The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) marked Global Meetings Industry Day 2022 on April 7 with the publication of a full update of its members’ 2021 statistics, where the statistics are based on annual return data provided by IAPCO members.
IAPCO currently has a community of 138 PCO offices in 40 countries. The association shares that it has maintained its membership throughout the pandemic, with a 99 per cent retention rate over the past two years and new applications currently being processed.
Ori Lahav, president of IAPCO, stated: “The immense value that our members place in their membership of IAPCO is evident in this years’ annual retention rate which stands at an enviable 99 per cent. This is a remarkable success story in light of the global pandemic and in comparison, to what many other associations are experiencing.”
Employment has been impacted by the crisis with the IAPCO membership community down 20 per cent and back to 2017 levels. Members have indicated high activity in recruitment through the latter part of 2021 and into 2022 as the meetings industry reopens globally.
In 2021, 11,945 events were delivered, where switching to virtual and hybrid formats has raised the number of attendees from previous years to a total of 14 million. The ratio of attendees at these events was put at 2/3 virtual and 1/3 in person.
Martin Boyle, CEO of IAPCO, added: “Collectively, our members have doubled the number of attendees from 2019. Reaching new audiences, providing accessibility and inclusivity for all around the globe has been a positive outcome of these virtual and hybrid formats.”
The structure of events has also changed, IAPCO reports, with 60 per cent now being association meetings, four per cent governmental and 24 per cent corporate. Before the pandemic corporate represented 50 per cent of meetings.