ABBCO have developed a position as the leading voice of the PCO, working in partnership with other industry bodies, including the BVEP (Business Visits and Events Partnership) to drive change for the better in the meetings sector and ensure that PCOs are recognised for their expertise and value to business.
Collaboration and Campaigns
As part of our Mission we see our role as collaborating on industry-changing campaigns, by facilitating the sharing of best practice across our membership base and working together as an industry to disseminate what we learn for the wider good. We can do so much more together than we could by ourselves.
The development of Conference Cloud followed an open forum debate at the ABPCO Summer Summit in Belfast in 2011, where PCO members raised concerns over the negative impact of high cost Wi-Fi access for delegates. The aim of the initiative was to garner support via an online petition while also working with conference venues to develop a free delegate Wi-Fi service.
The campaign secured the support of 200 venues across the UK, and engendered real change industry. ABPCO are proud to have been behind such a significant initiative which undoubtedly moved our meetings industry forward in terms of how we address delegate requirements. The campaign won Gold at the 11th MIMA award presentation in the ‘Best use of Budget’ category.
In 2015 ABPCO joined forces with M&IT magazine to launch its campaign for the living wage in live events. ABPCO members spend around £60mn per year on venues and suppliers, so have real influence in the industry.
The hotel and hospitality sectors are rated among the worst offenders for failing to pay frontline staff the living wage. The Centre for Research in Social Policy found that 90% of workers in the hospitality sector are paid under the living wage and, whilst it is not enforceable, people are now starting to question whether this is morally right. The campaign urged all event buyers to put the living wage at the top of the agenda when selecting a venue, and policy makers to address low pay in the sector.
The then Joint chairs Caroline Windsor and Nicole Leida said: “ABPCO has decided to support this campaign because we believe it will ensure the debate pursues the argument for a living wage for the events industry at a much higher level.
"We can’t demand our members or our suppliers to join us but we can try to persuade them of the validity of the argument as part of the M&IT campaign. We will be taking the debate to all stakeholders in our industry to try to get their support and recognising those who adopt the living wage as a policy."
The Business Visit and Events Partnership (BVEP)
ABPCO are active members of the BVEP, which is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.
The Partnership seeks to provide a cohesive point of view for the entire business visits and events sector. The BVEP works with prominent sector leaders including its partners, government departments and agencies to influence and develop policies and practices favourable to the growth of business events, and trade and creative enterprise through business visits and events.
It has the support of the leading trade and professional organisations and government agencies with a shared interest in the economic benefit and growth of conferences, meetings, exhibitions, trade fairs, incentive travel, corporate hospitality, ceremonies, as well as other business, sporting, cultural and festival events.