ABPCO reveals content for inaugural Festival of Learning

ABPCO (the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) has announced details of the content line up for the Festival of Learning taking place from 1st-9th December, sponsored by GES.

Register here - https://www.abpco.org/events/abpco-festival-of-learning-1-9-december

The seven-day Festival of Learning will be online for the first six days before moving to a hybrid format for the final day at ExCeL London. Key themes explored during the festival will be: Future and Innovation, Marketing, CSR and Career Development.

ABPCO Association Director, Heather Lishman commented: “We received an overwhelming number of abstract and applications to speak at the Festival of Learning – demonstrating the importance of content aimed specifically at association event professionals. This programme offers content for all and is perfectly balanced to deliver what our industry needs to know now to continue recovering, moving forward, growing and developing.”

The Festival of Learning is being supported by:

  • GES – headline sponsor

  • Anna Valley – Excellence Awards sponsor

  • EventsAIR – digital platform provider

  • ExCeL London – live event venue and hospitality

  • Outsourced Events – PCO (delivered by ABPCO member Sue Frye and her team)

  • The Meetings Show – after show party sponsor

  • ACC Liverpool – Excellence Awards reception sponsor

  • JL Live – breaks and refreshments sponsor

Registration is open at https://www.abpco.org/events/abpco-festival-of-learning-1-9-december

ABPCO is the UK’s leading organisation for professional conference and event organisers, industry associates and those studying for, or seeking a career in the conference and meetings industry. For more information about ABPCO visit www.abpco.org

The programme is as follows:

7 Days of content | 30+ Speakers | 20+ Sessions 1-8 December - Up to 3 hours of content per day delivered online 9 December - Full day, in-person conference and Excellence Awards at ExCeL, London (9 December conference content will also be streamed online) (The Excellence Awards will be in-person only)

Wednesday 1st - Online

1345-1400 ABPCO Chairs - Michael Smith & Barbara Calderwood


1400-1445 Adam Baggs, Soaring Worldwide

Positive thought, Positive interaction and Positive action - how the 3Ps can

support your mental health

1600-1645 Martin Boyle & IAPCO Representatives

International Collaboration: working together for the greater good

Thursday 2nd - Online

1115-1145 Gordon Glenister

Influencer Marketing

1200-12.45 Anna Abdelnoor, ISLA

How we can use sustainable events to regenerate the industry

Friday 3rd - Online

1130-1200 Ken Kelling, Sense of Purpose

5 Steps to future proof your career

1215-1245 Clare Hearn, Falmouth University & Teresa Moore, A Greener Festival

Designing the future of sustainable event training

1300-1330 Lauren Fuery, MacMillan Cancer Support

Wellbeing at work

Monday 6th - Online

1400-1425 Sandra Eyre & The ICC Team

How venues have adapted their catering offering post COVID-19 (The ICC)

1430-1455 The Barbican, London & Partners & MCI UK

Collaboration, partnership and legacy (Barbican with London & Partners &


1500-1525 Aaron McKeen, EICC

Step Change - The Future of CSR at the EICC

1530-1555 Caroline Mackenzie & Marion Brown

Putting Sustainability at the centre of event planning: A COP26 case study

1600-1630 Lyndsey Rafferty, EICC & Julian Smith, memcom

Falling in to the 'unknown' world of Associations

Tuesday 7th - Online

1000-1030 Dr Raphaela Stadler, University of Hertfordshire

Effective Knowledge Management in event organisations - how to stop re-

inventing the wheel

1045-1115 Martin Linfield, James Hallam

How the insurance world is adapting post pandemic to event organisers

evolving risks

1130-1215 The team from Manchester Central

The evolving future of hybrid events

Wednesday 8th - Online

1000-1045 Dr Caroline Jackson

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - a social responsibility practically solved.

1100-1145 Alistair Turner, EIGHT PR & Marketing

Empathetic marketing

1200-1245 Mark Ford, Whitespace XPO Ltd

Brand Identity

Thursday 9th - In-person at ExCeL London & Online

0930-1020 The ABPCO Team, partners and sponsors

Arrival and welcome

1020-1100 Tracey Greaves, Goodwood Estate

Remaining relevant in a fast-changing world

1130-1215 Rob Eveleigh, Brightelm

Conference 2031: How will global industry trends affect association meetings

in ten years’ time?

1215-1235 Kathleen Warden, SEC

Overview of COP26 and its legacy

1330-1415 Catherine Newhall-Caiger, Bramcote International

How can venues and conference organisers maximise their partnership

1415-1530 1:1 Networking - Reconnect; Relax; and Meet our sponsors, supporters,

industry partners & more

1560-1630 ExCeL, MCI UK, London & Partners and James Latham

Leaving a legacy: the heart of a face to face meeting

1630-1700 ABPCO Chairs - Michael Smith & Barbara Calderwood

Closing Remarks

1700-2000 - Excellence Awards 2021

2000-late - After-show party at the Aloft Hotel