IAPCO Education Seminar Series celebrates Golden Jubilee

The IAPCO Education Seminar Series, IAPCO’s educational and networking event for Professional Congress Organisers (PCOs) and meetings industry stakeholders, reached a monumental milestone this year, marking its 50th annual seminar.

Since its inception in 1975, the Seminar has established itself as a cornerstone of the events industry, fostering excellence, igniting innovation and connecting generations of events professionals across the globe. Rebranded as IAPCO EDGE in 2016, the 2024 edition wrapped up in Antwerp on January 18, proudly celebrating this remarkable milestone and its enduring impact on shaping the future of events.

From left: Antwerp CVB’s Veerle Peters; AFEA’s Sissi Lignou; Conference Partners International’s Nicky McGrane; Semico SA’s Luc Niville; Visit Flanders CVB’s Milo Vergucht and Tuya Beyers; Antwerp CVB’s Dominique Jansen; International Conference Services’ Mathias Posch; and IAPCO’s Martin Boyle

Sarah Markey Hamm, president of IAPCO, stated: “Attendance at an IAPCO education programme can be the first “touchpoint” that a member of the business events community has with IAPCO; therefore, it has been at the front of IAPCO’s Training Academy’s mind when developing education programs for our members and the wider community. None of this could have been achieved if it wasn’t for the unwavering support of our Training Academy Chairs and Faculty…”

The first IAPCO seminar was held in Aarhus, Denmark on February 2-7, 1975, and then moved to its longstanding base of Wolfsburg in 1976. Wolfsburg in Switzerland, at the Union Bank of Switzerland campus, remained the home of this Seminar for 38 years before moving away to various locations across Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, reflecting IAPCO’s commitment to broaden the reach and accessibility of quality education.

Over the decades, the Seminars have evolved to reflect the ever-changing landscape of the events industry, ensuring that participants remain at the forefront of their field. From the early days focusing on practical skills and knowledge sharing, the Seminars have expanded to address critical issues like technology integration, sustainability and the human element of event experiences. The diverse programmes feature engaging presentations, interactive workshops and panel discussions led by renowned industry experts and thought leaders, all of which help to shape the careers of countless professionals, providing them with valuable insights, skills and networking opportunities.

This year’s milestone anniversary edition brought together over 60 participants from 24 countries. Under the theme of Legacy of Conferences, the event focused on generating a positive impact and increasing a sustainable outcome in the delivery of conferences.

To commemorate this golden milestone, IAPCO held a special celebration on January 17 during the EDGE Seminar in Antwerp.

As the IAPCO EDGE Seminar enters its next chapter, the association reaffirms its commitment to continuing the Seminar’s legacy for generations of meeting professionals to come.