Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 12 2016

Our Perspective: A Northern California Chapter Members take on PCMA EduCon 2016

James Threlkeld

PCMA EduCon 2016

PCMA took risks with innovative formats and continued delivering the highest level of education in the industry at their 2016 Education Conference.  Over 700 business event strategists and industry suppliers gathered to network and learn together for 4 days in the 'Gateway to the West', St. Louis.  


The education started early with the Chapter Leaders Workshop held one day before the event.  Board members from around the country discussed the challenges each of their chapters faced.  Some of the challenges were growing membership, attendance at events, scheduling venues and board/committee communication.  The leaders then brainstormed ideas to take home and improve their organization and their member experience.  


The rest of the conference had a great mix of industry-leading education and fun networking.  The education highlights included 

  • The opening session from Mary Beth McEuen
    • Pay attention to your ‘wise advocate’ - that portion of your attentive mind that observes what you are thinking and feeling
    • Curiously observe, wisely reframe, passionately refocus
  • A timely panel discussion about the impact of Brexit which happened just as the conference was starting.
  • A breakout session on Quantifying the Value of Your Business
    • Transition from “Here’s What I Want” to “Here’s the Value of My Business”  
    • It's always a seller’s market.  What changes is who is doing the selling and right now the buyers are having to sell their events
  • General session from Ben Casnocha on managing talent
    • Think of employer/employee relationship as ‘Tours of Duty'
    • Employers need to consider how this project will help the LinkedIn profile of the employee
  • Two excellent sessions on negotiating from Deepak Malhotra
    • Changing minds framework:  Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze
  • Closing General Session on The One and the Nine from Jake Wood, founder, Team Rubicon
    • "Passion trumps talent but culture is king"


Part of PCMA’s mission is to deliver superior and innovative education and EduCon did not disappoint.  But don’t think the attendees didn’t also spend some time having fun.  The opening reception was held at St. Louis’s newest dining and entertainment venue, Ballpark Village which has excellent views right into Busch Stadium.  But the big hit of the networking opportunities had to be St. Louis’ completely unique ‘City Museum’ featuring a rooftop ferris wheel, a 10-story slide, multiple live bands, circus performances and so much more.  


You really have to attend EduCon to get the full benefit of the education and networking but it’s not too late to see at least some of the great speakers that were there.  PCMA is providing a free rebroadcast on July 14th.  You can register here.

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