• 27 July, 2009

    Superb response to the 1st APCE Summer School

    Around 30 people from 15 associated conference centres took part in the 1st APCE Summer School which was held from the 22nd-24th July at the Madrid Trade Fair Convention Centre. The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the conference market among professionals in the conference centre industry and to provide them with valuable tools to use in their work.

Over the course of the three days, various experts highlighted the need to understand the market and to create an across-the-board assessment system which will allow us to collect information that will be useful in decision-making.

During the different theoretical and practical sessions it was agreed that conference centres are the best venues for holding events, as they have been designed with this aim in mind, and that the human factor is one of the most important aspects which give conference centres the edge over other venues.

The topic of winning new business was explored from every angle and participants were encouraged to come up with new ideas. The use of sales tools which ensure customer loyalty were deemed essential as was a Communication Plan which contains thoroughly correct information.

The technical presentations provided information on the latest trends in sustainable technology and the profitability of its use were emphasised. The benefits of using external suppliers to minimise costs and contribute to the use of the latest technology was also discussed.

Participants also took part in inspection visits and analysed case studies of various situations including collaboration between convention bureaux and conference centres, coordination between the sales and technical departments and ways of gauging customer satisfaction.

José Salinas, Chairman of the APCE and Managing Director of the Valencia Conference Centre highlighted the effort the APCE''''s Chairmanship has put into setting up this new initiative, which is the only one of its kind in Spain, and emphasised that, in his opinion, "the 1st Summer School is one of the association’s main commitments. The event will reinforce the professionalisation of Spanish conference centre staff and add value to our brand image. This differentiation strategy consolidates our unique position in an increasingly competitive market.”

About the APCE

The Spanish Association of Conference Centres (APCE) was founded in 1995. It aims to represent and defend the collective interests of its members in their dealings with industry peers and with the relevant administrative authorities. The APCE enables its members to exchange business ideas and experiences and acts as the focal point for conference and event tourism in Spain.

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