To the Point

Forward-to-School Time

Class is always in session at PCMA.

It’s August, and we’re all being bombarded by back-to-school ads. (Actually, I read recently that Walmart launched its online back-to-school promotion back in June, but that’s another topic for another day.) Back-to-school fever — fueled by the multimedia retail advertising push for everything from clothes to backpacks to dorm-room supplies — is really in full swing.

Students and faculty members who are reading this magazine get to experience the excitement of going back to school, not to mention those of you with school-aged kids of your own. There are new teachers and students to meet, new routines, new activities — and the anticipation of a year or semester ahead filled with new things to learn.

Here at PCMA, class is always in session. We work hard to provide top- notch education opportunities for you all year long. In fact, summer is one of our busiest times for face-to-face education events, including our successful mid-year Education Conference, held this past June in Denver. Since there’s no pause in the opportunities we offer, there’s no natural momentum to build for exploring something new. I realize it might be challenging to take a step back and get excited about learning.

But even if you’re not shopping for a new backpack, fresh pencils, or a new pair of shoes, I urge you to take a few minutes to think about what gets you excited about learning.

Do you like the smell of fresh paper in a brand-new book, the crack of the not-yet-broken-in spine? Or do you prefer an online resource that you can tap into on your tablet, no matter what city you’re in or what time of day?

Maybe you’re one of the many people who get invigorated by attending a face-to-face education event. Does your blood really start pumping when you can hash out challenges with your peers in small groups? Or do you prefer to sit alone at the side of the room, soaking in an expert’s insights and silently weighing your own experiences against their ideas?

PCMA offers a wide variety of education opportunities for every type of learner, whether in person or online. You can take advantage of face-to-face opportunities locally at the chapter level, nationally, or even globally. Online options include live virtual events and content you can access on your own time. Convene is an excellent source of monthly education, and our website offers a host of other resources 24/7.

If you’re thinking these opportunities sound good, if only you had the time, I encourage you to think again. The status quo — in your professional career or in your meetings — is not an option in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing industry. PCMA education can help you take advantage of the most cutting-edge trends and help you keep your career and your meetings moving forward and thriving.

Take a few minutes to think about what gets you excited about learning, and visit to review opportunities to further your professional development.

Deborah Sexton

Deborah Sexton is president and CEO of PCMA.