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Mentoring programme for professional conference organisers

April 7, 2014

New mentoring programme aims to help professional conference organisers

A new mentorship programme being launched by Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) will help grow the skills of the country's professional conference organisers (PCOs).

The programme will run for 16 weeks and is aimed at helping PCOs reach their full potential while at the same time building valuable relationships with one another.

Leading New Zealand PCOs Sally Bary, Megan Crum (O'Brien) and Jan Tonkin have been instrumental in developing the programme with CINZ. The New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre is contracted to deliver the programme and will match mentees with appropriate mentors from within the business events industry.

Jeanette Stanton from CINZ says the aim of the mentorship programme is to provide PCOs with additional personal, career and professional guidance and advice.

"Although there is usually an immediate supervisor in the workplace to provide guidance, it can sometimes be difficult to talk openly with that person, particularly if they are their employer," Ms Stanton says.

"A mentor is an independent, impartial person who is available to discuss issues or problems, offer advice and provide support. We think PCOs who participate in the programme will benefit greatly from having a mentor they can turn to and that it will lead to some strong and lasting relationships."

The programme will begin in mid-June and the expectation is that the mentoring pairs will connect fortnightly or at least once a month.

"Hopefully by the end of the 16 week programme the PCOs will have gained some new skills and confidence and developed some new perspective and ideas,'' says Ms Stanton.

"What we want to do is grow the skills of our PCOs and strengthen the networks within our industry so that everyone is at the top of their game."

PCOs interested in taking part in the mentorship programme, either as a mentor or mentee, can register through CINZ's website.

Before the programme begins they will have one day of compulsory training with facilitators from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre. That training will take place in June and has been timed to coincide with the MEETINGS exhibition, the annual CINZ tradeshow event.

"The mentoring pairs will be responsible for arranging their own mentoring sessions but there will be goal setting sheets, mentoring log books and suggested discussion topics to help guide them through the programme," Ms Stanton says.

"CINZ is very excited to be launching this initiative and we're sure it will be really well received by the PCOs."

PCOs wanting to take part in the programme can find out more through CINZ's website or at CINZ's stand at the Convene trade show in Auckland tomorrow.


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