Future talents of the MICE industry now face valuable opportunities to be heard and to be recognised. PCMA wants to strengthen its presence in Asia and that bodes well for students and professionals keen to pursue this career and the relevant certifications.
Two winning student teams from the 2017 Singapore MICE Challenge organised by SACEOS were awarded a fully sponsored trip to Nashville for PCMA Convening Leaders Forum 2018. These students garnered interest from delegates when they took to the stage at the Global Studio. SACEOS's strategic partnership with PCMA has opened the doors for students, and they will continue to develop training programmes that will prepare students for Convention Industry Council (CMP) examinations.
PCMA also expanded its educational thrust by acquiring ICESAP last year, which has almost 700 members in over 15 countries. ICESAP provides education, career development and networking for corporate, agency and supplier professionals.
ICESAP's Certificate in Incentive, Conference and Event Management, a five-module online distance-learning programme created in association with William Angliss Institute, is highly regarded in the industry. And under the brand umbrella of PCMA, ICESAP will continue to hone its educational programmes.
Speaking at the opening conference of PCMA Convening Leaders Forum 2018, outgoing President & CEO Deborah Sexton said that a major part of PCMA's global vision centers on education, and that it is their goal to be in alignment with the respective regions to develop educational programmes that benefit the industry.
Last year's convening leaders comprised about 20 percent in Asian representation, making it an important market for PCMA's expansion.
PCMA's new CEO Sherrif Karamat echoes this view, "One thing was evident to me when I attended ICESAP's Leaders Forum - none of the issues discussed were any different from what would be discussed in the US, but the way in which they addressed those issues was so different. Therefore, it is crucial for PCMA to recognise that we need local experts to address local issues."
Learning modules in ICESAP's education programme are written in conjunction with MCI, BI Worldwide and Uniplan in Asia Pacific, ensuring that content is generated in Asia Pacific, shared Nigel Gaunt, president of ICESAP, now known as PCMA ICESAP.
"We will continue to develop specific content and we will replicate the knowledge exchange concept that PCMA introduced in Europe. To facilitate that exchange, we will have six regional vice presidents to serve the educational requirements of Asia Pacific."
The vice presidents will represent Australasia, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong/Macau, India, China and Japan/South Korea in knowledge exchange.