Formal meetings of the International Handbell Committee (IHC) did not begin until the Fourth International Symposium hosted by Korea in 1990 although informal meetings had been held at all previous Symposia. At the first Symposium in 1984 at Arcata, California the attendees were from the United States, Japan and one from Canada. Early on participants were eager to learn, share and explore possible new venues and countries in which to hold the Symposium.
By the time of the second International Symposium in Gotemba, Japan in 1986, word had spread and final numbers were 190 from Japan, 142 from USA, 21 from Canada, 23 from Korea, 7 from the United Kingdom, and 2 from New Zealand. A meeting was held to discuss possible future prospects, but it became evident after the meeting that through lack of knowledge regarding the handbell world in other countries, it was possible that mistakes in protocol, decision-making and communication could easily be made.
Another informal meeting was held at the third Symposium at Exeter in England in 1988. By the time of the Fourth Symposium in Seoul, Korea in 1990, delegates decided to meet formally and begin the process of developing policies, procedures, goal statements and some governance ideas to ease the way for growth and provision of opportunities to share the passion for handbells and their music internationally.
The IHC has continued to meet during all subsequent symposia. The development of this website serves as a link for the worlds community of ringing as the IHC strives to fulfill its Mission and Vision.