Nominations for 2022 Award Now Open

Behind each successful event is a solid and dependable partnership that seeks to deliver excellence. This IAPCO Driving Excellence Collaboration Award recognises outstanding collaboration in any form, within and across industries and celebrates partnerships that bring excellence to the meetings industry.

The Collaboration Award recognises the importance of effective relationships, recognising the achievement of organisations coming together to achieve a shared goal.


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Criteria/ Rules of Entry

  1. The PCO must be an IAPCO member
  2. The Collaboration can be between the PCO and any of the following:
    • Convention Bureau/Destination
    • Association/Client
    • Convention Centre
    • Supplier
    • Other stakeholders
  3. Collaboration can relate to
    • A Bid
    • A Virtual / Hybrid Event
    • A Congress
    • A long-term working relationship
  4. Entries must be nominated by an IAPCO Member
  5. Entries are limited to one nomination per IAPCO Member Company, but any staff member, whether from a Member Company or a registered Member Office, is eligible.
  6. The collaboration should have occurred since 1st October 2021

Participants do not necessarily need to be bound contractually, however, the achievements should be demonstrable and evidenced.

Entries can be single projects and schemes or wider programmes of work and strategies to support and improve collaboration.


The submission needs to include:

  • 50 words – biographical details of the PCO
  • 50 words – biographical details of the collaborating partner
  • 250-500 words – abstract describing the elements of the collaboration
    • The challenge/reason for the collaboration
    • The solution
    • The outcomes

Submissions should focus on the key activities undertaken to stimulate and promote collaboration, the methods and practices adopted, and the outcomes achieved.

Entrants will explain how collaborative working added value to the project outcomes and what role it played in enhancing relationships and engagement.


The IAPCO Council will judge the entries, based on the written submission as per the given criteria/ rules of entry, noting the degree and complexity of the collaboration, along with any long-term outcomes.

The Award (for each collaborator)

The Collaboration Award will be presented at the IBTM Leaders Summit in Barcelona (29th Nov – 1st Dec 2022).

  • The Collaboration Award Trophy for both collaborators
  • A complimentary IAPCO EDGE registration or Annual Meeting registration (IAPCO member)
  • Speaker’s slot at the Annual Meeting for the winning IAPCO Member
  • Use of the Collaboration Award logo on email signature, stationery, biographical details/CV

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Current Winner


IAPCO Driving Excellence Awards 2021 Collaboration Award winners

In the picture: Left to right – IAPCO President Ori Lahav presenting the 2021 IAPCO Driving Excellence Collaboration Award to Sissi Lygnou, CEO of Greek PCO AFEA and Ariadne Stagkou-Bell, CSR & Communication Specialist, CSR HELLAS

About the collaboration:

During 2019 and 2018, AFEA endorsed the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and integrated them into the organization’s strategic plan. AFEA wanted to go further and contribute to creating awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development as key elements for the future strategic planning of the Greek Meetings Industry. They became a member of CSR Hellas Network and with its guidance developed the “Sustainable Events” organization service (SDGs 12,8,3,2).

Actions taken under this collaboration created further awareness of the field of Sustainability on a national level, wider promotion of all events on national Media, interviews, education & transfer of knowledge about the need to integrate and empower Sustainable Development to all member companies and executives of Industry Associations.
CSR & AFEA are collaborating currently on the organization of further actions with the aim of further boosting awareness around Sustainable Development.

IAPCO President Ori Lahav said about the 2021 winners: “The applications for the IAPCO Collaboration Award were outstanding. But the judging committee agreed the collaboration between AFEA and CSR HELLAS was exceptional because of the broadness of its actions. Sustainability is a key issue for our industry and this collaboration has sparked changes on a national level. It is highly inspirational and aligns with IAPCO commitment to integrate sustainability further in what we do” 

Sissi Lygnou, CEO AFEA said: “We are extremely happy and proud as this award gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of a valued, long-term collaboration with the network of CSR Hellas, as well as to empower our efforts in creating a greater awareness on the key role of sustainable development in our Industry. As active IAPCO Members, we invest in partnerships which contribute to the shaping of a more sustainable future in the Meetings Industry.”

Ariadne Stagkou-Bell, CSR & Communication Specialist, CSR HELLAS said: “Sustainability is the only future for everyone, and recognizing the value of partnering up with diverse stakeholders provides us with the know-how and skillset to transform this challenge into a fruitful opportunity.”

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Previous Winners


Arinex, Australia and their collaborating partners (Business Events Perth, AIM Group International and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre)

Winners were announced at the IBTM World Virtual Awards Ceremony.

Ori Lahav, IAPCO President and VP Client & Operations, Kenes Group said: “2020! What a year…The PCO year of innovation, collaboration, resilience, adaptation and forward-thinking. It is time for us to celebrate the triumphs, despite the still challenging climate.

“The winners demonstrated the power of collaboration, where partners and supporters came together for the good of the business events industry to deliver one of the first and largest business events industry hub and spoke events since the COVID19 pandemic: The Turn of Events; Bringing Business Events Back.

“The goodwill and inspiration provided as a collective to event planners and clients supported the announcement of $50 million being provided by the Australian Government to kickstart the industry.”

Nicole Walker, CEO, Arinex said: “We were overwhelmed by the support of a crippling sector to not only assist and back the event, but each made significant financial contribution during the most difficult of times for the benefit of the whole sector. We have been privileged to be part of this group. This award is timely given its international prominence to align with the global Tourism Australia international campaigns which highlight Australia’s strength in safety, sustainability, wide open landscapes, extraordinary adventures and the ability to work together. We look forward to welcoming international business events back to Australia.”

Shortlisted entries:
  • ICMS, Australia with the Australian Society of Antimicrobials
  • Arinex, Australia with Business Events Perth
  • Conference Partners International with Glasgow Convention Bureau


K.I.T. Group + KW Conferences

Presented at IBTM Leaders’ Summit.

K.I.T. Group and KW Conferences got together to deliver the 44th ISPAD conference in Hyderabad, India. Core PCO K.I.T. Group needed to find a reliable local partner – an IAPCO quality accredited PCO. KW Conferences was the immediate choice to overcome a number of challenges to be faced, such as operating licences, conference visa applications, financial regulations, receiving registrations in local currencies etc.

Mathias Posch, IAPCO President said: “The applications for the IAPCO Collaboration Award this year were exceptional. However, the judging committee all agreed that IAPCO Accredited members K.I.T. Group and KW Conferences highlighted the importance of trusted partners when delivering core contract events. This collaboration displays the value of the IAPCO network, where member companies communicate, exchange knowledge and work together to produce outstanding results for our clients.”

Jocelyne Mülli, CEO of K.I.T. Group GmbH, Germany, collected the award on behalf of K.I.T. Group and KW Conferences, India, as the collaborating partners. In a joint statement, both partners say: “It’s been a true pleasure to bring our teams together to work towards a common goal. The ISPAD 2018 Conference in Hyderabad has shown that two PCOs can work on the same project by sharing their know-how without competing, faithful to K.I.T. Group’s motto ‘Synergy & Competence’ and KWC’s vision of ‘Empowering Collaboration.”

Shortlisted entries:
  • MCI Middle East and the IFSO, International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders
  • Japan Convention Services, Inc, the International Gastric Cancer Association, and the Korean Society for Gastric Cancer
Highly Commended:
  • MCI The Netherlands, MCI UK and One Young World
  • AIM Group International and JPdL International


Arinex and The Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Society (IMC)

Announced at the IBTM Leaders Summit, the award entry emphasized the importance of a collaborative approach between the PCO, client and all the sponsors and stakeholders that had excellent results.

Simon Ringer, Chair of IMC19 said: “This meeting is a highly technical meeting and the technical performance is up there with anything we care to mention. The industry has shown up in droves. We’ve had record-breaking [sponsorship and exhibition] numbers and of course, the collaboration has been deeply impactful.”

Mathias Posch, President of IAPCO said: “We are delighted to present the Collaboration award to Arinex and The Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Society. Their application highlighted one of the many benefits of working with a PCO – the 360 approaches to solving challenges using solid expertise and going above and beyond congress delivery.”

Shortlisted entries:
  • OIC Group, Italy and Firenze Convention Bureau
  • MCI Group Brazil and ABDID, Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Base Industries

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AIM Group International and SIAARTI

Winner of 2017 Collaboration Award

Finalist – 2017 Collaboration Award

Finalist – 2017 Collaboration Award

International Conference Services Ltd., Tourism Vancouver & Vancouver Convention Centre

Winner of 2016 Collaboration Award

Finalist – 2016 Collaboration Award

Finalist – 2016 Collaboration Award