As the meetings and events industry and the supply chain that supports it continues to try to work through viable solutions and contingency plans brought on by the Coronavirus (COVID-19),  the global impact seems to be increasing, for now.

Not only are we seeing the postponement, and in some cases the cancellation, of IAPCO Members’ clients’ meetings and conferences, we are also seeing cancellation of our own industry events.  Supporting such an important industry, the stakeholders within it and the jobs and livelihoods of the people employed herein is vital.  However, the health, safety and well-being of our HQ Team, Council and all Members and Partners, is of utmost importance.  WHO provides the following advice to protect yourself and others: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

IAPCO continues to monitor the situation as it unfolds on a daily basis relating to the many industry events that we support, the opportunities for us to provide educational sessions around the globe and the activities we conduct on behalf of our Members.

Due to restrictions in place around the globe, the result has been that many of the activities we had planned to take place in 2020 have had to be postponed or cancelled.  However, we have taken some discussions on-line.

IAPCO has created and now conducted four on-line video conferences, entitled ‘Global Coronavirus Impact Dialogues’.  Over 40 joined the first Dialogue on the 4th March with the numbers increasing to 170 for the most recent on 16th April.

During each, our Members discussed the impact COVID-19 is having in their regions and shared experiences while providing some suggestions and recommendations based on what each is doing internally within their own organisations as well as external in their communities, with their clients and with their suppliers.  In the spirit of supporting one another and sharing knowledge amongst the community, the outcomes of each of these Dialogues are being shared with the entire IAPCO Membership base.

Please keep an eye on our Education page: https://www.iapco.org/iapco-education/ for relevant listings of what is happening.

IAPCO calls on all industry stakeholders and indeed the entire supply chain to support one another.   This is the only way that we can overcome this – together.

Our Members deliver, on average, about 20,000 meetings around the world worth an estimated +€9 billion in economic impact into the cities they work.  This is a vital contributor to all economies so  I, personally, call on governments to support their PCOs and other industry professionals to protect their jobs, this industry and its future.

Other information important to share with IAPCO Members, some of which have also been shared by our Strategic Industry Partners, includes:

World Health Organisation:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

WHO – Recommendation for Planning Mass Gatherings:

https://www.who.int/publications-detail/key-planning-recommendations-for-mass-gatherings-in-the-context-of-the-current-covid-19-outbreak

Joint Meetings Industry Council (link to IAPCO Strategic Partners’ COVID-19 Statements):

https://www.themeetingsindustry.org/novel-coronavirus/

Events Industry Council / EIC Industry Insights (link to IAPCO Strategic Partner Statements):

https://www.eventscouncil.org/Industry-Insights/About-coronavirus

IAPCO will continue to remain focussed on supporting our Members and industry partners as we work through the challenges that COVID-19 has brought.  We will try to update and share any relevant information and call on our members to do the same as it relates to their city, region or country, by emailing  knowledge-share@iapco.org

Ori Lahav

IAPCO President