In August 2015 the 71st Annual Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF 2015) was held in Trinity College, Dublin from the 20th – 23rd August. The theme of the 2015 Congress was Taxation in a Global Economy and attracted over 480 International delegates.
All of the plenaries took place in the Ed Burke lecture theatre with a large number of working group sessions taking place each afternoon across Trinity College campus. Tea and Coffee breaks were part of the conference programme which allowed exhibitors the opportunity to network with delegates and showcase their products. Canapés and Craft Beer kicked off the Welcome Reception in the Trinity College Dining Room which was a relaxed and informal welcome to the Congress.
Social excursions took place on the afternoon of the 21st August and provided further opportunities to network and visit two of the most popular attractions in Dublin. Delegates had the choice of a visit to the Guinness Storehouse which included a lesson on how to pull the perfect pint of Guinness and 360 degree views of Dublin city in Gravity Bar or a visit to The Old Library at Trinity where they could view the Book of Kells (a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world).
The Gala Dinner was held in the fabulous surroundings of the Mansion House. Entertainment on the night was provided by Faye Marshall Irish Dancers and Darach O Connor Traditional Irish Music Group to give delegates a real Irish experience.
Our client was eager to reduce the carbon footprint of the conference so we developed alternatives to reduce the volume of print materials. Advantage PCO developed a hugely successful conference app which included the full programme and important information about the venue and city. Delegates could personalise the programme to view sessions that appealed to them and could also add notes from each session via the app thus reducing the need to provide notepads. Advantage PCO also created an A6 personalized badge/programme which eliminated the requirement for delegate bags.
Running alongside the congress programme was a full Accompanying Persons Social Programme which included an excursion each day. Excursions included a Guided Tour of the National Gallery of Ireland, a Guided Walking tour of Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and a half day Tour of Glendalough in Co. Wicklow.
From the very beginning of my planning, Advantage was there when I needed them to be. They gave me excellent tips for fundraising, something which helped me to achieve donations nearly twice what I was hoping for. From there, they guided me through advertising, setting up the website, booking venues, planning meals, running the conference itself; right up through the final settling of the books. At each stage, their advice and effort not only brought the ideas in my head to life, but made them better than I could have hoped for. During the event itself, Advantage had friendly staff on hand to answer questions, guide participants to where they needed to be, and cope with unexpected circumstances (such as finding a last minute second room for a participant who no longer had a place to stay). All of this allowed me to actually enjoy the conference, something I had not planned on at all. Perhaps more importantly, all of my participants were extremely pleased, with many saying it was the best run version of this 70 year old conference they've ever been to. As much as I'd like to take the credit for that, Sarah, Susan, and Advantage are the ones who really deserve it. In short, I recommend Advantage PCO without reservation. Friendly, creative, professional, patient, and brimming with invaluable advice, they will be the first people I call next time I run an event.Ronald B. Davies, Organising Committee
IAYMH - OCTOBER 2015