Group Forms New Association for Medical Meeting Planners

A group of five meeting professionals specializing in the health care industry has formed a new industry association, the International Medical Meeting Professionals Association (IMMPA), that will seek to increase the credibility of medical meeting professionals by providing them with uniform education, training, certification and networking opportunities.

Based in St. Louis, with a global office in Beijing, China, IMMPA is the brainchild of founding members Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, president of Meeting IQ; James Montague, president of the Professional Meeting Planner's Network; David Gillette, vice president of ITC; Henry Wu, president of China Connect; and Marissa Wolfard, CMP, director of meetings at Meeting IQ, who will serve as IMMPA's executive director.

Together, the group's main objective is to create a viable medical meeting planner certification that's connected to a major university medical school. Other goals, it said, are to build an online community for medical meeting planners, complete with blogs, forums, chat rooms, threaded discussions and webinars; to create a referral center highlighting credible medical meeting suppliers; and to host an annual conference for medical meeting planners.

Officially, IMMPA will launch on Nov. 2 in Kansas City, Mo., in conjunction with the Missouri Meetings and Events Expo. For more information, visit