Recognising Individual Contributions to the Meetings and Events Industry

The Destination Partners of IAPCO wish to recognise an individual who has gone above and beyond their position and has shown an aptitude for advancement in the meetings industry. Someone who has shown exceptional dedication and commitment to their work and made significant contributions to the events sector, whether through innovation, excellent service, sustainability efforts, or any other exceptional achievements.

The winner will receive the prestigious Hero Award as well as an education bursary which includes travel and accommodation to attend either the 2024 Annual Meeting in Ljubljana or an EDGE seminar.

We recommend setting up an office poll and asking your team members to vote for their colleague who has gone the extra mile in 2023 and deserves recognition for their hard work.

Do you know someone who embodies the qualities mentioned above?  It’s an incredible opportunity to recognize and appreciate those outstanding individuals in your team. Shine a spotlight on these remarkable individuals by nominating them for the IAPCO Hero Award!

To nominate, simply visit this link or complete the online nomination form on the right.

The deadline for entries is 15 December 2023.

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Criteria/ Rules of Entry

Criteria/ Rules of Entry

  1. Nominees can be any member of an account team within an IAPCO PCO company, such teams being operational, marketing, client management, financial or similar.
  2. Entries can be nominated by a colleague, a client, a supplier
  3. 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.


The submission should include:

  • 50 words – biographical details of the individual team member
  • 250-500 words – abstract outlining why the team member has been nominated.
    • Their job role and range of duties and responsibilities
    • The contribution over and above their normal role and responsibilities
    • The impact their contribution has made to others
    • Why they would benefit from a scholarship to the Annual Meeting


The IAPCO Council will judge the entries, based on the above criteria, and without knowing the name of the candidate or their company.

The Award

  • Hero Award Trophy
  • An invitation by the IAPCO Destination Partners to attend the IAPCO Annual Meeting in February 2023 in Ljubljana, Slovenia (includes registration, hotel accommodation and flight in economy class)
  • Speaker’s slot at Annual Meeting/EDGE seminar
  • Use of the Hero Award logo on email signature, stationery, biographical details/CV

Current Winner

2022 – Yoke Chun Cheong, International Conference Services (ICS), Singapore

Yoke Cheong – International Conference Services, Singapore

International Conference Services (ICS) Department Head of Projects & Operations Management, Yoke Chun Cheong was announced as the winner of The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) Hero Award 2022 at the Association’s Annual Meeting and General Assembly (AM&GA) held between 6-9 February in Jerusalem.

As the Department Head for the Project Management and Operations Team, Yoke manages the staff for both departments of ICS’s Singapore office, overseeing the implementation and execution of departmental procedures and processes, and is responsible for training and onboarding new team members.

Nominated by her own team, Yoke has proven to be an exceptional leader by creating a positive and supportive work environment and establishing a level of trust that enables staff to come to her for advice and support. Her strong but humble presence has provided stability to the team and created a collaborative environment which was missing from previous leadership.

On winning the IAPCO Hero Award, Yoke said:

“Winning this award is both a surprise and a great honour. It is a surprise as I feel there is still much to learn in my journey as a leader. I am also honoured to be recognized for my effort and humbled by the validation from peers and colleagues that I am doing something right.

“I would like to thank the leadership team for the opportunity to grow and learn in my role. To my fellow peers and fellow Heads of Departments who started this journey with me and worked as hard if not harder, all of them are Heroes in their own right.

“To my ‘immediate family’ at ICS, my talented Project Managers and Operation Ninjas, I truly appreciate each and every one of you.”

Yoke has worked as a DMC, adjunct lecturer for Hospitality Studies and a freelance tour guide for the most part of her 25-year career and was one of two employees who joined ICS Singapore in 2019. Yoke was promoted to the Head of the Department in Jan 2022.

“I am a quintessential Singaporean, who loves her city’s diversity and cultures. As a licensed tour guide, I enjoy showing the nooks and crannies of Singapore and volunteer at the National Gallery of Singapore as a museum docent when scheduling permits.”

Yoke is thankful to the ICS’s leadership for providing the relevant training and guidance on the skills to perform her role as the Department Head. Speaking about how she has put her training to use which has been instrumental in the contributions she has made at ICS, Yoke said:

“One of my most vivid memories during the training was to think about how we want to show up in our leadership role and to create our own work guiding statement. Mine was ‘To stay professional, fair, and compassionate. To create a safe space where everyone respects, trusts and listens to one another’. In my daily course of work, I try to live by this mantra.”

As the IAPCO Hero Award winner Yoke received the prestigious Hero Award trophy as well as an education bursary which includes travel and accommodation to attend either the 2024 Annual Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia or the EDGE seminar in Antwerp, Belgium.

Photos from the Hero Award presentation ceremony at IAPCO AM&GA 2023 in Jerusalem:

IAPCO Hero Award 2022 Winner, ICS’s Yoke Cheong joined online to see ICS Chairman and Partner, Mathias Posch receive the award on her behalf from IAPCO president, Ori Lahav

Yoke Cheong of ICS joined online live on the big screen as ICS Chairman and Partner Mathias Posch received the award on her behalf from IAPCO President Ori Lahav

Hero Award Winner 2022, Yoke Cheong speaking with Mathias Posch who received the award on her behalf

Hero Award Winner 2022, Yoke Cheong speaking with Mathias Posch who received the award on her behalf

Yoke Cheong (ICS) Hero Award Winner 2022 with Mathias Posch receiving the award on her behalf

Yoke Cheong Hero Award Winner 2022 with Mathias Posch receiving the award on her behalf

Previous Winners

2021 – Hannah Jarvis, MCI, UK

Hannah Jarvis, MCI, UK

Hannah is an exceptional event professional – her passion and commitment to the industry and her dedication to her team and clients make her deserving of recognition. From leading the digital transformation of her clients’ events to championing sustainability initiatives across our 60 global offices, Hannah is an inspiring event talent making a significant impact through meaningful change.

Her role as Association Producer and a recent graduate with a 2:1 BA Hons in Event Management; she has gone from strength to strength to make her mark within the MCI team. Hannah’s focused on learning and mastering different virtual event platforms and leading on the implementation of these platforms for her healthcare clients’ educational programmes. Hannah’s also dedicated time to learn sign language and digital marketing to expand her skills – these are just two further examples of how driven and ambitious she is in wanting to keep on achieving.

Hannah is a sustainability champion, heading up the UKCSR team for the past two years, as well as the wider global agency. Hannah looks at the whole spectrum of sustainability, embracing intersectional environmentalism. Focussing not just on the environmental elements, but also emphasising the importance of people through diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing. People and planet are very much interlinked, and we need to be mindful of both. Hannah has been specifically chosen by global leadership to be part of the key task force looking at sustainable solutions and initiatives for our clients and talents.

Hannah’s role in the team is to research and develop a framework for inclusiveness and diversity in events. She is making recommendations on a range of event touchpoints, from marketing and pre-event to catering and virtual experiences; all the while having empathy at the centre of her work.

She has hosted multiple workshops and webinars in the development of this global framework. Hannah is championing a holistic approach when looking for solutions of how our industry can make a positive change. Hannah wants to encourage more conversation and awareness around inclusivity in events and how we can remove barriers to inclusiveness. What do we need to consider in relation to individual needs and how can experiences be designed, whether live or virtual, to not only be more sustainable but also empower wider diverse audiences to participate?

For Hannah, it’s about not being afraid to question existing industry processes, asking for alternatives and being a catalyst for change. Events and tourism bring so much value to communities and deliver important revenue for regions, but Hannah sees an opportunity for the event industry to reflect and reset. She wants to use her platforms to generate discussion and awareness and provide a call to action for our industry to lead the way, and more importantly to make the difference now.

2020 – Kyriaki Diga, AFEA Travel and Congress Services, Greece

Kyriaki Diga

2019 – Giulia Sarri, AIM Group International, Italy

Giulia Ineke Sarri with the Hero Award

2018 – Not Awarded

2017 – Not Awarded


2015 – Société d’Exploitation de l’ACROPOLIS de NICE

2014 – Congress Centre Alfândega – Porto

2013 – MAGIX Congress Logistics, Santiago

2012 – Barcelona Convention Bureau

2011 – Not Awarded

2010 – Internationales Congress Centrum ICC Berlin

2009 – Teichman Perchig International Ltd

2008 – Fiera Milano Congressi

2007 – Drukkerij Peters Amsterdam BV

2006 – Auditorium Parco della Musica, Italy

2005 – Prestige Corporate Travel, Glasgow

2004 – Palais des Congrès de Paris, France

2003 – AENIT Productions, Amsterdam

2002 – Forum Grimaldi, Monaco

2001 – EGL, Enrique Gozalbo Latorre

2000 – Parthen Meeting Essentials

1999 – Monte Carlo Grand Hotel

1999 – Teletech Congress Services, Denmark

1998 – Gerist SRL, Florence

1998 – Sound & Vision AV Ltd

1997 – Media Plan, Austria

1997 – Perton Signs, UK

1997 – Nest Audio Visual Services, Israel

1996 – ACS Audiovisual Conference Service, Netherlands

1996 – Meridiana Airline, Italy

1995 – Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre

1995 – Sheraton, Buenos Aires

1994 – Not Awarded

1993 – Swissair

1993 – Meeting & Congressi, Trade Press, Italy

1993 – Phillips Communication and Security Systems