Associations want PCOs to drive profit

AUSTRALIAN associations are increasingly looking to professional conference organisers (PCOs) to deliver not just quality meetings, but strategic ideas and sponsorship dollars, revealed a study conducted by the World’s Leading Conference Organisers (WLCO).

While issues such as governance and membership still dominate the agenda, developing new revenue streams beyond membership dues ranks a close third in priority for the non-profit sector.

Bryan Holliday, managing director of ICMS Australasia, the founding member of WLCO, said: “The survey of 38 of Australia’s major associations confirms anecdotal evidence that professional conference organisers are now major drivers of not only effective meetings but profitable events.

“The days where conference committees are happy just to break even are becoming a thing of the past. Non-profits now expect their PCO to be more than an organiser but a strategic partner as well.”

Holliday added that communication and relevance to Gen Y are also two major emerging issues that would likely impact the delivery of programmes via social media and the educational content of conferences.

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