UIA Associations Round Tables 2017 
From Nancy Carfrae
UIA Associations Round Tables
What is a UIA Round Table?
The UIA Round Tables are the core of UIA’s education project. The participants and speakers are people involved in running associations – of all sorts. The diversity of international associations attending any given UIA Round Table is dizzying, yet each UIA Round Table confirms that we have more in common than our associations’ names might indicate. We share challenges and questions and concerns. We often share a close acquaintance with managing on small budgets. Above all, we share a passion for what we do.
What’s on the programme?
The programme of a UIA Round Table is straightforward: bring together people who are involved in running associations, have some of them tell about their experience with particular challenges, and give ample time and space for all to share knowledge. In short presentations and panels, and in longer workshops and discussion groups, we exchange our experiences in overcoming (or not!) challenges in membership, communication, funding, governance, and other common issues.
How long is it?
We know that UIA is not the only association with a limited budget of time, staff and money. There are many like us! This is why the UIA Round Tables are short (two half-days or one full day). We move each year so that different associations have the chance to attend a UIA Round Table without travelling long distances. With the help of our partners, the registration fee is deliberately kept low (this year it is under 60 euro).
How many people participate?
At the UIA Round Table Asia-Pacific we expect about 100 to 120 participants, representing some 50 to 60 organizations. In Europe we can usually count on reaching our maximum of 200 participants, representing over 100 international bodies. At both, there are around twenty countries represented. We deliberately keep the numbers small so that the programme and the networking can be relatively informal.
And if I can’t come?
On the event website, roundtable.uia.org, you can find the speakers’ presentations, some reports and photos. We don’t make reports on the group discussions, though, as we’d rather people were listening and talking than making notes. So what you’ll find on the website is really just the bare bones. As the presentations are all fairly short – the emphasis is on discussion – we haven’t yet seen the added value in recording them, whether for live-streaming or archives. We’re still on the lookout for a (affordable) way to give a virtual participant the same UIA Round Table experience as the ones continuing conversations over coffee.
What are your signs of success?
At UIA we consider a Round Table a success if the participants go home with new ideas, with increased motivation, and with names of people with whom they want to stay in touch.
What do the participants say?
“I am still buzzing from the whole experience and have come back to work this week with a renewed determination and belief in the power of associations.”
- Chloe Menhinick, Network Engagement Manager, International Water Association
"I have gained more from the Round Table in terms of networking and opening up opportunities than I had expected."
- Sally Kendall, International Collaboration for Community Health Nursing Research
“It was another great occasion to meet and learn from my peers. Thank you for arranging it so well! I enjoyed every moment.”
- Felicitas Wressnig, World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations
Great! Where do I go?
5th UIA Round Table Asia-Pacific in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on 21 and 22 September 2017
11th UIA Round Table Europe in Brussels, Belgium on 10 November 2017
Read more on roundtable. uia. org