To the Point

Reinventing Ourselves

Take the time to re-imagine your skills -and even your career.

Here at PCMA, we’ve been talking a great deal lately about the need to reconstruct or reimagine face-to-face meetings. In fact, the theme for our upcoming Education

Conference — June 24-27 in Denver — is “Meeting Reinvention.” From con tent delivery to technology use, we’ll be exploring how to transform events so that today’s attendees, exhibitors, and other stakeholders experience maxi mum benefit.

Reinvention doesn’t mean blowing up what you have and starting over from scratch. But it does involve a good deal of open-mindedness about which pieces are working and which are not, what components could be added, and how they could be put together to shape a new experience for all of your event participants.

That kind of open-mindedness is also essential for meeting professionals in terms of career development. In this issue’s cover story and CMP Series article (p. 42), we explore what kinds of skills you will need to stay on top of your game in the next few years. It’s a good opportunity for you to assess where you are today and what you might need to learn, on or off the job — even if that means stepping outside your comfort zone.

This applies whether you’re an industry veteran or just getting started, and it requires something of an entrepreneurial mindset. Does Mark Zuckerberg, the 29-year-old who created Facebook with a group of college friends, sit back and relax — despite his reported wealth of $13.3 billion? Of course not. He must constantly upgrade his skills, not to mention making some serious about-faces if he wants to keep Facebook competitive.

The need for reinvention is important, whether you have tenure at your organization or are looking for work. Rule number one: Meetings themselves are rapidly changing, and there’s a great deal to learn about new approaches to content delivery, technology, and creating customized experiences. Number two: The meetings profession is also evolving, with much more of a need for broad-based business acumen.

In this issue, we help you take stock of not only your skills but also your compensation. As our latest Annual Salary Survey reveals, investing in your career reaps dividends. Those who earned the CMP designation make an average of $14,000-plus more per year than those without it.

Take advantage of all the tools and resources PCMA offers to help you in your career development. For everything from the latest research and education to important resources and an ever-important community of like-minded professionals, I encourage you to visit or talk to anyone on staff about how we can help you meet you goals.

After all, reinventing our meetings goes hand-in-hand with reinventing our skills and our careers.

Deborah Sexton

Deborah Sexton is president and CEO of PCMA.