Masterclass: Congress Competition – Anticipating Tomorrow’s Challenges Today

This invitation-only masterclass is geared toward association executives.

How well do you understand the competitive congress landscape? What are you doing to adapt to it and prepare for the future? This masterclass will stimulate you to consider these questions and the source of your main competition. You'll also reflect on how well you are anticipating the changing needs and expectations of your delegates and evolving your event strategy.

Learner Outcomes:

With a focus on your members and congress delegates:

  • Explore emerging changes and trends in the congress landscape, the challenges and opportunities presented.
  • Consider how you can stand out from the crowd and thrive in a competitive market place.
  • Examine how education needs, learning expectations and delivery are changing and what that means for future congresses.
  • Innovate your traditional initiatives to stimulate the growth and reach of the association.

Clock Hours: 1.25
Domain: Domain A: Strategic Planning
Session Type: Masterclass

Brought to you by Scottish Event Campus


Individual Session Link


Annalisa Ponchia



Ponchia Baccara, a member of PCMA’s EMEA Advisory Board, has 30 years of international experience in events management and deep roots in the industry, having organized conferences and events around the globe for the corporate sector, government and associations. She spent nearly 12 years as ESOT CEO during which she gained substantial knowledge of the association environment and processes.

Recently appointed Director of Innovation and Customer Experience, at AIM Group International, a new strategic position within the Company, with the task to drive the innovation across all the company’s functions and stakeholders and raise the added value offered to clients.

Her career includes previous 10 years of experience as entrepreneur running her own PCO company (with a staff of 20 people and several outsourced consultants, sales and assistance staff) specialised in medical meetings.
Ponchia is a certified meeting professional, with CMP and CMM designations, and is active as speaker at numerous association and industry events.

Adrian Ott



Adrian is Chief Executive Officer of the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT). He has more than 15 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. In his current position his focus is the strategic alignment of EFORT activities towards its mission & vision: strengthen the European Orthopaedic and Traumatology Educational Platform, raising the organisation’s profile in priority within the European health agenda in the area of musculoskeletal health, but also globally. Operationally his priorities are change management, developing creative business relationships and stimulating effective governance aimed at committee work and profiling HCO stakeholders.

Prior to EFORT he worked in the convention business and later at the World Heart Federation, a non-governmental healthcare association fostering the control and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and stroke worldwide. In his capacity of Director of the Congress Division he led the operations of the biennial World Congress of Cardiology. Re-assessments of congress strategy and new business ventures were part of his mandate.
He is currently President of AC Forum with a term of office is of two years. AC Forum, The Association & Conference Forum is Led by Association staff for Associations and comprises more than 30 member organisations with a focus in healthcare, but not exclusively. Networking, sharing and educating to promote excellence in association and congress management in a trusting and confidential environment encapsulates the vision of the Association’s mission.

Adrian holds a Bachelor of Science HES-SO in Tourism Management of the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland.

Davi Kaur



Davi Kaur, Head of Communications – European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC

Graduating from the University of Wales College of Cardiff in 1993 with an Honorary Degree in Applied Biology, Davi joined the Institute of Nephrology at University of Wales College of Medicine, where her research focused on the effects of peritoneal dialysis fluid on inflammation where she gained master’s in philosophy.

Davi currently serves on the PCMA (Professional Conference Management Association) advisory board and recently completed a Master of Business Administration degree at Vlerick Business School.

Andreu Gusi



Andreu has been the Executive Director of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, a non-profit organisation where scientists and physicians involved in clinical bone marrow transplantation share their experiences and develop co-operative studies, for the last 10 years. Prior to this he has gained over 13 years of experience working for Médecins Sans Frontière, Spain, where he worked in director, management and finance roles in various out-postings in Palestine/Israel, Peru, Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco and South Sudan

Currently, in his role as EBMT Executive Director he is focused on the strategic alignment of EBMT’s activities towards its mission & vision, which is to save the lives of patients with blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases by advancing the fields of blood and marrow transplantation and cell therapy worldwide through science, education and patient care. Operationally he actively participates in the design and implementation of the strategic planning process by supporting the organisation in implementing a more transparent, accountable and efficient governance and organisational structure.

Andreu holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Economics from the University of Barcelona as well as Non-profit leadership courses completed with ESADE in Barcelona.

September 23 @ 12:15
12:15 — 13:30 (1h 15′)

131-132, Barcelona International Convention Centre P1

Adrian Ott, Andreu Gusi, Annalisa Ponchia, Davi Kaur