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April 14, 2009

PCO training seminar held in Dubai

PCO training seminar held in Dubai
IAPCO run four day seminar to address vital skills

The second regional training seminar to be run by the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) was held in Dubai from 2-5 February at the Grand Millennium Hotel. The four-day event was organised by Net Conference & Conventions (NCC) and sponsored by Dubai Convention Bureau.

Three leading industry speakers - Roslyn McLeod, managing director of Sydney based-Tour Hosts, Jan Tonkin, managing director of Auckland based The Conference Company and Philippe Fournier, managing director of Paris based MCI group – led the four-day event which involved a two-day ‘Basic Conference Organising Course’ followed by a two-day advanced course aimed at PCOs and meeting professionals.

Topics covered during the basic course included understanding association meetings, how to create a project plan, finance and budgeting registration and on-site arrangements as well as venue management. The advanced course featured topics such as how to market a destination and bidding to win, technology, CSR and green practices and crisis management.

Ali Abu Monassar, executive chairman, Net Group, who arranged the seminar with the aim of supporting the development of the meetings industry in Dubai, said he was disappointed that the basic course experienced a relatively low turn out: “We are very happy that we managed to organise these two courses in times like these, even though we were disappointed with the number of participants for the first course. It is vital for us to have these kinds of seminars to train our staff to serve the meetings industry in a very professional way.”

Jan Tonkin, who led part of the seminar, said that there was currently a minimal amount of formal training available to PCOs and meeting professionals, particularly in the Middle East. She added that IAPCO was working to improve the standard of training available in the industry. “In this industry you have a situation where it’s a young profession and so there’s been very ad hoc training and most people have learned on the job, in one way or another. Part of IAPCO’s initiative is to come up with something more formal, a more designed programme that’s tailored for the place you work in.”

Participants of the course all received a certificate of participation from IAPCO.

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