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GDPR, risk assessments and no shows amongst biggest fears for association professionals

An ABPCO round table at the KIA Oval has explored a host of challenges faced by both agency and in-house ABPCO members.

Held under Chatham House Rules and titled “What Keeps You Awake at Night?” the event was an opportunity for members to gather and discuss the biggest challenges faced by their organisations.  Key topics highlighted as issues included:

•    GDPR and how it relates to membership organisations and their relationships with agencies •    Risk assessments and crisis management in a blame and liability focused culture •    No shows at free to attend events making it impossible to select the right sized venues •    Conflicting priorities and commitment amongst stakeholders and volunteers who don’t always value the importance of events or their role •    Understanding ‘Compliance’ and how to work with it •    Managing engagement and retention, and workloads when key members of the team leave, particularly with the growth of transient staff

“The event highlighted the truth of the old adage that a problem shared is a problem halved,” commented Rose Padmore, joint chair of ABPCO.  “The event was a real success.  It was an opportunity to be honest and seek support amongst our peers.  Every challenge was greeted by a host of thoughts and ideas from other people in the room who had either experienced the same or similar problems.  In truth, it was humbling to see the generosity and desire to support portrayed by all the people around the room.”

Yvonne Szuca from The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation commented: “Working in-house as a PCO can be quite an isolating experience.  Whilst I have a fantastic team and work in an exciting and vibrant sector it is great to step outside of the walls of the organisation and talk to professionals doing a job very similar to mine but under different circumstances.  I not only learnt a great deal today, I felt a part of a team all looking to support and help each other in the pursuit of best practice.”

Following the round table ABPCO held a short EGM with a single agenda point.  A motion was proposed and passed to move the AGM and Conference from a set January time-slot to create a better balance of member events throughout the year, whilst fitting more closely with the association’s financial calendar.

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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