Brief Professional Development Models for Event Planners

Brief Professional Development for Event PlannersWith many organizations cutting back on training due to difficulties in releasing employees from the job for long stretches of time, it's increasingly important to come up with new models for professional development.

A number of career development models are worth exploring to deliver maximum content in limited time. They minimize the time required off the job and provide event planners with the opportunity to devote quality time to professional development without distraction. The key to success is to make the programmes highly targeted and interactive. Work related projects are important.

One Day University Model

Meetings + Incentive Travel (M+IT), formerly Meetings Canada, produces Incentiveworks in Toronto every year. To make professional development more accessible and affordable for event planners in other parts of Canada, M+IT is offering M+IT University 4 times this year. Full day agendas, limited to a maximum of 50 participants at each location will be offered in:

  • Montreal on March 24, 2015
  • Ottawa on March 26, 2015
  • Vancouver on November 3, 2015
  • Calgary on November 5, 2015

The agenda, which will be customized with local content, follows a similar format in each area:

  • speed networking breakfast
  • 3 hour long CE accredited education sessions
  • a lunchtime keynote
  • 1 hour block for networking appointments

Montreal will also feature a marketplace and auction sponsored by Tourism Toronto in the evening. Each attendee will have 6 scheduled appointments during the networking periods. The suppliers with whom they will be meeting are sponsoring the event to keep it affordable.

Weekly Event Planning Certification Prep.

International Special Event Society (ISES) makes professional development accessible to event industry professionals through its weekly National Event Planning Certification programme (CSEP- Certified Special Event Planner). Once per week for 12 weeks, event planners participate in 3 hour interactive sessions to prepare them to write the National CSEP exam. The credits will also count towards the Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) designation.

Conservatory Model

A model worth considering exploring to make professional development for event planners more accessible is the conservatory. This model, typically used to deliver professional development for artists (including music, theatre and the visuals arts) follows one or two formats:

  • weekly half day intensives
  • summer intensives over 1 - 3 weeks

San Francisco University offers 3 week summer intensives for event industry professionals. The University of the West Indies offers 10 - 13 week event management intensives in Jamaica.

Associations looking to add value for members may find it worthwhile to explore some of these models.

Summits like Cvent Connect 2015 are another model for delivering maximum professional development content.

For more professional development tips for event planners also consult, The News on Educational Opportunities, Back to School: MPI Competency Framework for Meeting and Event Planners, Back to School: Learning Resources for Event Planners, Back to School: Fine-tuning Your Analytical and Technical Skills, and Back to School: 30+ Strategies to Tap Into Your Creativity.

Photo Credit: WeMake Milano

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