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ICCA’s Elif Balci Fisunoglu receives prestigious ACE of MICE "Outstanding Service Award"

Apr 11, 2019

In recognition of her contributions to the growth of the international meetings industry, both through her global advocacy as ICCA Regional Director Europe and during her meetings industry career in Turkey, Elif Balci Fisunoglu was handed the prestigious “Outstanding Service Award” by leading Turkish exhibition ACE of M.I.C.E. at the 7th ACE of M.I.C.E. Meetings and Events Awards ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey on 4th April.

An annual celebration, the illustrious ceremony honours the achievements of the movers and shakers in the Turkish meetings industry. The “Outstanding Service Award” is awarded every year to shine a spotlight on the achievements of Turkey’s most prominent meetings industry figures.

An ardent ambassador for the global meetings industry, Fisunoglu has held the position of ICCA Regional Director Europe since January 2018, where she leads the European Regional Office and represents and advances the interests of over 500 members in the European region, who are spread over six Chapters. Under her leadership, ICCA Europe has experienced fast-paced growth, welcoming 53 new and re-instated members since Fisunoglu took the helm.

Fisunoglu is a regular presence at the global trade association’s European Chapter events and major regional industry conferences, leading education sessions that address issues vital to the development of ICCA’s diverse European membership. 

In particular, she works closely with national governments, local convention bureaux and tourism boards on behalf of ICCA to develop regional association market segments. The focus of these partnerships is to improve national strategic approaches to international bidding, create platforms for networking between local ICCA Members and associations, and bring in business for local and national destinations. 

Before joining ICCA, Fisunoglu spent 15 years with the Istanbul Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she held senior sales and marketing positions before serving for over three years as General Manager. During this time, she was an extremely active contributor to the ICCA community and strong voice on behalf of her country’s fellow meetings industry professionals. 

ICCA currently has an active community of 32 Turkish member-suppliers, which has grown steadily as the meetings industry continues to be regarded with major importance in the country. Turkish Airlines remains a steadfast ICCA supporter and Istanbul Convention Bureau is now an ICCA Association Relations Partner. Antalya was also the host of the recent ICCA Mediterranean Chapter Summit, held from 17-19 February.

Unrivalled industry representative   Fisunoglu said of her recognition: “I am honoured to have been considered for the Outstanding Service Award for my role at ICCA. It is a great honour and privilege. 

I spent my career in the Turkish meeting industry from 2001 to 2018. During this period, I tried my best to actively represent my destination on the international stage, and also aimed to serve the global meetings industry by holding volunteer roles at international organisations such as ICCA, ECM, PCMA and MPI. ICCA has always been very special to me, as feeling part of the ICCA Family is a very unique experience. I was very lucky and glad to be invited to join the ICCA team as the Regional Director Europe at the beginning of 2018. 

In my role at ICCA’s European Regional Office, I work very closely with our members from all around, attending regional and national meeting industry events in our member countries and working closely with our member destinations to support them in developing their national association meetings market. Flying the ICCA flag all around Europe is a great honour for me, and I am very happy to see the increase at ICCA’s European membership and build relationships with the ICCA European Chapter and our members on a daily basis. Thank you to our Turkish colleagues and to ACE of M.I.C.E. for this amazing recognition!” The 7th ACE of M.I.C.E Meetings and Events Awards took place at the Istanbul Lutfi Kirdar Congress and Exhibition Center in Istanbul, Turkey on Wednesday 3 April 2019.

Photo: From right to left: Mr. Egemen Bagis, former Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, ICCA European Director Elif Balci Fisunoglu, Volkan Ataman, President of Tourism Medya Group, and the two MCs of the Award Ceremony.


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By: MC Media Group International Global Office Berlin | Editor-in-Chief Werner Kreis

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