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Photo Credit: IAPCO

The IAPCO Collaboration Award celebrates partnerships that brings excellence to the meetings industry.

The partnership between OIC Group and Federcongressi&eventi was revealed as the winner of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) Driving Excellence Collaboration Award 2022 at the presentation ceremony held at the Meetings Leadership Network at IBTM World on Monday, 28 November 2022 in Barcelona, Spain.

The Progetto Mentore initiative, which began in 2010 from the Federcongressi&eventi Learning Center and was supported for the third consecutive year by OIC Group, reflects the strategic objectives of focus on professional development, training and mentoring of young talents that are taking their first steps in the meeting industry. The initiative was created to give practical, concrete training, and every year the project offers young participants the opportunity to develop and enrich their know-how, not just from a theoretical point of view, but also with the requisite practical know-how.

The 20 selected students, from master’s and degree programmes from the main Italian universities, were given the opportunity to liaise with the leading figures from the meetings industry through focused meetings which centred around practical learning and coaching topics. The meetings took place in person during the Federcongressi&eventi Convention, and also online through a series of online meetings.

The objective was to establish a relationship between the students and meetings industry professionals, which on the one side can offer a knowledge enrichment pathway for professional development and training to prepare the future leaders of the sector, and on the other hand to understand the motivation and ideas to drive forward the new generation.

IAPCO President Ori Lahav handed out the award to Nicola Testai and commented on the OIC Group and Federcongressi&eventi’s collaboration: “The IAPCO Collaboration Award celebrates partnerships that brings excellence to the meetings industry. It highlights the importance of effective relationships and recognises the achievement of organisations that join together to achieve a shared goal.”

“The Progetto Mentore initiative tackles the most burning issue in our industry – attracting new talent. Connecting students with managers and executives from key companies and associations help to develop their theoretical knowledge into practical application. Thereby, bridging the gap between academic theory and industry practice and helping to prepare the next generation of leaders in our industry.”

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Photo Credit: Kenes Group

Giving value to the new generation’s personal development 

The focused meeting sessions were centred around relatable topics of a typical working day in the event sector, focussed on themes such as personal branding, project management and strategies for creating value for the client. The main motivation of the Progetto Mentore initiative was to give concrete answers to the student’s doubts, questions and queries.

“The research and continuous training of talents are two key elements of the strategy and positioning of OIC Group,” said OIC Group CEO, Nicola Testai. “For me, this project represents the pleasure of contributing to shaping the future: accompanying the next leaders of this industry on a path of knowledge and personal enrichment but at the same time better understanding – thanks to these meetings – the needs and stimuli that can come from a new generation of talents.”

“Giving value to the new generation’s personal development that wants to enter the meeting industry sector is an important objective for Federcongressi&eventi in a perspective of growth and overall growth of our sector. Progetto Mentore is surely one of the key projects from this point of view, and this recognition makes us very happy,” comments Gabriella Gentile, President of Federcongressi&eventi.


This is the 10th year of IBTM supporting the Collaboration Award which is part of a trio of Driving Excellence Awards created by IAPCO to recognise excellence within the IAPCO member community.

Nominated by IAPCO members, IAPCO Driving Excellence Awards are presented annually and have long been coveted by those who seek acknowledgement for their quality and contribution to the meetings industry by IAPCO. The IAPCO Collaboration Award celebrates solid and dependable partnerships that seek to deliver excellence.

Further information regarding IAPCO is available here.