Minister Leo Varadkar Confirmed for major tourism conference

The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers has confirmed that Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, will address the IAPCO 2013 Annual Meeting, in Dublin on 15th February. The conference opens on Thursday 14th February. As the delegates attending will be some of the world leaders in the field of business tourism, it was seen as an ideal opportunity for Minister Varadkar to address this important community.


Minister Varadkar welcomed the decision to host the conference in Dublin: ‘I’m delighted that some of the world’s leading professionals in business tourism are coming to Dublin for this conference. Their decision to choose Dublin shows that we have a significant asset in the Convention Centre Dublin for hosting major events. This is a real success for our ongoing strategy to promote Ireland as a centre for international conferences’.


‘We are delighted that Minister Varadkar will deliver the welcome address to this prestigious group of global thought leaders said Nicola McGrane, Managing Director of Conference Partners and co-host of IAPCO 2013 ‘His presence sets the tone and will showcase the collaborative approach to doing business in Ireland. The efforts made by the Irish tourism industry have been exemplary, particularly when it comes to strategic development and growth. We not only have a lot to learn from our visiting delegation, but we also believe we have a lot of knowledge to impart.’


Taking place in the Westbury Hotel, the three day conference is the first time the annual event has been held in Ireland in over 30 years. Delegates will come from around the world, with the majority made-up of IAPCO members from senior management. The theme of the programme will be ‘Riding the winds of change – new strategies for PCOs’ and will explore the new strategic nature of the PCO, moving towards long-term partnerships as opposed to short-term solution providers.


‘There will always be the need for working with clients on a one-off basis, but the future role of the PCO is without question growing associations long-term and helping them achieve their goals of improving knowledge and disseminating information’ said Noel Mitchell, Managing Director, Keynote PCO. ‘At IAPCO 2013, we aim to focus that goal into practical, real solutions that benefit our clients, us and the industry as a whole.’


Minister Varadkar is joined by many other leading speakers in the industry, who will focus on how the modern PCO is emerging a stronger and more effective entity after the recession. Gonzalo Perez Constanzó, Managing Director, Kenes Latin America, David Kelly, Marketing & Sales Director, Aer Lingus and Dr. Maureen Gaffney, Business Consultant and Clinical Psychologist, will all address the IAPCO 2013 delegates, along with many more.


‘We’re really thrilled on the speakers that are coming to the meeting’ said Jean Evans, Regional Director – Association Relations, MCI Group. ‘It’s a great mix of international and local expertise and we know that each delegate will leave Ireland with a clear sense of both what we are doing in Ireland, and what the industry as a whole needs to accomplish in order to thrive well into the future.’


More information on the programme and speakers can be found at


ABOUT IAPCO: Meeting Quality


The International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) was founded in 1968, is registered in Switzerland and represents today more than 117 professional organisers, meeting planners and managers of international and national congresses, conventions and special events from 41 countries. IAPCO members organise in excess of 6600 meetings annually, totaling some 2.285 million delegates and representing an economic impact in the region of 3.71 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’ Annual Seminar, The Meetings MasterClass and the Annual Meeting & General Assembly of its members are the highlight events of IAPCO.


Date: 24. 1. 2013