The PCO September 2021

Page 1

News from the International A ssociation of Professional Congress Organisers

Issue No. 97 Sept 2021




| September 2021

CONTENTS ON THE COVER The World has changed and so have we | Illustration ©Jo Harrison

From the President & CEO


Destination Japan


The World Has Changed and So Have We


Partner ICC Belfast


Graphic Recording and Education


Impact Dialogue - Visual Summary


IAPCO Education


Continuous Education Not Only for Our Clients


New Skills - Why DCO's are in Demand




Case Study


Digital Transformation


3 Trends Bound to Stay Beyond the Pandemic


Regaining the Confidence of Associations


Future of the Industry - Ready, Not to Go Back


Destination Hong Kong


Partner ACS


Destination Melbourne


Member News


Our Partners



EDUCATION What’s happened and is happening


ON POINT ARTICLES Keeping up to date with what is happening in the industry

MEMBERS’ EVENTS AND NEWS Read the full stories of our members' news on the IAPCO Knowledge Hub

The PCO: published by IAPCO Whilst every care is taken in the preparation and publishing of The PCO, the views expressed are not necessarily those of IAPCO or its members and no responsibility can be taken for articles, errors or comment. Editor: Caroline Gutierrez / Design:


OUR MEETING INDUSTRY AND OUR PCO ROLE IS EVER-CHANGING Our meeting industry and our PCO role is ever-changing.

As our IAPCO President, Ori, has intimated in his Presidents’

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated not only technology

Message, the role of the PCO is ever-changing. It is important

adaptation but also the services we provide, the skills needed

to IAPCO and the community we serve that we continue to

and pretty much our everyday way of working.

drive professionalism in our industry at all levels and that this starts with quality training.

IAPCO Council and HQ Team are fully dedicated to ensuring that every activity we produce is for the benefit of our

Education and continued professional development (CPD)

members and our industry ecosystem.

of not only PCO’s, but of the entire meetings industry is continuing to prove vital in ensuring meeting professionals

At the end of 2019 we created a 5-year strategic plan for IAPCO

have the right knowledge and expertise to recommend what

and although our world has changed quite significantly since

is best for their clients and clients’ event participants.

then, this plan is still extremely relevant and being reviewed and optimized every quarter.

IAPCO continues to be recognized as a leader of quality education around the globe and the past few months is a clear

As part of that plan, we addressed how best to shape IAPCO

demonstration of this with EDGE Seminars being delivered in

for future years while addressing the needs of the next

China, Thailand, Malaysia and Mexico. Our calendar for the

generation and early career personnel of our PCO members.

remainder of 2021 through 2022 is already packed full of EDGE

IAPCO is now introducing the “Next Generation Council

seminars, industry presentations and webinars that call on

Member” - A new co-opted position on IAPCO Council.

IAPCO Faculty to deliver.

This person, once nominated and elected, will join Council

In addition, with the success of WebEDGE and as many have

to represent the next generation of PCO leadership and and

become accustomed to learning whilst in their home offices or

will be involved with many others to ensure that IAPCO

‘on to go’, IAPCO will be publishing new content on WebEDGE

Council is on the right track to provide relevant, timely and

2.0 this month. The Congress Project Management course,

appropriate programmes to meet the long-term needs

released in April of last year, delivered 14 modules of in-depth

of this important group.

content. WebEDGE 2.0 will see updated content relevant to meet the ever-changing needs of delivering virtual and hybrid

We are looking for an IAPCO Member who is a team player,

events solutions.

passionate about our industry, passionate about IAPCO, innovative and creative, and willing to invest back into

Young and veteran leaders alike, need to stay on top of the

our community.

latest technologies, trends and business models in order to deliver quality products and services that go above and

I am confident there are many young leaders that are

beyond what is expected every day.

already impacting positively in our future through their everyday work and I invite them to consider taking a

We trust you will find this edition of The PCO which focusses

more active role in IAPCO.

on education and CPD interesting and useful as you continue to drive your own professionalism and knowledge.





Ori Lahav, President 2020-2023

Martin Boyle, CEO


| September 2021


A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH IAPCO We are excited to announce JNTO’s destination partnership with IAPCO from 1 August. JNTO and IAPCO have been strengthening ties since the IAPCO Annual Meeting and General Assembly took place in Tokyo in 2018. This new partnership will provide more opportunities to share timely, in-depth information about Japan’s latest initiatives to support conferences and business events. Over the past year, many international congresses have adapted to become online and hybrid events. Meanwhile,

Ms. Etsuko Kawasaki, Executive Director of Japan Convention Bureau

in Japan a huge live event has just taken place. Despite the

new networks. However, in a post-pandemic world, some will

unprecedented circumstances, the Olympic Games in Tokyo

ask why we must travel in order to have these discussions, and

were able to go ahead. In hosting this historic event, and facing

how destinations can contribute to research development.

the challenges involved, we have gained valuable knowledge

Japan is home to a high concentration of world-leading

and skills for holding safe international events in the future.

industries and academic clusters, not just limited to Tokyo. In the 2019 ICCA Statistics for Asia Pacific meetings, 19


Japanese cities ranked in the top 100 for most conferences

When JNTO surveyed meeting planners, many told us that

JNTO has recently compiled Japan: Competitiveness of

although international conferences are being moved online,

Academia and Industry, a guide to 16 cities in Japan with

people still feel the need for face-to-face meetings, particularly

concentrated clusters of academia and industry, destinations

for discussions about core research and the development of

that can lead the way in contributing to research. We hope

held. Many world-class conferences and events take place in cities outside Tokyo and Kyoto, where attendees can also enjoy the appeal of local culture and sightseeing off the beaten track.

that stakeholders will use this information to analyze the distinctive strengths of each city and select future locations for their international conferences. You can also refer to our guide to holding business events and association meetings in Japan, including testimonials, examples and other details: Planning the ideal business events in Japan.

| September 2021 5


THE WORLD HAS CHANGED AND SO HAVE WE... Learn to evolve, survive and thrive Avinash Chandarana, MCI Group


| September 2021

EDUCATION SPECIAL The past 18 months have turned our industry upside

‘why,’ continuous learning (a process) not just ad hoc trainings

down. Having once reached the heights of flying on

(an event) is paramount to keep our knowledge and skills

autopilot, we hit massive turbulence and dropped to a

relevant to meet the needs and demands of our clients.

dangerously low altitude. If we thought adapting to life

But the context is also important. Research shows that the

in the fourth industrial revolution was a challenge, we

shelf-life of skills are rapidly diminishing. What we learnt 10

hadn’t seen nothing yet.

years ago is almost obsolete and half of what we learnt 5 years ago might still be relevant today. Throw into the mix; three

The pandemic has forced organisations to change faster than

generations working side by side, an ageing population who

anyone could have predicted. And no longer are we talking

will work longer and all in the broader context of digitisation,

about the much anticipated ‘future of work,’ we’re living in it.

automation, AI (and a pandemic) we are at a pivotal moment to re-think, and re-shape our perspective on the importance

As organisations, we have worked hard since March 2020

and value of continuous learning. If we as professional

to introduce new solutions as we transitioned to virtual.

planners and businesses are to remain relevant now and,

In parallel, we faced a harsh reality–‘we know, what we don’t

in the future, the comfort of status quo must shift towards a

know’ or in educational parlance, ‘conscious incompetence.’

curiosity and growth mindset to avoid the risk of becoming

How for example, do we work from home productively,

obsolete. While Darwin’s ‘those responsive to change’ quote

manage a team virtually, collaborate out of the office, handle

comes to mind, Alvin Toffler’s perspective is about the ‘process

the pressure of mental health, and for those with young

of remaining relevant - ‘the illiterate of the 21st century will no

children, how to support online school and juggle work,

longer be those who cannot read or write, it will be those who

chores– all while in isolation? And as these behaviours for

cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.’

most have become embedded through day-to-day practice, another change is on the horizon - a move towards a hybrid work model. Beyond these significant changes affecting how we work and the skills required to do so in a changing world, as PCO’s, our biggest business challenge has turned towards transforming in-person congresses to designing and delivering engaging

What we learnt 10 years ago is almost obsolete and half of what we learnt 5 years ago might still be relevant today.

and valuable virtual experiences. When once our staff were equipped with the knowledge and skills to deliver conferences almost with their eyes closed (unconscious competence) they were now like deer in the headlights. Survival required words most had never heard before, upskilling (developing new knowledge and skills in the same function / role) and reskilling (developing new skills to transition into a new function / role or sector) We found ourselves challenged and stressed to keep up with the speed required to meet the demand and pressures of the changing landscape. The choice, however, was clear - evolve, survive and thrive or stand still, atrophy and

Illustrations: © Jo Harrison

face the consequences. From Obsolescence to Relevance - The rise of upskilling and reskilling As skills development hit the headlines, the mindset and strategy of how we view the why, what, when, where and how of talent development has also changed. When it comes to the

| September 2021


EDUCATION SPECIAL From Training to Learning – A Dose of Behavioural Science While the ‘why’ becomes clear, our effort and investment to deliver desired returns should also focus on changing habits and behaviour. All too often, most training sessions don’t lead to consistent behaviour change because typically they are: • Conducted among large groups, within specific extended


blocks of time (delivered by the convenience of an expert trainer or organizer). • Dominated by the trainer—the ‘sage on stage’ introducing new material (at the same pace for all participants) • Evaluated via immediate feedback, based on how much they “liked” or “valued” the session (before they’ve even applied the learning). Yet reality is that: • We learn best in small doses (as our Cognitive Load is limited). • We learn at our own pace (as our speed, strengths and interests vary)


• We “learn by doing” (rather than by passive listening). Retention and knowledge recall is heightened when short bursts of information (‘nudges’) are spaced and sent over time (pre and post learning activity) There is often a significant gap or tension between training (as commonly practiced) and learning and application (the end-goal of most efforts). Understanding some basics about how adults learn and learning preferences can strengthen an effective development strategy. From Analogue to Digital - and back again As the world of Learning and Development has changed from in-person to online just as our industry has shifted, the how, when and where of ‘consuming ‘content has also evolved. Digital learning ecosystems are on the rise, traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS’s) are seeing a revival alongside EdTech solutions offering a blend of (digital) learning modalities and content; online e-courses, micro-credentials, webinars, 24/7 365 access to ‘resources’ (‘job aids, podcasts, bite-size content, articles) personalized to a learner’s needs using AI integrated algorithms.


| September 2021


EDUCATION SPECIAL Yes, technology has helped ‘democratize,’ learning

(structured courses, certifications, etc.) 20% from peer-to-peer

opportunities, fuelling the concept of ‘self-directed’ learning

exchange (learning with and from others) and a whopping 70%

by providing friction-free, personalized, just-in-time access

from experiential, on the job application (learning by doing.)

to more knowledge and resources than we can ever consume

Simply put, a blended approach offering Education, Exposure

in a lifetime. However, we are now suffering a recent

and Experience to boost competencies is an ideal

phenomenon - cognitive overload. Way too much ‘noise’

development model to adopt.

that we struggle to synthesize a signal. What else can we

We are now suffering a recent phenomenon cognitive overload.

rely on to support our teams develop beyond the digital landscape? The most powerful and effective development opportunities are still ‘old school.’ Mentoring, coaching, peer-to-peer, communities or practice, networks all remain potent learning modalities in a world dominated by technology. This aligns with the research which cites that only 10% of what we know comes from formal education

From Digital to Soft Skills – The Essence of Human Centricity We arrive at the juncture of ‘what’ skills need to be developed to thrive in the future. Beyond skills required to perform tasks relevant to a specific function or job role, there is general consensus from leading consulting firms to the World Economic Forum that beyond a clear need to become digitally literate, the more digitised our world becomes, the greater need there will be to develop soft skills. Based on LinkedIn’s 2021 Learning Report, out of the Top 10 skills L&D professionals cited as the most important to develop in 2021, 90% were all ‘soft’ skills:

1. Resilience 2.

Technology Skills / Digital Fluency


Communication across remote

or distributed teams


Emotional intelligence


Cross functional collaboration


Leading through change


Change Management


Dealing with stress/being more mindful


Time Management

10. Creativity

| September 2021


EDUCATION SPECIAL This set of skills will undoubtedly jostle and shift places year on year. The prediction is that creativity will probably rise further up the ranks as ideation and creative problem solving and new solutions will be required to tackle new challenges and changes ahead. Employees will need to demonstrate some combination of these skills to be assets in today’s workplace and to be equipped for continued productivity throughout their careers.

most of us will need to continue to update our skills continually Beyond skills, the adage of ‘hire for attitude and ‘train for skills’ could not be more relevant in today’s climate. Now that most of us will need to continue to update our skills continually throughout our career, attitude and mindset will be more important than ever before. The more we can tap into the intrinsic motivators of our talent and for them to see the value and benefit of learning for a higher purpose–the more we can support the idea of nurturing a continuous learning culture and instilling a curious and growth mindset within our organization, elevating us to new heights once again.

Avinash Chandarana As a global business

Since 2008, as Global Learning and Development Director

professional and recognised

for MCI Group, Avinash established and leads MCI Institute,

‘Fellow’ of the Learning &

MCI’s in-house global L&D department offering a portfolio

Performance Institute (LPI) for

of learning programmes, virtual and face to face for 1,500

contributions to the learning

employees in 60 offices across 31 countries in all aspects of

profession, Avinash brings

meetings, events and conference management capabilities

expertise and forward thinking

combined with programmes targeting leadership and human

in designing and deploying global learning and development

centred soft skills.

strategy to deliver business results. @avo_globalnomad


| September 2021



be implemented. This is where expertise is invaluable to ensure you meet and exceed your goals. Partnership working has always been the approach taken at ICC Belfast, becoming an extension of clients’ teams and inheriting event KPIs as our own. The exponential growth in demand for world-class hybrid events in the last 18 months afforded us the opportunity to take this methodology to the next level. It accelerated plans to develop our technological offering and led to the installation of state-of-the-art broadcast technology in every space across our hybrid-by-design convention centre. However, the key difference is our people. Walk into any room at a business event and try to pick out

An in-house team of hybrid event specialists ensure seamless

the event professionals. Chances are you won’t spot them

integration of in-person and virtual programmes. Once your

as they will be behind the scenes making magic happen, but

hybrid event is confirmed at ICC Belfast, a dedicated team is

it is this magic that stays with you long beyond the closing

assembled, and dual event management plan is prepared.

address. The breakthrough moment inspired by a keynote

Organisers are able to leverage this expertise to effectively

speaker or the new connection made in the coffee queue

communicate with both audiences simultaneously,

do not happen by chance, they happen by design; crafted

harnessing emotional connections and sensory motivators

by event professionals whose purpose is to deliver an

to deliver maximum impact.

unforgettable experience. The convergence of in-person and virtual programmes can A webcam and a pop-up banner backdrop are not enough to

seem overwhelming. Therefore, appointing a trusted advisor

engage retain the attention of your delegates in a world where

such as ICC Belfast, which measures success against that of

information overload and virtual fatigue is rife. To maintain

their clients ensures unrivalled reassurance. For more details

a competitive advantage, serve global audiences, enhance

on how we can support your hybrid goals, contact us today:

relationships and build new ones, innovative solutions must | September 2021 11



meetings and events by listening to their messages and ideas and translating them into visual narratives through drawing. I got into the field from meeting a fellow graphic recorder at a networking event and had the opportunity to train with them

Graphic recording, sketch-noting, visual summaries,

before starting out on what has been an incredibly fulfilling

live drawing; these are a few terms used, sometimes

journey which has had its fair share of ups and downs.

interchangeably, for the visual interpreting and documenting of events, conferences, meetings and seminars. We caught up with Graphic Recorders Laura Sorvala and Eleanor Beer to ask them about their work, adapting during the pandemic and the value of combining art and information. Can you tell me a little bit about what you do and how you got started in the field? Laura Sorvala I am an illustrator and graphic recorder with

I often receive feedback about how seeing the visuals develop throughout an event is helpful for re-enforcing key messages

a knack for visualising ideas into inspiring visuals. I'm based

How do you think graphic recording adds value to an

in Cardiff, Wales but work with clients across the UK and

event on, or, offline?

Europe. My background is in graphic and branding design and I discovered the joys of graphic recording about 10 years ago

LS: You can break this into three areas: learning, engagement

trying it out at a workshop and thinking 'this is exactly how my

and marketing. Live graphic recording can help with

brain works!' Back then there weren't many people doing live

memory retention and recall and it supports multimodal

illustration in the UK so while I entered a niche area, it

learning. Another benefit is seeing key points visualised as a

was also harder to explain the benefits and value of graphic

group memory, a powerful tool for facilitation and group

recording. It's great to see how the industry and discipline

discussion. I often receive feedback about how seeing the

have flourished and these days it's easy to find different styles

visuals develop throughout an event is helpful for re-enforcing

and approaches for different event engagement purposes.

key messages especially with those with dyslexia or autism. For offline events seeing the physical piece works especially

Eleanor Beer I have a rather unusual job which supports and

well for people to come and help reflect on what they have

empowers people in having better working relationships via

heard and the visual always creates a natural networking area.

creative means. That is, I help organisations to improve their

Finally the visuals often prompt people to take photos for their own record and share them on social media: this extends the event audience and can make conversation continue even after the event has finished. So for marketing purposes that works a treat but finished event visuals can also be used in reports, blog posts, newsletters and in training materials provided that the image use and license has been agreed on. In the digital realm things can work a

© Laura Sorvala

bit differently: I mostly create visual summaries that are used after the event to show impact and promote engagement. For many of my clients a live, digital illustration feed in a virtual 12

| September 2021

EDUCATION SPECIAL event puts too much stress for participants' attention span. You might have noticed this "narrow funnel" phenomenon where it is harder to focus on several things going on the computer screen versus a room in the real world. When I have provided a live feed, it has worked best for a situation where a group of people are having a free flowing conversation or a brainstorming session and the visual on display helps capture

© Eleanor Beer

key points and things to circle back to. EB: Graphic recording adds a touch of creative magic to an event, something that makes you turn you’re head and say “oh, that’s different!” It helps by condensing content down into manageable ‘visual chunks’ for people to better comprehend and remember, and once their meeting or event has finished, the visuals can be used as tools to continue on an organisations message or vision, providing accountability, clarity and motivation. It also helps people to feel like they have been listened to and seen, which I believe is the most rewarding part. Thinking about education specifically, what about graphic recording do you think resonates with attendees of events on and offline? LS: For younger audiences graphic recording can be a real inspiration for learning in different ways and using creative methods: I have witnessed primary and secondary school children become fixated on the drawing process and focusing on what's being said. The visuals often seem to make people of all ages realise the power of creativity and that a creative career can be a serious, "proper" profession instead of just a hobby. Representation is something I am very passionate about in my

Graphic recording helps people to feel like they have been listened to and seen, which I believe is the most rewarding part EB: With regards to education, graphic recording helps people by engaging both sides of the brain using words, imagery, connections, and metaphors. It certainly engages my brain when I’m doing it! Visual storytelling is a great tool for learning as it helps with retention of information via drawn imagery in alignment with short, snappy wording, and allows for a lot more information to be communicated and processed by our brains in a short space of time. Most of us were educated about the world through the combination of words and pictures in our early years books; I believe it’s why most people find delight in viewing graphic recording, as it subconsciously brings back that feeling of (easier) learning. Read the full article here on our website.

work and I take every opportunity to make sure it is discussed. For live events it's important to represent both the present and potential audiences and consider challenging stereotypes around gender, ethnicity, privilege, disabilities and social background as examples. Many participants mention the emotional connection they can get from being seen and being represented – another powerful tool for inspiration, learning

Laura Sorvala Eleanor Beer

and education. | September 2021




Impact Dialogues are available on demand. Go to to replay. Every month we will be sharing a visual summary of our Impact Dialogue seminar by our illustrator and designer Jo Harrison. Visit our website to see more.


| September 2021



| September 2021





We are diversifying our programmes so that wherever you are in the world, there is something for you. Today, we are proud to announce the refreshing of our e-learning programme, webEDGE, as well as the increase of our seminar offerings, all virtual this year and switching to hybrid next year. In addition, Hosted EDGE, tailored seminars formatted for a specific community or organisation, have also been on the With quality of the services delivered by PCOs around the world at the core of our mission, IAPCO has always been focused on delivering top-notch education. Those who were lucky to attend the annual seminar in Wolfsberg (up until 2015) still refer to themselves as Wolfies. Since 2016, our education offer has dramatically grown, and is continuing to do so.

rise in 2021. Our faculty, lead by Matthias Posch and made of industry experts is expending, but never compromising on the quality delivered. And because our goal is the development of our profession, we pride ourselves in offering our education at a low cost for the attendee. Take a sneak peek at the programmes available and what is coming up:


| September 2021



WHAT IS IT? WebEDGE is the IAPCO e-learning programme. It comprises over 15 hours of learning and is CMP accredited. Why is it different? It is self-paced and bite-size. It is made up of presentations from experts around the globe who are

1. webEDGE: The e-learning platform refreshes content to embrace virtual and hybrid aspects

immersed in the business events world and who have a depth of experience and share real-life examples.

“We made a very conscious decision after the world of


COVID hit us globally last year to refresh the entire program

Although the programme is more geared towards newcomers

content, taking into account our new world of virtual and

and can serve as a fantastic induction tool, we believe that

hybrid meetings” said Sarah Markey-Hamm, a member

because of the multiplicity of examples provided, it can also

of the webEDGE task force.

benefit more experienced professionals to refresh their practice and get new ideas.

The programme comprises 14 modules, each with 4 x


15-minutes elements on a specific aspect of congress management. “It is a very hands-on project managersfocused program that covers comprehensively everything that you will need in your role as a project manager. We

Access is free for all employees of an IAPCO member compa-

completely revamped the modules that have an element of hybrid or virtual meetings' management required within them”, added Barbara Calderwood, Chair of the task force. “And we've also brought on board some new presenters”, completed Jan Tonkin, the third member of the task force. “So there are some fresh perspectives that have come in and I think this was perfectly timed to match the needs of the market”.

ny. For others, the programme is only $140 USD for one year of access. We are able to offer such a low fee because the programme is part of our core mission and investment to educate and raise the professionalism of our industry further.

WHEN? The programme is on demand. Just hop onto to sign up.

THEY COMPLETED THE PROGRAMME. HERE IS WHAT THEY SAID: The course was brief, to the point and certainly a good refresher course.

Good content & knowleageable speakers

I liked that the speakers were some of the most important people in the industry with a lot of knowledge

Improvement of knowledge and skills is the key to stay relevant in this industry

Very good refresher course!! Highly recommend it to brush up skills.

The programme gives a great general overview of all aspects of the industry for newcomers it is definitely a great start and a good overview of what is actually going on

Bite sized presentations-I liked the “keep it short” approach so it could be digested

| September 2021



WHO IS IT FOR? If completely new to the profession, we would recommend participants first go through the webEDGE programme. But all levels are welcome and we will create working groups where everyone can develop their potential at their own pace.

2. EDGE Seminars: Now present in Europe, Latin-America and Asia-Pacific – and at your doorstep on-demand The EDGE Seminars have been designed for those who would like a truly immersive experience. Anyone who attended has made friends for life with fellow participants and built meaningful connections with industry experts. The EDGE Seminars offer a mix of lecture, taught by key leaders in their field, and practical workshops, inviting attendees to apply their new skills right away. Each regional EDGE will have a local flavour, ensuring that market specificities are fully embraced. If you would like a more specific programme, contact us and our faculty will work with you to build it and ensure experts are delivering it. This could be for a specific topic, or a specific organization. Take a look at our last EDGE Virtual Seminar, Latin America

WHAT IS IT? The EDGE Seminar is a multiple day seminar mixing live presentations and very hands-on workshops where you will be working on a real-life event example and put into practice your newly learnt skills.

WHY IS IT DIFFERENT? You will be able to connect with other events manager from your region (and even further) and engage with industry experts who will happily guide you. Because of the practical exercises, you can apply your new skills right away. 18

| September 2021

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? A seminar costs between €300 and €1000 , depending on the type of attendance (virtual of in-person) as well as the region where it is offered.

WHEN? 11-14 October - 2021 , EDGE APAC Virtual Seminar. Hurry up, it is still time to sign-up for this fully virtual seminar. The seminar will hear from 11 key experts, including Singapore-based Oscar Cerezales from MCI Group, International Conference Services MD for Asia Patricia Cheong and Jan Tonkin, MD of the Conference Company. As well as offering new insights and advice, the experts will be available to answer questions and help brainstorm challenges. Full programme and registration available online: visit the website. 24-26 January 2022, EDGE Seminar Europe, Lillehammer Norway May 2022: Hybrid EDGE Seminar APAC October 2022: Hybrid EDGE Seminar LATAM Hosted EDGE – contact us!


3. ARE YOU LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE INFORMAL? Join our monthly webinars! We are hosting webinars on a monthly basis. Our impact dialogues are open panel discussions on various topics (take a look p14 for a visual summary of our summer one on cybersecurity), whilst hot topic webinars provide key learnings on developing aspects of our profession. Check out our calendar or visit our website for on-demand access.

| September 2021



CONTINUOUS EDUCATION NOT ONLY FOR OUR CLIENTS Member: Mondial Congress Author: Barbara Skrott

As professional congress organisers, we know the importance

edge was shared while the expertise stayed within the

of continuous education. We are after all busy all year with the

designated team. With the growing focus on the online world,

organisation of educational events for our clients. Due to the

we added a new opportunity for individual skill development

pandemic these events were shifted into the online world. We

via an online platform. Using an online platform we have

learned a lot and decided to test those lessons on ourselves.

developed a course offer rather personalised to our

Therefore, we used this approach, applied it to our own

employees’ needs that most importantly meets even

education and took the chance to put more emphasis on the

the busiest schedule.

skill development of our employees. Barbara Skrott is director of national projects and the person responsible for our internal training at Mondial Congress. We have asked her for a little insight into the topic. Hi Barbara, thank you for taking the time for our little chat today. Can you tell us something about how the current situation changed the way Mondial Congress goes about their continuous education? Due to the changes happening through the pandemic, we set a new focus on our own skill development. Formerly we used to mostly work with a system of teams, so-called task forces.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the

Those task forces are compiled of experts in certain fields and

online experience?

thus are knowledge hubs for different topics. Out of these

With the online platform and these online courses comes the

knowledge hubs we used to give workshops and technical

tremendous advantage that everyone gets to decide when to

training for the colleagues so that the most important knowl-

do the online course. It is a very flexible system. Each quar-


| September 2021


ter you get one mandatory and one optional course to work

quarterly roundups where we discuss the courses and I collect

through. A few examples are “storytelling for organisations”,

individual feedback from everyone involved. My colleagues do

“successful negotiations”, or “how to build an agile mindset”.

enjoy this possibility to continuously educate themselves and

These courses roughly take between 60 to 75 minutes and are

to get impulses for growing their skillsets. On the one hand,

completed by a short test.

this helps them to perform even better in their jobs while on the other hand many of those skills become useful in the

A second way of furthering our skills are workshops. With the

private setting as well.

switch to online congresses, we are now also doing them via Zoom. This option comes into play when the topic is of a wider

To be completely honest, the extremely positive feedback

interest that concerns the majority of the employees. Thus, the

took me by surprise.

whole team can benefit from the informed discussion and input of the different voices. Earlier this month, for example, we took part in a workshop on structural sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace. The team got together online and discussed personal experiences as well as potential strategies to best cope with the issue.

Are there big plans for future workshops? Yes, the next workshop is already in the works. It’s all about improving our writing skills in order to continuously flourish our communication on all levels. Whether this will be online or a live workshop already back at the office still has to be decided. Similar to the situation with the congresses for our clients we are currently in a transitional phase as in the How is the feedback about those sessions?

meantime hybrid events are a great option and on-site

What do the participants say?

meetings are (hopefully) making a comeback really soon.

Most employees appreciate these types of educational

We are extremely excited to continue our quest of skill devel-

content. Especially the courses that are concerned with

opment and being able to attend more in-person workshops.

the development of soft skills are high in demand. We do | September 2021



NEW SKILLS - WHY DCOS ARE IN HIGH DEMAND Author: Nicole Walker Member: Arinex, Australia

As virtual and hybrid events continue to grow in size and

What are the benefits of a DCO?

frequency, Arinex CEO Nicole Walker sheds some insight on

A DCO is like a one-stop-shop for virtual/hybrid events. With

the expert teams who deliver these events, Digital Conference

expert online event managers and tried-and-tested in-house

Organisers (DCOs), and answers some common questions.

technology solutions and support throughout the entire event journey, a DCO team will take the fear of the unknown – and

What is a DCO?

the risk – out of transitioning from physical events to virtual/

DCO stands for Digital Conference Organiser, which is a spe-

hybrid. An experienced DCO team will help you increase mem-

cialised team that not only plans, but enhances the conference

bership/attendance, manage financial risks and drive engage-

experience through use of emerging digital technologies. DCOs

ment - whatever your objectives a DCO will partner with you to

were born about 18 months ago, in response to the changing

ensure successful return on investment.

requirements for events worldwide and subsequent rise in virtual or hybrid events. A DCO is now seen as an important

What skills are needed to build a DCO team?

component of a PCO (Professional Conference Organiser).

DCOs are derived from experienced Event Managers with expertise in hybrid and virtual events, who become the main

Does every PCO have a DCO team?

contact for the client and drive the event development and

In a nutshell, no. A full-service DCO incorporates a skilled

delivery by the team. A Technology Manager with experience

technology team to drive the virtual elements of the event and

in integration and systems development is important, to

most PCOs need to partner with another provider to facili-

carry out requested product modifications and to oversee the

tate this. There are many advantages to keeping everything

smooth technical delivery of the event. A Sponsorship Manag-

in-house; with one team managing the entire event comes

er will design tailored virtual and hybrid sponsorship packages

better security, less chance of human error and more efficient

and manage stakeholder relationships, consulting the spon-

and effective communications. These DCO event managers

sors on how to achieve maximum outcomes on their virtual/

understand event technology – as well as what it takes to run a

hybrid involvement. Depending on the size and complexity of

successful online event – better than anyone else in the indus-

the event, a number of Event Coordinators will be needed to

try. We are fortunate to have a DCO team and after delivering

do the heavy lifting of the conference.

specialist DCO services for 45 virtual or hybrid events in the past 12 months we are positioned more effectively than ever to deliver on our clients’ needs and objectives.


| September 2021


How can virtual/hybrid events match the attendance

being achieved. In terms of attendance, we are now seeing an

and profitability of in-person events?

increase in overall delegate numbers; a decrease in physical

The industry has had to adapt to view virtual attendees as

but an increase in overall reach. Sponsors may not be having

not just an ‘add-on’ but a very different demographic – and

1:1 contact but are gaining access to a much larger audience

we need to ensure we are providing the same level of value

and the data and analytics available to sponsors within a virtu-

for both physical and virtual attendees. If networking is a key

al platform are much more informative.

objective, particularly with regards to sponsors and exhibitors, there are platforms that allow for better engagement and then

Interested in knowing more?

the DCO can derive sponsorship packages to ensure ROI is

You can contact Nicole Walker at Arinex | September 2021



© Mediaserver Hamburg / Geheimtipp Hamburg


Hamburg provides the best networks and connections between science and economy, building the perfect environment to get the maximum impact out of your event. And besides from that you are in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Contact us for more information I


| September 2021



Currently, there are many variations of digital event portals

Additionally, the portal can be supported by push notifications

on the market, and it is not easy to find the right solution

to inform attendees of sessions taking place throughout the

for a scientific congress. For example, a congress requires

day. During a congress, this can drive higher engagement rates.

different components than a corporate event. What do the participants expect and how do I convey the scientific

Face-to-face interactions are strongly supported by the

content in a clear form? How flexibly can the software

implementation of Meet-the-Expert sessions and educational

adapt to my circumstances?

seminars, which allow participants to share and deepen their scientific ideas with other experts or participants. These

CPO HANSER SERVICE has made it their main task to drive the

interactions can lead to better knowledge sharing results.

digital transformation of scientific congresses – and to address

Moreover, the scientific content can be accessed on-demand

the needs of its clients and congress participants in the best

after the congress has ended.

possible way. Together with CPO’s own IT company GLOBIT GmbH, we developed the CPO Congress Portal last year and have improved it with every implementation since. As a PCO, CPO had a significant influence on the requirements for such a system and involved its association clients in the process. This distinguishes the portal from many others. The portal can be adapted to any corporate design, and among other things, allows for the flexible connection of creative formats. But the most important part is the positive attendee experience: The intuitive navigation guides attendees through an extensive scientific program with ease. The congress program can be displayed in either calendar or list view, depending on attendee preference – in their own time zone or congress time zone. To ensure a better experience, additional emphasis was placed on the colour scheme and a clear visual language, which has led to a better look and feel.

The CPO Congress Portal enables face-to-face interactions, which are similar to an in-person congress The CPO project team is proud of the new product. Surveys and feedback have shown that for participants, both the structure and the look and feel of the new CPO congress portal have made a big difference and have led to an overall increase in the time spent at the sessions and higher participant satisfaction. GLOBIT GmbH also offers the congress portal for associations and other PCOs directly. If you are interested, we would be happy to guide you through it. Please contact Katrin Suchi at

The CPO Congress Portal enables face-to-face interactions, which are similar to an in-person congress. It offers attendees a chat function (Q&A), a social wall and gamification options. | September 2021 25


DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION | LEARNING & DEVELOPING ON THE RISE IAPCO member ICOM (Egypt) tells us about their journey Author: Marwa Emam, ICOM

Digital Transformation should be at the forefront of every

professional platforms to provide successful events. And

organization’s mind, and is defined as “the adoption of digital

thanks to the efforts of ICOM teams, we managed to stand

technology to transform services or businesses, through

up quickly against all the challenges.

replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology”. However, this easily digested definition is not so simply implemented in the workplace. There are challenges to overcome before the benefits of digital transformation can be realized by an organization. ICOM Group has 200+ employees who have been at the forefront of digital transformation from both research and execution perspectives have collectively harnessed the power of digital transformation to stay at the head of our business.

Adjusting the mindset of the team to embrace the new digital era was not easy process though, as it required understanding, persuasion and resilience. Adjusting the mindset of the team to embrace the new digital era was not easy process though, as it required

There is no doubt that the Events industry has been majorly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of 2020. Due to this drastic shift during the pandemic, all the Events Industry Leaders acted quickly aiming to address this issue and came up with several new scenarios to sustain the industry, until this massive attack of the pandemic vanishes away, hopefully soon.

understanding, persuasion and resilience. These were the main 3 key ingredients that helped our organization break all boundaries of change and achieve breakthroughs in no time! Our Technical and Operation Teams though made their homework and spent nights working on developing advanced software aiming to deliver a seamless live streaming experience, as our main priority was to ensure the audience’s satisfaction and guarantee their total engagement. “The tragic hit of the pandemic was devastating for all businesses and we needed to find a quick and effective solutions to protect our business interests. I am so happy and proud, for being able with the help of the team to create a solution that would facilitate events experiences”, said Jailan Ibrahim – Web Solutions Assistant Manager “As organizations continue their journey towards digital

And since we are walking through a new phase, ICOM Group adapted new strategies to shift all its events from the physical to the virtual & hybrid forms after convincing our stakeholders with the benefits of the New Normal Templates. We worked hardly for several months to come up with reliable & 26

| September 2021

transformation and application modernization, our team worked for more than 5 months to help the company acquire modern business solutions that are both powerful and easy to operationalize”, said Ahmed Magdy – Web Solutions Executive


One of the most overlooked elements in digital transformation is the role of training new employees and providing ongoing professional support to existing ones.

“ICOM employees are fully dedicated & oriented to drive our business to embrace this change. As we know that the benefits an organization can expect once transformed are tremendous”, said Walid Menessi - Chief Operating Officer

One of the most overlooked elements in digital transformation is the role of training new employees and providing ongoing professional support to existing ones. And since we completely understand the idea of continues education, ICOM Group has been organizing a series of

The good news is most organizations are already digitally

in-depth trainings and workshops for the employees

transforming because the environments around them are

addressing the topic of “Digital Transformation” and

already in motion. And we are sure that ICOM’s global

emphasizing its necessity in our modern world specially

experience and dedication to learning and development

during this critical time of the pandemic. We always aspired

will enable the company of delivering unique, customized

to combine our experience as a PCO with digital know-how

business experience.

to deliver best in class digital events solutions. Our Management Team is fully aware that Digital Transformation is certainly not something that happens overnight and it takes a large sum of investment and believes that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.

| September 2021



3 TRENDS BOUND TO STAY BEYOND THE PANDEMIC Opinion: José María Ávila, VP BD for Iberia & Latin America, KENES Group

Although the spectrum is very wide with market differences

delegates across all of our conferences. This new audience

between countries, most events are still being organised

provides added value to the interactions taking place at

virtually, especially the scientific and medical ones. There are

the meetings. This brings me to the next trend:

places where commercial or corporate events are being held in-person, but these remain the exception. Association clients

Delegates want to network

cannot afford an eventual worsening of the situation that

Participants are of course interested in content, but they

would force them to cancel or reschedule. Virtual events offer

want more than attending a session out of their congress

that safety net they need at the moment.

experience. They want to have the opportunity to interact with each other. We need to develop and deploy platforms

From our observations and conversations with clients, I fear

and tools that allow networking among participants.

that the return to face-to-face events will not take place before 2023. Of course, we expect 2022 to be a year of transition,

Hybrid events

during which it is very likely that certain events in specific

The two trends above will ensure the success of hybrid events.

locations and countries could and will be held. I anticipate

Events will not only be conducted face-to-face, but they will

that the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a very

have an online component with different venues, speakers

complicated period.

connected through technology and virtual platforms. If we are able to provide the right tools and find a way to maximise

We are also seeing some interesting trends, that we will

interaction and networking, we will be able to capture the

need to capitalise on. I will share 3 with you:

international audience that has joined our virtual events on the longer term, and enhance the reach of our content.

Higher number of international attendees With no travel and accommodation expenses to worry about, attendees are more likely to join an event. We are experimenting an important increase of international


| September 2021

This will be the future, and we are getting ready for it.


REGAINING THE CONFIDENCE OF ASSOCIATIONS: KEY ELEMENTS DESTINATIONS CANNOT AFFORD TO MISS Opinion: André Vietor, Managing Director Bco Congresos These are not easy times for any destination around the


globe to regain the confidence of hosting international

Flexibility is a must when it comes to Force Majeure clauses,

meetings. Uncertainty prevails for all associations when

cancellation terms and postponement of the meeting. The

it comes to deciding on future editions of congresses and

recent experience shows that destinations who were flexible

their format. These decisions used to be taken a long time

and collaborative with cancellations or postponements gained

in advance but the current climate forces associations to

a loyal client for the years to come. This isn’t just about the

shift their decision making process to a much shorter term.

venue, but hotels and other service providers involved in the

Whether to cancel, to maintain the scheduled dates, to

supply chain.

postpone their conferences to another date and sometimes even to consider a destination change can happen at the

In most of the cases we assisted associations and destination

very last minute.

marketing organisations with all 3 by providing solutions and avoiding major damage in critical situations.

My view on how to seduce organisations to select a destination for an in-person or hybrid meeting comes down

In this respect I would like to mention that IAPCO

to these 3 key criteria: risk assessment, safety measures

Ambassadors have recently worked with BestCities Global

and flexibility.

Alliance to update bidding guidelines that help associations re-write their own bid guidelines or RfP’s to ensure they

Risk assessment

include the virtual and hybrid requirements.

No association can afford to take risks neither related to

Hybrid-Congress-Guidelines-April-2021.pdf (

the health of their participants nor financially. Destinations who are smart enough to provide a risk assessment plan

Furthermore, the IAPCO National PCO Association Task Force

to associations have a greater chance to be heard and

is working with 14 National PCO Associations to advocate for

considered as they show empathy with their clients’

the safe re-opening of events. IAPCO International FORUM of

concerns. Solutions on how to minimise risks gives destina-

Tourism & Development Ministers | IAPCO: The International

tions a competitive advantage over others that do only “sell”.

Association of Professional Congress Organisers

Safety measures Besides implementing safety measure at the conference

This feature was originally published in Latin America

venue and given that all attendees have to have a Covid

Meetings Magazine

passport or have to go through mandatory daily PCR tests to attend the meeting, the difficulty lies in how to ensure safety of the participants outside the venue. This can be achieved but is very complex since we have to get all stakeholders in the city “on board” to ensure a safe environment for all attendees such as at the airport, hotels, public transport system, restaurants and bars, to name only a few. | September 2021 29


FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY - READY, NOT TO GO BACK Author: Flaminia Roberti, Global Sales Director Member: AIM International, Italy Perspectives on the resumption of the events market, the

Also, the Covid pandemic has accelerated a process that

evolution of meeting formats, the legacy of the pandemic,

began many years ago, putting us in front and centre, perhaps

the lessons learned and the new routines that need to be

in a slightly bold way, forcing us to face new realities that

reviewed. These topics are all covered in this in-depth

required us to be fast, flexible, use new skills and mindset and

interview with Flaminia Roberti, Global Sales Director

build new business models. This has also meant that we have

of AIM Group International.

fundamentally reshaped our future and that of the industry. The only thing that is certain now is that tomorrow will be

With the end to the crisis foreseen by many countries and

different from today, which is certainly different from yester-

with the resumption of in-person events, we asked Flaminia

day, but hasn't this always been what is called the “normality”

Roberti, as Global Sales Director of AIM Group International

of the Meeting Industry?

with a deep knowledge of the market, about her vision and her outlook for the meetings industry.

What do you anticipate for the recovery of events? Which formats will be more prevalent?

How did the event professionals react to the

Today, more than ever, content is king. In the same way, the

crisis caused by the pandemic?

need to share “knowledge” within communities using relevant

Our mission as meeting planners is to design the best possible

and engaging topics is still highly relevant as is the need to f

meeting experience, but no one dictates that this experience

oster human interaction. What we cannot predict today is what

has to be face-to-face, so we moved the experience online.

format will be used in the future to meet these needs.

Definitely, over the last few months we have had to reinvent ourselves and totally revise how we spend our days. We also

I believe that the new reality will mean that we broaden our

had to seize new opportunities and transform concepts all the

horizons and we will begin to accept that where and when

time, making creative steps along the way with great flexibility.

events will “happen” will be less important than the why.

I suppose this is one of the principles of our profession, isn’t?

The national meetings market and corporate events will be the


| September 2021


first to start and these will be organised in a complaint

international RFPs. Working closely with our legal consultants

way reflecting what can be done and when. However, we also

we are creating formulas that can reassure clients of our ability

have major international events in the calendar. So far many

to operate in such a complex context, protecting both of us.

have chosen the hybrid format, others are still aspiring to a face-to-face meeting. The vaccine, the great game changer,

But all this is only possible thanks to the trusted relationships

has giving us a hand in instilling a sense of security regarding

that we have established over the years with both clients and

the ability to move, travel and meet. But we have concrete

with our partners, from hotel chains to all the players who

limitations that we cannot ignore and that still have a

contribute to the success of a project. I believe that the

significant impact on our industry. In the coming months,

Pandemic has emphasised the need to work with reliable

air routes remain closed, space capacity in venues is limited

and experienced partners. After years in which perhaps the

and preventative measures still need to be in place.

contraction of the market has triggered an increasingly aggressive competition, I have the feeling that today quality,

Trust still needs to be regained by both clients and

professionalism and above all transparency have returned

participants following this shock. How do you think

to play an important role in the final choice of a client.

the issue will be solved? Building confidence is one of the essential objectives of the next few months. Today we must instil in our customers a sense of trust, we must make all our stakeholders feel calm

Digital has become the only space for activity for many

and safe. At AIM Group, we have a team of dedicated, skilled

months, how much of this will remain and how much

professionals to elaborate protocols which are then updated

will be abandoned?

daily so that all new government measures and guidelines

There is no doubt that the crisis has been a challenge for

are strictly adhered to. It is also crucial to manage contracts

our creativity: we have worked on new concepts, such as

and ensure there is flexibility in terms of cancellation policies

“reworking agendas” or “Groups in Groups”, new ways that

with suppliers and clients, which is always a requirement in

have allowed us to monitor and plan more precisely. But it

| September 2021 31

ON POINT ARTICLES is also evident how technology has become central and has

One of the key features of the hybrid meeting, which is not

helped us not lose the vision of the future. Not surprisingly,

highlighted enough, is inclusiveness, as well as the ability to

AIM Group launched the Open Innovation Network, AIM

profile users in a very precise way before, during and after the

Communication, right in the middle of the pandemic and


this new digital arm has greatly benefited us! Thanks to the creation of clusters, we can better adapt the On-site technology such as wearable devices, touchless tech-

format, but above all communicate in a really effective way

nology and facial recognition which facilitates interactive and

towards our targets.

appealing virtual events, will continue to help us face challenges today and tomorrow. Considering digital is no longer a plan B in comparison to in person meetings but as an extra resource! The more contactless, the better. People are often talking about an imminent return to the New Normal. How do you imagine it: digital, hybrid or in-person? To be honest, I am among those who go against the tide. Those who think that tomorrow will have to be as it was yesterday will have great difficulty finding their way in the coming months. For example, I believe that the concept of social distancing (which helped us not spread the virus,) is somehow misleading. Today we have actually become more open, more flexible, but also more social. If I think about how many appointments I can make today thanks to video calling systems, I must admit that I quadrupled the number compared to 2019 and even then it was not a small number! For the rest, the desire to meet and discuss will come back stronger than before. We are tribal people, the need to tell our experiences, to share them through Story Telling has accompanied our society for centuries. And what is an event, if not a moment in which a community shares its knowledge, its work, its emotions? Thinking concretely about the future, I am sure that meetings will be different and that we will have to be able to offer the best possible experience to both digital and in-person audiences, because in my opinion those who think that face to face meetings will resume as we left them are wrong. So, do you think that events in the future will always be hybrid? I firmly believe in hybrid or augmented meetings, a format that opens up endless possibilities.


| September 2021

We are tribal people, the need to tell our experiences, to share them through Story Telling has accompanied our society for centuries. It is clear that the great potential of a hybrid meeting is more evident for international events that attract attendance from all over the world, as happened at the last ESH-ISH Joint Meeting, where we had for the first time large groups of delegates connected from India, Myanmar, the Philippines, etc. This larger participation is a treasure that, if we are smart about it, can convert to loyal, repeat attendees at in-person conferences for years to come. After the pandemic, what challenges do you foresee for the near future? The challenge is to find a balance between the need for interaction and the new digital reality that emerged and was established in recent months. At AIM Group we have opened a discussion or think-tank between Key Opinion Leaders and companies to try to understand what their real needs are today, what are the challenges that both are facing and what are the useful solutions to overcome them. Clarifications and useful suggestions can emerge from dialogue and discussion. In conclusion, to return to the question of returning to the “new normal”, can I confess something in all sincerity? I have always tried to keep myself at a great distance from the concept of normality! Let's say that from now on we will only talk about extraordinary things!


HONG KONG’S PIVOTAL I&T HUB ROLE REINFORCED WITH TECH EVENT WINS Hong Kong, a leading international innovation and technology

TENCON returns to Hong Kong thanks to the referral of an

(I&T) hub, has secured two major technology events — the

ambassador representing one of the IEEE HK Chapters.

inaugural Greater Bay Area Artificial Intelligence & Robotics

TENCON’s Conference Chair and Chairlady of the IEEE Hong

Conference 2022 (GBAAIR Conference) and the return of Asia’s

Kong Section, Dr Paulina Chan, described Hong Kong as “an

largest IEEE Region 10 Conference 2022 (TENCON) — as

ideal destination for technology-business integration and a

industry leaders appointed as Hong Kong Convention

convenient base for hosting professional conferences in Asia.”

Ambassadors (HKCA) by the Hong Kong Tourism Board

She is confident that the upcoming TENCON will “reach new

help promote the city as Asia’s premier event destination.

horizons in international participation.”

GBAAIR, organised by the Hong Kong Productivity Council

The event wins underline that Hong Kong’s attributes as an

(HKPC) represented in the HKCA programme, will bring

I&T hub and an international gateway with convenient access

together global artificial intelligence and robotics experts for

to the GBA are enhancing the city’s appeal as a destination

in-depth exchange about the opportunity-rich Greater Bay

for tech events. The Government’s strong support for the

Area (GBA). The fast-growing megalopolis is formed of Hong

development of the I&T sector will further position Hong

Kong, Macao and nine cities in Guangdong with a collective

Kong in a leading role in moving innovation development

population of 86 million and thousands of global

forward in the GBA, making the city a perfect destination to

multinational corporations. “Playing host to this event will

take tech events to greater heights.

underscore Hong Kong’s top-notch research capability in artificial intelligence and robotics,” said HKPC Chairman,

Follow Meetings and Exhibitions Hong Kong on

Mr Willy Lin.

LinkedIn to keep abreast of the latest updates of the city’s MICE industry.

| September 2021 33



COVID-19 has dramatically changed the face of the

limitations, or if registrations are less or exceed expectations,

conference and meeting industry over the previous 18

we can act swiftly based on our scenario planning.

months. Suddenly we all had to make a switch to 100% online

This is not only relevant for the on-site delegates, but also for

conferences. Thanks to our inhouse congress IT department,

online participation: it is essential to align any program to fit

we were able to quickly adapt to the increase in demands this

both audiences. We all need to be aware that there is a

new situation presented and we adjusted our services to the

different focus if 15% is online or if 50% is online. As a full

specific needs of each client.

service company, we accommodate for both on-site and online. This allows us to adapt to the changing circumstances

1. 100% online isn’t the solution

in any part of the planning.

While everyone has needed to adapt to this ‘new’ situation, we observe that 100% online isn’t the optimum solution for

With our experience and knowledge we are flexible enough

our clients. Off course, online plays an important role in the

to facilitate the changing requirements for clients. Take for

future developments of congresses and content driven events,

example, a traditional live event, where there is the need for a

but the need for personal contact is essential for delegates to

lot of technical equipment. A smart solution is to also use this

build and nurture relationships. It is also key for Associations

equipment for an online event, which increases the audience

in building communities based on relationships and networks,

reach, and makes a viable business case for a hybrid event.

and for the future of organizations which thrive on volunteer

These days the number of on-site participants is so uncertain

leadership, human interaction is fundamental.

until a few weeks prior to a congress, so, we offer clients the flexibility to adjust the meeting room sizes, even during the

So, let’s assume the future will be hybrid! What challenges

event, with our temporary-room construction service.

and opportunities lie ahead? 3. Inclusive stage set up 2. Create flexibility and the ability to adapt

From a design perspective so much comes together during

With the recent restrictions and unexpected adjustments fresh

the meeting rooms’ stage set up, as in essence, this is the

in our minds, it is smart to plan and prepare for all possible

place where online and off-line meet. This is when we need to

future scenarios. So, if we are suddenly presented with more

ensure that each speaker and their presentation works for the


| September 2021

PARTNER ACS on-site delegates and also looks good for the online audience.

premises. We see that specific attention to this will pay off and

So, how do we create an attractive setup that looks good and

significantly increase delegate experience!

easily enables watching a session on a computer screen? Tips for Associations It is also realistic to assume that not all speakers will appear

• Pandemic ready: plan for any possible future pandemic

on stage, as some will make their presentations online. For

• Plan and prepare for all possible scenarios

this, we have developed multiple solutions. We can arrange

• Create a stage setup that works for both online and on-site

pre-recordings, where a technician gives online support to

• Make use of pre-recordings when speakers cannot be

make a high quality recording to be shown later at the event.

physically present on stage

We can also set up live connections with speakers during

• Think about how to keep content online and make it

the event, so distance no longer needs to be an issue. These

accessible to all

creative solutions bring speakers and their presentations on

• Anticipate the increased need from delegates for

stage from all around the globe. We work together with clients

social interaction

to create appealing environments for the people physically present at the event, and also facilitate interaction with both

About ACS

audiences on-site and online. ACS audiovisual solutions is a full-service AV and congress 4. Make content available

technology supplier. We are known for our unique temporary

With the changes of interaction that we have all experienced,

room constructions that give clients the possibility to adapt

there have been notable changes in content consumption,

their venue of choice to their specific meeting room capacity

as well as the needs of delegates and members, which has


also brought about new challenges. For on-site, when all sessions are available live and online, how do we offer the

We have many years of experience organizing conferences

on-site delegates the opportunity to watch missed sessions

and other events for a wide range of industries and clients.

or specific content? There is an increasing demand to keep

And have worked with numerous European venues, PCOs

online content available 24/7 and for a longer period - ideally

and Associations.

all-year round, as part of ongoing education. Increasing the available online video material, and aligning search options

ACS also provides IT solutions for content driven events,

that offer suggested content based on history or profile,

including online platforms, presentation management,

as well as adjusting personal preferences will all need to be

temporary studios, streaming and digital posters.

incorporated. Enabling all of this will open new doors, but will also put pressure on organizations and budgets, as the

For more information about our specific services, please visit:

obligation to keep uploading and providing new content to

stay relevant may soon need to be considered.

If you have any direct questions, we are waiting for your call at: [+31206069340]

5. Expand the availability of social spaces We anticipate a major shift in the need for social spaces. With the amount of content that has been generated over the previous 18 month by online congress platforms, there has also been a substantial pause on personal contact, interactive networking and relationship building. As this is one of the main drivers for delegates to attend a physical event, congresses will need to anticipate an expansion of these social spaces. They will need to address how to design different areas outside the meeting rooms to facilitate safe networking and getting-to-know-each-other sessions that will enable delegates to easily meet up with old or new friends while staying on

| September 2021 35



Doctor Dean Morris Dr. Dean Morris is the Head of Operations at ANSTO’s Australian Synchrotron facility. The Australian Synchrotron is a world-class research facility that uses accelerator technology to produce a powerful source of light - x-rays and infrared radiation, a million times brighter than the sun.

There’s a reason why Melbourne continually wins hosting

The Australian Synchrotron state-of-the-art technologies

rights for international conferences and business events –

support the research needs of Australia’s major universities

it’s home to a knowledge community that the Melbourne

and research centres, and businesses ranging from small-to-

Convention Bureau (MCB) partners with to amplify

medium enterprises to multinational companies. Access to

Melbourne’s global position as a knowledge capital.

these technologies helps Australia’s brightest minds to be at the forefront of their fields, strengthening Melbourne’s

Club Melbourne harnesses the passion of Melbourne’s great

reputation in the scientific community and attracting

minds and leaders and is owned and led by Melbourne

experts from around the world.

Convention and Exhibition Centre, with support and collaboration from MCB and the Victorian State Government. .

Dr. Morris has completed a Ph.D. in X-ray optics at the

Club Melbourne Ambassadors and thought leaders work

Daresbury and Brookhaven synchrotrons. He has extensive

together with MCB to secure and host international

experience in the scientific sector acquired through different

conferences. These conferences are pivotal to promoting

jobs around the world, including performing as CERN Business

Victoria’s expertise in fields such as science, medicine and

Manager for Oxford Instruments, a key supplier of the

technology around the world, boosting its economy and

European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

leaving lasting business networks and research legacies. Let’s learn about some of the Club Melbourne Ambassadors

Dr. Morris works to support Melbourne in securing and hosting

who have influenced and supported the science sector

international conferences in the scientific and engineering sector.

locally and internationally. Professor Hugh Taylor AC Professor Sharon Lewin

Melbourne Laureate Professor Hugh Taylor is the Harold

Professor Sharon Lewin is one of Melbourne’s sector

Mitchell Professor of Indigenous Eye Health at the University

champions in the medical field. Known internationally as a

of Melbourne and an expert and pioneer in eye health.

global leader in HIV research, she is an infectious diseases

Previously he was Head of the Department of Ophthalmology

physician and basic scientist and the inaugural Director of

at the University of Melbourne and Founding Director of the

The Doherty Institute, a joint venture of the University of

Centre for Eye Research Australia. He has devoted over 40 years

Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital.

to ophthalmic research and teaching, aiming to improve lives through the design and delivery of community eye health

Prof. Lewin leads a large research team that focuses on

care programs.

understanding why HIV persists on treatment and how HIV interacts with other common co-infections, including hepatitis

Prof. Taylor has supported MCB in numerous bids, including

B virus (HBV). Her team has pioneered multiple early phase

securing the World Ophthalmology Congress 2022 (WOC 2022)

clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV i

which prior to the pandemic, was expected to be the largest

nfection and collaborates widely with research groups

conference ever secured for Victoria. The congress may now

across Asia, the United States and Europe.

see delegates from across the globe connect virtually to discuss new trends, products and developments in

As one of Melbourne’s great minds and a thought leader in the

ophthalmology and eye health.

medical field, Prof. Lewin was crucial to the success in securing the International AIDS Conference 2014 where she co-chaired

Find out more about Melbourne’s greatest minds and expert

one of the largest ever health conferences hosted in Australia.

sectors: ambassadors


| September 2021



GUARANT International (GI) turns 30. Their roots go back to

participants and more. During 30 years, Guarant have been

1991 when their Managing Director and one of the partners,

organizers of more than 3.000 congresses, conferences and

Luděk Vocílka, decided to establish the company. He had a

webinars. Furthermore, have helped our associations grow.

basic business plan but, more importantly, he had the enthusiasm and courage that helped him build a strong company.

The event industry has dramatically changed in the last

In the 1990s, incentive (and subsequently congress) tourism in

30 years and as a Czech leader Guarant has developed with it.

the Czech Republic was operated only by the state. GI was the

They have seen huge changes in travelling. They have gone

first private company in the Czech Republic to organize

from sending congress by fax to sending modern online

congresses. Later on, Guarant established different brands for

presentations by email, and seen virtual events replace face to

association management (Association House), Venue

face meetings. So instead of hibernating, are looking forward

management and corporate events (IDEAS by

to the next thirty years with new ideas, a strong team, satisfied

GUARANT International).

clients and successful events in front of us.

Over the years, Guarant has have grown with their clients and

GUARANT International, thanks amazing employees and every

have been fortunate to form wonderful partnerships. They

client and partner who has made this journey with them.

have organized congresses and conferences all over the world – from Asia to Russia to Latin America. Our significant events

And to conclude - for this celebration Guarant prepared a

were the 55th International Monetary Fund and the World

special landing page on their website, so don´t hesitate

Bank Joint Annual Meeting in Prague with 17,5 thousand

and find more backstage information. Please visit https://

participants, the 23rd International Epilepsy Congress with

4.500 participants, the UEGW Prague 2004 with 9.800

SPONSORS EAGER TO RETURN TO IN-PERSON EVENTS ACCORDING TO A SURVEY BY AIM GROUP Member: AIM International, Italy AIM Group International conducted a survey of leading pharmaceutical and biopharma companies to understand their perspectives regarding next Autumn's events. AIM Group International carried out the survey Events

representatives of pharmaceutical and biopharma companies

in-person, hybrid or digital? Trends and perspectives from

from across all therapeutic areas about the return to events

the Sponsors to capture the viewpoints from over 200

organisation. Here are some of the key findings. Read more

| September2021 37


P4G SEOUL SUMMIT : NEW ERA OF VIRTUAL MULTILATERAL EVENT FOR CLIMATE CHANGE IAPCO Member: Ezpmp, Republic of Korea The P4G (Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030) Seoul Summit hosted by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korea was held in Seoul on May 30-31 and IAPCO’s member

Korea designated as a hosting country for its 2nd Meeting

Ezpmp managed the whole organization of this hybrid event

in 2020, but it was postponed for a year to May 2021 by

successfully. P4G is a global initiative that was launched in

Pandemic. With about 50 top-level and high-level officials,

2017 to accelerate response to climate change and

and heads of around 20 international organizations attending,

achievement of SDGs, the world's biggest pending issues.

in particular, leaders of 12 countries participated in the live

When the first meeting in Denmark was held in October 2018,

online multilateral meeting. Read more


At this year's Congrex Switzerland company event, the team went hiking and enjoyed a buffet in a nearby park afterwards. After organising some challenging virtual and hybrid events, the employees definitely deserved this short getaway.


| September 2021


COSPAR 2022, 44TH SCIENTIFIC ASSEMBLY IN ATHENS AMUSED BY THE ATHENIAN URANIA Member: AFEA, Greece COSPAR Athens 2022 - 44th Scientific Assembly, one of the most prominent, truly global and exciting events in Space Physics and Astrophysics, will be hosted for the first time in

After a demanding, effort- and time-intensive bidding process in cooperation with the Local Organizing Committee, AFEA has been assigned with the task to support this upscale event. The challenge is ahead of us: over 140 scientific sessions, international speakers from 60+ different countries, 30 parallel meeting rooms, 2,500+ participants from all over the world, are just a few of the defining Assembly elements. Already adjusted to the new era, AFEA and an expert Local Organizing Committee are fully prepared to host a successful and safe meeting. For detailed information, please visit the official Assembly website:

Athens, Greece, on 16-24 July 2022, at the state-of-the-art Megaron Athens International Conference Center.

ON AFEA Member: AFEA, Greece Interview of AFEA CEO and IAPCO Board Member, Sissi Lygnou at Hellenic-TV UK#HellenicTV #MeetingsIndustry #afeameetings #greece

| September2021 39


3RD ARCTIC SCIENCE MINISTERIAL (ASM3) 2021 CONGRÈS INC. SUPPORTS MINISTERS OF SCIENCE MEETING TO DEBATE AND ADVANCE ARCTIC COOPERATION Member: Congrès Inc, Japan FAST FACTS: • Meeting: 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM3) • Dates: 8 – 9 May 2021 • Theme: “KNOWLEDGE FOR A SUSTAINABLE ARCTIC OBSERVE, UNDERSTAND, RESPOND, AND STRENGTHEN” • Format: Hybrid: onsite and online participation • Hosts: Co-hosted by: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, Japan and Ministry of Education Science and Culture, and Iceland • Venue: Toranomon Hills, Tokyo, Japan and online • PCO: Congrès Inc. – PCO for all aspects of registration, speaker invitations/correspondence, website, virtual meeting platform development and operation, onsite operation, security broadcasting. • Attendance: 200 delegates (approx. 100 onsite, 100 online) from 35 countries and organizations, a new record! Read more

KUONI CONGRESS ORGANIZED THE FIRST HYBRID CONGRESS IN GENEVA Member: Kuoni Congress, Spain The XX International Congress on Mathematical Physics took place from the 2nd to the 7th August in Geneva. The team faced one of the most challenging event for this year... 88 sessions were delivered in an hybrid format over a full week! It was not a simple streaming to virtual attendees, it was a real full interaction between attendees, speakers and exhibitors

Another challenge that was completed for Mathematicians

who were half on site and half on line. Speakers switched from

was to include their incredible complex formulas in our on line

onsite and online, session chairs were interacting with both

and onsite program. Thanks to the work from our developer

worlds… Poster gallery available both online and onsite!

we were able to include the LaTeX format to render complex mathematical expressions.


| September 2021



Member: Kenes Group, Israel WONCA 2021 - there is still a human touch to events, they just stay and smile behind the screens, just like the team behind the 26th


Arinex has been inducted to MEA’s Hall of Fame for the third

the last three years in 2018, 2019 and 2020. It is believed to

time, in what is believed to be a MEA Awards first, following

be the first time a PCO has been inducted into the MEA

a successful evening at the annual awards ceremony.

Awards Hall of Fame for three consecutive times.

The events management company was named PCO of the

Read more

Year for the ninth consecutive year, after securing the title in 2006-2008 (Hall of Fame) and 2012-2014 (Hall of Fame) and for

| September2021 41


FAST-FORWARD TO THE FUTURE OF EVENTS THIS IS HOW THE RETURN TO MEETING AT IN-PERSON EVENTS LOOKS LIKE FOR ASSOCIATIONS Member: Kenes Group, Spain The Kenes Group team successfully carried out in-person The Kenes Group team successfully carried out in-person association events in Europe and the US. One fully in-person association events in Europe and the US. One fully in-person event gathered 490 healthcare professionals in Paris while event gathered 490 healthcare professionals in Paris while another hybrid event had 415 participants in Baltimore and another hybrid event had 415 participants in Baltimore and 245 virtual attendees. Proof of vaccination, negative PCR test 245 virtual attendees. Proof of vaccination, negative PCR test results were required in Paris, and attestation forms were filled results were required in Paris, and attestation forms were filled in Baltimore. in Baltimore. The first hybrid annual conference of the American Association The first hybrid annual conference of the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (AABIP) took for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (AABIP) took place 26-28 August in Baltimore, MD (US). Only a few days later, place 26-28 August in Baltimore, MD (US). Only a few days later, from 2-4 September, the team travelled to Paris, France, for the from 2-4 September, the team travelled to Paris, France, for the fully in-person 2nd Joint Congress of the International fully in-person 2nd Joint Congress of the International Neuromodulation Society European Chapters (e-INS 2021). Neuromodulation Society European Chapters (e-INS 2021). For AABIP the option for a hybrid event satisfied both the For AABIP the option for a hybrid event satisfied both the opportunity to meet for the first time since 2019 and the opportunity to meet for the first time since 2019 and the option to offer an online element for those that were not able option to offer an online element for those that were not able to travel. The event was a remarkable success, exceeding the expected attendance in both in-person and online elements with 415 delegates in Baltimore and 245 attendees online. Read more

ON #WEGATHERPEOPLE BTC, Mexico With its new marketing campaign BTC shifts the conversation from highlighting events to showcasing customers and commercial allies. The campaign starts talking about building communities, hybrid reality, global engagement, and marketing services. #WeGatherPeople 42

| September 2021

to travel. The event was a remarkable success, exceeding the expected attendance in both in-person and online elements with 415 delegates in Baltimore and 245 attendees online. Read more



This month, Magdalina Atanassova, from KENES Group picked 3 of her favorites – business and fiction- of the moment. • Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, Nir Eyal - an absolute must for busy event professionals! We all have a million balls up in the air, and this book helps you get better organised, more focused, and achieving more with seemingly less effort. And the best part - it has tips beyond work, but also how to be more present and better with your family, children, friends, and, of course - yourself. • The Advice Trap, Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever, Michael Bungay Stainer - it is the second book after The Coaching Habit that all participants at the AGM in Vancouver received. It builds on the first book and digs deeper into making the new coaching habits stick. • Some good fiction - any of Marc Lawrence's books, but especially the trilogy called Book of the Ancestor - a story about a girl with interesting powers, and her journey mastering those. Anyone can see themselves or their children in these books - it is a story about growth, friendship, being different, owning what you have.

| September2021 43


DESTINATION PARTNERS Long-term partners of IAPCO, each representing specific regions of the world


HOSTS, SERVICE PROVIDERS & CONVENTION CENTRES Recognising convention centres and suppliers to the meetings industry who provide an insight into current trends, latest innovations, advice and tips and quality service.

Convention Centre


Service Provider

Service Provider

Service Provider

| September 2021

Annual Meeting Host 2022