The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) has announced plans for its 30th anniversary.
Founded in 1981 and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1987, it is planning a raft of activities.
Throughout 2017 and into 2018, ABPCO will facilitate peer-to-peer roundtable forums for conference organisers to come together to share best practice and experiences. The first session for 2017 was held on 1 March International Confec, and was open to all ABPCO members. Led by Aileen Crawford of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, the round-table covered conference legacy, impact in practice, and how to measure the impact on brand profile, audience growth, networks, and delegate experience.
Celia Lloyd of Happening Conferences and Dr. Sandro Carnicelli of the University of the West of Scotland, also held a roundtable at Eventist at Confex on the importance of industry connections.
Sarah Storie-Pugh, a founder and honorary member of ABPCO, said: “It really does not seem so long ago since six of us, competitors and friends, sat around a table to discuss how we were to ensure the recognition and quality of the PCO, as opposed to travel agencies and DMC’s. ABPCO has come a long way since then, strengthening the profession of the congress organiser and becoming a leader of national PCO associations worldwide.”
In addition to the round-table sessions, ABPCO will be facilitating promoted familiarisation trips, going to venues and destinations that have a new space, technology or service to offer to professional conference organisers. The first trip will take place in Cambridge on 25-26 April, followed by another trip from 13-17 July in Berlin.
ABPCO members will attend the Chairmen’s Lunch and Excellence Awards on 8 December at Harrogate International Centre, followed by the AGM in London on 12 January 2018 at etc. venues County Hall. At intervals during the year, ABPCO will also hold a series of ‘Best Practice’ visits.