Association Event Network December 2019 - Page 13

FAMILY The Big Interview IAPCO’s new CEO Martin Boyle talks inclusivity and legacy, as he lays out his future vision for the association MARTIN BOYLE was appointed CEO of the International Association of Professional Conference Organisers (IAPCO) in April of this year – a position which his long career has prepared him for well. Boyle has been in the meetings industry for a quarter of a century, working varied roles in convention bureaus, PCOs, and venues. He was the European director of Business Events Sydney for more than six years, before embarking on his latest adventure. In this interview, he speaks to AEN about the challenges he has faced so far, and his future vision for the association. What are your plans for your new role as CEO of IAPCO? What have you worked on to date, and plan to in the future? My goal is to continually review and assess our quality and education programmes, our outreach to the meetings industry and our part in supporting social and economic change in and around the countries where our members deliver events. We will do so with further development and delivery of quality education, and employing efficient practices that will help us to communicate with our members, partners and the wider community, while ensuring we remain true to our core values. IAPCO has also just developed its 2025 business plan, which has a clear vision with strategic objectives, and key milestones which our Council and IAPCO HQ team are excited to begin rolling out. What challenges have you faced so far? What a great question. During recruitment for the role, I was asked: “IAPCO is like a tight family. How do you feel you will fit in as the new head of the family?” Six months into the CEO role, I completely understand the sentiment. IAPCO had a reputation of being rather exclusive, perhaps due to the perception of this ‘family mentality’, or the strict qualification and annual review processes that applicants must pass in order to become a member. I thought I would have a challenge on my hands if I was to change this perception and be more inclusive. I am proud to say that I was wrong. It is, in fact, the quality control and family sentiments that make IAPCO unique. The requirement to prove high levels of quality service in order to become a member will not diminish under my leadership, nor should the feeling of being part of an extended family. Our members and their clients’ requirements are changing on an almost daily basis. As a result, IAPCO must adapt to ensure we remain relevant and at the forefront of service provision to all of them. This means that we must be agile and able to move quickly, and not be willing to settle for the status quo. Finally, IAPCO’s extremely strong reputation as a leader in our industry provides huge opportunity to partner with other similarly-minded associations around the globe. We are asked to During recruitment for the role, I was asked: “IAPCO is like a tight family. How do you feel you will fit in as the new head of the family?” 13