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The challenge of hosting IQNet 25th anniversary

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Henry Ford

And in a single sentence we can find the perfect sum-up of IQNet’s history. The beginning was approximately 25 years ago to face the challenges associated with globalization and the will to define and implement mutual recognition and cooperation criteria and procedures, namely related to management system certification. Keeping together and working together requires understanding, flexibility and hard work but I dare to say IQNet achieved it. Furthermore, the success of IQNet is in direct correlation with the success of its 36 Partners worldwide.
The only thing I want to add up to Henry Ford’s quote is that all successes (and also failures) must be adequately celebrated!
APCER is a founding member of IQNet so, it was with great pleasure, that APCER embraced the challenge of hosting the main events related with the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of IQNet.
The June 2015 General Assembly week in Estoril - Portugal can be pointed out as the highlight, among several others 25th Anniversary related initiatives. More than 75 delegates participated in a comprehensive meeting program, including all IQNet’s organizational areas, from strategy to marketing and product development, harmonization to peer membership.
The organization of relevant international events usually presents a number of challenges specially those which include the celebration of important milestones in the history of organizations or networks. The first challenge was to find an appropriate scenario for the business event that combined history and access to modern facilities and technology. So, in an astonishing sea side scenario with great accessibilities, the meeting week went according to plan managing to align very different expectations from over 75 international participants with distinct cultural and social backgrounds.
One of the highlights of the week, included in the communication and promotion plan designed specifically for this celebration, was the APCER/IQNet Forum. This Forum involved distinguished local and international experts in the discussion of conformity assessment state-of-the-art issues and current market challenges and opportunities. In addition, it was all achieved by mixing technical issues and art, communicating and sharing the spirit of IQNet through a unique combination of words, music and painting. Also the media coverage of the event and follow up press releases produced great results and, for the first time, an IQNet institutional video was produced plus another add-on video specially designed for the 25th Anniversary.
Success is also when inspiration meets preparation, so a team was put in place to implement this project which motivated us all. IQNet Headoffice and APCER’s Team were in permanent contact for over eight months to ensure that everything went according to plan, because “the devil is in the details” and nothing can be left to chance. Bottom-line, the feedback received from all participants was that expectations were exceeded which makes all the efforts worth-while and we believe that the excellent atmosphere breathed contributed to enhance further-more IQNet’s spirit.
The success of the General Assembly meeting week truly enhanced the influence, reputation and market awareness of IQNet as the pre-eminent certification and conformity assessment service network and it was a pleasure for the team involved to be part of the celebration of such an important milestone in IQNet’s history.

Carla Pinto

APCER Chief Strategy Officer
APCER Delegate to IQNet
Vice-President of IQNet

APCER - Associação Portuguesa de Certificação
Ed. de Serviços da Exponor 2º
Av. Dr. António Macedo
4450-617 Leça da Palmeira