There are 33 skills that meeting professionals must master before they can achieve the Meeting and Business Event Competency Standards (MBECS).
A joint creation of Meeting Professionals International and the Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council, the free public guide provides the first comprehensive, global set of standards for the meeting and event industry.
The standards are divided into 12 categories: strategic planning, project management, risk management, financial management, administration, human resources, stakeholder management, meeting or event design, site management, marketing, professionalism and communication.
Within each category, a list of essential sub-skills are defined that range from developing speaker selection criteria and recruiting and training volunteers, to managing event logistics, selecting menus and developing integrated marketing strategies. Alongside each category are graphics that indicate how many years it takes to master the skill, how often it is used and, on a scale of 1 to 5, how important the task is to the success of the meeting or event.
“By using the MBECS as a field guide to success, professionals in any role and at any stage of their career can now follow a reliable path to career advancement,” stated MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan.
The standards help educators develop content, too. Dr. Amanda Cecil, CMP, of the School of Physical Education and Tourism at Indiana University, said that she will use the standards to craft professional development plans for the event planning students she mentors. The Convention Industry Council, which administers the Certified Meeting Professional examinations, has updated its CMP International Standard to bring it in line with MBECS, as well.
MBECS’ clearly defined competencies will help employers and managers develop more accurate job descriptions. And, some planners hope, understand that meeting planning is high-level skill that has a tangible impact on business.
“It is one thing to call ourselves professionals and another thing altogether to be regarded and respected as professionals by organizations and employers outside the meeting industry,” stated Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM, of the Metropolitan State College of Denver. “Having recognized standards will provide the necessary framework and increased credibility we have been seeking for decades.”