Michael J. Lyons is exhibition director for Reed Travel Exhibitions, responsible for the management of AIBTM (The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition). Lyons is a respected veteran of the meetings/travel industry who held senior level posts with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, EGR International and McGettigan Partners (now Maritz). He was also the president and CEO of GEP Philly, a premier Destination Management Company. www.aibtm.com
There has never been any controversy over the value of professional credentials such as the CMP and CMM designations as career advancement tools. But until now, monitoring and managing certifications has often been a time-consuming and sometimes complex challenge.
The Americas Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (AIBTM), produced by Reed Exhibitions, aims to make that task easier with a new alliance with RecertTrack’s Association & Meeting Professional Advancement Portal.
The Web-based RecertTrack platform allows planners and other industry professionals, such as destination management executives, to track, update and store ongoing education information, as well as remind users when recertifications are due.
Career advancement for certified professionals in the meetings, incentive, conference and exhibition industry is highly dependent on education, and keeping track of continuing education units (CEU) and other documentation is vital. The industry has been in need of automated re-certification tracking for a long time, and AIBTM is pleased to join with RecertTrack to offer the Association & Meeting Professional Advancement Portal at our show in Orlando June 10–12.
AIBTM is the first and only meeting industry organization to partner with RecertTrack and offer online document management and automated recertification tracking, notes RecertTrack founder and CEO Cedric Calhoun, who will head a “To Certify or Not to Certify” education session at AIBTM next month.
Achieving certifications and continuing education credits and then storing and managing them can be considered too time-consuming or even overlooked altogether. Is that the next “meaning of life” question for the meetings and events industry? The meeting and events industry generates substantial revenues that support the gross domestic product. However, meeting and event professionals do not receive the recognition for the work that they do from government entities and industry largely because there is a lack of a formal structure for continuing education, and the industry is largely disjointed. There are many event management programs throughout the U.S. and Europe, but what happens after the program is completed? Where is the formal structure to continue the learning process? Is there a place for certification that requires continuing education and demonstration of knowledge over time?
Such existential questions and many more will be discussed by our education session panelists in an interactive format with the audience at AIBTM.
AIBTM works closely with CIC, PCMA, IAEE, Site and MPI to ensure the relevance of our educational content. Topics include hot current issues such as SMM, certification, global meetings, experiential design, content creation, the use of technology and even what food to serve. At this year’s event in Orlando, MPI will make a presentation on the future of meetings.
“We ask them what sessions they want to see at the next year’s show. So it’s not like we’re guessing at what meeting planners will find appealing. We’re giving people exactly what…they want.”
More than 20 complimentary sessions make up the education lineup in the Innovation Zone at AIBTM June 11 and June 12. Sessions include:
The key to AIBTM’s excellence is that all the educational content presented at our event is delivered in direct response to surveys that ask people what they most want to learn about. We ask them what sessions they want to see at the next year’s show. So it’s not like we’re guessing at what meeting planners will find appealing. We’re giving people exactly what they tell us they want. And we know from our surveys that the education is the No. 1 reason why planners come to our show.
And perhaps no industry topic is more important at the moment than education. C&IT