IAPCO Driving Excellence – Collaboration Award

Collaboration is key to all that IAPCO believes. Behind each successful event is a solid and dependable partnership that seeks to deliver excellence. The IAPCO Collaboration Award celebrates these partnerships.

Rules of Entry

The collaboration is between an IAPCO member and another industry partner be it a destination, an association or client, a convention centre, a supplier or any other stakeholder

The collaboration can relate to:
• A bid
• A congress
• A long-term working relationship

• Entries must be nominated by an IAPCO Member
• Entries are limited to one per Member

The Prize

• glass trophy,  given to both parties of the Collaboration
• IAPCO education vouchers to both parties
• plaques given to all shortlisted
• speaking slot at following Annual Meeting for the winning Member (not the partner)

Submission – submissions are now closed and will open in September 2022.

The submission needs to include:
• 50 words – biographical details of the PCO
• 50 words – biographical details of the partner
• A 250-500 word abstract of the collaboration within the following categories:
– The reason for the collaboration – The case study
– The solution
– The outcomes


The IAPCO Council will judge the entries, based on the written submission noting the degree and complexity of the collaboration, along with any long-term outcomes.

Current Winner

In the vibrant settings of the newly opened Moco Museum in Barcelona during IBTM Leaders’ Summit, Sissi Lygnou, CEO of Greek PCO AFEA and  Ariadne Stagkou-Bell, CSR & Communication Specialist, CSR HELLAS received the 2021 IAPCO Driving Excellence Collaboration Award. The trophy celebrates partnerships that bring excellence to the meetings industry.

“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” said Ori Lahav, IAPCO President.

About the collaboration:
During 2019 and 2018, AFEA endorsed the 10 principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), and integrated them in the organization’s strategic plan. AFEA wanted to go further and contribute in creating awareness on Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development as key element 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 on the field of Sustainability on national level, wide 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 towards the organization of further actions and with the aim to further boost the awareness around Sustainable Development.

Ariadne Stagkou-Bell, CSR & Communication Specialist, CSR HELLAS: “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.”

Sissi Lygnou, CEO AFEA:
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.


Winner of 2020 Award

Arinex, Australia and their collaborating partners, Business Events Perth, AIM Group International and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre were announced as the winners of the IAPCO Driving Excellence – Collaboration Award during 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 replied “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.”

IAPCO received a record number of high quality submissions for the award in 2020. These submissions were shortlisted to the following finalists:

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

Ori, closed the awards ceremony by recognising all of the hard work of the IAPCO members in what has been a challenging year. As well as, sincerely thanking IBTM Events for their continued support of the award and IAPCO Activities.

Winner of 2019 Award

K.I.T. Group + KW Conferences = IAPCO Collaboration Award Success

The packed IBTM Leaders’ Summit was the perfect event to announce this winning formula. IAPCO was delighted to present the award to two IAPCO member PCOs who collaborated across the world to bring success to a global conference.

“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” said Mathias Posch, IAPCO President

Jocelyne Mülli, CEO of K.I.T. Group GmbH, Germany, collected the award, supported by IBTM, on behalf of K.I.T. Group and KW Conferences, India, as the collaborating partners.

Once Hyderabad, India, had been selected as the destination for the 44th ISPAD conference, Core PCO K.I.T. Group needed to find a reliable local partner – an IAPCO quality accredited PCO. KW Conferences was the immediate choice. There were a number of challenges to be faced, such as operating licences, conference visa applications, financial regulations, receiving registrations in local currencies etc. Forming partnerships is key to delivering a successful event and K.I.T. Group and KW Conferences were a shining example of such a collaboration and worthy winners of the IAPCO Collaboration Award.

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’.

The IAPCO Driving Excellence Collaboration Award, supported by IBTM is now in its fifth year, and attracted many submissions which also deserve recognition:

Shortlisted Candidates
• 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

Winner of 2018 Award
Arinex and The Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Society (IMC) were the celebrated winners of the IAPCO Driving Excellence Collaboration Award announced at the IBTM Leaders Summit on Monday, who also support the Award.

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.”
“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 approach to solving challenges using solid expertise and going above and beyond congress delivery” said Mathias Posch, President of IAPCO

The IAPCO Driving Excellence Awards are in there fourth year, which attracted exceptional submissions. Three finalists each created a video outlining their collaboration that were presented to IAPCO’s Destination Partners for the final vote.

The results were close, and both runners-up deserve recognition for their collaborative efforts, OIC Group, Italy & Firenze Convention Bureau and MCI Group Brazil & ABDID, Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Base Industries.

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