IAPCO would like to recognise the innovative and pioneering work of our four Founding Fathers. To celebrate the tremendous efforts of these individuals, we have created an award to commend the most creative and high achieving young member of staff of an IAPCO member company.

Supported by IMEX

Rules of entry
Previous recipients of the Award



Current Winner

Elvire de Chalus of Colloquium was the celebrated winner of the IAPCO Driving Excellence Award 2019, as announced at the impressive IMEX Gala Evening in Frankfurt. Christophe Painvin was delighted to accept the award on Elvire’s behalf, presented by Mathias Posch IAPCO President.

The Innovation Award is part of IAPCO’s programme of Driving Excellence Awards and is designed to celebrate an innovative achievement. Mathias Posch stated “Our Conference Managers are confronted daily with growing customer demands and the challenges of an ever-changing economic environment. Our two finalists this year Elvire de Chalus, Colloquium and Veysel Guzel, Kenes Group were confronting very different problems – be it to co-locate an event that grew to 15,300 delegates in a venue fit for 8,000 or to create a brand-new application that addresses the ongoing issue of financial management in a complex international industry like ours. Both have displayed operational excellence and innovative spirit that showcases the incredible talent that we have in our industry.”

Rules of Entry

• Entries must be nominated by the IAPCO Company Member.
• Entries are limited to one staff member per Member, but any staff member, whether from a Company Member or a registered member office, is eligible.


Innovations can be understood as genuinely new ideas, or as new or improved ways, of delivering congresses

Degree of Innovation (judging element 50% score) assessed as

  • the innovativeness of the delivery of a congress;
  • the approach and solution to a challenge;
  • a proposed product, service, process, technology;
  • OR the implementation, organisation or marketing models underpinning this solution.

Potential Impact (judging element 20% score) assessed as

  • the potential to create impact nationally or international by putting the spotlight on creating a legacy from the positive outcomes of a congress.

Service Delivery (judging element 20% score) assessed as

  • the quality of service delivered to the client beyond the call of duty; support and level of service that assisted the client in superseding the objectives of the congress and/or the organisation.

Potential for Sustainability and Scale (judging element 10% score) assessed as

  • the likeliness that ideas/innovations can be sustained and have significant, long-lasting and increasing impact and as their capacity to be inspirational for others.

To Enter

Using the online form located within the IAPCO Member Dashboard.

The nomination should include a 500-word statement outlining the candidates innovation referring to the criteria set out above, contain up to 3 graphics or images and should include a 50 word biographical detail of the candidate.


The following weights apply to the judging criteria:
• degree of innovation – 50%
• service delivery – 20%
• potential impact – 20%
• potential for sustainability and scale – 10%

Up to a maximum of 3 candidates will be shortlisted from the submissions by Council and the Company Member who made the nomination will be notified no later than 31 December.

The final submission, by way of a 3-minute video from the candidate themselves, will be shown at the General Assembly in February, voted on by the members present.

The Winner

The winner will be announced at the IMEX Frankfurt Gala Evening and will receive by way of recognition one free registration place, including accommodation, at one of  any of the IAPCO education programmes (valid for an 18 month period), and will be entitled to display the Award Mark on their business cards, stationery, biographical details and cv.

Previous recipients of award

Winner 2017

Amber Chen, Assistant Vice President, GIS Group Taiwan was announced as the winner of the 2017 IAPCO Driving Excellence Innovation Award at the spectacular IMEX Gala Evening.

For the 3rd EcoMobility World Festival in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, the awardee transformed a local neighbourhood into a ecomobile community – a live demonstration of how to create an urban transportation culture within a historic neighbourhood. In addition – through effective story telling – children were educated on the benefits of ecomobility. Creating a true legacy, the green transportation introduced continues to be used in Kaohsiung City. “Many talk about sustainability, but our awardee today is truly walking the talk”concluded Mathias Posch, IAPCO President

The results were close and both runners-up deserve recognition for their innovative concepts around meeting design: Rosa Garriga Mora, Kenes Group and Christina Gotze, Congrex Switzerland.

Winner 2016

Elizabeth Winter of African Agenda was the celebrated winner of the IAPCO Driving Excellence Innovation Award 2016, as announced at the impressive IMEX Gala Evening in Frankfurt. Corne Koch of Wesgro Convention Bureau was delighted to accept the award on Elizabeth’s behalf, presented by Jan Tonkin, IAPCO President.

Elizabeth’s award winning innovation was a “standing discussion”, a session, which took participants out of their comfort zones and brought them together to share ideas in a lively, structured discussion. Experiences and knowledge were shared and new ideas sparked, as all corners of the session topic were explored. The bonus connection of improved cognition and physical movement to strengthen learning, improve memory retrieval, and enhance motivation and morale was not missed by the participants who scored the sessions highly when surveyed post conference.

Elizabeth stated ‘Being innovative does not necessarily imply being an inventor, we suggest it implies assessing a situation, a need, an audience and crafting a concept in order to shape a solution. This is an example of that.’

Winner 2015

Jan Tonkin, President of IAPCO, was delighted to present the 2015 Innovation Award to Yoshihito Takahashi from Congress Corporation, Japan at the IMEX Gala evening.

Yoshihito’s innovation was an app, which streamlined the process of participant attendance for lunch seminars. This ensured that there were none of the dreaded queues and delegates could check availability for the seminars in real time, all with the added bonus of being completely paperless. “Thank you very much for this prestigious award. I am very happy that my innovation was evaluated in this way by IAPCO, that sets the standards for our industry,” said Yoshihito Takahashi, Congress IT Director of Congress Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, “This is a great honor and will stimulate me to strive even harder to come up with more beneficial technology for our industry that is constantly evolving, into the future”.

Winner 2014

The First Winner announced at IMEX
Andrew Dergousoff, of ICS Canada, was announced as the winner of the inaugural IAPCO Innovation Award at the IMEX Gala Evening at Frankfurt Opera House in May. The new award for PCOs attracted numerous applications, and the three short-listed nominees were presented by Council to the audience at IAPCO’s Annual Meeting in Lisbon, for delegates to vote on the nominees’ innovative ideas, implementation, and successful contributions to their companies.

In addition to Andrew, and his work on virtual meetings, the short-list included Magdalina Atannassova, of AIM Group Bulgaria, for work involving social media, and Dohyun Kim, of MECI Korea, who worked on public relations strategies. All three candidates showed very high levels of understanding of the meetings business, along with a great capacity for integrating innovative solutions, but there could be only one winner. “I could not be more delighted,” said an overjoyed Andrew. “It was a real honour just to be shortlisted, but to win…that was something I only dreamt of. It is a fantastic recognition.”