Stop supporting Russian business, says MICE industry

Key industry associations cut off connections and business dealings with Russian organisations and delegate participation until a peaceful resolution is achieved.

Russia faces isolation from the rest of the world as it continues its attack on Ukraine.
Russia faces isolation from the rest of the world as it continues its attack on Ukraine. Photo Credit: gettyimages/LeMusique

The Russian-Ukraine war has created strong divides in the economic and political landscape – and now, the MICE and events industry.

Industry voices had been quiet on the sidelines, but no more. After the organisers of IMEX Frankfurt suspended Russian exhibitor from its 2022 show, other organisations have made clear their stands as well.

The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is the latest industry organisation to have made a public statement to its members. ICCA President James Rees announced that all planned activities and events in Russia would be cancelled, and Russian members would not be allowed to attend any ICCA events as of now.

For Destinations International, the decision to terminate the membership of Saint Petersburg Convention Bureau, its only Russia-based member, was a swift one. There will be no further business engagements in Russia until a peaceful resolution is achieved.

These organisations have gone the extra mile by making humanitarian donations to a charity and to World Central Kitchen, respectively, to help displaced Ukranians. The Society of Independent Show Organizers has also launched a fundraising campaign in aid of humanitarian efforts.

Northstar Travel Group, parent company of Northstar Meetings Group, has also made a public statement to “stand with other leaders of the travel, hospitality and meetings industry to rebuke this unprovoked war by Russia and to call for peace”.

“Travel connects us, war divides us,” said Tom Kemp, CEO, Northstar Travel Group. “Northstar strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expresses its support of Ukraine in defense of their sovereign democracy.

“We stand with other organisations in the travel industry by not engaging in any business with Russian-owned companies until the war in Ukraine is resolved peacefully and the sovereignty of a free Ukraine is ensured. This includes barring Russian citizens and residents from participating in our events around the world.”

Other key industry voices from Events Industry Council, Meeting Professionals International and Professional Convention Management Association have also declared clear mandates of their support for Ukraine.

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