that serves event professionals worldwide. With signature events like the World Education Congress and the European Meetings & Events Conference, MPI offers education, publications, and an online academy.

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)

PCMA serves over 8,400 professional and student members in the event industry. With its annual Convening Leaders convention, education, digital resources, and the PCMA Foundation, PCMA supports the growth and success of event professionals.

International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO)

IAPCO accredits professional congress organizers who demonstrate their expertise in organizing international meetings. Accredited PCOs gain access to IAPCO's Knowledge Hub, Edge seminars, and online learning platform.

Association of Meeting Professionals (AMPs)

AMPs offers educational and networking programs to U.S.-based planner and service provider members. With seminars and an industry golf tournament, AMPs keeps its members updated on the latest industry trends and best practices.

Events Industry Council (EIC)

EIC is an umbrella group that represents over 30 events industry organizations and professionals worldwide. With its vision dedicated to event industry excellence, EIC promotes high standards and professionalism through its Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation and various programs.

When it comes to finding a sense of belonging within the event planning industry, these niche associations are invaluable. They provide a community of like-minded professionals, specialized resources, and opportunities for growth and collaboration. Whether you're an association planner, an event marketer, a special event planner, or involved in various other niches, there's an association out there that caters specifically to you. Joining a niche association can be a game-changer for your career and professional development. So, take the leap and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of niche event industry associations!

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