In a poll conducted among members of The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), 39 per cent of respondents said that either market conditions or finance represented their greatest concern.
The mini poll asked the association’s members: ‘What part of your business keeps you up at night?’
- 39 per cent cited finance – relating to either budgets or market conditions
- This was closely followed by 24 per cent citing sales and marketing
- While 21 per cent cited management and HR
Issues of concern to the PCO’s questioned included reduced client training budgets and profitability versus the real cost of event delivery.
ABPCO board member and owner of Tekevents, Nicola Crossland (pictured) conducted the research which she claimed “offers real insight into the ongoing challenges faced by PCOs working across the UK.
“Our members are suffering not just from reducing budgets and tighter financial controls but also greater client expectations and competition from CVBs and DMCs, who provide a wider range of services,” Crossland said.
In response to these findings, ABPCO is running a first peer-to-peer debate at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 23 September. It will focus on the business challenges of running association conferences.
A key aim for the event is the production of a White Paper examining the challenges facing PCOs.
The association says the White Paper will be available via the ABPCO website once completed.
Crossland added: “The forthcoming debate will focus on partnership working and commercial considerations between association conference organisers and conference suppliers. It is the ideal forum to discuss many of the issues raised by the poll and we look forward to the input of both the panel and audience.”
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