7th Croatian Congress of Microbiology|IX. Croatian-European-American Anesthesiology Conference|Dani koagulacije|10th Conference of European Committee for Conservation of Bryophytes|6. Hrvatski botanički simpozij|MARSTRUCT - 7th International Conference on Marine Structures|Power of microbes in industry and environment |Mitotic spindle: From Living and Synthetic Systems to Theory|Digitalization in Croatia: Drawing from International Experience - Land, Air and Maritime Autonomous Vehicles Regulation|Godišnji skup hrvatskog imunološkog društva|3. HRVATSKI KONGRES O ZBRINJAVANJU DIŠNOG PUTA|7th European Phycological Congress|3. hrvatski kongres DIŠNI PUT U HITNIM STANJIMA|7th European Phycological Congress|NIV tečajevi, Slavonski Brod|ECMO tečajevi, Rijeka|15th International Symposium on Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering|New Challenges in Hemodynamics and Intensive Care Medicine|Konferencija "Profesionalna pitanja i izazovi u fizioterapiji"|4. Kongres hitne medicine s međunarodnim sudjelovanjem|InNerMeD Symposium 2015|The New Generation in Strongly Correlated Electron Systems 2015|CSCM World Congress on CBRNe|Hrvatsko društvo za hitnu medicinu i Hrvatsko sestrinsko društvo hitne medicine - Tečajevi|NOVEM 2015|Tečaj i Simpozij NEONATOLOGIJA 2014|Kick-off event Teaming EPFL & Croatia|6th Balkan Symposium on Vegetables and Potatoes|CSCM - World Congress (Tbilisi, Georgia)|Sartorius European Workshop|zEEleni FEST|21st EBHL Meeting|15th European ALARA Network Workshop & 5th EUTERP Workshop|European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy (EAFP) Conference|Graduate Course & Summer School - Nanotechnology in Pharmacy & Medicine|Hrvatsko društvo za reanimatologiju - Tečajevi|Kongres Hrvatskog društva obiteljske medicine|Mettler Toledo Rainin Sales Meeting|2nd ADRIATIC SCHOOL OF NANOSCIENCE|Laser International Medical Congress|CBMTS Industry Series|From Solid State to Biophysics|Design Conference|9th Central European Symposium on Pharmaceutical Technology|World Bank Workshop|International Scientific Symposium on Rudjer Boskovic|Lundbeck Regional Annual Meeting|GS1 Croatia Annual Assembly|Feline Annual Medicine Symposium|Nestle Purina PetCare Seminar|37th European Symposium on Clinical Pharmacy|6th ICCSM Congress|International Institute for Welding Annual Assembly|57th ICASM Congress|GS1 Advisory Board Meeting|FESPA European Annual Meeting|Simone Congress|20th International Diatom Symposium|FEPE Annual Congress|ISFM Annual Conference|GS1 Global General Assembly|FECAVA 13th European Congress|9th ICNMTA Conference|EXRS Annual Conference|GESCO Annual Meeting|European Symposium in Pediatric Neurosurgery|Hydropower & Dams International Conference|Air Quality International Conference|FEMS Annual Conference|Prospective of Viticulture & Enology in Mediterranean|Intelectual Property European Annual Congress|European Article Numbering Meeting|European Congress on Gastroentherology|European Tourism, Hotel & Catering Union Meeting|Mediterranean Congress on Chemotheraphy|International Conference on Nuclear Structure & Reactions|International Committee for Museums & Art Collections|International Congress on Anthropological Sciences|

PCO - an insider's viewpoint

A PCO (Professional Congress Organizer) is an organization whose core business is providing consultancy and management services to meeting planners. They provide expert knowledge, experience and operational resources to plan and deliver successful events of different sizes, locations and subject matter. Sometimes a PCO may engage a DMC (Destination Management Company) for services in a destination like excursions, dinners etc. or an EMC (Event Management Company) for themed events. Very often, a PCO organizes all those activities itself providing it has the in-depth knowledge of the destination. In short, PCO brings together many different elements and suppliers involved in creating a successful meeting and actively oversees the whole process.


The future of PCO – which has already begun – is the capability to change and adapt to novelties in order to survive. Moreover, every item has been changing – from clients and suppliers to the technology and environment. Therefore, lifelong learning and embracing imminences is a must.

Future: Clients

Needless to say, client always wants more while spending less by cutting the costs. The leads will be even shorter and the speed and quality of its proposal will be crucial for PCO to secure the business. Not only will client negotiate savings wherever possible but will also try to improve its ROI. Value for money will not be a mere phrase but a significant fact supported by hard figures. In addition, content, being crucial to the client, determines the way in which it is presented; and here new ideas spring all the time.

Future: Suppliers

The suppliers will have shorter deadlines, especially in favorable seasons like June and September when they are traditionally very well booked. Majority of suppliers combine different pieces of business and very often PCO has to dance on a very thin wire whether to guarantee the services and number of participants and take the risk of either performing superbly or poorly.

Future: Technology

Is there anything new to say about technology besides the fact it evolves and changes on a daily basis? Social networks are omnipresent and meeting organizers use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to communicate information. They are also using smartphone apps, Twitter, Instagram to interact with participants before, during and after the event.

Future: Environment

Talking about ecology it becomes greater issue every day. Each part of a complicated meeting industry chain needs to comply with these trends if they wish to stay in business, which has even created a term “green meetings”! PCO wanting to play the game might join various platforms (like Travelife) to enhance its ethical performances.

Business environment is not getting any better or easier for a PCO either. Legislature, at least in Croatia, does not recognize a PCO and its true values and needs, but treats meeting industry as one small portion of “special tourism forms” compelling PCO to act as a travel agency. EU legislature did not help at all, furthermore, made it even worse with their directive of “special VAT margin scheme for travel agents” making a life of PCO more stressful, if it is possible at all.

Future: Learning

Lifelong learning and exchanging industry knowledge and experience will be the key. Meeting planners will continue to focus on linking their meetings and events to destinations and venues that live and breathe their industries, expertise areas and business strategies. Professionals like PCOs must embrace industry networking, refreshing old and adopting new skills and knowledge, partake the industry certification programs and be prepared to always learn, learn, and learn.

What would be the perfect PCO?

The perfect PCO would be one that provides a peace of mind to a meeting planner delivering meeting consultancy and utmost management services while improving a client's ROI. In addition, the perfect PCO enjoys excellent relationships with all its suppliers, vendors and partners advocating sustainable tourism by respecting the law, supporting universal human rights, minimizing environmental impact and maximizing cultural interaction and ensuring economic benefits to the community. 

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