ICCA World members voted Marta Gomes as the new ICCA President on the opening day of the 61st ICCA Congress in Kraków. Marta – Deputy Executive Director, Sales, Viparis – and a great supporter of everything ICCA stands for in the international events and meetings industry – succeeds James Rees in the role.
It’s an exciting time for ICCA as we pursue a future based on our Pillars of Sustainability; Legacy; Diversity, Inclusion and Equity… Pillars which have driven the radical content programme of our Conference. After a difficult few years, Marta believes there are ‘blue skies ahead and events are coming back strongly’ but, we should be ever mindful of the challenges ahead. 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.
As for her legacy as she takes up the presidential mantle, Marta hopes it is reflected in the tangible and effective ways in which our members engage with ICCA, particularly through the use of improved digital tools. She greatly appreciates ICCA heritage and our members and hopes her leadership will exceed their expectations. She also wants to welcome new talent, ‘the young leaders of tomorrow’ into our community.
As for her successful campaign? Marta listened intently to members, and encouraged them 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 congratulated her fellow Presidential candidates Gregg H. Talley and Daniel Palermo for their excellent campaigns and looks forward to continuing their close working collaboration in the coming years. Mostly, Marta was elated by the whole experience: ‘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.’
A hugely popular choice, best summed up by ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath: ‘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.’