Q&A for Joyce Wittelaar, Boardroom
Recently appointed Strategic Relations Manager at Boardroom magazine, Joyce Wittelaar enjoys sharing her knowledge and 24 years’ experience in the industry with local and global industry colleagues, as well as association members and international conference organisers, to contribute to a professional international congress industry. We caught up with Joyce to find out more about her new role and what’s happening in the association meetings market.
Can you tell us a bit about your new role at Boardroom?
In June of this year I joined the Boardroom team as the Strategic Relations Manager. I will focus on making sure the interests of associations and those of destinations are aligned in the best way and continue to position Boardroom as the best resource for associations.
Where have you worked prior to joining the Boardroom team?
24 years ago, I started my career at a convention centre, when the MICE and association industry stole my heart. Following this venue, I was attracted to the PCO side of the industry and joined a PCO with focus on the international medical and pharmaceutical industry involved in both corporate and association projects. In these 16 years I worked on the operational as well as the account management side. The past seven years I developed the medical association activities and designed and implemented the new Ambassador Network for the Convention Bureau of Rotterdam as Account Manager Associations.
What do you love about the meetings and events industry?
I enjoy the personal contact with the industry leaders and noticing the open and knowledge-sharing culture; learning from each other’s knowledge and sharing experiences to bring the industry to a next level.
Are there any trends you’re noticing at the minute in association meetings?
There are two changes that I am noticing; on one hand you have a growing number of smaller meetings being organised on specialised topics initiated by associations or separate individually initiated networks. They are taking place outside of the larger annual congresses and bringing together experts from around the globe with different backgrounds for a multidisciplinary focus.
The second trend I have noticed is the large number of millennials that are entering the association workforce and their special needs and expectations compared to the older generation. Within Boardroom we are also focussing on this with the launch of our online platform.
What’s been your greatest career moment to date?
Being awarded the ICCA Inspirational Woman Award during the congress in 2018 – a recognition for my dedication to the ICCA community and the entire meetings industry.
Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon at Boardroom that you can share with us?
There are some great changes that lie ahead that I am privileged to be part of! Including a full update of the website to continue to drive the global conversation on topics, trends and destinations for the association industry. At the beginning of 2020 we will launch our interactive and AI driven website. One thing that will not change is the content-focused articles which are especially written for our association readers; topics that appeal to the senior association members and supports them in their professional development and that of their association.