Ljubljana hosted annual meeting and general assembly of IAPCO

Published: 4.3.2024 More info

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Ljubljana hosted annual meeting and general assembly of IAPCO

The 54th annual meeting and general assembly of the International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO) took place in Ljubljana at the end of February. Around 160 directors and owners of congress agencies from around the world attended. The Slovenian Tourist Board was a partner in this significant event, through which Slovenia was introduced to representatives of some of the biggest global players in the meetings industry.

Ljubljana hosted annual meeting and general assembly of IAPCO

The local organizer of the event was Cankarjev dom, which had been a member of the IAPCO association since 1980, with the support of Ljubljana Tourism, the Slovenian Tourist Board, and other partners.

The theme of  this year's event was "Be the Flow", which called for action and inspired innovation in the rapidly changing meetings industry towards sustainability. IAPCO Ljubljana 2024 focused on reducing the environmental impact of meetings and promoting sustainability. The goal of the IAPCO association was for meetings to become more environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and aligned with the goals of sustainable development. At IAPCO 2024 in Ljubljana, the carbon footprint of the event was measured for the first time, marking a milestone and opportunity for all future IAPCO meetings.

The IAPCO conference represented a strategic starting point for Slovenia, Ljubljana, and Cankarjev dom, a long-standing member of the IAPCO association, to further successfully attract international scientific and professional meetings in the future.

President of IAPCO, Sarah Markey-Hamm, and Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Mag. Maja Pak Olaj.

The meetings industry is one of the main products of Slovenian tourism, known for its high added value and numerous multiplier effects. The total spending by congress guests is at least 3.5 times that of conventional tourists. It contributes to the dispersion of tourist flows, destimulation, and sustainable development of Slovenian tourism.

IAPCO is a non-profit association and the only international accreditation organization for professional congress organizers. The association's mission is to raise service standards among its members and other stakeholders in the meetings industry through continuous education, collaboration with various experts, research, and data measurement. IAPCO brings together 138 accredited congress organizing companies in 40 countries. Membership, which is attainable through high-level services, is maintained through annual reviews and evaluations by the IAPCO Quality Committee.

IAPCO unites the largest global players in the meetings industry. According to data (published by IAPCO on March 30, 2023), in 2023, IAPCO members collectively organized 7,722 events and plan to host an additional 7,729 events over the next three years (until 2026). Among these, 1,943 events have yet to select a destination, and organizers are still seeking venues for 3,542 events. Therefore, the assembly and annual meetings are of significant importance to the local economy and tourism, which hope to attract foreign professional congress organizers to return to the destination with international events.

Photo: Marko Delbello Ocepek for Cankarjev dom

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