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Meeting planners facing period of "intense change"

New IAPCO president Jan Tonkin says tech, shifting responsibilities are changing the role for event planners

Pictured: New IAPCO president Jan Tonkin

Jan Tonkin, new president of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), says new technologies and changing roles for meeting planners is creating a period of "intense change".

The association's new head, who took up the presidency on 1 April, was elected at IAPCO's general assembly in Cape Town in February, and takes over from outgoing president Michel Neijmann for a two-year term.

Tonkin, MD of Auckland-based The Conference Company, said: "Our business is undergoing a period of intense change, as new technologies bring about the commodification of traditional services and the diversification of meeting formats. And the role of the meeting planner is also shifting, from logistics to a more strategic partnership.

"IAPCO's role is to help manage and lead that change. We do that by bringing together the best insights, ideas and strategy, passing them on to practitioners, and in turn, their clients."

IAPCO's new council will meet in Edinburgh later this month to review the association's strategic plan, with education to remain a strong focus.

It has welcomed three new council members, including Jean Evans (MCI Dublin), Alain Pittet (Congrex Switzerland) and Keith Burton (African Agenda).

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