MPI hosts first Great Debate at Confex, UVL reports 400 enquiries

Meetings Professional International (MPI) kicked off the first in its series of Great Debates with ’MPI in the Ring: Do you need a license to meet?’ at meetings industry tradeshow International Confex, which was held at Excel London, 19-21 March 2013.

Cedric Calhoun (pictured), RecertTrack CEO and Founder, and Jennifer Jenkins, MD at MCI UK, debated for and against the motion that certification would benefit the event industry, organisers and clients.

Global recognition, a pathway to higher pay and differentiation from industry peers were all factors presented as part of the argument put forward from Calhoun, which resulted in the majority vote that certification would, and will continue, to benefit event planners across the globe.

“If doctors and lawyers require certification to be regarded as competent and trusted in their occupations, why should event organisers be regarded as any different. This isn’t just about qualifications, it is about creating a structure which can sustain ongoing recertification which will support career progression and help people move up within their industry,” said Calhoun.

Jenkins opposed the notion, presenting the difficulties involved in standardising a profession, arguing that ’uniqueness comes from an individuals experience and that skills and ability are acquired through industry experience’. She furthered her argument questioning: “Why should we create further barriers for people to overcome after they have spent four years studying for a degree?’

Calhoun, who founded RecertTrack “to help the certified meeting professional manage their recertification activities and store their documentation in a centralised location”,  responded by saying that qualifications can assess whether people have baseline knowledge and skills and helps them understand what they need to know in order to perform and apply for certain industry jobs. “Certification can also help during the recruitment process as employers can verify that employees already have the appropriate skills for the position they will be applying for,” he said.

In related International Confex news, venue consortium Unique Venues of London (UVL) said it received almost 400 enquiries at the show, with nearly a quarter of these appointments to see the UVL Doctor.

The UVL Event Doctor, which was launched at Confex, will appear at the consortium’s other exhibition stands in 2013 and is designed to offer advice on choosing London event spaces from the collection’s 79 member venues.

“We know from our experience in the industry that this is something event organisers need, and we are delighted with its success at International Confex,” said Head of Commercial Programming at Royal Opera House and Chairman of UVL, Moya Maxwell.

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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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