Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

October 19 2016

Expanding Our Education -- A Letter from the President

Mike Whittington - President

Dear PCMA SE Chapter Members,

On behalf of the leadership of the PCMA SE Chapter, we hope as we enter the final stretch of 2016 that this has been a successful year so far for all our members!

As you probably know, Atlanta offers the densest concentration of PCMA SE planner and supplier members, therefore we typically hold our educational and networking events in the Atlanta area.  However, since our chapter spans 7 states and Puerto Rico, we recognize that we need to find ways to bring PCMA educational events to our members in other areas as well.  Expanding our reach was a specific goal our board set for itself as we entered 2016.  Therefore, I am pleased to inform you that we just held a very successful program in Orlando on September 30, 2016.  Our event had 43 attendees, of which over half were meeting planners. These are excellent numbers for a first time event in a new area.

Our event was sponsored by and held in Orlando, Florida at the newly opened Loews Sapphire Falls at Universal Orlando.  Their first-class facilities offered an ideal location for this event, and the food and service matched the setting! We cannot thank them enough for hosting our event. In addition, we received generous support of AV from DCE Productions, signage from Shepard Convention Services, and photography from Christie's Photographic Solutions. Our featured program topic was “Improve Your Learning Environments Today,” and was skillfully presented by Wendy Holliday, Executive Director of PLM World. In her presentation, she explored ways for our attendees to identify alternatives for selling premium priced sponsorships that align with their suppliers’ marketing objectives and their attendee needs, explored sponsorship activation elements that enhance the attendee experience, and helped attendees to gain insights to assist sponsors in activating their investment and desired results.  It was a great program and well received by all!

As we look forward to 2017 and beyond, our chapter will be setting more ambitions goals for holding satellite programs in member areas other than Atlanta. With this in mind, the main ingredient that made the recent Orlando area event so successful was the passion and commitment of a core group of Orlando-area PCMA members.  This core group activated their network of planner friends and rallied attendance for the meeting.  A special thanks goes out to Susan Henderson, Global Account Executive with Conference Direct, Krista Fleming, KF Events, and Shannon Fleshman, Director of Sales and Events for the Life Insurance Settlement Association for everything they did to make our satellite event the success it was.  

If you have interest in bringing a satellite program to your area, we would like to hear from you.  Our current plans include not only expanding the number of programs we do in Orlando in 2017, but also include identifying other locations for future satellite programs.  However, as Orlando demonstrated, the success of satellite events depends on your active participation and valuable input; and we hope that you will help us as we expand the reach of our chapter.  If you would like to share your ideas regarding future meeting locations, please feel free to contact me at 678-849-3101, or write me at mike@mwaetc.com.

Thank you for your continued support of the PCMA SE Chapter.

Mike Whittington
PCMA SE Chapter   

1 Comment

  1. 1 Chris Colbert 20 Oct
    Hi Mike:
    Thank you for this recap and for your involvement with this effort in Orlando. That core group you referenced also deserves big accolades. What we are accomplishing for our Chapter can set a precedent within PCMA International for other Chapters with multi-region memberships.
    Look forward to expanding this endeavor in 2017+!

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