The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) has launched a series of “limited access” events to allow delegates to share and discuss issues impacting their business in a confidential environment.
The sessions, focused on “what keeps them up at night” have been split so that attendees are amongst peers in similar roles and are therefore able to honestly and openly share the highs and lows, successes and challenges faced in their everyday lives.
The first, created specifically for in-house PCOs last week, was attended by 15 ABPCO members who directly organise events within association, membership, not-for-profit or charity organisations. The discussions covered:
- Meeting design and how it is evolving post-pandemic to be more collaborative and discussion based. In particular, the drive for events to be face to face with contingency plans for challenges, rather than defaulting to a digital model.
- Delegate rates for the different attendee types and the cost differentials inherent with hybrid events, post event content and access for international delegates unable to travel.
- Delegate communication and the importance of demonstrating the value proposition for in person attendance. Conference marketing is changing fast and PCOs need to evolve and engage if they are to keep up.
- Green considerations must be balanced with an event’s ability to succeed. How, truly can events be more sustainable, whilst remaining viable. How can organisers off-set carbon most effectively and to what extent should delegates be expected to contribute.
These closed-door events are run under Chatham House rules with only those relevant to the discussion present. Further events are planned for ABPCO’s agency and partner members as well as a follow up with the in-house members in September.
ABPCO’s in-coming co-chair Emma Duffy, Head of Events at the Stroke Association commented: “ABPCO is a home and a haven for many individuals looking to find others who do what they do; people they can collaborate with and ask questions of. This already happens naturally and effectively at ABPCO’s wider events – but to have an event where we can ask the difficult questions, collaborate and commiserate is invaluable. The event was a great success and I look forward to more in the future.”