This article was originally published on iccworld.org, and was written by Irina Bryksin.

The red update button is your friend! The more you use it, the more concrete information you get. ICCA members - together with the ICCA team - are working hard to achieve a mutually beneficial situation of sharing information on the ICCA Association Database.

Keep finding ways to press it and you'll be in the running to become the next Researcher of The Month - or even Researcher of The Year 2017!

For August, Andrea Heaney, Manager of the Be a Host Program at Tourism Vancouver has secured the coveted title! Here's what Andrea had to say:

  1. Why do you consider it so important to contribute your meeting information to ICCA Data?

    When prospecting, the process is much smoother and more efficient if the information for the meeting you’re researching is accurate and up-to-date. If all ICCA members are contributing meeting information on a regular basis we are not only saving our own time, but the valuable time of our clients and our potential local hosts. It helps to better determine whether a particular meeting is a good fit for the destination and allows reliable, consistent knowledge exchange between cities.
     
  2. What would you like to say to other ICCA members who haven’t actively used the ICCA Database?

    The opportunities are endless! The database allows you to save and create custom searches that make sense for your destination. You can target based on industry, size and need period. The database is one of our primary prospecting tools and helps us stay on top of upcoming opportunities so that, if necessary, we can get a head-start in connecting with the right local host organizations.
     
  3. Do you have any tips for your fellow ICCA members?

    Explore Big Data! This is an amazing extension of the database and can help guide you in identifying the right ambassadors for the right meetings. Big Data will even go as far as to tell you if a particular contact is an ‘active champion’, meaning they have been actively tied to meetings in the past. Through the Explore Industry tab, you can identify the top industries for educational institutions in your city and find how you rank in comparison to destinations you may be competing with. These are all great tools to use when prospecting potential meeting opportunities that align with your cities leading industry sectors.