MCI UK Managing Director and Chair of The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO), Jennifer Jenkins, has backed the importance of graduate education for PCOs following a Leeds Metropolitan University event.
“I am impressed by the calibre of graduates coming out of Leeds Metropolitan University,” says Jenkins. “Our industry time and again argues that experience is far more important than education, an argument that no longer stacks up. The truth is that tomorrow’s PCOs need both.
“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.”
The Leeds Metropolitan University event, entitled Leadership, professionalism and transforming your career, took place on 30 April and featured speakers including Jenkins; Amanda Stranack, Head of Congress at BSAVA; James Caldwell, Director at innov8 Conference Services; and 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.”
The speakers praised the quality of the student body, particularly their professionalism and understanding of the overall conference market, which they said was well balanced by a wide range of practical hands-on event management experience.
In support of students and graduates, ABPCO has expanded its membership to include: University Membership for current students (£10 ex VAT) and Entry Level Membership for graduates with less than two years in the industry (£50 ex VAT).
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