The Board of Directors of the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) announced that the winner of the 2004 AIPC Apex Award for "World`s Best Congress Centre" is the Cairns Convention Centre in Australia. The presentation was made at this year`s AIPC General Assembly in Edinburgh UK from a field of 16 finalists competing for the coveted award.
"We`re pleased to congratulate Cairns Convention Centre on their achievement in winning the AIPC Apex Award, and want to emphasize the importance that this accomplishment has in our industry"
, said AIPC President Barbara Maple. "The Apex Award is the ultimate form of recognition amongst convention centres, and in order to win, a centre must have extraordinary performance in all aspects of their operations. Furthermore, because the entire basis for the Apex award is the evaluation of a centre by it`s own clients, a win is not just a peer evaluation but an endorsement by the market itself."
The AIPC Apex Award is made annually on the basis of a comprehensive performance and customer satisfaction analysis carried out by an independent team led by Professor Jerzy Jaworski of the University of Applied Sciences in Heilbronn, Germany. The "blind" evaluation process used by Professor Jaworski ensures an objective analysis of the data which is based on a series of surveys covering such topics as congress facilities, project management, catering and technology. Surveys are completed by event organizers and meeting planners at the request of participants, and provided in confidence directly to the evaluation team.
The AIPC Board also recognized the two runners-up to this year`s award; Bregenzer Festspiel- und Kongresshaus Gmbh in Austria and Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in Australia.
Maple stressed that while the AIPC Apex Award winner is the focus of the competition, other participating AIPC members benefit as well. "As part of their involvement, all participating members get an individual evaluation report on their particular centre`s results from the team at the University of Heilbronn. This enables them to see how they are rated in various aspects of their operations, and to identify areas where they may wish to consider improvements."
The Award was initiated in the year 2000 as a way of recognizing the achievements of AIPC members in their pursuit of excellence in congress centre management. Previous Apex Award winners have been the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre in Australia, Congress Innsbruck in Austria, the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre in Canada and the Palacio de Congressos y de la Musica de Bilbao in Spain.