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Our History

ABPCO's strategic aims

  • Position ABPCO as the leading body representing the interests of Professional Conference and Event Organisers and increase its profile and recognition thereby raising the volume and value of business being won by its members.
  • To constantly develop and enhance the benefits it provides to ABPCO members, who offer conference and event management services to clients, by creating opportunities for networking and by encouraging its members to achieve the highest possible standards of excellence.
  • To raise standards of professionalism across the meetings industry through the provision of education, training and personal development opportunities.
  • To ensure the UK meetings industry is able to compete on the world-stage through collaboration with other UK associations and national bodies (e.g. Memcom, UK Events, Institute of Event Management). 


ABPCO has been a commanding voice for Professional Conference Organisers for more than thirty years.

In that time we have seen a steady growth in membership, and have led on industry initiatives and campaigns. 

We have always been keen to collaborate, and work hard to fulfil the mission of our members to showcase excellence in association conferences and events.  

See our constitution here



ABPCO has been incredibly lucky over its time to have been led by an amazing group of focused and driven individuals. We thank each and every one of them for honing the association into the form it takes today. The founder members were; Diana Ambrose, Conference Services Ltd, Ann Cook, ConEXion (Conference & Exhibition Services) Ltd, Jan Devon, Conference Co-Ordinates, Anthea Fortescue, Conference Associates Ltd, Pat Longley, Conference Consultants, Caroline Roney, Medical Conference Organisers, David Seekings, Conference Consultant, Sarah Storie-Pugh, Conference Services Ltd, Tony Waters, JWA Conferences & Seminars, Joan Wilkins, JWA Conferences & Seminars

1981 - 1988

Tim Fortescue

1988 - 1991

Ron Hurley

1991 - 1993

Caroline Roney

1993 - 1995

Sarah Storie-Pugh

1995 - 1998

David Campbell

1998 - 2001

Howard Evans

2001 - 2004

Peter Mainprice

2004 - 2006

Joy Horsfield-Gardner

2006 - 2007

Jonathan Wilson

2007 - 2009

Lesley Maltman

2009 - 2011

Rebecca Cadman-Jones

2011 - 2013

Michael Foreman

2013 - 2015

Jennifer Jenkins

2015 - 2017

Nicole Leida and Caroline Windsor

2017 - 2018

Rose Padmore and Therese Dolan

2018 - 2020

Jo Powel and Kate Sargent

2020 - 2022

Barbara Calderwood and Michael Smith

2022 - 2024

Emma Duffy and Sarah Byrne

ABPCO Mission Statement

ABPCO's mission is to develop and enhance the professional status of conference and event organisers and increase the recognition given to its members and to ABPCO as the leading representatives of the profession in the British Isles.