President’s message

Date: 21/03/2024

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Dear AIPC Member,

Time flies when you’re having fun. Or when you’re really busy. For most of us, both have been true for the last 3 months.

Things have been busy at AIPC too. We started 2024 with over 200 members, which is our highest number ever. The third edition of AIPC’s talent programme – Future Shapers – is in full swing, with the two teams working on projects which in my view have great potential and value for the entire AIPC Community. And two weeks ago, we held our first ever summit on mainland China, in close partnership with Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center, our host for the 2025 AIPC Annual Conference. With over 120 participants, it was a big success and I do take this opportunity to thank the Shenzhen team for their support in making this happen.

The next couple of months will be equally busy, with the AIPC Academy and the AIPC Sales & Marketing Summit coming up. The programme for the Academy has been completely revisited and now includes a day “offsite”, with the campus being moved to the amazing Tour & Taxis buildings in the heart of Brussels. Julianne Jammers, AIPC Vice-President and “board sponsor” of the Academy, will – once again – make sure everything goes according to plan. As for the Sales & Marketing Summit: based on the feedback received, we will focus on sharing best practices, providing global insights from different perspectives and facilitating discussion through a new format – more to come.

In parallel, we launched both the AIPC Member Survey and the AIPC Benchmarking Exercise. I do want to stress that both these pieces of research provide tremendous value and insights and I encourage all of you to participate in both, as the value indeed increases with the number of participating members. The results will be – as always – presented at the AIPC Annual Conference.

This year’s edition of the Conference will take place in beautiful Costa Rica at the start of July and the theme is “Next Gen Venues, the Power of Collaboration”.  The programme will consist of lectures – we have some amazing speakers lined up – debates and workshops, allowing us to share knowledge, best practices and to network. Needless to say, that Costa Rica will provide a stimulating background and will allow for exciting pre- of post-discovery tours. So register now!

Later this year and following the success of our Canada Academy (created in partnership with Convention Centers of Canada), we will roll out two additional local Academies: one in Africa and one in Asia. The Africa one will take be hosted by Taubie Motlhabane, AIPC Treasurer and CEO of Cape Town ICC. More information on the Asia Academy will be made available in the coming weeks. We believe that by offering regional versions of the Academy, we meet a growing need for high quality training, focused on the specific needs of convention centers in the regions concerned.

Finally, I also want to mention the AIPC Cyber Task Force. Thanks to the continous input of many members worldwide, we have a database that allows us to monitor attacks, inform our members on the different attack modes and we have estabished a small but growing group of convention centers professionals exchanging information on a regular basis during webinars dedicated to the topic.

And you can see, AIPC continues to deliver upon its mission: to support, encourage and recognize excellence when it comes to convention center management. All of this made possible by the support of our members and our business partners, for which I can not thank you enough.

Greg O’Dell
President of AIPC

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