In 1980, Carol Krugman, MEd, CMP, CMM , like many others, inadvertently fell into the meetings and events industry. “I started planning meetings as part of my product manager job for a multinational pharmaceutical company, but I soon found that planning the management meetings for my product portfolio was much more fun than the marketing work I was doing,” she says.
Over the next three decades, she steadily moved from the corporate side to the agency side, eventually becoming CEO of her own international meeting management company, Krugman Group International.
In 2008, with encouragement from her husband, Alex, Krugman decided to make another career path switch. “I had been doing a lot of teaching and speaking for MPI [Meeting Professionals International] and other industry associations the entire time I was running my company. Teaching has always been the work of my heart, so it was a natural transition,” she says. “My friends used to joke that I only owned a company so I could pay for my teaching habit. The rewards are many and ongoing.”
As an assistant professor for Metropolitan State University of Denver, Krugman teaches numerous courses related to meeting and business event management. “I love this upcoming generation because they share the same passion for the industry that I still have. But unlike those of my generation, my students will be starting their careers with a foundation of knowledge and skills that we had to teach ourselves by trial and error,” Krugman shares.
Currently serving on the Convention Industry Council’s national CMP Board of Directors and involved in the oversight of the Certified Meeting Professional designation, she sees great opportunity for growth within newly designated subspecialties and a new level of professionalism.
“The CMP-HC, a subspecialty for meeting planners in the pharmaceutical, biomedical and medical associations, is in the final stages of development, and we are all very excited about it,” Krugman says. “It will be designated to those working on very specific types of planning, following very specific government guidelines and other regulations.”