In today’s challenging environment, AIPC is committed to bringing our community and the greater meetings industry together to share experiences and insights; and discuss ways to shape the future of centre management business for a post-Covid world. As the different regions of the world are at different stages of pandemic battle efforts, we recognize that bringing the entire AIPC community physically together will be challenging this year.

In the spirit of community learning and sharing, AIPC will organize a hybrid version of the Annual Conference (AC) in 2021 - AC:D (Annual Conference: Digital) will take place on 9th and 12 of July; and AC:L (Annual Conference: Live) will take place on-site in Lausanne, Switzerland on 13th and 14th of July. We believe that given our operating circumstances, this arrangement will offer the best possible experience to AC participants, in a format which is best fit for purpose and convenience.

The theme for this year’s Conference is ELEVATION, reflecting the ambition of our community to re-open for organized events and to bring these events to a new level in a Covid-safe environment. Global thought leaders will share their views on technology, design, leadership, business development and partnerships – five key success factors needed to make the elevation happen. This will be combined with ample opportunities to network, share ideas and discuss future plans – the need for which has never been so high.

The AC:D – which will run on Friday July 9th and Monday July 12th - will offer 2 x 20 hours of content and debate designed based on time-zone blocks for Asia, Europe and Americas and recorded for future consumption. This will allow participants to enjoy a full conference programme, wherever they are based. Short and inspiring lectures on the topics listed above will be combined with roundtables and workshops, enabling interaction and networking. Sessions will also be recorded and made available to the participants.

This will be followed by a two-day on-site conference, taking place in the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday July 13th and Wednesday July 14th. The centre, surrounded by mountains and located in the heart of a university campus, offers the perfect setting for two days of experiential learning, discussions and networking – including the much missed “chat over a coffee”.

As your AIPC President, I like to invite you and your key centre staff to join us for an engaging experience. As always, our exclusive focus on the needs and opportunities of centres will make our hybrid AC the most efficient means available to get the latest information and insights in those areas that mean the most to us – a critical investment in the knowledge and networking.

We also want to offer this opportunity to the upcoming leadership within your organizations, by offering to each participating member a complimentary pass for a high performer within your organization. This will allow these individuals to be inspired and to create a networking of peers – which is a very valuable asset in these times of change.

So start planning your participation and I look forward to welcoming you to one – or both – of this year’s AIPC Annual Conferences.

Aloysius Arlando