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Sponsorship development and business relationships addressed at ABPCO roundtable

Building stronger business relationships, producing value-driven sponsorship opportunities and pro-active event engagement were all highlighted as key focus points at the recent roundtable debate organised by The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) at Wembley Stadium.

The event, which was held under Chatham House Rules, offered ABPCO in-house PCO members the opportunity to share their opinion on various challenges faced within the industry whilst also providing a platform to share knowledge and best practice.  

Paul Gentry, Meetings & Conferences Manager, Royal Statistical Society said: “As an in-house organiser often working in isolation it was extremely useful to meet up with counterparts at other associations and to discover that many of the challenges we are facing are very similar.  I was also able to come away from the meeting with some ideas of new approaches to try, particularly with regard to event sponsorship packages.”  

Following opening statements from a wide range of attendees from the industry, there was open discussion and debate about matters such as:
·         The development of value in sponsorship packages for key clients and the importance of trust and engagement when it comes to sales rather than cold contact.
·         A need for stronger engagement at events with pro-active exhibitors and incentive-driven technology used to capture the next generation of industry professionals.
·         Importance of relationship building as a way of securing repeat business and opportunities of face-to-face interaction proving key.  

“Once again we have enjoyed an insightful roundtable event and we are thankful for those that took part on the day,” comments Nicole Leida, joint-chair of ABPCO. “Wembley Stadium provided an outstanding backdrop to debate and discussion whilst we were able to share best practice from different corners of the industry. The roundtable events allow us to bring people together so we can all benefit from each other’s knowledge and I would urge all members, and those interested in joining ABPCO, to take part in our next meeting.”  

The delegates included:
·         Rachel Gofton, Senior Events Co-ordinator, Royal Society of Medicine
·         Daphne Llewellyn-Davies, Business Development Manager, Campden BRI
·         Christopher Garrett, Conference and Events Services Manager, British Association of Dermatology
·         Paul Gentry, Meetings and Conferences Manager, Royal Statistical Society
·         Sophie Hind, Senior Events Manager, British Society for Rheumatology
·         Rikki Ellsmore, Conference Manager, CIPFA
·         Catherine Morgan, Awards Manager, CIPR
·         Tracy Symons, Events Managers, Association of Optometrists  

ABPCO is the UK’s leading organisation for professional conference and event organisers, industry associates and those studying for, or seeking a career in the conference and meetings industry.

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