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 December 23, 2002
New Members Strengthen Global Representation of AIPC

 AIPC - the International Association of Congress Centres - is strengthening its global representation with new members from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom signing on over the past year. New additions in 2002 included the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cairns Convention Centre, DüsseldorfCongress, Congress Centrum Hamburg, Harrogate International Centre, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre and Quebec City Convention Centre. They are now being joined by:

* Auditorio y Centro de Congresos "Region de Murcia" (Spain);
* Grieghallen in Bergen (Norway) and
* Brussels Exhibition and Convention Centre (Belgium)

to round out AIPC membership at 127 world-wide.

"AIPC's greatest strength has always been the breadth of its representation throughout the world, and this new membership demonstrates that principle very well", said AIPC President Barbara Maple. "One of our most important benefits is the ability to learn from each other, and the wider our global representation, the greater diversity and variety of experience we have to share. The benefit of this becomes more evident in turbulent times such as those we?ve experienced over the past 16 months, when the ability to get a true international perspective is particularly valuable."

Founded in 1958, AIPC is a professional, non-profit association of international congress, convention and exhibition centres devoted to the promotion and recognition of excellence in facility management. With a global network of the world's leading centres, its mission is to help members enhance management expertise by developing and operating training and education programs, carrying out industry research and analyses and creating management and operating standards. It also develops communication and marketing programs to improve industry awareness recognizes facility excellence through activities such as the annual APEX Award for "The World's Best Congress Centre".

"What makes AIPC different is that it is a true international organization, with representation from over 47 countries around the world," says Maple. "In fact, a very important aspect of our program is the recognition and promotion of the multicultural dimension of the international meetings industry and the role that meetings facilities can play in celebrating and enhancing this aspect. With the increasing diversity we have in the membership, this becomes an even more important dimension to all our activities and creates an added benefit for the entire industry".