The Big Interview
IAPCO’s new CEO Martin Boyle talks inclusivity
and legacy, as he lays out his future vision for
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
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
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?”