Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

March 14 2016

Convening Leaders Conference Vancouver: What Our Student Members Thought

Bethany Freeman, Rachel Miller & Courteney Scholten

By Iowa State University Student Writers:

Bethany Freeman, sophomore

Rachel Miller, freshman

Courteney Scholten, junior

The Event Management Club at Iowa State University is one of the largest PCMA student chapters in the United States. Twenty two of their members attended the Convening Leaders Conference in Vancouver this January. Here’s what they had to say about their experience.


"The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible." - Joel Brown. This is a memorable quote that was presented in a session at Convening Leaders 2016. It not only speaks to students like us, but also to professionals who are continually rebuilding their journeys toward their ultimate goals. All Convening Leaders attendees have at least one thing in common: we support this idea of believing in our dreams because we took the opportunity and responsibility to attend such a stimulating and prestigious conference. It was an honor for us to be students from Iowa amongst some of the most successful individuals in our industry.

“If only we had the opportunities you have when I was in school...” This was a common comment from many professionals at PCMA. It reminded us to be appreciative of the many opportunities we have to grow professionally through PCMA, our Event Management Club, and a focused Event Management Major at Iowa State University.

Twenty-two members of the Event Management Club at Iowa State University put forth the time, money and effort to expand our future careers by attending the Convening Leaders Conference in Vancouver this January. We are one of the biggest registered PCMA student chapters in the United States. Not only has attending Convening Leaders benefited each of us as individuals, but it also has benefited our Event Management Club as a whole. Club members were able to bring back ideas and insight they learned from breakout sessions, as well as connections to industry professionals from the many networking opportunities.

Our club members spent a day in the city participating in venue tours. We toured BC Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. We can all agree that there is no better place to expand your career than in the city of Vancouver. Describing Vancouver and the venues as “amazing” is truly an understatement. Vancouver is fascinating, welcoming, and absolutely beautiful. The sustainability and environmental management movement at the venues impressed us.

Learning how the convention centers are actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint inspires us to bring those procedures and “green” ideas into the events or venues that we will manage in the future. Iowa State University Event Management Club members found Convening Leaders as a valuable experience to grow as emerging professionals.


Not only did we fly back to Iowa feeling enriched with relevant information, but we had an awe-inspiring feeling that overwhelmed us. Convening Leaders exhibited many methods and outlooks to benefit our future success in event management. We felt more motivated to succeed because of the environment of the conference, as well as the exposure to leaders and their expertise. For a majority of us being first-timers at Convening Leaders, Vancouver could not have been a better location to begin attending the annual conferences.

We can speak for all other club members and say that we took away many memories, and made several connections that will last a lifetime. 

Please log in to post comments.

News