ABPCO appointments

ABPCO Announces Emma Duffy and Sarah Byrne

ABPCO’s (The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers) AGM, which took place digitally on Tuesday, 21 June, saw Emma Duffy from the Stroke Association and Sarah Byrne from Mosaic Events step up and begin their two-year tenure as joint chairs of the association.

The online AGM was attended by more than 60 ABPCO members, who joined to hear details of the association’s recent successes as well as plans for the future.

Incoming chairs Emma Duffy and Sarah Byrne thanked the previous chairs for their achievements before outlining their ambitious plans for the coming years, which focus on five key pillars:

  • Membership growth to 200 members by 2027
  • Organisational growth to £200,000 income per annum by 2027
  • Being more mindful of the niche segments and specialist skills amongst the membership and providing appropriate content, resources and support to meet their needs
  • Amplifying ABPCO’s external voice through communications, knowledge sharing and research
  • Being recognised as the voice of PCOs in the UK, with a focus on important issues such as EDI and sustainability

Alongside these goals, the new chairs and executive board, supported by task forces made up of members, will continue to focus on ABPCO’s core values:

  • Delivering excellence
  • Providing learning
  • Celebrating belonging and achievements 

Emma Duffy commented: “Sarah and I look forward to working with the membership over the coming two years as we deliver a strategy that will see ABPCO continue to strengthen its position at the heart of the market.  We are an incredibly strong community, and we want to continue attracting new members as we demonstrate our value in the years ahead.”

Outgoing chairs Barbara Calderwood and Mike Smith discussed their achievements over the last two years and in particular the success and legacy of the inaugural Festival of Learning, which attracted more than 200 registrations for 30+ sessions across seven days in December 2021.  They reflected on the challenge of running an Association focused on live events during a global pandemic and how proud they were of the membership’s resilience and ability to adapt, with a switch to digital and hybrid events and continued growth.

Sarah Byrne concluded: “Thank you to Mike and Barbara for their commitment and hard work to ABPCO over the last two years.  The association has gone from strength to strength under their leadership, which is something Emma and I look forward to continuing.  Also of course, many thanks to Heather Lishman for her continuing hard work behind the scenes.”

The AGM provided an opportunity for treasurer, Martin Linfield from Hiscox to reflect on ABPCO’s strong financial position, excellent budget management and significant reserves, which included an increase in both income and operating surplus. 

The 2022 ABPCO Excellence Awards date has also been announced as 8-9 December – destination and venue details to be advised.

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