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Industry standards debated at Chairman's Lunch

Association of British Professional Conference Organisers puts the role of the PCO under the spotlight
02/12/2013

The events industry needs to look beyond traditional recruitment methods, the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) heard. 

The role of the professional conference organiser (PCO) was put under the spotlight as the association debated industry standards at its chairman's lunch, at etc.venues, St Paul’s, London.

Guest speaker was Leeds Metropolitan University professor of tourism and events Rhodri Thomas, who described the definition of a professional conference organiser and how the industry could achieve a collective identity, while there was also spirited input from those new to the industry.

Asked about the future of the industry, Rob Harrison, of newly-formed PCO Contendam, said: "It  will continue to expand, we're offering flexibility and services, but we need to recruit from outside traditional areas. We very much need to be able to engage with the client in a stronger way earlier and with the client themselves.”

When one delegate expressed the view that the new generation of events organisers were not prepared to put the necessary hard work in to achieve results and expected success to be handed to them on a plate, Hollie Brown, a third year events management student at the University of Central Lancashire, gave a passionate response, receiving a round of applause for her argument.

She said: "I don't see the gold-digging side of things. I understand how things work at a ground level. Let us come in, give us support because we just know books, but just let us be creative. Let us mould your principles, but to the modern world.”

CAT Publications managing editor Martin Lewis chaired the discussion, while high-profile ABPCO members present included TFI Meeting Point, Banks Sadler, MCI UK, International Centre for Research in Events, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, The Meetings Show, Conference Centres of Excellence and etc.venues.


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