New ICESAP Agency Accreditation Scheme set to formalise industry benchmarks
The Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP) launched the new Agency Accreditation Scheme last night in Sydney, with ICESAP president Nigel Gaunt saying it is “a foundation to build on in terms of getting a stronger industry and a stronger agency business model”.
The ICESAP Agency Accreditation Scheme will allow corporate end users the ability to identify and contract event agencies who meet the stringent accreditation standards. The scheme will assess an agency’s policies, processes, management and staff competencies, as well as conduct a third party probity and due diligence check on company directors.
“The fundamental barrier to long term growth for the sector is a lack of self-governance by the intermediary agencies in the industry,” said Gaunt.
“There are no barriers to entry, codes of conduct, or probity and capability checks on agency owners, managers or staff.
“The ICESAP accreditation provides the industry with a consistent set of standards to follow and provides a strong foundation for raising the quality and professionalism of organisations in the industry. It also enables end users to more confidently navigate through the process of researching, appointing and managing event agencies.”
The agency accreditation scheme has been two years in the making with Gaunt saying it has always been “one of the big missing pieces of our industry”. During the consultation phase, ICESAP worked with the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum which ensured the accreditation scheme was affordable and achievable for small to medium enterprises. More recently ICESAP has been working with the China Chamber of Commerce in an effort to roll out the accreditation scheme in China as well.
Gaunt is confident that once clients start asking for ICESAP accreditation “it will send a strong signal” to other agency businesses that they need to become agency accredited.
“If we don’t have a strong agency business model more and more big clients will try and shop direct and bypass agencies. This is trying to preserve and enhance the agency role.”