The Annual Meeting of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) begins today (15 February) in Dublin with delegates from 30 countries and six continents expected to attend. IAPCO collectively manages conferences for 1.2m delegates annually and contributes €3.71bn to business tourism worldwide.
The conference takes place from 15 to 17 February and is the first time in over 30 years that the event has been held in Ireland. Starting with a St Valentine’s Day themed welcome reception at the Westbury Hotel last night, the conference begins today with an opening address from Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, before three days of discussion and debate, with interaction and audience participation at the centre of the event design.
“We felt it was vital to bring this pro-active communication between the delegates and the scientific contributors right into the heart of the programme,” says MD of Keynote PCO, Noel Mitchell. “It’s important that we lead the way when designing and building a great event, making the best use of the technologies to do so.”
Dublin’s bid to host the elite group was a collaborative effort from Conference Partners, Keynote PCO and MCI Group, along with funding support from Fáilte Ireland. It is part of a wider strategy of connection the tourism community with the business sector as a whole to attract major conferences to Ireland and embrace the knowledge base and economic output of both.
“This collaboration is what sets Ireland apart and is something we hope to demonstrate to our international colleagues,” says MD of Conference Partners, Nicola McGrane.
The theme of the conference is ’Riding the winds of change – new strategies for Professional Conference Organisers’ and will focus on the changing role of the professional conference organiser from a primarily logistics partner to a long-term strategic one.
Jean Evans, European Director – Associations Relations, MCI Group, says: “If there was one thing we’d like to impress on people through this conference it would be this: business tourism is a key pillar of our economy, to keep it that way we have to constantly evolve and embrace new technologies and methods; if we don’t, then we’ll be blown away.”
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