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.”
HAPCO will continue to advocate in Greece and share our practical recommendations to deliver a successful business and professional event in the country 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.
Rena Tolis, HAPCO President, says: “Collaboration can be stronger in critical times, and we are extremely happy that we will have the opportunity to be part of a global group of key players within this Global Task Force, led by IAPCO. HAPCO is proud to be part of it, and share best practices on how our country dealt with the impact of the pandemic as well as on he actions taken to protect the national Meetings Industry”
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