To the Point

A New Year, a New You?

The ball has dropped, the calendar has changed, and Convening Leaders — PCMA's kick-start to the New Year — has just come to a close.

Have you made any resolutions for this year? Those of us here at PCMA have an important goal for 2013 — to help you be the best you can be.

The pace in our business is fast, bottom lines are tight, and rules are always changing. It’s easy to let professional development take a backseat to your day-to-day challenges. But now is the perfect time to set some goals that will help you grow professionally this year. Experts say there are ways you can help make your goals a reality, such as writing them down, making them public, enlisting a partner in your efforts, and blocking out specific time slots on your calendar to accomplish them.

So in the spirit of that advice, here are a few specific ways PCMA can help you achieve your professional-development goals in 2013:

Looking to bone up on a particular topic? PCMA365 at is an excellent source for online education, including key sessions from Convening Leaders 2013. Make sure to also visit Convene’s archives ( for rich content.

Interested in face-to-face learning and networking? Take advantage of the PCMA Education Conference, June 24—27 in Denver, and the Global Professionals Conference, Oct. 17—18 in Las Vegas. Chapter events also are an excellent way to connect and learn.

Just back from Convening Leaders 2013 in Orlando? Keep the conversations going! Use PCMA’s social-media channels, or better yet, follow up directly with people you got to spend time with. This network can be an invaluable resource for you for years to come.

Couldn’t make it to Orlando? Use our resources at to start planting the seeds now to get management buy-in for next year.

Ready to go for the CMP? Take advantage of PCMA’s CMP Exam Online Prep Course — 98 percent of past participants passed the CMP exam on their first attempt. Also, check out Convene’s monthly CMP Series, where you can earn one credit hour for reading an article and supplemental content, and completing an online quiz.

Having a hard time making PCMA membership a reality? Disney Destinations, in support of the PCMA Education Foundation, has made it possible for the Foundation to fund PCMA memberships for a number of meeting professionals over the next three years. Also, you can now use your Hilton HHonors Points or Starwood Award Points (Starpoints) for membership dues. Go to for more info on both of these programs.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. If you’ve got a specific goal and are not sure how to get there, please contact us at PCMA. We’d be happy to make some recommendations. And be sure to enlist PCMA members as motivators, mentors, and/or partners! The power of our community cannot be overstated.

Deborah Sexton

Deborah Sexton is president and CEO of PCMA.