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ABPCO Roundtable 2018-02-07T11:48:47+00:00

ABPCO-event-logos-roundtableABPCO roundtable events

These are peer to peer forums for conference organisers to come together to share best practice.  They give an opportunity to share recent experiences and, importantly, to formulate a collective view of the common challenges that lie ahead.    The meetings are ‘closed’ and Chatham House Rules apply.

Next Dates for the ABPCO Round Table Meetings:

 Maximise your delegates’ catering experience

On one level, food and drink is a basic necessity.

On another, it can absolutely make or break a successful conference.

Catering can be the biggest source of complaints, yet other times barely mentioned at all. Get it right and you may not receive accolades, but get it wrong and you’ll know all about it.

Flexibility in food and beverage can also be the biggest sticking point between a conference organiser and a venue.

Added to this complex mix, awareness of dietary needs and demands for greater choice in food are becoming more complex with expectations rising higher and higher.

So what’s the key to getting the right balance at the right cost?

In short, how do you make sure catering is seamless, successful and satisfying?

Join us to explore one of the most common but complicated topics faced by all professional conference organisers and venues.

Amongst other topics, we’ll discuss:

  • Trends in catering – healthy eating versus biscuits and bacon butties
  • The dynamics of delegate flow and keeping delegates fed and watered
  • The increasing role that budget plays in decision-making – what does value look like?
  • Emerging interest in the “local cuisine” experience
  • The advantages and disadvantages of different options – from bowl food to cash catering
  • Do purpose-built venues have a competitive edge over others?
  • What does “flexibility” in catering mean for both the conference organiser and venue?

ABPCO Building Brilliance Experience Programme  #leadtheway

Join Team ICC Wales for a welcome dinner and overnight stay prior to the ABPCO roundtable, and find out all the latest on the UK’s most exciting new, purpose-built venue.

Wednesday 7th February
From 4.00pm Arrive at your leisure and check in for a complimentary overnight stay at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel
7.00pm Be our guest for a fabulous welcome dinner with Team ICC Wales
Thursday 8th February
8:30am Breakfast at your leisure
9.30am Visit to our Sensory Sales Suite, overlooking the ICC Wales construction site, and a short tour of our partner hotel, Coldra Court
11.45am Registration and lunch
12.15pm ABPCO Round Table Discussions
2.15pm Close and depart at leisure

Please note this event is for Full and Associate ABPCO PCO members only

ABPCO Roundtable Event Booking Form




UK HEALTHCARE REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: the implications for the Medical Society meeting
Tuesday, 27 March 2018, The Victory Services Club, London 11am – 2.30pm

Healthcare Regulatory compliance ostensibly is the main responsibility of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, giving direction in a self-regulatory environment, which determines how they operate and engage with healthcare professionals, patient organisations and the general public.

However as organisers of “3rd party scientific meetings, which create an engagement platform for industry to come together with the various stakeholder groups, the impact of the decisions being taken by the commercial healthcare sector and their regulatory bodies are having a direct impact in the administration, event design and revenue streams of Society meetings.

Whilst medical societies could disregard the healthcare regulatory changes and elect not to accommodate them, in doing so it is likely to result in the commercial stakeholders withdrawing their support for the association activities. This is likely to have a significant impact on revenue and viability of Society’s activities, as well as being detrimental to the content and research being discussed.

There is still significant confusion and misunderstanding of what the various codes mean for Society meeting organisers and how they can take account of the codes that apply to create a meeting or congress which offers a compliant environment for industry stakeholders .

In this seminar we will plan to build understanding of:
• Who are the regulators?
• Are their differences impacting national and international meetings?
• The areas of meeting delivery most likely to be “hot spots”
• What’s new? – EFPIA Tov, Medtech Europe Direct HCP sponsorship and how do these apply in the UK
• Understanding the revised IPCAA Guidelines
• Congress vetting
• Your Questions answered

Facilitator: Caroline Mackenzie, Global Association Partners 

Audience Relevance
• In-house medical society PCOs
• PCOs managing medical society meetings
• Venues and destination stakeholders targeting the medical meeting sector


ABPCO Roundtable Event Booking Form




I do hope that you can attend International Confex this year – there is a lot jam-packed into the 2 days!  You will need to register to attend Confex and then it would be appreciated if you would register for the sessions as well, so that numbers can be effectively managed….

The first day (Wednesday 28th Feb) is the Association Event Forum.  Lots of great speakers – including some ABPCO members and moderator!  You can pick and choose which sessions you attend, as I know you will also want to spend time at the exhibition.  Please register your interest for the Forum here Here is what is on;

Time Speaker Outline
10.00 -10.40


Mike Hewitt Managing Director, Adaugeo Media


How to build a successful association with no budget, no members and no experience

Mike will tell the story of how the SCF Community built its event from 40 people on a university campus to 250 in Europe and expanded to run global events in Singapore and Frankfurt, leveraging those events to build a global community of over 4000 members which runs at a surplus.



Kate Sargent Deputy MD, Bioscientifica Ltd


Event Crisis Management – Miss it At Your Peril

What happens when the red phone rings, when the news is coming live from your conference city, when the chips are down and all eyes are on you? What do associations need to consider when planning for things not to be 100% perfect?  What do you need to know about crisis plans, insurance, risk, sharks and mosquitoes? Using some case studies of different crises personally faced, we will explore the absolutely no-nos and the definite must-haves so that we can all sleep a little better at night in an ever changing events landscape.

11.40- 12.20


Jim Lucas Senior Project Manager, Rapiergroup/ Hampton Medical Conferences


Can you afford a PCO? Do you have to?

A PCO will drive up the quality of your events, focus on boosting delegate numbers and make for a smoother management experience, but professional support costs. Can a PCO give support for free? I argue yes they should!



Leah Carter Global Head of Events, Association of MBAs


Running 5-Star Events on a Shoestring

How do we produce world class events with limited budget and resources; attract prolific speakers? Engage, surprise and delight our delegates and guests to maintain repeat business

1.15-1.55 Damian Hutt, Executive Director, Association of Association Executives


Raising member engagement: Essential to leading your sector
2.00- 2.40


Rebecca Harper Membership & Events Officer, British Parking Association


Va va Vroom: Zhuzhing a Mature Market

Parking. Not a subject that typically evokes excitement amongst many. As a market, largely saturated by middle aged men in pinstripe suits, bound to the typical bi-annual board meetings, how do you mix things up and add a bit of oomph?

2.50- 3.30


Theodore Spyrou Associate Director, Ashridge Associates


Learn How to Innovate Relationships with Event Sponsors & Developing Association Partners

What can your sponsors support?

How to provide supportable packages?

What can you do pre and post- event?

How are Associations innovating their sponsor packages?

3.40 – 4.20


Alice Higgins Senior Event Manager, Executive Business Support


How to touch your delegates (and not get arrested)

In a world where so much emphasis is placed on technology, it’s easy to lose the human touch. This session focuses on the ways to make your delegates feel connected, engaged and keep coming back for more.

On the second day we have 3 ABPCO branded round tables in the morning, and obviously more opportunity to attend other talks and see the exhibitors.  The roundtables can be booked at this link;

10.00 – 11.00 Alan Williams, Servicebrand Global

Heather Lishman, ABPCO

Shh…. the Values Economy is here

We are living in extraordinary times – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous.

The pace of change will never be this slow again.

In the events sector, many traditional approaches are no longer relevant.

There is no doubt that a different strategic approach is needed for organisations to create sustainable performance.

Collaboration….engagement…… agility… and innovation are the new black.  The successful SERVICEBRANDs of the future will be those who have a compelling purpose and share common values with stakeholders.

Heather Lishman and Alan Williams give a hands on, practical guide to defining your organisation’s Purpose and bringing the organisational Values to life.

12.00-1.00 Julian Hurst, Foremarke Exhibitions “How do you sell exhibition space without selling out?”

Every Association conference has the potential to bolt on an exhibition, but does this really benefit the members or compromise the integrity of the association?

This roundtable will be a discussion on how you maintain the balance between commercialism and member value to create a healthy revenue stream that enables serious investment in your member offering.


2.00-3.00 Christine Andrew, DQM GRC A demystification of the dangers and discussion of the opportunities of the regulation. Christine will speak about a road-map for associations wanting to become GDPR-compliant in order to avoid being a data disaster and, how, through the use of properly compliant and permissioned data, to become data-driven.

I do hope that you can make it, and I look forward to seeing you there!