Slide background
ABPCO Chairmen’s Lunch & Excellence Awards 2018-11-09T12:46:04+01:00

Chairmen’s Lunch and Excellence Awards

The submissions for the voted awards are in, and the finalists will be announced at the beginning of September.   You have until the end of October to enter for a Chairmen’s Special Award, how to enter can be found here

The awards ceremony is an interactive event, with presentations from each of the nominated finalists with peer judging on the day.  It really supports our values #excellence #learning #belonging and our desire to enable human enrichment through face to face gatherings.

12th – 13th December 2018

This year we are heading to Glasgow!  Thank you to Aileen Crawford and the team at the Glasgow Convention Bureau and to Kathleen Warden and Shelley Spencer from SEC for sponsoring our annual celebration event of the year.  Glasgow, voted one of the friendliest cities in the world and UNESCO City of Music, is famed for its Victorian architecture and the works of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, for which the city is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018.  This hugely popular event will start on 12th December at 5.45pm with a tour of the newly opened Clydesdale whisky distillery, followed by our Networking Dinner in the SkyBar of the UK’s first Radisson Red.  An optional tour of the city, whilst enjoying tea and scones, will be hosted by the Glasgow Convention Bureau prior to lunch and the Excellence Awards on the 13th December.

The action packed itinerary is as follows;

Wednesday 12th December

5.15pm – Meet and Greet by a team member of the SEC in the lobby of your hotel (if you are staying on the SEC campus!), and they will accompany you to the SEC

5.30pm – Meet outside the SEC entrance to see the Hydro lit up in ABPCO colours – we will be taking a group photo, so wrap up warm and join us!

5,45pm – Gather on the SEC concourse to walk to the Clydeside Distillery

A new addition to the SEC Campus sees Glasgow’s stills flowing again at the Clydeside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Distillery, just a few minutes walk from the SEC. ABPCO guests can immerse themselves in Glasgow’s Dockside Story as they wander around this engaging and informative exhibition.

7.15pm Radisson Red

In 2018 Glasgow welcomed the UK’s first Radisson RED and the city’s first official rooftop bar where ABPCO guests will enjoy a panoramic view of the SEC campus during an informal drinks and buffet dinner.  The cost for the supper is £40 per person, payable in advance.

To book for the evening activities, bus tour and awards please email stating the activities that you would like to join in with, and whether you have any dietary requirements.  Glasgow Convention Bureau have kindly organised special accommodation rates, these specially negotiated rates are shown at this website

Those registering for the ABPCO event will be able to arrange their accommodation through the official website.  Lynn-Ann from the Convention Bureau will be in touch to arrange your transfers.  Just call 0141 566 0836 or email with your travel details.

Thursday 13th December

Blow away the cobwebs from the night before with a leisurely city tour. Check out and meet at the SEC at 9.30am, bring your luggage to the SEC Cloakroom. It’s a 9.45am departure for the hour long Glasgow tour.

9.30am Red Bus Bistro

Step aboard the vintage Routemaster bus with the Glasgow Convention Bureau team and enjoy a brief city tour, while enjoying morning tea or coffee with warm home-baked scones served with traditional preserves and cream. This carefully converted sightseeing bus provides a delightful atmosphere for ABPCO guests as they familiarise themselves with the city. Hosted by Glasgow Convention Bureau.

11am Join Liz Agostini from Confex in Clyde Built for a coffee and a chat about the sessions you would like to see included on Day 1 at Confex 2019 for the Association Event Forum.  Liz has lots of potential topics from speakers, and she would like your help to refine these into a valuable stream.  Come along for a bit of fun and informal voting!

11.30am Never been to the SEC before?  Join Shelley for an orientation tour of this impressive venue.  Meet outside Clyde Built at the entrance to the concourse.

11.45am Registration opens for the Chairmen’s Lunch and the prestigious Excellence Awards. The Excellence Awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate excellence, best practice and the best in our industry.  We look forward to a lovely lunch, great wine, super company and of course the presentations from the finalists in each award category.  Come along to network, learn, share best practice and celebrate the achievements of ABPCO members.

3.15pm The event aims to finish at 3.15pm, but if you fancy staying on in the City for a spot of sight-seeing or Christmas shopping then Lynn-Ann will have lots of great suggestions for you.

As you can see, we have planned an exciting couple of days and hope that you will join us for as much as possible.   The deadline for booking is the 1st December, so get it in your diaries and we will see you in Glasgow!

Archived Previous Excellence Awards

ABPCO Chairmen’s Lunch & Excellence Awards

Was held on 7th – 8th December 2017 – Harrogate Convention Centre

Visit Belfast, RCN and MCI UK win at ABPCO Excellence Awards

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) celebrated its 30th Anniversary in style on Friday last week with its largest ever Chairmen’s lunch and Excellence Awards.  The event was held at Harrogate Convention Centre.

More than 100 ABPCO members came together to celebrate not just 30 years of ABPCO but also this year’s Excellence Awards Winners, which were selected via a live vote following presentations from the shortlisted entries.

The winners were

  • Best Conference by an In-House Conference Organiser: Royal College of Nursing, whilst Macmillan Cancer Support and NCRI were also shortlisted.
  • Best Conference by an Agency Conference Organiser: MCI UK, whilst BioScientifica and Hampton Medical were also shortlisted.
  • Best Industry Partnership: Visit Belfast, whilst Shocklogic and AECC were also shortlisted.
  • Chairmen’s Award – Madalina Marincas from Opening Doors and Venues

Therese Dolan, joint-chair of ABPCO commented: “2017 has been a wonderful year for ABPCO.  We have used it as a chance to celebrate not just the association but everything our members have to offer.  The Excellence Awards were the perfect finish to the year.  The entries were our strongest ever and it was a real challenge to create a shortlist so choosing a winner on the day was incredibly difficult.  Thank you to all those who entered and congratulations to the winners.”

In addition, the ABPCO Chairs also recognised Heather Lishman for her dedication to the association over the last 6 years.  Rose Padmore, joint-chair of ABPCO said: “Time and again our members have commented that Heather is the lynchpin that keeps the association running.  She keeps us on track and is full of energy and enthusiasm.  Without Heather ABPCO would be a poorer experience for the board, the members and all who work alongside us.”

ABPCO is the UK’s leading organisation for association conference and event organisers, industry associates and those studying for, or seeking a career in the association meetings industry. For more information about ABPCO visit

ABPCO Chairmen’s Lunch & Excellence Awards

Was held on 8th – 9th December 2016 – Manchester Central

Royal Society of Medicine, SECC, Conference Partners and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau honoured at ABPCO Excellence Awards

Royal Society of Medicine, SECC, Conference Partners and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau have been honoured at the Association of British Conference Organisers (ABPCO) Annual Excellence Awards.

The winners were announced at the Chairmen’s Lunch, held on Friday (December 9, 2016) at Manchester Central, which bought together over 100 ABPCO members from both the supply and demand side of the industry.

The winners were

Best Conference by an In-House Conference Organiser: Royal Society of Medicine (BeyondBORDERS), whilst Diabetes UK (Diabetes UK Professional Conference) was also shortlisted.

  • Best Conference by an Agency Conference Organiser: Conference Partners (EuroScience Open Forum 2016). Also shortlisted were Meeting Makers (IAPD 2015), Happening (International Symposium on Paediatric Neurosurgery 2016) and MCI UK (World Hepatitis Summit 2015).
  • Best Industry Partnership: SECC (RCN Congress). Also shortlisted were Cvent (AEO Conference) and Shocklogic (AAGBI 2016).

Excellence Awards celebrate the very best the industry has to offer. The shortlist was drawn up by a panel drawn from the ABPCO Executive Board with the finalists giving a five minute presentation to demonstrate their expertise and best practice. The winners were chosen by a live vote from the audience during the event.

The 2016 Chairmen’s Special Award, which recognises CSR and the ability to influence and demonstrate best practice, was presented to Glasgow City Marketing Bureau for their campaign to assess the true legacy of conventions.  In particular, their work has gone beyond just the financial to include long term sustainable and social impacts on delegates, associations, the local community and patient groups, the city and its partners.

Sarah Fitzpatrick, General Manager, Conference Partners UK and winner of the award for Best Conference by an Agency commented: “Winning this award here at Manchester Central is the icing on the cake.  The ESOF 2016 event, for which we won the award was held here and it was a true success.  In particular, we benefited from Manchester’s unique ability to access world leading subject matter experts who added significant value to the event through their roles as speakers and attendees.  The Excellence Awards are a true reflection of best practice across the industry and we are delighted that our peers amongst the ABPCO membership voted for us.”

Caroline Windsor, joint chair of ABPCO comments; “I’d like to congratulate The Royal Society of Medicine, SECC, Conference Partners and Glasgow for their winning submissions.  The calibre of entries for these awards continue to rise year on year and demonstrates the quality of work our members carry out. The Excellence Awards were established to highlight the expertise and best practice of association conference organisers and are a great showcase for our industry.”

Welcoming the announcement of the SECC as the winner of ABPCO’s Best Industry Partnership Award, Conference Sales Director Kathleen Warden said:  “We’re delighted to receive this recognition from ABPCO for our work with the Royal College of Nursing. This was a partnership that was very dear to our hearts as a demonstration of our commitment to giving delegates a range of healthy choices during their time with us. It shows what can happen when a venue and an event organiser come together with a shared purpose and great energy. I’m happy to congratulate everyone at the SECC and RCN who put so much into making this partnership work.”