ABPCO (Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) members taking part in a recent roundtable, jointly sponsored by Manchester Central and IHG, recognised the need for conferences to be focused on knowledge exchange and learning whilst arguing that the accompanying exhibition revenues are often vital to an event’s success.
As Therese Dolan, joint chair of ABPCO comments: “It is a battle between content and consumerism that has to start with communication and a thorough understanding of the audience. The key issue is to ensure value for all. Content is usually the driver for delegate attendance, but exhibitors need to see footfall and a return on their investment. Association conferences are often accompanied by an exhibition because it adds value to the attendees, whilst bringing in revenues that benefit the association as a whole and sometimes the delegates themselves through reduced conference fees.”
ABPCO’s roundtable events offer a forum for members to gather and share complex ideas and challenges in a safe and private environment. The event took place at the Crowne Plaza London – The City. It was attended by a variety of in-house PCOs seeking to make the most of their conferences and exhibitions. ABPCO is the UK’s leading organisation for professional conference and event organisers, industry associates and those studying for, or seeking a career in the conference and meetings industry.
Shaun Hinds, CEO at Manchester Central, chaired the discussion and added: “The event was a real success, generating lots of interesting discussion. As a venue that is privileged to host many of the UK’s leading association conferences, it provided us with invaluable insights on how we can assist organisers to grow and deliver successful congresses year on year.”