Learn something new every day

Expert Opinion
Learn something new every day

Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC, puts skills in the spotlight.


In an industry where we regularly see the introduction of new technologies and trends, it is vital that we take the time to focus on developing our skills and knowledge, whether we are newcomers or industry veterans.

Businesses and associations must also do their bit by continuing to drive education and focus on employee development, whether that’s by encouraging their employees to attend more events, webinars, training days or workshops.

I’m a firm believer that we can learn something new every day, whether that’s a smarter and more efficient way to work, a nugget of general knowledge or a new skill. At IACC we strive to provide first-class education sessions for members and non-members alike.

In 2012 the association set up its IACC Institute, which provides a wide range of training courses, webinars and online courses on a number of topics, from venue sales and marketing to customer service skills and how to work with agencies.

Sharing knowledge with our peers can lead to exciting new ideas, influence a change to our daily work routines and even help us to enhance our own skills. We have some very knowledgeable and experienced minds in this industry, in the IACC community, and it is crucial to tap into that wisdom, especially for incoming generations.

This is why IACC set up its global mentoring programme, which gives mentees a chance to develop leadership skills, further their understanding of the global industry and grow their network of contacts. Working on a one-to-one basis with an industry expert can be incredibly beneficial for personal development. Mentoring gives a solid platform to build out a development plan and actions to help achieve personal goals with the guidance of an industry veteran.

It is also good to celebrate and nurture talent. With food and beverage becoming an ever more integral part of meetings and events and a significant rise in the variety of dietary requirements to be catered for, it is important to recognise the talent and skills of chefs.

In 2004, the annual IACC Copper Skillet competition was created, to encourage and showcase the artistry and skills of chefs. Fifteen years later the awards are still a staple in the IACC calendar, with chefs from IACC member venues across the globe competing to be named IACC Global Chefs of the Year.

It really is never too late to learn something new.

Stuart Wood is a news reporter across the Mash Media editorial portfolio. He writes for CMW alongside sister publications Conference News, Exhibition News, Access All Areas and Exhibition World.

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