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ABPCO announces details of upcoming Festival of Learning

A focus on the varying needs of association event professionals will be the key theme at the upcoming Festival of Learning.

The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) announced the details of its upcoming Festival of Learning at its recent annual general meeting (AGM). The meeting also highlighted its growth and success over the past year.

The 50 members who attended the online meeting heard how the Festival of Learning, which will take place in December 2021, will be a hybrid event centred around how the needs of association event professionals have evolved.

Delivered largely online, the seven days of content will culminate in a face-to-face event as well as the annual ABPCO Excellence Awards.

The ABPCO has also announced that current members would receive further financial support from the association via a 10 per cent reduction in annual membership fees across 2022.

The association’s executive board has also been shuffled with the imminent departure of Kate Sargent, Jo Powel, Sandro Carnicelli and Anne Doherty. These departures form part of a strategic decision to ensure the board maintains depth and experience going forward.

At the AGM, 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. So much has been achieved, particularly following the launch of our two-year strategic plan.  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, echoed Calderwood’s sentiment and added: “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.”

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