9 reasons why smart Planners choose an IAPCO member PCO

by | Dec 16, 2015 | Blog

Why should planners choose an IAPCO member PCO? Imagine the case: you are a planner facing the task of organising an international conference, meeting or exhibition. You want to have a professional meeting planning experts at your side so you start searching the internet for meeting planner, event organiser or professional conference organisers, Core PCO´s. And, wow, you might think: how to find the perfect fit in this massive number of search results?

Easy! Whittle down the list by checking for professional organisations who guarantee qualifications, expertise and most importantly the kind of quality assurance that has been recognised by a wide range of congress clients, suppliers and other organisers worldwide. In our case: reach out for IAPCO member PCO´s.

Who is IAPCO?

IAPCO is the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers and is considered the top professional association for those whose core business is organising, planning and managing national and international special events, conventions, and congresses. IAPCO is a non-profit organisation committed to raising the standards of professionalism in the meetings industry in terms of efficiency, timeliness, good management as well as financial responsibility.

Related: Congrex Switzerland rejoins IAPCO

IAPCO is a very exclusive group of Professional Congress Organisers who are considered to be the best in the business. This is not an easy association to join either because a Core PCO must meet very stringent requirements in order to be accepted, which include:

  • Providing references from clients they’ve worked with
  • Evidence that they have organised at least 10 international conferences or meetings, 5 of which must have had more than 400 participants
  • A site visit to an international congress they’ve organised so that IAPCO can interview their client, the local organising committee, exhibitors and delegates
  • Office inspection along with an audit of their operating procedures

That’s not the end of the story though; because once a PCO has been accredited into IAPCO the only way they can keep their membership is by committing to annual participation in a quality assessment. They must continually prove they are maintaining the highest standards of business practices as well as operating with the utmost in professional ethics, by doing the following:

  • Provide statutory returns that prove they are still in business as a Core PCO
  • Notify IAPCO of any changes in management
  • Submit their Congress Check Lists showing they are continuously active in the meetings market internationally
  • Conduct and offer a self-assessment on the quality of their services comparing themselves to their competition and offer benchmarks to improve their services even more
  • Attend the annual IAPCO Quality Seminar every three years at minimum

This gives you the assurances you need when hiring an IAPCO member PCO. As we said before: you find a top quality company who has the qualifications, expertise and most importantly the kind of quality assurance that has been recognised by a wide range of congress clients, suppliers and other organisers worldwide.

The benefits of using an IAPCO member PCO

Having an IAPCO accredited PCO provides a tremendous amount of expertise in organising your event or conference, along with the highest of quality standards, which serves to relieve you of much of the headaches. They bring a well-trained professional staff dedicated exclusively to you and your event. An IAPCO member PCO will also have access to innovative congress management software, customised to the needs of your congress so that all processes can be streamlined, ensuring that everything runs efficiently and smoothly.

An IAPCO accredited PCO has a certain depth of knowledge about the international meetings industry, whom the players are and what is required for a top quality conference. They are up on all the trends in the industry and how best to incorporate them into your event as well as how to avoid any possible problems or pitfalls.

Related: The role of the Professional Conference Organiser (PCO)

With their proven track record of success and the benefit of a huge network to assist, you can enjoy peace-of-mind and be freed up from all the operational and administrative responsibilities, not to mention the pressure and anxiety that comes with trying to put on a large conference. What you will receive by working with an IAPCO member PCO will save you time and money, and ensure that you have a top quality, successful and profitable event. Do not take a chance on hiring a Professional Conference Organiser that does not belong to IAPCO.

For more information about IAPCO visit the website: www.iapco.org

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