When 130 professional congress organisers from all over the world meet up to discuss the latest developments and trends in the industry, this can only mean one thing: the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers IAPCO. This year, the industry's luminaries met in the Congress Center Basel (CCB) from 14 to 17 February 2019 – a year which also marks the Association's 50th anniversary. As a non-profit organisation, IAPCO aims to sustainably boost the quality of the industry and to network its players around the globe.
For Basel as a congress location and also for the CCB, being able to welcome the international event industry for a "home game" and be present in the international spotlight represents an opportunity of major importance.
Spectacular accompanying programme
In the bidding process to host the 2019 IAPCO Annual Meeting, Basel was able to convince the association of its benefits as a venue both through its excellent accessibility right in the heart of Europe and through the CCB with its professional infrastructure and technology. The IAPCO programme featured exciting, interactive sessions. In addition, plenty of time and space was made available for personal discussions and networking. Each participant received a handmade Swiss cowbell as a small gift, which is now conveying memories of this impressive event all over the world.
The spectacular accompanying programme to honour the 50th anniversary of the meeting was also particularly convincing. Government member Baschi Dürr invited participants to the historic Basel town hall for an aperitif. In a highly fitting manner for Basel as a carnival stronghold, the participants were then picked up by a carnival clique and guided to the eminent Les Trois Rois hotel, directly on the Rhine, where a gala dinner was staged in celebration of the IAPCO anniversary. On the closing evening, the international participants were treated to a wealth of Swiss folklore. The exceedingly successful IAPCO meeting was brought to a close with a delightful cheese fondue in the setting of the rustic Baracca Zermatt, which stages a guest appearance in Basel every winter – including accompaniment to the sounds of the alphorn.
The CCB and the organiser, Congrex, can look back on an exceedingly successful event with an international reach for the location of Basel.