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M.I.C.E. Venues

 July 02, 2008
Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre - AIPC "World's Best"

 The Board of Directors of the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) has announced that the winner of the 2008 AIPC Apex Award for "World's Best Convention Centre" is the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre in Canada. The Award presentation was made at this year's AIPC 50th Anniversary Annual Conference in Singapore, from a field of 18 finalists who had qualified to compete for this highly sought-after recognition.

"This year's Award is of particular significance for two reasons" said AIPC President Edgar Hirt. "First, it covers the period of the past two years, since it is now a bi-annual award out of respect for the investment of time it requires from the centre clients whose assessments form the basis for the evaluation. Secondly, this is the first time in the history of the AIPC Apex Award that it has been won by a previous AIPC Apex Award winner. We therefore want to particularly commend the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre for what is an unprecedented achievement".

The AIPC Apex Award recipient is identified through a comprehensive performance and customer satisfaction analysis carried out under the auspices of the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels. The "blind" evaluation used in the selection process ensures an objective analysis of the data arising from a series of surveys covering such topics as congress facilities, project management, customer relations, catering and technology. AIPC Apex Award surveys are completed by event organizers and meeting planners and provided in confidence directly to the evaluation team, who rate centres accordingly.

"The real significance of the AIPC Apex Award is that it represents the verdict of clients rather than the industry itself, and that it is carried out in a highly structured and rigorously managed competitive framework" said Hirt. "We are constantly updating and adjusting evaluation criteria under the guidance of our academic oversight team to ensure the objectivity of the results so that it has the highest credibility of any award in our industry."

The AIPC Board also recognized the two runners-up to this year's award; the Brisbane Convention Centre and the Cairns Convention Centre, both of Australia. "While there is only one "World's Best Congress Centre", the position of runner-up is obviously a significant accomplishment as well, and we congratulate the Cairns Convention Centre and the Brisbane Convention Centre for their achievements", said Hirt.

"Furthermore, the individual evaluations that each competing centre receives on their particular centre's results enables every participant to benefit in that by seeing how they are rated by clients in various aspects of their operations they are able to identify areas for improvement. These reports are part of our addressing AIPC's overall mission of enhancing excellence in centre management, and an equally important outcome of the evaluation process".

The Award was initiated in the year 2000 as a way of recognizing the achievements of AIPC members in congress centre management. 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, Congress Innsbruck in Austria and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia.