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World champion and Atlantic rower Rachel Smith to join ABPCO for AGM

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) is holding its next AGM at the ICC Birmingham on Friday 5th February 2016 with Dragon Boat world champion and Atlantic rower Rachel Smith as the special guest speaker.

A networking session will begin the day followed by a review of 2015, the results of the ABPCO board elections and a detailed look at the business plan for 2016 including ABPCO’s focus on hot industry topics such as the Living Wage.

BBC Midlands Today presenter Mary Rhodes will join Living Wage Foundation director Sarah Vero to discuss the campaign before Mark Riches and Sarah Wright take to the floor to talk about the new Trailblazer apprenticeship standard in events management.

Following lunch, Rachel Smith, who broke records rowing across the Atlantic in 2008, will share her insights into challenging yourself to do the extraordinary both in business and in personal life.

“The AGM is shaping up to be an outstanding event with interesting sessions and a superb guest speaker,” comments Nicole Leida, joint-chair of ABPCO. “2015 has been a successful year for ABPCO and the AGM will give us the opportunity to celebrate but it’s also a chance to look towards the future. Our dedicated sessions will make for interesting discussion amongst attendees but Rachel Smith will certainly open a few eyes when it comes to the challenges she has faced. We’re all looking forward to what should be a fantastic day at ICC Birmingham.”

As the networking dinners have proved so popular there will also be a social dinner held at Austin Court on Thursday 4th December. Both ABPCO members and non-members can still book spaces for these events by visiting

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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