Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 12 2013

PCMA’S 2013 Convening Leaders Hybrid Sets Records

By PCMA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Carolyn Clark 
Direct: 312.423.7271, E-mail: cclark@pcma.org 

PCMA hybrid attendance and engagement scores well with audiences across the globe

CHICAGO, IL, February 12, 2013 - The Professional Convention Management Association welcomed a record-breaking 683 attendees to the hybrid component of its annual meeting, Convening Leaders, in 2013. 70% of those who registered attended, far surpassing the 40% average benchmark. In a one-day rebroadcast of select sessions from the meeting, the organization engaged an additional 160 unique attendees.

“Attendees across all industries are dealing with increased travel costs and increased responsibilities at work,” Deborah Sexton, president and CEO, PCMA, says. “Our hybrid meeting gives us the opportunity to engage with members who are unable to attend and create connections with non-members who want to learn more about PCMA.”

Here’s a glimpse at who participated in Convening Leaders Hybrid 2013:

  • 843 attendees (live and rebroadcast)
    • 33% association meeting professionals
    • 15% independent meeting professionals
    • 9% corporate meeting professionals
    • 9% government, smerf and pco/amc meeting professionals
    • the remaining 34% were either suppliers or chose not to provide their affiliation
  • 266 members
  • 577 non-members
  • 21 countries represented

Engaging a New Audience

As PCMA continues to expand its reach, the numbers from Convening Leaders Hybrid 2013 highlight that the organization is reaching new meeting professionals around the world. 68 percent of 2013 hybrid attendees do not belong to PCMA yet. The live audience is clearly engaged, as 52% spent more than 6 hours actively participating in the 22 hours of hybrid broadcasting over the course of three days.

“We’re using our hybrid meeting as an extension of our brand and an introduction for meeting professionals who may not be as familiar with PCMA,” Mary Reynolds Kane, director, online marketing, PCMA, says. “It’s a driver to discover more products and services that will help planners and suppliers in today’s meetings industry.”

Engagement took on an entirely new meaning at this year’s meeting, too. In 2013, PCMA expanded its online chat component which allowed hybrid attendees to discuss session content in real-time. During three days, more than 7000 live chats were exchanged between hybrid attendees.

Returning On the Investment

While many in the meeting industry have voiced concerns that hybrid technology poses a risk to the face-to-face model, PCMA continues to prove that adding a hybrid element to a meeting provides support for increasing face-to-face meeting registration. In a post-meeting survey, attendees indicated that they were 63 percent more likely to attend a future PCMA face-to-face event because of the hybrid experience.

PCMA has already seen its past investment in hybrid technology pay off, too. In 2012, 112 Convening Leaders attendees, who had either never attended the meeting or had not been in 6 years, indicated that participation in a PCMA hybrid or virtual meeting influenced their decision to attend face-to-face.

Fueling PCMA’s Growth Strategy

As PCMA endeavors to grow its corporate membership, the hybrid meeting has proved to be a key piece of the organization’s strategic blueprint. 9 percent of the 2013 participants work in corporate meeting capacities. Additionally, the organization continues to strengthen its international roots, and the hybrid meeting welcomed attendees from 21 of countries.

PCMA will continue to refine and perfect its hybrid meeting at Convening Leaders 2014, January 12 - 15, in Boston. For more information on how PCMA designed and produced Convening Leaders Hybrid 2013, read 6 Steps to Take Your Meeting Hybrid.

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About Professional Convention Management Association

PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their nearly 6,000 members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization's face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at pcma.org.

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