Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 10 2012



Leaders of PCMA & PCMA Education Foundation share 2011 accomplishments and discuss future direction with members

SAN DIEGO, CA, January 11, 2012 - Leaders of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and the PCMA Education Foundation joined with members to share 2011 accomplishments and discuss plans for the future at the organization's first ever Town Hall Meeting this morning at PCMA's 2012 annual meeting, Convening Leaders, in San Diego.

"PCMA is coming off a successful year, and a very successful annual meeting," said Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO. "But we must continue taking risks on behalf of our members, we must continue to seek out innovation, and we must continue to be a leader in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries."

Outgoing PCMA Chairman of the Board Susan Katz - Director of Corporate Events and Travel for True Value Company -- reported that a record number of planners were in attendance at Convening Leaders and that attendance was very strong. (Final numbers will be available in the coming weeks.)

Other highlights from 2011 included: positive membership trends (a record number of members - 6,400 and a retention rate of 83%), a strategic investment in the Virtual Edge Institute to accelerate the development of education and standards for virtual events, the creation of a New Professionals Task Force to engage new or younger professionals in PCMA, efforts to help connect domestic and international planners and suppliers, and the development of virtual events and social media to expand the organization's reach.

"From the risks we take for our members to the research we support and the trends we set for the industry, PCMA will remain a leading force in the convention and meetings industry community," said Incoming PCMA Chairman of the Board Kent Allaway, CEM, CMP - Vice President, Meetings and Trade Shows for the Produce Marketing Association.

In the coming year, Allaway said his areas of focus will include embracing digital delivery vehicles that will help members learn and connect, extending the PCMA brand and its offerings to the global community, and developing targeted programs and tools to serve members in specialized niches.

Outgoing Chairman of the PCMA Education Foundation Board of Trustees Dave Olender - Chief Operating Officer of bxb - reported that despite the challenging economic environment, the Foundation met or exceeded all of its fundraising goals in 2011. Each year the Foundation aims to fund at least $200,000 in grants and scholarships. This year the Foundation met that goal and was also able to fund an important study, The Future of Tradeshows. Another highlight from 2011 was the launch of a planned giving campaign.

"I think we've done very well in light of the economy in the last few years, and have been very wise in how we've managed our money," said Incoming Foundation Chair Liz Erikson, Executive Director of Meetings and Incentives for Fairmont-Raffles-Swissotel. "Yet I want to make sure that all of members truly understand the impact of what the Foundation does."
Erikson said her goals for 2012 include better communicating the Foundation's activities and goals, creating a long-term strategic plan for the Foundation (three years versus the typical one), and further developing the planned giving campaign launched last year.

"The Town Hall Meeting was a new method for joining in conversation with our members about where the organization is at, and where we think it could go," said Sexton. "We really take their feedback to heart."

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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 6,300 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 website at pcma.org.

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