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 October 24, 2011
PCMA Cultural Learning Lounge

 As part of the PCMA innovative programme which followed on from IMEX, the Go Global theme continued with the introduction of Cultural Learning Lounges.

Countries selected on the basis of participants' advance expressions of interest included Brasil, China, France, India, Middle East, Singapore and the UK, reflecting the countries which are the focus of potential meetings emanating from the USA. Whilst new destinations are on the rise, interestingly, France and the UK still field in the top ten targeted locations.

IAPCO fielded 3 "global experts", covering the Middle East, France and the UK. Levels of interest varied as groups moved from country to country, but hard facts could not be ignored. Cultural differences most frequently explored were the financial implications, such as VAT, commission, different mechanisms of charging, negotiating deals etc.

"The UK has a special attraction for international meetings from the US" said Sarah Storie-Pugh, Administrator of IAPCO. "Costs might be deemed to be higher but so is the attendance level and support. Many Americans have roots in England and Scotland and the potential to explore those roots, and be part of 500-year-old seats of learning, is extremely appealing."

"But VAT and contractual negotiations are so different and complex" interjected one global participant. IAPCO responded "PCOs today embrace the handling of all finance, VAT, contracts, negotiations, all on behalf of their clients. It is important to partner with a PCO when working internationally. They can save you many thousands of dollars whilst providing extensive levels of expertise. They understand the local culture but work within the ethos of the Association and Client."

The message from the Learning Lounge .... Go Global, Understand the Cultures, Work with the Local Team .....

IAPCO: Meeting Quality

The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) was founded in 1968, is registered in Switzerland and represents today more than 110 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 40 countries. IAPCO members organise in excess of 6100 meetings annually, totaling some 2.24 million delegates and representing an economic impact in the region of 3.63 billion euros.

IAPCO is committed to raising standards of service among its members and other sectors of the meetings industry. Today IAPCO membership offers a unique quality assurance, since entry into membership of IAPCO is by meeting strict criteria and by continuous quality assessment.

The high quality standards are secured by means of continuing education and interaction with other professionals. The 'Wolfsberg' seminar, The Meetings Masterclass and the Annual Meeting & General Assembly of its members are the highlight events of IAPCO.
www.iapco.org