Swiss association IELA reforms as not-for-profit UK company

Switzerland - Logistics association IELA is moving its base from Switzerland to the UK and reforming as a not-for-profit company following a successful challenge to the board.

Members of International Exhibition Logistics Associates met in London recently for the 24th IELA Congress. The four day event attracted more than 200 delegates from 45 countries, discussing international exhibition logistics and taking part in traditional English activities.

However, focus soon shifted to internal matters when members voted in favour of a resolution to move from the current Swiss co-operative structure to a not-for-profit UK-based Company.

A second vote to dissolve the current entity was not carried, falling 10 per cent short of the 75 per cent required to pass. This motion is expected to be implemented at the 25th Jubilee Congress in Paris next year. Until then, IELA will continue to exist as a Swiss-registered co-operative, albeit now based in the UK.

IELA executive director Declan Gane told EW that the decision to move to the UK is one step towards simplifying  the association’s structure. “We want to run IELA as a not-for-profit organisation with a less complex structure. The decision to move from Switzerland makes sense as the management is mostly made up of UK members.”

The association’s current structure comprises a legal board, and a separate board of management, which Gane believes is an unnecessarily bureaucratic arrangement. This would also change under the association’s 2010 reconfiguration.

The conference session was brought to a close with a final address by IELA’s new chairman, Greg Keh, of Las Vegas-based company TWI Global. Keh, pictured, called for all parties to demonstrate resolve, unity and to move forward together for the successful future of IELA.

“I am wowed because at this seminal meeting our future IELA goal is very clear and we will drive and develop further member benefits,” he said.

In other IELA news, Seoul, Korea, emerged as the favoured location for the 2011 IELA Congress, while Ravinder Sethi of RE Rogers India was bestowed with honorary membership.