Bucking tradition, organizers of this year’s European Incentive, Business Travel, and Motivation conference and exhibition, which took place November 27-29 in Barcelona, Spain, presented Terri Breining with the inaugural EIBTM International Personality of the Year Award—the first and only EIBTM award to be given to an individual.

The acknowledgment came as a surprise to Breining, CMP, CMM, founder and president of meetings management company Concepts Worldwide, Carlsbad, Calif., who said she was “deeply honored” to receive the award. Breining is also the current chairwoman of the Accepted Practice Exchange initiative for the Convention Industry Council.

The International Personality of the Year Award was developed to recognize an individual who has contributed significantly to the meetings profession and exemplified leadership in groundbreaking projects, and whose efforts to raise educational and professional standards within the industry have had a profound impact.

“With the rapid development of EIBTM and the growing international stature of our portfolio of meetings and incentive events, we felt it timely and appropriate to acknowledge the achievements and impact of an individual’s work,” said Paul Kennedy, MBE, group exhibition director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, UK, in a statement.

Kennedy, along with a panel of judges representing industry figures from around the world, voted for Breining, a 31-year meetings industry veteran. Breining has been recognized professionally many times, having received Meeting Professionals International’s International Planner of the Year award in 2000 and served as MPI’s chairwoman of the board in 2003-2004.