The Intersection

The Importance of Continuing Education for Meeting Planners

For decades, no single certification existed for meeting professionals — until the Convention Industry Council (CIC) created the Certified Meeting Professional in 1985. Since then, more than 10,000 meeting professionals in 55 countries have earned their CMP.

Industry education is no less critical 30 years later, according to Gayle Dahlman, CIC’s certification director — and may even require more vigilance. “In order to keep up with any profession you’re in — and the meeting profession is changing extremely quickly — you have to keep up with the changes,” Dahlman says in “Industry Education,” the latest video for The Intersection, presented by PCMA and PSAV.

In the video, Dahlman discusses the importance of continuing education with PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton. “Without paying close attention to the education that’s available today to keep you up to speed, you’re going to find yourself not prepared for what’s coming at us, as far as the industry is concerned,” Sexton says. “That’s hybrid meetings, that’s sponsorship issues, that’s attendance-building issues, that’s our [PCMA Convening Leaders] Learning Lounge, which [offers] smaller education sessions and shorter education sessions.”

And, as people become busier, they often choose to learn — and meet — remotely. “Virtual meetings have become a really big part of the industry,” Dahlman says. Staying on top of that ever-changing technology requires ongoing dedication.

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Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch is a writer who specializes in food and drink.