Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

January 29 2013

PCMA's Convening Leaders Pushes Boundaries and Challenges Conventional Strategy and Tactics



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

PCMA Continues to Consistently Deliver on Meeting Innovation

CHICAGO, IL, January 29, 2012 - The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) continued to prove The Experience Matters at their 2013 Convening Leaders annual meeting, January 13-16. The meeting brought innovation, design and engagement to life for attendees in Orlando, Florida – evidencing the organization’s skill to consistently deliver education sought by meetings professionals by matching their record attendance in 2012. Additionally, the 2013 meeting realized a Year-Over-Year (YOY) 4% increase in Professional Planner participation.

From fueling ingenuity for exhibit and trade show organizers in “The Show Reimagined” to using unconventional room sets in the new Corporate HQ, the three-day experience challenged planners and suppliers to explore new opportunities for bringing people together.

“As the meetings industry continues to look for ways to turn meeting spaces into truly transformative environments, our staff and volunteer teams adopted a forget-the-status-quo mentality for Convening Leaders 2013 and continued to take risks,” Deborah Sexton, president and CEO, PCMA, says. “With the help of Freeman, Sonic Foundry, and Active Network, Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center became a new-age learning center for planners and suppliers.”

The convention center also became home court for the first-ever Convening Leaders mobile game. With more than 750 participants racking up 101,075 points, the game brought learning to life and awarded three lucky winners with complimentary registration to 2014 Convening Leaders in Boston, Mass.

A Year of Firsts

In a continuing effort to raise the bar for the industry, Convening Leaders featured a number of firsts, including:

  • The Industry Business Forum for Local Leaders - an all-day program, conceived by PCMA and supported by the PCMA Education Foundation, brought together industry representatives from DMOs and convention centers together with their volunteer leadership and policymakers to discuss critical issues

  • The PCMA Business School - a series of courses to prepare meeting planners for senior-level discussions on strategy, finance and marketing

  • Convene Presents... - in-depth sessions with the editors of the industry’s premier publication

  • PCMA Education Foundation - interactive discussions on the Foundation’s cutting edge research for the future of trade shows, scientific meetings and millennial attendees

  • Corporate HQ - the ultimate destination for corporate planners focused on greasing the wheels in the strategic meetings cycle

  • The Show Reimagined - an exploration of opportunities to infuse new ingenuity into the traditional exhibit show model with innovative floor plan designs, 15-minute planner presentations and technology tutorials

  • Lunch Four Ways - one massive ballroom sliced into four outside-the-box approaches that turn convention center lunch into more intimate meals

  • PCMA Epicenter - the place for attendees to maximize their PCMA membership, including complimentary head shots and a new e-bookstore

In addition to 2013 firsts, this year’s meeting included encore performances of two of PCMA’s most well-received 2012 additions:

PCMA Learning Lounge - learning stations with 80+ bite-size educational opportunities and an Advocacy Central where meeting professionals signed their support for the economic impact of the industry

Enhanced Event Mobile App - downloaded by 1,891 of attendees, the app simplified scheduling and networking and brought gamification to life

All-Time High for Hybrid Participation

While the majority of the meetings industry was in Orlando for the face-to-face experience, PCMA continued to embrace hybrid innovation with a record-setting 700+ unique registrations who joined Convening Leaders from remote locations. The hybrid audience represented more than 18 countries.

“This year’s hybrid audience was bigger and more engaged than ever before,” Mary Reynolds Kane, director, online marketing, PCMA, says. “With moderated discussions, hybrid attendees from around the world contributed their own questions and comments to spark conversations both online and on-site.”

2013 Convening Leaders - By the Numbers

  • 3,751 face-2-face attendees
  • More than 20 people received Convening Leaders scholarships funded by the PCMA Education Foundation
  • 48 US states, Puerto Rico, Washington DC and 22 countries represented
  • An estimate 17,000 face-to-face Clock Hours were awarded (1,700 CEUs)
  • More than 1,500 people attended Party With a Purpose
  • Over $3037.00 in donations and 290 lbs of school supplies were collected to support of the PCMA Network for the Needy® Donation Drive for A Gift for Teaching (AGFT)

For more information on the PCMA 2013 Convening Leaders meeting, access our Digest here.

The 2014 PCMA Convening Leaders will be held January 12 - 15 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. For more information, follow the PCMA Boston blog.


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 6,000+ 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.