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From February 28th to March 2nd, 2024, the 54th annual meeting and general assembly of the International Association of Professional Congress Organizers (IAPCO) is taking place in Ljubljana. Around 160 directors and owners of congress agencies from around the world are attending. The local organizer of the event is Cankarjev dom, which has been a member of the IAPCO association since 1980, with the support of Ljubljana Tourism, the Slovenian Tourist Board, and other partners.

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IAPCO is a non-profit association and the only international accreditation organization for professional congress organizers. The association's mission is to raise service standards among its members and other stakeholders in the meetings industry through continuous education, collaboration with various experts, research, and data measurement. IAPCO brings together 138 accredited congress organizing companies in 40 countries. Membership, which is attainable through high-level services, is maintained through annual reviews and evaluations by the IAPCO Quality Committee.

IAPCO unites the largest global players in the meetings industry. According to data (published by IAPCO on March 30, 2023), in 2023, IAPCO members collectively organized 7,722 events and plan to host an additional 7,729 events over the next three years (until 2026). Among these, 1,943 events have yet to select a destination, and organizers are still seeking venues for 3,542 events. Therefore, the assembly and annual meetings are of significant importance to the local economy and tourism, which hope to attract foreign professional congress organizers to return to the destination with international events.

The meetings industry is one of the main products of Slovenian tourism, known for its high added value and numerous multiplier effects. The total spending by congress guests is at least 3.5 times that of conventional tourists. It contributes to the dispersion of tourist flows, destimulation, and sustainable development of Slovenian tourism.

The theme of this year's event is "Be the Flow", which calls for action and inspires innovation in the rapidly changing meetings industry towards sustainability. IAPCO Ljubljana 2024 focuses on reducing the environmental impact of meetings and promoting sustainability. The goal of the IAPCO association is for meetings to become more environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and aligned with the goals of sustainable development. At IAPCO 2024 in Ljubljana, the carbon footprint of the event will be measured for the first time, marking a milestone and opportunity for all future IAPCO meetings.

The IAPCO conference represents a strategic starting point for Slovenia, Ljubljana, and Cankarjev dom, a long-standing member of the IAPCO association, to further successfully attract international scientific and professional meetings in the future.