EFAPCO General Assembly in Prague

EFAPCO General Assembly in Prague

EFAPCO General Assembly in Prague
January 21
00:00 2013

By Zuzana Adamson

About thirty delegates attended the European Federation of the Associations of Professional Congress Organisers meeting January 19, at the Holiday Inn Hotel, located next to Prague’s Congress Centre. Luisa Teixeira, EFAPCO President, gave the welcome speech, while Sam van de Kerckhof of BAPCO Belgium, delivered the keynote address.

Round table discussions at the event centered on the economy, national organisations and education. Confusion over how to define the meetings industry – what constitues a congress and whether to lump other meetings in that definition, for example – was the main focus geared, of course, to the requirmentsof each country and recognition that the European Union treats differing needs distinctively. This can be complicated, as in the case for example of the VAT Reverse Charge, which has important economic considerations. Except perhaps to EU bureaucrats, who might appear more interested in the size of cucumbers and its unification inside of the EU.

According to Sissi Lignou, EFAPCO Secretary General, MICE offers a way to lift Greece from its crisis by defining the meetings industry and its role within the economy and industry of Greece by factoring in economic contributions (which currently are not singled out, recorded or evaluated properly). Further, MICE discussions often inspire insightful conclusions while encouraging individual members to provide quality statistics, which is not always easy to accomplish. In Belgium, for example, this required five years of concentrated work, resulting in acceptances of the only statistical analysis that was presented.

The Croatian CMPA (The Croatian Meeting Professionals Association), currently with 70 members, has also been part of EFAPCO since 2012.

Following the professional program, the delegates familiarized themselves with Prague during an evening Venetian Boat Tour followed by dinner at the Mlýnec restaurant sponsored by the Zátiší Group and the Prague Convention Bureau. The following day, delegates were able to choose from two three-hour trips sponsored by the AIM Group, which included the Prague Castle Tour or the Old Town Tour. They also received copies of our magazines MICE CENTRAL & EASTERN EUROPE.


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