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IAPCO recognises Abbey Conference & Events and its collaborators with the Driving Excellence Collaboration Award 2023

From left to to right: Paul Swain, Chrissy Schroder, Gemmeke de Jongh, Martin Boyle.

Nominated by IAPCO members, the IAPCO Driving Excellence Awards are a trio of awards created by IAPCO to recognise excellence within the IAPCO member community and have long been coveted by those who seek acknowledgement for their quality and contribution to the meetings industry by IAPCO.

BARCELONA SPAIN – Abbey Conference & Events, in collaboration with The International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC), Visit Flanders Convention Bureau (VFCB) and The Flemish Department of Care (FDC) have been announced as the winners of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO)’s Driving Excellence Collaboration Award 2023.

The prestigious award is supported by IBTM and was presented by IAPCO CEO, Martin Boyle at the Meetings Leadership Network during IBTM World on Monday, 27 November 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. Chrissy Schroder received the award for Abbey Conference and Gemmeke de Jongh and Paul Swain from Visit Flanders Convention Bureau received the award on behalf of their collaborative partner, IFIC.

The winning collaboration was marked by the 23rd International Conference on Integrated Care (ICIC23), held at Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp, Flanders, from 22-24 May 2023. ICIC23 hybrid conference, blending in-person and virtual participation to accommodate a global audience. It focused on the theme ‘Care in Action: How to Work Together, a Participatory Approach’, bringing together leaders, researchers, clinicians, managers, citizens, patients, and caregivers to discuss integrated health and social care.

The collaboration’s goal was to promote integrated care globally, with the event serving as a pilot legacy project. Impact and Engagement Task Forces were established to foster collaboration and create a community of practice, ensuring a lasting impact beyond the conference. The event showcased innovation in policymaking, inclusivity, real-life experiences and patient involvement.

IAPCO President Sarah Markey-Hamm expressed her admiration for the collaboration, stating, “We congratulate Abbey Conference & Events and its collaboration partners for their remarkable achievement. The success of ICIC23 demonstrates the power of collaborative efforts in the events industry, making a positive impact on both local and global communities. This collaboration demonstrates the potential of conferences to drive positive societal change and leave a legacy. Their achievement highlights the transformative potential of partnerships in advancing the mission and vision of the meetings industry.”

Evelyne Bardyn, Head of VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau, commented on the win, “Victory has many fathers; the Romans already knew. But in the case of the IAPCO Collaboration Award 2023, that is the truth. VISITFLANDERS Convention Bureau is honoured to have worked so closely with IFIC, Abbey Conference & Events, and the Flanders Department of Care. Only together could we cross the Rubicon and fulfil the ambitions of the ICIC23 conference: to create a positive long-term impact for all parties involved.”

The IAPCO Collaboration Award recognises outstanding contributions to the meetings industry, celebrating partnerships that go beyond traditional roles, resulting in impactful and innovative conferences.

“The success of ICIC23 included record delegate numbers and an outstanding long-term impact in the Flanders region, which would have never been possible without the support and collaboration from everyone involved. It has been a true pleasure to work alongside all our collaborators to achieve the intended outcomes. On behalf of the team I sincerely express my heartfelt thanks to all, especially to our long standing partner IFIC, with whom we have developed a trusted relationship that allows such ambitious projects to be undertaken.” said Chrissy Schroder, ICIC23 project manager.

The winning collaboration between Abbey Conference & Events and its collaborators stood out to the judges from six other nominations for its innovative approach, inclusivity and commitment to creating a lasting positive impact.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.