Unusual, to say the least, is IATA World
Cargo Symposium (WCS) taking place in Vancouver, Canada next week (March
8-11) that is supposed to play it fair and square right down the middle
favoring no one—running a sign-up option on the IATA Cargo website
WCS registration form for an awards presentation event put up by an
Last time we checked the IATA website,
there seemed to be a dozen or more sponsors of WCS listed that have
apparently not been offered or given such advantage.
Put another way, this is the first time
we can recall any IATA meeting processing money for an event put up
by a third party.
This fourth WCS is, in fact, a packaged
and promoted (Air Cargo News FlyingTypers has been working
at branding this event for the past four years) outgrowth of the old
IATA yearly cargo meetings that have been held almost forever.
As part of its mandate, IATA must gather
its airline members every year and hold an annual meeting to have the
work of the conference bodies voted on and approved.
IATA then publishes every year following
the conference the latest version of the manual – Cargo Services
Conference Resolutions and Cargo Agency Conference respectively, revealing
what has happened and what IATA hopes will happen in the year ahead.
Airline delegates and IATA officials conduct
these meetings behind closed doors (and will do so again at YVR) with
no public or press allowed, with the exception of paying members in
its various Partnership Programs.
Recently IATA farmed out all of its meetings
& events to a company called WorldTek.
But we wonder, is IATA by allowing its
website to book business, sanctioning an event for one company above
all others, playing fair with everybody else?
Despite its public image of being an egalitarian
and non-profit trade representative body, apparently business thrives
behind the scenes – the higher the pay the more generous the prize.
Maybe IATA should allow attendees that
support WCS to sell and process payments through IATA for promotional
materials, subscriptions, tote bags or maybe even t-shirts via the IATA
Seriously this apparent partiality by
IATA serves no one but IATA—not necessarily its members.
It underscores that the organization may
have departed on a path that is less fair and balanced toward industry
stakeholders and media.
We also wonder why IATA Cargo WCS IV in
Vancouver (March 8-11) and Airport Council International in Seattle,
Washington (March 9-11 Annual Air Cargo meeting) are being held at the
same time next week?
How are stakeholders supposed to be in
two places at once?
Don’t these mega-organizations talk
to one another or consider for a minute the benefits for their members?
Maybe worse these two major organizations
look like they are playing gotcha with each other by holding their conferences
at the exact same time at air cargo’s expense.
But in what might be the snub of the century
(so far) Airports Council International Cargo’s major sponsoring
publication in Seattle is the same publication now handing out airport
awards at that “Partner Event” in Vancouver that is being
(as mentioned) marketed with payments accepted via IATA’s website.
We wonder why would ACI Cargo next week
in Seattle not be the venue for airport awards?
The bigger issue here is, that coming
off maybe the worst year in the history of the air cargo business, this
industry can barely afford to be losers anymore, especially about making
a hard choice as to which event to attend next week.
Disappointing, to say the least, is the
rise of hype and loss of hope and promise that IATA Cargo was actually
building their annual meetings into something new, progressive open,
vital and different.
After three attempts, WCS unfortunately
in some respects continues to be the same old IATA annual cargo meetings
with added window dressing on a larger scale, cleverly marketed and
poised as the ‘must attend’ event of the year. So as it
tries again, we continue to accentuate the positive, while keeping hope
alive, thinking ultimately the verdict on IATA WCS should be tendered
based on tangible and measurable results and not by hype.
read more on Air cargo awards click here "Who
Profits From Awards"