Many meeting planners evaluate the pros and cons of belonging to a meeting planners association. There are many meeting planners associations out there to choose from. So which one is right for you? Well, of course, that really depends on what you intend to get from a membership to a meeting planners association. Some people are looking for educational components where others are looking for networking and supplier ideas. Whatever your requirements, rest assured, there is a meeting planners association for you.
The Pros and Cons of Belonging to a Meeting Planners Association
Let’s face it, if you’re like most people then time is valuable. And when we think of joining another association quite often the first thing that enters our mind is whether or not we have the time that we can devote to that association.
Some of the benefits from joining a meeting planners association are:
- a great opportunity to continue your education in the meetings and events industry
- a chance to network with peers and people within the industry that you look up to (which, by the way, can also be your peers)
- keeping on top of current industry trends and how they relate to your business
- converse with industry colleagues on topics that will help you avoid disasters and keep your meeting or event chugging along
While I have to admit it’s hard to come up with a list of cons, here are a few that some of my colleagues in the industry have presented:
- costs -sometimes, especially new starts in the industry, do not have the budgets readily available to pay for memberships, conventions and travel requirements
- scheduling – many meeting planners feel that they are so busy that adding additional time requirements is just something that’s not feasible right now.
A Couple of the Industry’s Top Meeting Planners Association’s That You May Want to Consider
Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) – as they say on their website PC MA is the leading organization for meeting and event professionals. Their main focus is education. In fact their mission statement is to deliver superior and innovative education and promote the value of professional convention management. This meeting planners association is a favorite for seasoned planners. Definitely a good sign.
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) – MPI strikes a balance between meeting planners and industry suppliers. In fact it’s their goal that for every vendor there must be a matching planner as to not tilt the balance of membership. MPI is about providing professional development as well as a place for business opportunities. It is literally a community for industry professionals to network, learn and develop together.
Finding the right meeting planners association for you can be a huge step towards your career development. While you do have to balance the need for an association membership against your budgeting requirements, it is always recommended that serious players do get involved with industry associations.