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ABPCO celebrates 30th anniversary

ABPCO celebrates 30th anniversary

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), founded in 1981 and incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 1987, announces its plans for an exciting year of 30th anniversary activities.

ABPCO is the leading UK organisation for conference and event organisers working to deliver not-for-profit and association conferences, and is dedicated to helping individuals and organisations bring a strong sense of professionalism to their working practice by harnessing and sharing their collective skills, knowledge and experience.

Sarah Storie-Pugh, a founder and honorary member of ABPCO, said; “It really does not seem so long ago since six of us, competitors and friends, sat round a table to discuss how we were to ensure the recognition and quality of the PCO, as opposed to travel agencies and DMC’s.   ABPCO has come a long way since then, strengthening the profession of the congress organiser and becoming a leader of national PCO associations worldwide. Happy Birthday, ABPCO!”

Throughout 2017 and into 2018, ABPCO will facilitate peer-to-peer roundtable forums for conference organisers to come together to share best practice and experiences. The first session for 2017, was held on March 1st at CONFEX, and was open to all ABPCO members. Led by Aileen Crawford of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, the round-table covered conference legacy, impact in practice, and how to measure the impact on brand profile, audience growth, networks, and delegate experience.  Celia Lloyd of Happening Conferences and Dr. Sandro Carnicelli of the University of the West of Scotland, also held a roundtable at Eventit last week on the importance of industry connections.

Other roundtables will take place including the next one at CHS on 4th April, where Professor Rhodri Thomas of Leeds Becket University will host a workshop on innovation and Martin Linfield of Hiscox Event Insurance leads on risk assessments and cyber security at The Meeting Show on 13th June. Two further round-table sessions, open to all ABPCO members, will take place on exhibition trends, top tips and best practice at the ICC on 11th July another on ‘what keeps us awake at night?’ at The Kia Oval on 15th September.

In addition to the round-table sessions, ABPCO will be facilitating promoted familiarisation trips, going to venues and destinations that have a new space, technology or service to offer to professional conference organisers. The first trip will take place in Cambridge across 25th and 26th April, followed by another trip from 13th to 17th July in Berlin.

Later in the year, over 100 ABPCO members will attend the Chairmen’s Lunch and Excellence Awards due to be held on 8th December at Harrogate International Centre, followed by the AGM in London on 12th January at etc. venues County Hall.

At intervals during the year, ABPCO will also hold a series of ‘Best Practice’ visits. These visits are an excellent opportunity for ABPCO in-house PCO members to collaborate with industry colleagues, learning from each other to improve the service their association provides for its members through its conferences. For all sessions, visit:

Incorporated into ABPCO’s communications in this 30th pearl anniversary year are ‘pearls of wisdom’ (#PearlsOfWisdom), snippets of advice from ABPCO members shared via social media platforms.

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