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June 30th 2020

Connect, Collaborate and Create

Heather Lishman image by Heather Lishman

IAPCO forms Strategic Global Task Force, alongside ABPCO and 7 National PCO Associations from around the globe.

The International Association for Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) has united 8 National PCO Associations for the first time in its 52-year history to connect and share Coronavirus-related data and case studies.  The primary focus of the International strategic task force, chaired by Ms. Monica Freire, IAPCO Council Member, is to use their combined expertise to create and distribute safe practice guidelines for Professional Congress Organisers (PCOs) worldwide.  

IAPCO’s 135 Company Members delivered over 21,000 client meetings, events and congresses around the world in 2019 alone worth an estimated economic impact well in excess of €11 billion.   

Whilst many governments around the world begin to reduce current Coronavirus-related restrictions, others are doing the opposite by imposing lockdowns and quarantines as potential 2nd waves of the virus threaten.  PCOs are at the sharp end of helping economies recover through the successful, efficient and strict management of business and professional events.  It is vital that policy makers and PCOs work together and agree to safe, practical protocols that will facilitate such recoveries.  

Martin Boyle, CEO of IAPCO says:  “In challenging times like these, it is more important than ever that organisations with similar missions come together to promote a coordinated, multi-national model for the greater good.  We can leverage IAPCO’s leadership on the international stage alongside the important work being done at national levels by the Task Force Members to speak with one, unified voice for all PCOs.”

ABPCO will continue to advocate in the UK and share our practical recommendations to deliver a successful business and professional event here whilst IAPCO is writing a set of international ‘safe practice’ guidelines that will provide the international protocols needed as we begin to consider life after lockdown.   

Members of the IAPCO National Association Task Force are:

  • Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) – Great Britain
  • Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers (AIPCO) - Ireland
  • Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organisers (HAPCO) – Greece
  • Sri Lanka Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition & Event Organisers (SLAPCEO) – Sri Lanka
  • PCO Meetings Mexico - Mexico
  • Federcongressi&eventi - Italy
  • Association Argentina de Organizadores y Proveedores de Exposiciones, Congresos, Eventos y de Buros de Convenciones (AOCA) - Argentina
  • Korea Association for Professional Convention Organisers (KAPCO) – Korea
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