Industry leaders, including MCI UK Managing Director and Chair of the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), Jennifer Jenkins, have backed the importance of graduate education for PCOs.
“I am very impressed by the calibre of graduates coming out of Leeds Metropolitan University. Our industry has time and again argued that experience is far more important than education, an argument that no longer stacks up. The truth is that tomorrow’s PCOs need both,” said Jennifer Jenkins, Chair of ABPCO. “The universities running event management courses have changed, the breadth and scope of their curriculums ensure that students emerge – post-degree – with a clear idea of the type of event work they want to pursue and the skills to achieve it. They have relevant, meaningful work experience and the professional knowledge to comprehend the importance of conferences in the modern world.”
Speakers attending the event on 30 April at Leeds Metropolitan University praised the quality of the student body, particularly their professionalism and understanding of the overall conference market, which they commented is well balanced by a wide range of practical hands on event management experience.
In support of students and graduates, ABPCO has expanded its membership options to include:
- University Membership – for current student – £10 (ex vat)
- Entry Level Membership – for graduates with less than two years in industry – £50 (ex vat)
Entitled, Leadership, professionalism and transforming your career, the event featured a host of high level speakers brought together by ABPCO and the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH)to explore the opportunities available to future conference managers and PCOs.
The speakers were:
- Jennifer Jenkins, MD of MCI UK
- Amanda Stranack, Head of Congress, BSAVA
- James Caldwell, Director, innov8 Conference Services
- Inbar Caspi, MD, of Kenes Group
Rhodri Thomas, Head of ICRETH at Leeds Metropolitan University and ABPCO board member said: “I was delighted to welcome such a high calibre platform of ABPCO speakers to our university. It helped broaden the career horizons of the students and offer them insights into developing really successful careers. As a director of ABPCO, I’m hoping we can build on this to the benefit of students at all universities and, in turn, encourage them to get more involved with leading PCOs.”