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ABPCO and Leeds Metropolitan University team up to educate students on the realities of conference management

“This event demonstrates the commitment of ABPCO and our university to showcasing to students the kinds of high-level careers available to them if they join the conference sector.  The speakers will, I am sure, inspire students by providing insights into their career paths and the opportunities available to those entering the industry now. We are also looking forward to hearing anecdotes that reflect the stresses and sources of satisfaction of PCOs.” says Professor Rhodri Thomas, Head of the International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) at Leeds Metropolitan University and ABPCO board member. 

Entitled Leadership, professionalism and transforming your career, the event will take place at Leeds Metropolitan University on 30 April, 2014 and feature a host of high level speakers brought together by the Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (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 include:
• Jennifer Jenkins, MD of MCI UK
• Amanda Stranack, Head of Congress, BSAVA
• James Caldwell, Director, Innov-8 Conference Services
• Inbar Caspi, MD, of Kenes Group  

Thomas continues: “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 comments: “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.”  

Jenkins continues: “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, whilst having the confidence to innovate and grow the industry.  We were delighted at the opportunity to join ICRETH in the creation of this event and in particular source the speakers who we expect to provide engaging and insightful content for all present.”

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