At the Association of British Professional Conference Organizers (ABPCO)’s annual general meeting, which took place digitally on Friday, June 26, Michael Smith from RenewableUK and Barbara Calderwood from MCI UK began their two-year tenure as joint chairs of the association.
The online meeting was attended by more than 60 ABPCO members, who joined to hear details of the association’s recent successes as well as plans for the future. Incoming chairs Smith and Calderwood thanked the previous chairs for their achievements before outlining their ambitious roadmap for the coming two years.
Building on the work of the previous chairs, the roadmap, once developed with ABPCO’s executive, will focus on five key pillars and will be phased to address the immediate, mid and longer-term needs of ABPCO’s community. The short-term focus will be the support of members to ensure business resilience and the changing needs of associations in the light of COVID-19, particularly in the virtual space.
Mid- to longer term the focus will be on:
- Growing the ABPCO membership through a targeted approach to recruitment, particularly among in-house organizers and sectors not currently represented
- Developing ABPCO’s education portfolio and maximizing accessible e-learning opportunities to support members with skills development
- Enhancing ABPCO’s external voice on behalf of members through thought-leadership and engagement with customers and the industries they represent
- Ensuring the value proposition of ABPCO is better understood
- Building on the value of collaboration through belonging and learning for sustainable, long term growth
Outgoing chairs Jo Powel and Kate Sargent discussed their legacy of increased communication and learning opportunities through ABPCO’s new website, improved governance and above all else, the resilience of members throughout the COVID-19 challenges. They highlighted ABPCO’s sense of belonging and the ability of the members to come together and support each other through what is arguably the most challenging period in the history of the conference and events industry.