President’s message

Date: 01/12/2022


Dear AIPC Member,

I don’t know about you, but 2022 seems to have flown by. Even the AIPC Annual Conference, which only took place in July and where I had the pleasure of seeing so many of you, seems like centuries ago.

One of the reasons is, of course, the speed at which business picked up in 2022 – from 0% to 100% in less than 3 months! As a result, a majority of the AIPC community is back to 2019 levels in terms of bookings and some venues are even beating all-time records, in both bookings and even revenue. Communities are coming back together again to discuss trade, innovation and collaboration – and we know that convention centers are the best possible platform to make this happen.

At the same time, there are challenges. The gap left by the pandemic in terms of knowledge and experience is still there and not just limited to venues. Organizers and suppliers are facing the same challenge. Worst case, this results into situations where there is a breakdown in communication — these parties don’t speak the same “language” anymore in terms of expectations and delivery, potentially impacting the delegate experience. Other challenges are the rising energy, labor and other related costs. Just as an example: in Germany, wholesale electricity prices (EUR per megawatt hour) went from 53€ in July 2021; to 221€ in December 2021; and then to 469€ in August 2022! Energy has become more than just a neglectable line item in the budget.

As always, these challenges also offer opportunities. The rocketing energy prices have created a momentum to step up the efforts to reduce energy consumption and switch to renewable energy where possible.  This will positively impacting both P&L and the carbon footprint of the venues. These efforts – and much more – will allow us to meet the objectives set during COP26, where the event industry pledged to become carbon zero by 2050. The events across the globe resulting from climate change – from floods to extreme drought – demonstrate the need to act, and the event industry has to lead the way. The work done by the AIPC members via the Joint Meeting Industry Council is making steady progress and will result into roadmaps which can be applied by the entire AIPC Community. In addition, some venues came up with bold strategies, bringing their carbon footprint to zero well before 2050 as you can read elsewhere in this newsletter.

Attracting and nurturing talent is a challenge of a different nature. While I don’t need to convince any of you that the event industry – and venues in particular – provide amazing professional opportunities, a lot of our talent still decide to leave the industry. As convention center leaders, we will need to step up our efforts when it comes to carefully listening to the needs and ambitions of our talent and – amongst others – use AIPC as a tool to meet some of those expectations. The AIPC talent programme – Future Shapers – is a great first step and I’m sure more can be done.

Therefore, I call upon you to share your view and opinion on what AIPC can and should do. Click here and tell us what gains you are looking for or which pains you want AIPC to take away. This will allow the Board of Directors to continue to set out a strategy to act.  We will continue to be at your service and with one objective in mind:  to encourage, support and recognize excellence in convention center management.

Wish you all a happy holiday season!

Greg O’Dell
President of AIPC

Scroll to Top