The Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) has partnered with Leeds Metropolitan University with the aim of educating students on the realities of conference management.
The event, entitled Leadership, professionalism and transforming your career, will take place at Leeds Metropolitan University on 30 April 2014 and will feature a host of high level speakers brought together by ABPCO and ICRETH to explore the opportunities available to future conference managers and PCOs. The panel, made up of ABPCO members, will tell their own personal stories and demonstrate how they used their professionalism in the world of conference management to go from entry to executive level.
Speakers will include Jennifer Jenkins, MD of MCI UK; Amanda Stranack, Head of Congress at BSAVA; James Caldwell, Director of Innov-8 Conference Services; and Inbar Caspi, MD of Kenes Group.
Professor Rhodri Thomas, ABPCO board member and Head of the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) at Leeds Metropolitan University, commented: "This event demonstrates the commitment of ABPCO and our university to showcase to students the kinds of high-level careers available to them if they join the conference sector.
“ICRETH approached ABPCO to help put together a programme of high level speakers capable of discussing the highs and lows, successes and challenges of working in the sector. ABPCO is built on the credibility of its members and the fact that it is constantly seeking to improve best practice across the whole of the meetings and events sector, makes it the perfect partner for the event."
ABPCO Chair and MCI UK Managing Director Jennifer Jenkins added: “A career as a PCO is often overlooked by graduates despite offering the opportunities to: organise conferences of real size and scale; travel frequently to emerging global destinations; earn salaries at the top end of the industry scale; and even start a business. The future of our industry lies in the hands of the students of today, there are plenty of individuals looking to become event and party managers but we want more to consider the world of conference organisation.
“ABPCO represents PCOs working in the association and not-for-profit sectors and on some of the largest, most exacting - and most exciting - projects being delivered in the UK today. It is our duty to fuel their interest whilst carefully balancing their expectations and ambitions. The next generation of organisers needs to learn from our mistakes and make use of best practice, while having the confidence to innovate and grow the industry."