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ABPCO AGM reveals Festival of Learning and 10% membership fees reduction for 2021  

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) AGM, which was attended by more than 50 members, took place on Thursday, 24 June, as a digital event for the second year running.

The AGM revealed details of a Festival of Learning to take place in December, described as a “hybrid learning experience” delivered largely online. The seven days of content will finish with a face-to-face event and the annual ABPCO Excellence Awards.

During the AGM it was also announced that current ABPCO members would receive further financial support from the association via a 10% reduction in annual membership fees for existing members across 2022.

The AGM saw several changes to ABPCO’s executive board, including the departure, at the end of their tenure, of Kate Sargent, Jo Powel, Sandro Carnicelli and Anne Doherty. Seven new executive members were announced:

  • In-house PCO representatives - Garth Halliday (Renewable UK), Emma Duffy (The Royal College of Radiologists) and Jane Elsom (The Company of Biologists)
  • Agency PCO representatives - Sarah Byrne (Mosaic Events) and Samantha Salisbury (Jonsam Events)
  • Academic Institution representative – Dr James Musgrave (Leeds Beckett University)
  • Industry Partner representative - Steven Daun (P&J Live, Aberdeen)

ABPCO co-chair Barbara Calderwood said it has been a “great year” for ABPCO, particularly following the launch of its two-year strategic plan.

Calderwood said: “In the face of truly challenging circumstances our members have rallied, worked together and remained resilient.  I look forward to the year ahead and the Festival of Learning in particular.”

Michael Smith, ABPCO co-chair, said: “What a fantastic year, so much achieved and so much to look forward to.  I am delighted that we can continue to support our members financially as we continue to deliver value for all in the association sector."