Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB), the Middle East’s newest and largest exhibition and convention centre, has signed a partnership agreement with the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), making EWB a new Convention Centre Partner of the world’s leading association for professional congress organisers.

The new Partnership agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 62nd annual ICCA Congress, in Bangkok, Thailand. The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Dr Nasser Qaedi, the CEO of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), Dr Debbie Kristiansen, the General Manager of EWB, Sarah Markey-Hamm, the IAPCO President, and Martin Boyle, the CEO of IAPCO.

Under this new partnership, EWB will utilise IAPCO’s global network of professional congress organisers (PCOs), knowledge exchange and training programmes, and the development of new business opportunities. In addition, EWB will be able to establish itself as a leading international exhibition and convention venue. At the same time, IAPCO’s members will have access to EWB’s state-of-the-art facilities and professional expertise. IAPCO’s network will provide EWB with a robust approach to a wide range of potential clients, including international organisations, associations and corporations, tapping into new businesses worldwide.

In addition, EWB is a member of 11 international organisations and associations specialising in the business events and tourism sector, including the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the International Association of Convention Centres (AIPC), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), and more. Founded in 1968, IAPCO is a non-profit organisation committed to raising the standards of professionalism in the meetings industry regarding efficiency, timeliness, good management, and financial responsibility. Today, IAPCO has over 150 registered member offices in over 40 countries to advance the profession of PCOs and promote the highest levels of professional conduct.

Commenting on the Partnership, Dr Nasser Qaedi, the CEO of BTEA, stated: “We take immense pride in signing this significant agreement, which will support EWB’s endeavour in driving the development and promotion of business tourism throughout the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Middle East efficiently. IAPCO’s membership will certainly serve to champion the Kingdom as a dynamic global business events leader and a key hub for supporting, developing, and growing businesses in vital sectors by drawing more world-class events in line with Bahrain’s tourism strategy (2022-2026) objectives to achieve tourism product diversity and elevate inbound tourism substantially for years to come.”

IAPCO President, Sarah Markey-Hamm, added: “IAPCO is excited to form this partnership with Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB), a significant milestone reinforcing IAPCO’s commitment to fostering global collaboration in the meetings industry. This collaboration expands our global network and presents tremendous opportunities for our members to tap into the rapidly growing business events market in the Middle East. Through this alliance, we look forward to sharing knowledge, promoting professionalism and bringing training and business opportunities to the region, contributing to the success of Bahrain as a premier destination for international events.”

Dr Debbie Kristiansen, the General Manager of EWB, added: “We are delighted to join IAPCO’s high-profile list of prestigious members worldwide. This prominent membership will strengthen Bahrain’s position as a preferred destination for hosting international events. We will work closely with IAPCO to highlight various events and exchange knowledge to lead business events growth, which in turn boost our core business in organising, planning, and managing local and international events, conventions, exhibitions, congresses and more. Thanks to its ultramodern amenities and cutting-edge capabilities, EWB is well positioned to attract the most well-known events across the globe.”

Martin Boyle, the CEO of IAPCO, said: “We are thrilled to ink this new Partnership agreement with the Middle East’s newest exhibition and convention centre, which holds huge potential to become the leading business events player in this vibrant region for professional congress organisers. IAPCO will offer various knowledge exchange and brand exposure opportunities for its new Partner, EWB. This will help EWB’s staff improve their skills and knowledge, benefit EWB’s clients, identify new markets and develop new products and services.”