200 PR Students and Profs Can Access Free Online AMEC Summit Passes 

Elizabeth West -- Mary Beth West's daughter, who is a rising senior at the University of South Carolina -- makes the case for students to attend the 2024 AMEC Global Summit in Bulgaria with one of 200 free online passes.

I heard a few people close to me talking about attending an event called the AMEC Global Summit. At first, I didn’t know what it was or what I could expect by attending.

AMEC is the international Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. AMEC holds a major conference every year, called the AMEC Global Summit. It brings together strategic communication professionals and researchers from all over the world. Last year, it was in Miami, Florida. This year, it takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

It was great to attend last year in Miami. Here’s how it happened.

The PR firm where my mother, Mary Beth West, consults, Fletcher Marketing PR, is an AMEC member. She and the firm’s CEO, Kelly Fletcher, knew that I was looking at careers in communication. I recently had entered the journalism program at the University of South Carolina.  

Then, the woman who leads the entire AMEC organization, Johna Burke, heard I was attending. She gave me an incredible opportunity to serve as a volunteer at the event! Although I was excited, I was not sure what I would be learning during my time there.

Would this summit be specific to the public relations industry alone? Who would be there? Could I fit in among the professionals attending and speaking? 

For example, one of the most important things we learn in journalism is to find evidence and documentation about what we are reporting. The indisputable facts are the story. It needs to be accurate, truthful and verifiable.  

When I attended the 2023 AMEC Global Summit in Miami last spring, I saw first-hand the steps each of these businesses took in pursuing truthfulness and reliability. Their pursuit of getting data (and getting the data right) seemed essential to overall success, a lesson I hope to take with any article I write. 

Last year’s AMEC conference theme, “Vanity to Value: Demonstrating the Impact of Comms,” also taught me how communicating accomplishes very real and important outcomes. The outcomes are important for businesses, but they can also be important for public information and wellbeing. 

The Summit included discussions about the importance of advance research. Gathering good data before you communicate helps make sure the right messages get to the right people at the right time, supporting the right things that make a company successful.  

AI was the major topic of the 2023 Summit. I was learning directly from major corporations and government programs how AI was being used ethically and effectively, conversations my journalism friends and I had only scratched the surface of. 

While I was one of few students present in-person last year, getting to connect with so many professionals was a gift I did not take for granted. The attendees wanted to meet with me and see which direction I wanted to take in my future. I wished more students were able to take part in such a valuable opportunity. 

This year, the 2024 AMEC Global Summit is in Sofia, Bulgaria 

I am disappointed that I will have to miss this year’s event in person (I’ll be in Germany throughout May for an exciting multimedia project with other University of South Carolina students), but the good news is that I can still attend online.  

AMEC is going to provide 200 free virtual passes so that students (and PR instructors also at verified universities in teaching roles) can still take part in this amazing event, even if they can’t make it to Bulgaria this year (like me!). 

“Innovation, Implementation and Insights: The Global Communication, Data, Measurement and Evaluation Journey” is this year’s AMEC Global Summit theme.

I encourage all the PR students out there to apply for a free virtual pass, by using this link. It’s really important to hurry because a lot of students are already applying. You can be a PR student anywhere in the world and apply.

In comparison, student registration fees for the on-site / in-person AMEC Global Summit in Bulgaria are valued at £1.620,00 British pounds each, which is roughly $2,017 in U.S. dollars.  

My sister Maggie, who just finished her freshman year as a communication studies major at the University of Tennessee, will be there in Bulgaria, too. She gets to be there in person (yes, I’m jealous!). I know her experience will be just as great this year in Sofia as mine was last year in Miami. 

Speaking from my own experience, your future comms career will thank you!   

Elizabeth West (pictured above at right with her sister Maggie West, pictured at left) is a rising senior at the University of South Carolina, majoring in journalism, with a minor in dance. A member of Gamma Phi Beta, she recently completed a social media internship with Metro Vieve Magazine in Columbia, SC. In addition to her study-aboard experience in Germany upcoming this spring, she looks forward to joining Maggie for their first trip to Cannes Lions this June – the largest gathering of the advertising and creative comms industry in the world.  


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