Marta Gomes has been named the new president of ICCA — the
International Congress and Convention Association, following a vote by
members on the opening day of the 61st ICCA Congress in Kraków, Poland.
Gomes, who is deputy executive director, sales at venue provider
Viparis was standing for the role against two other candidates. As part
of her winning campaign, she encouraged members to ask questions about
how ICCA can meet their needs in a changing world.
“It’s time to review some of the things we do, and possibly adapt what we offer according to our members’ needs,” she said.
Gomes succeeds James Rees in the role, at an exciting time for the
association. It has recently set out a future based on a number of
‘pillars’, including sustainability; legacy; diversity, Inclusion and
Equity, themes which formed part of the content programme at this year’s
While Gomes believes events are coming back strongly following the
pandemic, she says it’s important to be ever mindful of the challenges
ahead. She is particularly keen on exploring how digital tools can
improve the way members engage with ICCA and in identifying and
welcoming new talent.
“[These are] challenges we can meet if we have the belief and
confidence to talk about ‘the value of our industry’ in a clear, proud
and distinctive voice,” she says.
On being named ICCA’s new president, Gomes said: “It’s amazing and
exciting and it was a really emotional moment for me to have everyone
stand up and clap. I’m already losing my voice for saying ‘thank you’ to
so many messages of congratulations.”
ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath said: “Marta is a big personality in the
ICCA family and liked and appreciated by the ICCA Community. Her
positivity, enthusiasm and commitment to improving the way ICCA thinks
and works is an exciting prospect for us all. I very much enjoy working
with her on the Board, and now look forward to her time as president.’