Proving that convention center management is truly operating world-class facilities not just in their local communities or nationally but internationally as well is the Quality Standards Accreditation that must be earned from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC).
AIPC encourages and recognizes the highest standards in facility management and operations. Out of the association’s global network of more than 170 convention centers in 54 countries, 21 convention centers have received AIPC Quality Standards Accreditation, which is the result of an exhaustive audit of all major factors in convention center management carried out by an independent business process auditor.
In October 2012, the Las Vegas Convention Center, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), became one of four venues in the U.S. to receive AIPC Gold Quality Standards Accreditation, the highest level of recognition. This includes San Diego Convention Center, which is managed by San Diego Convention Center Corp. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority received double gold for its two venues: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.
“We were recognized with the coveted Gold Certification for our best practices and the exceptional level of customer service we provide at the Las Vegas Convention Center, so we’re pleased to know we’re doing well,” said Terry Jicinsky, senior vice president of operations, LVCVA. “The award is a true testament to our organization and the people behind it who make the Las Vegas Convention Center the world-class facility it is.”
Not every convention centers reaches gold status. Designations of silver or bronze are also given to convention centers that have successfully completed the audit process.
“We were rated in a number of areas, including facility performance measures, financial accountability, economic impacts, customer service, environmental responsibility, industry relations and more,” Jicinsky explained. “We established an internal committee who then created smaller teams to work on the various sections. The team worked on this project diligently for about six months. It helped us document our accomplishments and review our policies and procedures, which was a good exercise for the team.”
Created in response to AIPC members who wanted an industry-specific program for identifying and evaluating key areas of convention center performance leading to a visible and accepted form of recognition, the Quality Standards Accreditation is available to all member centers that wish to achieve the designation.
“In a time when global competition amongst convention centers and destinations is more intense than ever, centers need to be able to differentiate themselves,” said Geoff Donaghy, vice president, AIPC board of directors and group director of convention centers, AEG Ogden. “One way to do this is by demonstrating adherence to the highest and most relevant management standards, which not only creates an advantage amongst increasingly discerning clients but also provides owners with confidence the center is being managed efficiently and cost-effectively.”
AEG Ogden manages venues in the Asia-Pacific region and had four of its convention centers reach gold status, including three Australian venues: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Cairns Convention Centre and Darwin Convention Centre along with Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Malaysia.
AIPC also brings together its members for its Annual Conference and General Assembly, to be held at Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) in South Africa, from June 30-July 3.