Virtual events and digital skills have become vital to the meetings and events industry like never before. As it wasn’t absolutely necessary for planners to have these skills before the pandemic, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) stepped in to help professionals obtain the skills they need to help contribute to the future of meetings and events.

“We knew early on it was up to the foundation to step up to the plate to help industry professionals recover and thrive. We listened to our members and learned that finding and funding reskilling and upskilling opportunities was No. 1 on their wish list,” says Meredith Rollins, executive director of the PCMA Foundation.

In response, PCMA launched the Accelerating Reskilling Initiative. The initiative will fund 1,000 event professionals with scholarships for the Certified Meeting Professional online prep course, the Digital Event Strategist Certification, as well as access to PCMA’s event, Convening Leaders 2021.

To help reach its goal of raising $250,000 to fund the reskilling of 1,000 business event professionals, PCMA hosted a virtual fundraiser called Rethink, Reskill, Recover. The September event had 140 participants and raised $57,000 with the help of sponsors and individual donations. By the end of the month, the initiative had raised $100,000.

As in-person events resume, these skills will help prepare professionals for success in the meantime.

When executed safely, in-person meetings and events are possible. But it’s been tough for meeting planners across the nation, due to differing state-by-state and even county-by-county guidelines. In some areas, meetings and events have returned a while ago, but for others, it’s hard to imagine what planning a meeting would be like.

 

The fare and flare of Spain has arrived in downtown Grand Rapids with the opening of the new MDRD, pronounced Madrid, on the 27th floor of the tower at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel (previously Cygnus27 restaurant). While the feel and flavors have changed, the unparalleled views of downtown and the Grand River means that this space still provides the best skyline dining in the city. Here, every seat is the “best seat in the house.”

 

It’s not everyday you get the chance to log off, ditch the meetings and let loose with a can of spray paint and a blank canvas. 
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