HAPCO & DES appoints Sissi Lignou as the new President of the BoD


The 11th Panhellenic Conference of HAPCO & DES, entitled "Reconnect to Accelarate", was held on 12-13 April 2022 at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens.


The restart of the in-person meetings and the strategy shaping the new framework for the future of the industry, were the main topics of the conference. The Annual Meeting of HAPCO & DES took place as an in-person meeting after two years of absence and included sessions on significant subjects, such as: 

• The power of collaboration and synergies

• Sustainable development

• New leadership models

• Women and Leadership

• Mental health (how important is a pause before acceleration)

• Personal development and evolution

• “Metaverse and new technologies”


A particularly important session was the hybrid round table with the participation of six IAPCO members from Italy, Britain, Ireland, Greece and Mexico, and the IAPCO CEO, where the representatives exchanged views on the impact of the pandemic in each country and industry, the response and actions to address it, and the future plans.


This international working group (IAPCO Task Force of National Associations of PCOs) was created through the pandemic crisis and is a live example of the importance of cooperation and synergies.

During the HAPCO Annual Meeting the important and critical juncture of the Ukraine war was underlined, and the impact it is expected to have on the tourism and meetings industry and humanity as a whole. A very important moment of the conference, was the online live communication with the Lviv CVB representatives on the situation in Ukraine.


The General Assembly of the Association took place during the meeting and the new Board of Directors was elected, appointing Sissi Lygnou as the new President. Sissi Lygnou, has been a Board Member of HAPCO since 2007 and served as the Association’s Secretary General. Since 2009, she represents AFEA in the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and has participated in numerous IAPCO committees and working groups, representing the international body as a speaker and trainer. In February 2021, she was elected as a member of IAPCO, the first member from Greece.


The new Board of Directors of HAPCO & DES is as follows:

Honorary President

Irene Tolis, ERA Congress & Events


Sissi Lignou, AFEA Travel & Congress Services

1st Vice President


2nd Vice President

Maria Papadaki, EVENT MAKERS

Secretary General

Antonia Alexandrou, CONVIN SA


Dimitris Paliouras, GLOBAL EVENTS



Irini Toli, ERA Congress & Events

Zenia Kerasidou, MEGARON ATHENS, International Conference Centre


George Kiagias, OPTIMUM GREECE

Maria Papapanagiotou, KEGM Tourist & Conference Enterprises SA Congress World

Evangelos Pantos, GRAND HYATT ATHENS

Alternate member

Thanos Marinoglou, MD CONGRESS


HAPCO was established in 1996, aiming to bring together and represent Professional Congress Organizers (PCOs), DMCs, Service Providers and companies in the Meetings Industry. 


Source: HAPCO