Founding Fathers

IAPCO, a not for profit organisation, was founded in Brussels on 5 January 1968 by four “founding fathers” who came together to share their knowledge and experiences as fledgling international congress organisers.

Jean Destree
Fay Pannell
Eric Friis
Albert Cronheim

The official status of the Association was finalised on 30 January 1969 in London. By decision of the General Assembly dated 15 March 1982, the registered office was transferred from Brussels to Geneva, and subsequently, dated 22 February 1987, from Geneva to Zurich. The Association is registered in accordance with the Swiss Civil Code, and whose registered office is Mühlebachstrasse 6, CH-8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

Since those early days, both the meetings industry and IAPCO has grown. IAPCO is now recognised as the leading authority on professional congress organisation worldwide and is the universally accepted benchmark for quality within congress organisation and the global branding of excellence for the meetings industry.

Past Presidents

2020-2023: Ori Lahav, Kenes Group, Israel
2018-2020: Mathias Posch, ICS, Canada
2016-2018: Jan Tonkin, The Conference Company, New Zealand
2014-2016: Michel Neijmann, K2, Turkey | FIGUR, Turkey
2012-2014: Gonzalo Perez Constanzo, KENES Latin America, Chile
2010-2012: Philippe Fournier, MCI Group, France
2008-2010: Patrizia Semprebene Buongiorno, AIM-Group AIM Congress, Italy
2006-2008: André Vietor Viajes, Iberia Congresos, Spain
2004-2006: Inge Hanser, CPO HANSER SERVICE GmbH, Germany
2002-2004: Inge Hanser, CPO HANSER SERVICE GmbH, Germany
2000-2002: Sarah Storie-Pugh, Concorde Services Ltd, United Kingdom
1998-2000: Carolina de Sicilia, TILESA OPC, S.L, Spain
1996-1998: Vincent van Wulfen, Academic Medical Center, Netherlands
1994-1996: Diana Ambrose, Conference Services Ltd., United Kingdom
1992-1994: Betty Fata, Venue West, Canada
1990-1992: Jorge Castex, Congresos Internacionales S.A., Argentina
1988-1990: Maria Grazia, Riontino MGR, Italy
1987-1988: Anthea Fortescue, Conference Associates Ltd, United Kingdom
1985-1987: Christer Carlsson, RESO Congress Service, Sweden
1983-1985: Lars Christensen, DIS Congress Service, Denmark
1981-1983: Gideon Rivlin, Kenes, Israel
1979-1981: Juana Bravo de Laguna, SIASA Congresos, Spain
1977-1979: Jorge Castex, Congresos Internacionales S.A., Argentina
1975-1977: Jean Destrée, Destrée Congrès, Belgium
1973-1975: Albert Cronheim, Holland Organising Center, Netherlands
1971-1973: Eric Friis, DIS Congress Services, Denmark
1969-1971: Fay Pannell, Conference Services Ltd., United Kingdom