Home NEWS Exhibition best practice takes centre stage at ABPCO round table

Exhibition best practice takes centre stage at ABPCO round table


ABPCO members met last week at the ICC Birmingham to discuss the place and impact of exhibitions as part of association events. The round table discussion was an opportunity to share best practice and develop ideas to improve the exhibitions that sit alongside association conferences and congresses.

Impact of exhibitions as part of association events

The session was led by Ian Taylor, Venue Sales Director at The NEC Group. Following an introduction that focused on the size of the market and the growth in expenditure on social and digital marketing channels he reflected on the fact that Exhibitions are the original Social Networking opportunity, offering a means for exhibitors to affect all five senses.

The well informed and influential attendees discussed the challenges of measuring the success of exhibitions as well as the need to effectively integrate them into an event. The session covered a range of topics from design and sales techniques through to social media registration, hybrid events and the use of the latest technology and data. The cost and financial implications of venue exhibition space was also debated and considered as so often it represents such a significant part of event costs.

For more than 25 years, ABPCO has made it their mission to promote professionalism and leadership in the UK conference and meetings industry through advocacy, professional development, industry campaigns and education. ABPCO’s strategic aims are to:

  • Position ABPCO as the leading body representing the interests of Professional Conference and Event Organisers and increase its profile and recognition thereby raising the volume and value of business being won by its members.
  • To constantly develop and enhance the benefits it provides to ABPCO members, who offer conference and event management services to clients, by creating opportunities for networking and by encouraging its members to achieve the highest possible standards of excellence
  • To raise standards of professionalism across the meetings industry through the provision of education, training and personal development opportunities
  • To ensure the UK meetings industry is able to compete on the world-stage through collaboration with other UK associations and national bodies

The full board consists of:

ABPCO’s Executive Committee is made up of the joint-chairs; five others drawn from the association’s full members; one associate member; one corporate member and one friend member. Executive Committee members are elected to serve for a three-year period. The full board consists of:

· Rose Padmore – Joint Chair
· Therese Dolan – Joint Chair
· Heather Lishman – Association Director
· Anthony Hyde
· Celia Lloyd
· Clare Beach
· Sue Etherington
· Sandra Eyre
· Noemi La Torre
· Sarah Fitzpatrick
· Adam Baggs
· Sandro Carnicelli
· Martin Linfield

Education plays an integral part of ABPCO’s strategy and members are invited to participate in all education events where subjects of common interest are discussed. These sessions give members an opportunity to share recent experiences and formulate a collective view on common challenges. High profile guest speakers are regularly invited to give presentations on leading edge products, best practice and the latest technology trends.

Membership is open to UK Conference and Event Organisers, those studying for or pursuing a career in the meetings and event industry and those individuals and organisations working across all spectrums of the industry. ABPCO is one of very few UK conference and event industry associations to select Full and Associate Members based on peer assessment to ensure high standards are met and maintained. There are various types of membership available:

  • Full membership is open to individuals who have a minimum of five years’ experience working in the UK within conference and event organising agencies and in-house organisers working within public sector, corporate or non-for-profit organisations and associations.
  • Associate membership is available to individuals who have a minimum of two years’ experience in the organisation of all services required for the preparation and running of conferences, seminars and/or other meetings.
  • Entry level membership is open to students and those wishing to move into the conference and events industry from another sector or individuals who have just embarked on their career.
  • Corporate Membership is open to conference and event industry supply organisations such as National Tourist Organisations, Destination Marketing Organisations, Convention Bureaus, Purpose-built Convention Centres, Hotels, venues and other industry suppliers.