Doing business with associations – what works for organisers and suppliers?

As part of its continued commitment to raise standards in the industry, the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers’ (ABPCO) is organising a peer to peer debate at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre (QEIICC) on 23 September.  The debate will focus on the business challenges of running association conferences.

The event will give participants the opportunity to meet colleagues and share knowledge whilst experiencing first-hand the newly refurbished facilities at the QEIICC.

 The debate will focus on partnership working and commercial considerations between association conference organisers and conference suppliers.  The panel, which will be facilitated by James Lancaster, Editor of AMI magazine, will be made up of industry professionals from the association conference organiser and supplier sides of the market including:

· Sue Etherington, Commercial Director, QEIICC

· Michael Judd, Account Director, Associations, Hilton Hotels

· Rachael McGuickin, Director of Business Tourism, Visit Belfast

· Barbara Blow, Development Director, TFI Meeting Point

· Phil Ross, Head of Events, UCAS

The debate will also include discussions in smaller groups, allowing delegates to share recent experiences and feedback their collective view on specific commercial questions and issues.

Jennifer Jenkins, ABPCO’s chairman, comments: “A key aim of the debate is the production of a best practice paper to support our corporate and PCO members.  To date our round table events have been extremely popular as they give members an unique opportunity to share ideas freely and develop new ways to meet challenges within the market.  We see this debate as an evolution of this success and a new format of working with our members. The association sector is extremely buoyant and we hope that all delegates, whether a PCO or supplier, will learn how they can make the most out of the commercial opportunities available and engage in the discussion.”

Numbers are limited and delegates are advised to book early.  Bookings can be made via