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ABPCO to re-visit VAT following recent successful roundtable event

An additional event discussing VAT and how it applies to association conferences is in the works following The Association of British Professional Conference Organiser’s (ABPCO) latest successful roundtable.

The roundtable, which took place at the Elman Wall offices in London, brought ABPCO members together to discuss subjects such as VAT’s impact on key audiences and the pitfalls to avoid when dealing with the tax man. The event was spearheaded by Elman Wall Bennett director, David Bennett.

“VAT is perhaps not the sexiest of subjects but it’s a key part of business and our day to day lives in this industry,” comments Heather Lishman, Association Director at ABPCO. “David’s guidance and experience was of great importance when approaching this subject so we are thankful for his support. The fact is we could have kept talking for hours about this subject so there is a clear necessity to introduce another VAT roundtable into our calendar of events because of the value it holds for our PCO and Associate members. Whilst we haven’t yet confirmed anything, we will be looking to make this happen using feedback from our members.”

ABPCO has confirmed that it will encourage members to suggest what they’d like to see in a follow-up session before deciding on the next VAT event and its location.

Subjects covered at the roundtable included:

• When does VAT have to be applied and when should it be taken out of the equation? • How does VAT – or NO VAT – impact on key audiences, e.g. sponsors, delegates from the UK and overseas, partner societies? • VAT and charitable status – what are the rules? • What is TOMS, when and how does it need to be used and what is its effect? • 10 pitfalls to avoid in dealing with the VAT man

“As a PCO specialising in Association Events, being a member of ABPCO has been a good investment,” said Sarah Byrne, Director at Mosaic Events. “As part of the membership you’re invited to attend the roundtable events and the recent VAT session was very interesting and really helpful. VAT for event organisers can be a complete nightmare considering things like TOMS, however it was a great opportunity to share case studies and tips with other PCO’s as well as gain insight from an expert at Elman Wall. I have to say this was really worth my time and in fact a great benefit of the ABPCO membership. It is good to now have confidence that we will be handling our VAT correctly.”

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


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