Members of the 20 in Their Twenties class of 2021, supported by PCMA Foundation and Experience Columbus, will be honored at EduCon this week. Colleen Bingle, CMP, meetings exhibits, and sponsorship manager at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) in Chicago, answered questions via email about her expectations for EduCon and beyond.
What have you missed most about in-person events?
Connections — hugs, laughs, and those random run-ins with industry colleagues at a reception or in between sessions. We are very much a people [-centered] industry and I can’t wait to reunite with everyone!
What are you most looking forward to at EduCon in Phoenix?
I always attend Convening Leaders, but this is my first EduCon. I am excited to reconnect with industry friends! PCMA fosters such a sense of community and it will be great to be together again. Also, PCMA always produces cutting-edge education which I can’t wait to [gain] from and bring back to the office. Also, for many this is our first in-person meeting we have attended [since the pandemic began], so I am curious to see the new, creative measures PCMA implements. There is always a “wow factor” to PCMA events and it will be fun to see what that is at EduCon.
What are you hoping to take away from your EduCon experience?
New ideas to help with the future of our ever-changing industry. This is going to be a big year for the industry, and I can’t wait to be a sponge at EduCon and learn from all the informative sessions and discussions. Also, I think now more than ever the hallway conversations will be extremely beneficial. Not only will it be great to see people again, but we have all weathered this storm together and can share experiences and tips with each other. We are all in this together.
Has your experience during the pandemic changed how you are thinking about your career? If yes, how?
The pandemic has only further shown me how much I love being in the business events industry. We are resilient and in this together. During the pandemic, partnerships between hotels, vendors, and contractors were taken to an even higher level of support. It truly felt like we were all working together to make it through the difficult time. Although I hope we never have to repeat the past year, it did show me how lucky I am to be part of such a caring, outgoing, and innovative industry.
What skills are you looking to add to your toolkit in the near future?
I am glad to say that after having it on my “to-do” list for a while, in May I passed the CMP exam! I felt that during the difficult time it was important to do something to better my professional development in the industry.
RELATED: Read Colleen Bingle’s 20 in Their Twenties questionnaire.