Get Schooled at IMEX America

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PCMA Salary Survey Session, corporate event planning, meetings
PCMA Salary Survey Session, IMEX America 2013

The 2014 Las Vegas edition of IMEX America will include an extensive education program, with most sessions approved for professional accreditation. Meeting planners will be making professional connections and catching up on industry trends at the IMEX America trade show in October. They can also get formal credit toward CMP exams and CMP recertification, by attending sessions on the pre-show education day or over the three days of the show itself.

The sessions are offered in a week packed with education, networking and business opportunities at the annual exhibition for the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry. Among many happenings in the week, IMEX America will inspire attendees with new ways to unlock creativity and innovation; present new technology tools for hands-on experimentation; and share new developments in green meetings and sustainability.

IMEX America will take place October 14-16 at Sands Expo Las Vegas. Pre-show events will include the IMEX Challenge, a biennial CSR initiative, October 11-12; and education sessions on “Smart Monday—Powered by MPI” on October 13. A full list of the week’s events is on the IMEX website’s Schedule At A Glance page; here are some highlights:

Meeting Planner Accreditation

The education sessions are part of an extensive education program created with several industry partners “who have a great deal of expertise to share,” said Carina Bauer, IMEX Group CEO. “This year we concentrated on adding elements for senior planners in particular and on providing a wider variety of learning formats. We’ve also adapted some of our education areas to increase capacity.”

IMEX America is also working with the U.S. Travel Association to highlight the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC). All three of MMBC’s “pillars”—Personal Connections, Positive Business Outcomes and Building Strong Communities—are being actively promoted and supported through the show’s education program.

More than 100 industry experts will deliver 180 educational sessions over four days at IMEX. It’ll be an intriguing and informative week, if some of the session titles are any indication:

  • “Making the Most of PCO Partnerships for Global Meetings,” by PCMA and IAPCO
  • “Hotel Contracts: Plan and Think Before You Ink,” by Meeting Sites Resources
  • “Change Your Destiny,” by Kirsty Spraggon
  • “Top 10 Apps When You Are OOO (Out of Office),” by SPIN
  • “Smart Meeting Planners @ Work: Lose Your Assumptions When Hosting Abroad and Win Big,” by the German Convention Bureau
  • “You’re Hired—Powerful Interview Techniques to Get That Job,” by MCI
  • “The Zen of Meetings—Applied Mindfulness for Meetings Professionals,” by Sagatica
  • “10 Predictions for Meetings in the Next 20 Years,” by the Meeting Design Institute
  • “Activate It! The Newest Buzz Word in Meetings Sponsorship,” by Play with a Purpose

Of the sessions, 79 percent are accredited by the Convention Industry Council (CIC). Accreditation is also offered by the International Special Events Society (ISES), which has approved 34 of the show’s education sessions for its ISES Core Curriculum; and by Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the show’s strategic partner and premier education provider, which will offer 43 education sessions during the show. The MPI sessions will include daily keynotes, four deep dives and MPI’s Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) course. Approximately 81 percent of the MPI sessions offered at IMEX America are eligible for clock hours.

“The education program we developed for IMEX America covers a variety of hot topics and trends—all of which will help the show’s attendees evolve with our changing industry,” said Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO of MPI.

New Tracks and New Education Areas

All education at the show will be delivered across 11 tracks this year, with three new topics: diversity, health and well-being, and senior planner.

New options include a Creative Zone, where the emphasis will be on facilitated “play” as a tool for unlocking creativity and business innovation; Hot Topic Tables, for peer-to-peer discussions about the latest industry issues; and Meet The Expert clinics, for one-to-one consultations with industry experts and speakers.

IMEX has also increased capacity by adding a second seminar theatre in the Inspiration Center. These complement the Tech Hub (sponsored by DoubleDutch), a specialized area for technology education and hands-on experimentation with new products; and the Sustainability Hub, powered by the Green Meeting Industry Council, which is home to all green meetings and events information and education on the show floor.

Registration is not required to attend education sessions. To sign up to attend the show itself, visit the IMEX registration portal.

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