Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 08 2014

Start Your 2014 With Free CEUs

By David McMillin

pcma convening leaders hybrid

While leaders from around the meeting industry are preparing to unite in Boston for Convening Leaders 2014, there are travel hurdles that some planners and suppliers cannot overcome. If you won’t be able to join your colleagues in Boston, you can still be part of the meeting revolution from the comfort of your computer screen. You can earn up to 1.2 CEUs while chatting with colleagues from around the world and hearing from experts on crisis management at meetings, exhibitor retention strategies and other hot topics. The best part? Registration is absolutely free.

2014 marks the fourth year that PCMA has offered a hybrid meeting for remote Convening Leaders attendees, and Mary Reynolds Kane, senior director, experience marketing, highlights that each hybrid meeting has helped the team refine the experience.

SEE ALSO: 6 Steps to Take Your Meeting Hybrid

“Attendees and speakers alike have grown more comfortable with connecting and learning online,” Reynolds Kane says. “As our audience continues to grow, we’re constantly making adjustments to the hybrid event to make sure we’re leveraging groundbreaking technology to deliver an experience that feels as close as face-to-face as possible.”

This year, technology won’t just be behind the scenes, either. Six top providers in the meetings space will offer live tutorials of new tools in Tech Spots.

“The Tech Spots are going to offer an amazing opportunity for meeting planners to see what is new and interesting in apps and other social technology,” Reynolds Kane says. “On Monday and Wednesday, there will be a ten minute demo of each product, and then, attendees will have an opportunity to ask the providers any questions they have live.”

SEE ALSO: The Full Live Schedule for Convening Leaders Hybrid 2014

More Than Education

Networking may not be the first term that comes to mind when thinking of sitting behind a computer screen, Reynolds Kane says that the chat functionality lets attendees get to know each other and discuss what’s happening on-screen.

“We’ve found a successful way for people to connect,” Reynolds Kane says. “Throughout each session, there is an instant chat happening to the right of screen. We have a moderator for the event that helps facilitate the conversation, and it’s usually so active that attendees request the transcripts.”

“We find that while networking isn’t one of the top reasons people attend, they typically leave with a number of new contacts they can reach out to for ideas and collaborations,” Reynolds Kane adds.

While Reynolds Kane may help organize the event and moderate sessions, those networking benefits pay off for her, too.

“After an event, I usually have a ton of LinkedIn requests,” Reynolds Kane says. “At future face-to-face events, I’m hugging and greeting people I met online.”

If you won’t be able to make the trip to Boston, make the commitment to your own professional development to attend Convening Leaders Hybrid 2014. Click here to register for free.

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