Statutes of the AIPCO
1: The Association will be known as “The Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers” (hereinafter “the Association”), or “AIPCO”. The address of the Association will be that of the Secretary for the time being of the Association. It is intended that the Association will be the Trade Association for the Professional Conference Organisers profession in Ireland.
2: The objectives of the Association will be:
2.1. To further the recognition of the profession of Conference Organisers
2.2. To further and maintain a high professional standard in the organisation, management and administration of congresses, conferences and other international and national meetings held in Ireland.
2.3. To act as a lobby group with Suppliers and Government on all industry issues affecting the Professional Conference Organisers Industry in Ireland.
2.4. To establish effective relations with other organisations concerned in any way with international meetings held in Ireland or abroad.
2.5. To assist member’s further training and education in the skills of professional conference organising.
2.6. To serve as a networking opportunity for members to exchange ideas and experiences.
3: Full and Association membership of the Association will be open to business undertakings practising in Ireland as Professional Conference Organisers. In the interests of maintaining and promoting the highest standards in professional conference organising, an Applicant can apply for Full or Associate Membership and must establish to the satisfaction of the Trustees the following:
3.1. Full Membership
That it has been engaged exclusively or principally on a full time basis in the organisation of professional conferences, congresses and other international and national meetings for at least 4 years.
3.2 Associate Membership
That it has been engaged exclusively or principally on a full time basis in the organisation of professional conferences, congresses and other international and national meetings for at least 2 years.
PCO Membership Criteria
That it has organised 8 international meetings in a full management role (including delegate registration) which were:-
• Attended by representatives of 3 or more different countries;
• Of 3 or more full working days duration;
• Of which 5 or more must have been attended by a minimum of 400 delegates
PCO Associate Membership Criteria
That it has organised 4 international meetings in a full management role (including delegate registration) which were:
• Attended by representatives of 3 or more different countries;
• Of 3 or more full working days duration;
• Of which 2 or more must have been attended by a minimum of 200 delegates;
Full and Associate Membership Criteria
• That it has a permanent company or business address and a full time staffed office in the island of Ireland.
• That it has expertise and management systems in-house capable of managing all aspects of a major international conference using all up to date and current technology including on-line registrations, receipt of abstracts, exhibition, transport, social programme, financial operations and budgeting, printed materials, venue management, sponsor requirements, and dealing with suppliers.
• That it has public liability insurance and employer’s liability insurance in place in each case for a minimum of €6.5 million, full professional indemnity insurance and a current tax clearance certificate.
• That it is registered for VAT.
• That it is in full compliance with all relevant and current legislation governing its business.
• Each current Member shall submit proof of its compliance with the above conditions each year to the Secretary of the Association no later than one month prior to the AGM.
• An Applicant wishing to have Membership of the AIPCO shall apply by letter to The Secretary of the Association, who shall list the application before the next meeting of the Trustees of the Association for consideration by the Trustees taking into account the Membership criteria.
• The Trustees may arrange for the inspection of any conference organised by an Applicant for Membership of the AIPCO.
• In the event that there is a substantial change in the ownership or senior management of a Member of the Association, that Member’s continued Membership of the Association shall be listed for consideration before the next General Meeting of the Association.
• In the event that the Trustees of the Association believe that any Full or Associate Member has acted contrary to the Rules of the Association and/or the Code of Conduct, then that Member’s continued Membership of the Association shall be considered by the Trustees at their next meeting. In the event that the Trustees believe that there are grounds for terminating the Membership of that Member, the Trustees shall have this item placed on the Agenda for the next forthcoming AGM, provided that that Member is given at least 3 months notice of the Board having done so.
• In the event that a Full or Associate Member of the Association resigns it’s Membership of the Association or is removed, its liability for subscription will continue for the entire financial year during which the resignation or removal takes place.
• Full Members will be entitled to send 2 representatives to each meeting of the Trustees, each of whom will be entitled to participate fully in the meeting. Notwithstanding the number of representatives attending the meeting on behalf of a Full Member, each Member will only be entitled to 1 vote.
• Associate Members will be entitled to send 1 representative to each meeting of the Trustees and who can participate fully in the meeting. Associate Members are not entitled to vote on items that require to be voted on.
• New members shall pay a registration fee to be set by the Board of Trustees in order to join the Association. This fee can be waived at the discretion of the Board.
3.3 Partner Membership
Partner membership options are also offered by AIPCO. None of these categories offer voting rights or permit access to AIPCO AGM and Council meetings.
a) Industry Professional: Individual membership, open to all industry practitioners engaged in the conference and events sector in Ireland.
b) Industry Partner: National agencies, industry organisations, Convention Bureaux.
c) Corporate Sponsor: Open to private companies, industry suppliers – corporate
4: The annual subscription shall be determined annually by the AGM on foot of a recommendation by the Board of Trustees. The subscription shall be due and payable on 31st January of each year in respect of that calendar year. The purpose of the annual subscription is to cover the running costs of the Association and all of the annual subscription shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the objects of the Association as set out herein. No part of the funds of the Association is to be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend bonus or other kind of profit to the Members of the Association.
5: In the event that the subscription is not paid within 60 days of the due date, Members will be liable to a surcharge of 15% of the annual subscription. In the event that the annual subscription is not paid within 90 days of the due date, the matter shall be put on the Agenda for the next meeting of the Board of Trustees, who will decide at their absolute discretion what action to take. It will be open to the Board of Trustees to remove the Member from the published list of Members, terminate its Membership of the Association, and/or withdraw its entitlement to use the Association’s logo.
Annual General Meetings
6: The Association shall hold a General Meeting once each year, giving one month’s prior notice to all Members and no more than 15 months will elapse between Annual General Meetings. The notice shall specify where and when the meeting is to take place and an Agenda for the meeting. Items to be included on the Agenda shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Trustees for their consideration prior to the last Board Meeting prior to the AGM.
7: All meetings other than Annual General Meetings will be called Extraordinary General Meetings.
8: Full Members will be entitled to send 2 nominated representatives to the Annual General Meeting, each of whom may attend, participate in discussion and vote.
Associate Members will be entitled to send 1 nominated representative to the Annual General Meeting. Representative may attend and participate in the discussions. Attending representatives do not carry voting rights in relation to the election of Association officers or changes in AIPCO policy or structures.
9: In the event that any Member fails to attend or be represented at 3 consecutive General Meetings of the Association, its continued Membership shall be placed on the Agenda for consideration at the following General Meeting.
10: No Associate Member will be entitled to vote or stand for election at a General Meeting.
11: Ordinary business will mean all business taking place at the General Meeting except for special business. Ordinary business will be decided by a majority vote conducted by way of show of hands of the eligible voting Members present.
12: Special business will mean any proposal to change these rules or to change the code of conduct. Special business will require a two-thirds majority of the eligible voting members present, by way of show of hands. Full members are only permitted to vote.
AIPCO Board of Trustees / Structure
13: The Association will be governed by a Board of at least 6 and at most 9 Trustees, all of whom will be elected at the AGM.
13.1 At the first meeting of the Board of Trustees after the AGM, the Trustees may elect amongst themselves a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman, a Secretary and a Treasurer.
13.2. The Trustees will be elected by a show of hands for a term of 1 year. A representative or nominee of a Member will not be eligible to become or remain a Trustee unless he or she is engaged in the profession of Conference Organiser.
13.3. The Trustees can from time to time appoint any person to be a Trustee to fill a casual vacancy or as an addition to the Board of Trustees, as long as the total number of Trustees does not exceed 9. Any Trustee appointed in this manner will only hold office until the next Annual General Meeting and will then be eligible for re-election.
13.4. The day to day administration and management of the Association will be carried on by the Board of Trustees, provided they act in accordance with decisions in general made by the General Meeting of the Association. The Board of Trustees may delegate specific tasks or projects to individual Trustees or to a sub-committee of the Board.
14: The Trustees shall ensure that proper books of accounts will be kept relating to:-
(a) All sums of money received in respect of annual subscription and other money received by the Association;
(b) All money spent by the Association and the purpose of same; and
(c) The assets and liabilities of the Association.
15: The Treasurer shall with the Board of Trustees prepare a set of accounts for the Association for the year ending 31st December each year and same shall be submitted to the AGM for approval each year.
16: The Treasurer shall at the AGM each year submit a proposal for a budget and recommended annual subscription for the following year.
17: The Association has produced a logo which is and remains the property of the Association at all times.
There will be specific logo for each membership type;
AIPCO Partner to incorporate Industry Partner and Corporate Sponsor
Any Full Member, Associate Member, Industry Partner or Corporate Sponsor in good standing with the Association may use the appropriate logo of the Association on stationery, publications and other documents produced by it. The ongoing use of the appropriate logo is at the discretion of the Association and permission may be withdrawn by the Board of Trustees at any time. The logo may not be used by anyone else without the express permission of the Board of Trustees.
Code of Practice
18: The Association has drawn up a Code of Practice in furtherance of the aims of the Association and all Members of the Association must sign up to and comply with the Code of Practice of the Association.
19: Full Members may suggest an amendment or addition from time to time to the Code of Practice and will do so by submitting the request for the amendment to the next following meeting of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees shall in their absolute discretion decide whether to place the proposed amendment to the Code of Practice before the Annual General Meeting for consideration.
Changes to these rules
20: Full Members may suggest an amendment or addition from time to time to these Rules and will do so by submitting the request for the amendment to the next following meeting of the Board of Trustees. The Trustees shall in their absolute discretion decide whether to place the proposed amendment to these Rules before the Annual General Meeting for consideration.
21: In the event that it is decided by the Members to wind up the Association, a sub-committee shall be convened in order to decide how best to spend any accumulated subscriptions in furtherance of the objects of the Association.
22: Nothing in these Rules will be taken to mean that the Association is a Trade Union.