IAPCO Training 2017-05-17T08:25:22+01:00

IAPCO Training

IAPCO have kindly agreed that all ABPCO members can receive the IAPCO web-edge member rates for their core PCO training webinars.   For details about the modules, please see below.

This means that all 7 modules can be watched for the total price of $180 (a discount of $100).  Please use the code IAPCO2017DIS at the final stage of the purchase.

The product can be purchased at:


PCO Essentials Introductory Pack

The PCO Essentials Introductory pack contains seven webinars which are presented by IAPCO Council Members. This particular set of webinars are geared towards congress essentials.

• Introduction to the Association Meetings Market – Michel Neijmann

• The Framework – Jan Tonkin

• Budgeting and Cashflow Forecasting – Jan Tonkin

• Promotion of a Congress – Andre Vietor

• Exhibitions – Mathias Posch

• Abstract Handling/ Scientific Programme – Mathias Posch

• Registration – Patrizia Buongiorno

“The IAPCO Edge webinars are very important and should be a must watch for any conference co-ordination team. The first three make for an excellent inclusion in the orientation process of any new staff members or interns to watch on their first few days of the job (or even before they start!). “ – Karen Hilliard, African Agenda

Introduction to the Association Meetings Market

When you are reading this, it is fair to conclude that you are showing an interest in the world of (international) meetings. The meetings industry – also referred to as business events industry – represents an enormous and growing part of the world economy. But not only that; meetings also play an important role in the development of thought, knowledge and education of people worldwide, and as such contribute to cultural understanding and respect in a global environment. The industry is evolving and change is rampant.

The terminology in the meetings industry can vary across organisations e.g. association, society, institute are the different names an officially formed and organised group of people may use. The meeting can be a conference, congress, convention, symposium, forum, or any other gathering of people. The international organising body can be referred to as the international council, board, executive, committee or any other such term.  The programme can have abstracts, papers, summaries, proceedings, plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, break outs, streams, syndicate sessions, workshops just to name a few. It is important to identify the different types of associations and understand how associations drive value to their members. In this session the focus is on Association Meetings, providing some basic knowledge on this sector of the meetings industry.

The Framework

You have won the pitch, you have a contract in place and now you need to begin the business of managing the event. Where do you start? How do you ensure you capture the vision and initial ideas for the event? How do you get all the parties aligned in their thinking? How can you inspire confidence in the way you will approach the project?

Creating a framework document achieves all of these goals. It provides the opportunity to crystallise the thinking that is done at the outset and delivers the platform on which a detailed project plan can be compiled. It also demonstrates that you know how to efficiently and effectively manage the event.  The framework has a short lifespan. It is designed to describe initial thinking and is subsequently replaced by a project plan detailing tasks, timings and responsibilities.  This presentation focuses on the purpose of the framework, its elements and how to use the document during the first phase of a project.

Budgeting and Cashflow Forecasting

Developing a budget is one of the first and most important tasks in managing a conference. In the initial planning phase, the development of a budget helps to establish whether the conference will be viable i.e. whether total revenues will cover total costs. Compiling a cashflow chart based on the budget highlights any seed funding needed, at what point in the project it will be needed and when it can be repaid.

As planning progresses and commitments are made to suppliers, the budget is updated with those costs together with any revised estimates of attendance and sponsorship revenue.  This presentation describes how to collate information about the costs and sources of and present them in a format which can be readily understood. It also outlines how budget and cashflow information can be used to inform decision making over the lifespan of a conference.

Promotion of a Congress

Maximising congress attendance has become one of the greatest challenges for associations. To ensure people will register for a congress it is important to get the basics right: a cutting edge scientific programme, an attractive programme design and formats allowing for delegate engagement and providing good networking opportunities, as well as best ROI or ROO!  But the key question is: How do we effectively communicate in order to reach 100% of our target group and to achieve the desired impact taking into account the generational differences? A 360º marketing and communication strategy is needed which encompasses the three main areas of marketing:

1. Digital marketing embracing brand creation, congress promotion via the official congress website, video, webinars, on-line “teaser” sessions, congress
app, video, electronic marketing such as email blasts and e-newsletters and social media campaigns

2.Traditional marketing methods including printed promotional activities, advertising and PR

3.Face to face marketing consisting of promotional campaigns in collaboration with industry and sponsors, promotion through an ambassador programme acting as an extended sales force, as well as promotional campaigns at other industry events and the preceding conference

Social media campaigns help to reach out to those potential conference delegates not covered in any existing database or mailing list. It requires some expertise though to use the right media and channels depending on whom we are targeting and for what purpose.


Exhibitions have become the major space for interaction between industry and professionals. They are therefore an integral part of a successful conference. The session will outline the process of planning and managing an exhibition step by step – starting with comparing an exhibition alongside a conference with a tradeshow and outlining important differences. Further, the session will touch on the creation of the Exhibitor Prospectus as well as the Technical Manual, the designing of a showfloor, the different booth options as well as general management tips and must do’s.  At the end of the session, the participants will have a clear understanding of the various steps in Exhibition Management, and will be able to create a realistic timeline by understanding the full cycle of the Exhibition Management Process.

Abstract Handling/Scientific Programme

It may seem obvious; the core of every meeting is the content of the program itself, therefore this webinar will focus on all aspects of program management – from Abstract Management to the importance of Continuing Education credits for participants.

The session will include an overview of session types and characteristics to give a general idea on how a conference is being composed and what to keep in mind. The difference between invited program and crowd-sourced programs will be explored and the benefit to individual participants explained.

At the end of the session, the participants should be able to understand the way a conference program is created and be ready to dive deeper into the specifics of their companies Abstract Management and Programme Management tools.


Registration has always been (and always will be) the central work of a PCO. It can be considered the “essence” of our profession. It is the first interactive contact between the PCO and the congress participants; the main source of all congress related information and the vehicle for contracting additional and/or optional services; and it represents the only assured source of income
for the congress – an indispensable revenue to reach budget goals.

Registration equals access, as it is the only way to attend scientific sessions and/or parallel industry exhibitions as well as other defined services included in the different registration categories.  Handling registrations is not limited to data entry, but starts beforehand with careful planning of the logistics and the gathering of all relevant congress information.  Each participant who registers is an individual client who pays a fee for certain services and has his/her specific needs and special requirements must be addressed and satisfied.

Establishing an effective pre-registration system is essential. Deciding which technology is the most suitable for you and your clients, and how to use it efficiently to ensure the perfect registration system. On-site registration is as important as the advance procedures. Delegate technology is today’s essential component.