One + June 2011 - (Page 84)

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS B Y J E S S I E S TAT E S Setting the Standard Just what does it take to be a meeting professional? It’s a question that has been answered a thousand ways in dozens of countries since the dawn of the meeting industry (circa mid-1900s). It has confounded professors, exasperated students and put meeting experts on defense against their corporate and association boards. It has influenced our value—both in terms of respect and remuneration. And it finally has just one, international answer: MBECS (or the Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards). A product of several international boards, governmental bodies, task forces and (of course) MPI, this one document provides something the industry has long been lacking—a detailed catalogue of the skills needed to be a meeting professional. The instructive digest contains 12 major categories (strategic planning, event design, site management) and 33 individual skills (develop mission and goals, engage speakers, design site layout)—which are, in turn, informed by sub-skills. The entirety comprises some 100-odd pages that define the core of the meeting industry—and finally give professionals across the globe a shared set of career standards. The Convention Industry Council, which is currently revising its industry-recognized CMP exam, is already moving to incorporate the competency standards into the test’s final version early next year. (A newly international edition of the CMP will debut at the World Education Congress in Orlando). Meanwhile, a faculty group funded by the MPI Foundation is developing an MBECS-based curriculum guide for two-, three- and four-year programs to be released later this year. Know: This is no fly-by-night achievement. The core document informing the new standards dates to 1993, when the industry-recognized Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC) introduced one of the first national standards for events. The CTHRC has updated the document regularly since. It would take more than a decade for the international community to take note, namely when a group of university professors and event professionals developed the so-called Event Management Body of Knowledge and connected with CTHRC. In 2009, the two groups launched the Event Management International Competency Standards, the first global model for industry validation. But there’s a caveat. The standards target large events, festivals and WANT TO USE THE STANDARDS? Go for it. The Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards document can be reproduced free of charge (as long as you don’t intend to make money off of it). Drive your curriculum, define your education needs, evaluate your workforce—and know you have the industry’s only international standards to back you up. And if you have any comments or suggestions, send an email to Feedback will help us regularly update the standards. Download the standards and obtain a free toolkit at 84 one+ 05.11 > sporting experiences. The business event industry still lacked a benchmark catering to its unique skill set. That’s when MPI stepped in, determined to create a comprehensive, international competency to guide the professional development of meeting professionals. The difficulty, of course, was the sheer diversity of our industry—its various meeting types, career paths and levels of expertise. To address these issues, Ann Godi, then-chairwoman of the MPI board, created a Body of Knowledge Task Force comprised of practitioners and academics, veteran and novice from a variety of professional backgrounds (planner, supplier), industry segments (corporate, nonprofit) and academic institutions (graduate, bachelor, associate and certificate). This task force partnered with the CTHRC and built on its model to establish the first-ever global standards specific to meetings and business events. The resulting document: the nt: MBECS. And if you’re ou’re thinking that this document won’t affect you u and your career, you’re re mistaken. –J.S.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + June 2011

One + June 2011
Energy of Many
Paradigm Shifts, Part I
Ask the Experts
Web Watch
Recognizing Individual Excellence
Sound Off
Art of Travel
River Mason
Top Spots
Plan It Forward
Great Thanking
Running on Defaults
The New Mobile Workforce
World Wide Open
Higher Education
Progress Through Technology
Step by Strategic Step
Meeting Rxcitement
Tame Social Media Chaos
Meeting Against Meat
Re-Designed for the New Rules of Engagement
Industry Insights
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again

One + June 2011