Which competencies to succeed in the meeting & event industry?
Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the meeting and event industry’s most vibrant global community, helps its members thrive by providing human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships, and marketplaces. MPI membership is comprised of more than 24,000 members belonging to 68 chapters and clubs worldwide.
MPI has been working with organizations and industry experts from around the world to develop an International Competency Standard for Meeting and Business Event Management. Regularly seeking feedback from their members, the last edition has been updated in 2010.
The body of knowledge provides with 12 major competencies and more than 160 knowledge and abilities such as: measure return on investment, develop branding for meeting or event or acquire staff and volunteers.
For the 3rd edition of the Meeting and Event Industry Career Forum, taking place during Bedouk MC&IT and with the partnership of ESG MBA Media Communication & Event, we have invited professionals to present experiences and competencies required to work in the industry, and share with people in professional retraining in the meeting & event industry and young professionals Master graduated (The first words of Eric Rozenberg, Chairman International Board of Directors were to confirm “We know that Masters are dedicated to the meeting & event industry, we now have to share and work with them.”)
Whatever job you want to apply for in this industry, Event Manager, Marketing Manager, Partner Program Manager, CEO, Back Office Manager, Sales Manager, Brand Manager or Consultant … these jobs are sharing same skills assessments.
The top competency detailed in the body of knowledge is Strategic Planning ... or using Eric R. words: “Showing consistency, ability to explain the purpose or reason for such meeting or event, create positive outcomes to integrate the meeting in the companies’ economy, social environment”.
In other words, Marc Halpert – Deputy Manager Toulouse Pierre Baudis convention center & exhibition center said: “Events are by definition sustainable, there are powerful levers to promote social and economic development. Meetings are a growth factor especially in a storming economic environment”. This is it: sustainability is definitely associated with social responsibilities.
Showing consistency also means will and ability to define Key Performance Indicators. “We have to think performance and excellence in our business … without indicators, our industry, and our business do not exist!” This is it: the updated initials are KPI and SMMP (Strategic Meetings Management Program).
Another knowledge pointed out by Marc H. was Marketing concepts: how to define target market segments, how to develop branding for meeting or event, how to ensure consistency with brand and message with mission statement, goals and objectives “Marketing-mix is a key process for recurrent and successful events”. Johanna Strengers - Events & Brand Manager for CGG Veritas agreed on this challenge to identify marketing message for each target market, develop logo and other visual and verbal identifiers.
The Sales professionals pointed out Human resources and Stakeholder management … Vincent Gérard – ACCOR Back Office Manager explained, “As a manager, I am responsible to be sure that all my staff is fully dedicated to customers”. For Matthieu Barnay – Stade de France Partner Program Manager and Pascale Maes - Evenium Sales Manager: “We are living a wonderful time for development and creation, it is time to share ideas with customers. Questioning is to be sure to improve revenues.”
Pierre Mesnage – CWT Meetings & Events Sales & Marketing Director, wanted to promote Change Management regarding the environment we are all experiencing: “We have to move, get out of the box, and assist stakeholders and resources to take their business to the next step.”
Stakeholder management is also challenging for Sharon Ashton – Event Manager for Eurordis European association, as well as Risk and Financial Management.
« Communicate appropriate protocols to stakeholders or liaise with every stakeholders, for example in an organizing committee, is not something you‘ve learned in school!”
Julien Carlier - Project Management Director for Colloquium used other verbatim to talk about this management of stakeholders: “You need a democratic governance to ensure a safe environment”.
Johanna S., used the words “Horizontal Management structure in companies as I have to promote ideas to people not directly connected with my job position”. Stéphanie Persenda as a consultant has concluded this debate saying “Relationship is vital in this industry”.
Beside strategy, marketing and communication, operational abilities regarding Meeting Design and Site Management are also important. “Providing a perfect logistic is as important as breathing: you need to breathe to live but breathing doesn’t mean you are in good health!”
“Performance has to be applied to any task and resource of the meeting”… this was the last suggestion Johanna S. gave to anyone who wants to succeed in this industry.
At least, Rémy Crégut –Montreux music & convention center CEO found the key words to conclude on abilities: “Be Passionate about People and Events”, show interest, willingness, be open-minded and a communication lover (in French, English and any kind of languages).
« There is a magic in meetings »… MPI is the sole international community open to any people connected with meeting & event management, whoever they are professionals, junior or senior, providers, planners and faculty to be sure they will experience the perfect job.
Written by Christine Péron – Trainer and consultant Form-ATS
MPI France Suisse Vice President Membership
More information :
o « International Competency Standards for Meeting & Business events Management »
- Future Watch 2011
- Canada Events Report
- Global Corporate Circle of Excellence on Strategic meetings Management Program
Books & reports
o Management de projets événementiels – Philippe Claveau – éditions PUG
o Meeting architecture – Maarten Vanneste – éditions Meeting support
o Evaluez vos actions de communication – Assaël Adary et Benoit Volatier – éditions Dunod
o Le développement en France des foires, salons et congrès – Jean-Paul Charié - Rapport Commision des Affaires Economiques, de l’Environnement et du territoire
o Le tourisme d’affaires : un atout majeur pour l’économie – Bernard Plasait - Rapport Conseil Economique et Social
o Morgan Stanley Investments Funds – rapport annuel 2009