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 June 08, 2008
18 Finalists in 2008 AIPC Apex Award for "World's Best Congress Centre"

 AIPC, the International Association of Congress Centres, has announced that with all preliminary analysis of entries now complete, there are 18 finalists in this year's AIPC Apex Award competition for "World's Best Congress Centre". These finalists have been selected on the basis of their ability to meet all competition criteria, including their ability to subsequently identify a sufficient number of client evaluators to meet judging requirements. The judging of competing centres will be done on the basis of how well identified clients rate each centre as evaluated by the AIPC Apex Award team led by an academic team from the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels, led by Professor Bertrand Mareschal, PhD, Faculty of Science, Politics and Economics.

The 18 finalists for 2008 are:

- PALEXCO Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos A Coruna
- Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre
- Adelaide Convention Centre
- Congress Center Basel
- CCIB Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona
- Belfast Waterfront
- Bournemouth International Centre
- Bregenzer Festspiel- und Kongresshaus Gmbh
- Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
- Cairns Convention Centre
- International Convention Center Durban
- Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre
- Kyoto International Conference Center
- Manchester Central Convention Complex
- Nantes International Convention Centre
- Toronto Congress Centre
- Valencia Conference Centre
- Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre

"This year's competition is taking place with new qualification and evaluation criteria that have made the competition even more rigorous than before, so we are very pleased that so many entrants have successfully satisfied the requirements for finalists", said AIPC President Edgar Hirt. "As always, this competition is based entirely on client evaluations, which means that the results are a true measure of perceived quality and competitiveness in the market".

The AIPC Apex Award is made annually on the basis of an independent "blind evaluation process to ensure an objective analysis of evaluation criteria. These criteria address a series of factors including congress facilities, project management, catering and technical capabilities, and result in a collective score that represents the best overall performer. The evaluation process generates not only a winner but a series of reports which allow each finalist to assess their performance and improve future performance.

The AIPC Apex Award winner will be announced on July 1 at this year's AIPC Annual Conference in Singapore. Previous AIPC Apex Award winners have been the Centre des Congrès de Québec in Canada, the Congress Centre-Sofia in Bulgaria, the Cairns Convention Centre in Australia, the Bilbao Conference Centre and Concert Hall. Euskalduna in Spain, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre in Canada, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia and Congress Innsbruck in Austria.