A Message from PCMA Chair Desirée Knight

Leading the PCMA Board of Directors these last several months has been a great privilege. Your volunteer leadership has been working alongside Team PCMA and CEMA to ensure we deliver on our value proposition, which is to enrich careers, communities, and businesses by connecting people with purpose to relationships, ideas, and opportunities. We are laser-focused on providing innovative education, building strong & influential communities, providing cutting-edge products and robust networking opportunities that foster personal development and business relationships.

Leadership at PCMA is about serving you and it requires many volunteers including our Board, CEMA Advisory Board, Regional Advisory Boards, Chapter Leaders, and volunteers as well as our PCMA management team to deliver on our vision of driving economic and social transformation through business events.

It brings me great joy to share the following mid-year update with our global community. Thank you for your continued engagement with PCMA. I look forward to seeing you in Copenhagen at Convening EMEA September 20-22, 2023, or in San Diego at Convening Leaders January 7-10, 2024.

Think Global Act Local

To ensure that we are exceeding in member and audience value and are delivering the communities, connections, products, and services that will help you excel in your career, we regionalized all our Advisory Boards and established our first US & Canada Advisory Board earlier this year. At the same time, we are establishing an education/content community that includes members of PCMA and intersects with organizations outside of our sector to ensure the content and learning environments we create will stretch our thinking and challenge the status quo. PCMA now has five advisory boards that serve as a direct connection to local audiences around the world, allowing us to think globally but act locally.

Growing Your Connections:

Convening Leaders 2023 – The industry-leading business event that kicks the year off continues to re-invent itself as you discovered in Columbus, Ohio. The program addressed the critical content themes of Leadership, Impact, and the Future of the Business Events industry. We look forward to seeing you at CL24 in San Diego January 7-10 where we will challenge you to THINK BIGGER. You may register here.

Business Events Industry Week (BEIW) – Is about bringing the world to the US Capital annually. Where we can advocate, collaborate, do business, and learn. Our partnership with Destinations International continues to evolve and grow. Earlier this year 2,000 industry professionals gathered during this multi-day collaboration featuring co-located events produced by Destinations International, PCMA, AMC Institute, ASAE, IAEE, EIC, LGBT MPA, and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals. We look forward to next year as we will be in Washington, DC. April 9-11. Be sure to note the new dates and location in your calendar. Additional details will be communicated soon.

EduCon 2023 – The highest attended EduCon was held in Montréal, Québec, Canada, where we welcomed 915 business event industry professionals, including 355 first-time participants. This was the first programming collaboration between PCMA and the Event Leadership Institute (ELI), delivering engaging programming such as the first mobility and accessible design immersive experience. We look forward to EduCon 2024 June 23-26 in Detroit.

CEMA Summit – We recently concluded the highest attended CEMA Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah with over 500 corporate event marketers and industry professionals, including more than 200 first-time participants. CEMA Summit is the engine that drives this community.The theme, Elevate Your Vision, was woven into content focused on the universally important themes of strategy, data, and leadership. Sessions were interactive, peer-to-peer learning at its best. Business events, and therefore the expectations of event marketers, continue to be an essential and high-performing marketing channel for business.  Seattle is our destination city for CEMA Summit 2024. We look forward to being together from August 4-6, 2024.

New Member and Community Benefits – Significant enhancements to the online PCMA Catalyst community have resulted in improved and increased collaboration as members can now share and engage with posts across various forums.

Project Spark

AI is and will impact every aspect of human life as we move forward. PCMA feels that the business events industry can transform the business events industry using AI tools. A collaboration with Gevme delivered the first AI-generated platform built by event professionals for event professionals. Launched in May, all PCMA and CEMA members received complimentary access to Spark. In response to stakeholder testing and feedback, the product has undergone significant enhancements in preparation for the next iteration to be introduced at IMEX America in October.

Education & Learning Products to Make You Successful – PCMA and the PCMA Foundation are committed to increased investment in education and learning products to ensure our community continues to be innovative today so that all can thrive tomorrow.

Further demonstrating this commitment, PCMA acquired the Event Leadership Institute (ELI) in January and now offers the most compelling portfolio of learning solutions and content.

Equity | Inclusion | Belonging | Diversity and You – The global business events industry is committed to bringing ALL people together. We will continue to source and provide leading EIBD content in Convene magazine, educational courses and throughout PCMA and CEMA events. Through a strategic alliance with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) our organizations offer a reciprocal 20% discount.

The PCMA Career Center is available to post internship opportunities at no cost. We hope you will utilize this platform to connect employers with students looking to build a career in business events.

PCMA, Choose Chicago and United Airlines have partnered to sponsor the Events Track for Tourism Diversity Matters’ Apprenticeship program, a 600-hour paid rotational opportunity with hands-on leadership and professional development

experiences across varying functions. Upon completion of 600 working hours, the apprentice will be guaranteed full-time employment.

PCMALabsPCMALabs are available in the APAC and LATAM regions as invite-only idea-generating, peer-focused workshops to explore trends and pain points like growth strategies, audience engagement, content revolution etc. For more information, please visit PCMA Labs.

Convening EMEA – This year’s annual event is being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, September 20-22. Our EMEA community continues to grow, and this year’s event will bring together nearly 500 global business event leaders from 38 countries. The program has been built across three themes — Belonging, Impact and Future. Let’s belong to an industry committed to delivering a positive impact. To view more details or secure one of the limited places remaining, please visit Convening EMEA.

EMA UK – PCMA acquired The Event Marketing Association (EMA) in January of 2023. EMA is an exclusive association dedicated to in-house event planners and marketing professionals based in the UK. EMA represents over 700 members from 500+ organizations across multiple sectors including finance, legal, retail and technology. Established in 2013 as a non-profit organization, their primary mission is to advance the event industry by creating platforms for national and international knowledge sharing.

Since the acquisition, PCMA has launched a new advisory structure for the organization, developed and launched new member benefits and will introduce a rebrand, new website and community engagement plan for 2023 and beyond including cross-region networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities with CEMA. New member applications will open in October 2023.

Sustainability – PCMA believes the climate crisis represents the biggest threat to livelihoods, the planet, and the global business events industry. In line with its values, PCMA is acting. Our partnership with the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a worldwide thought leader on climate change impact and innovation, will help elevate the industry when it comes to taking sustainability beyond talk and into action. We created and filled the position of Head of Global Sustainability based in the EMEA region to redefine sustainability across the organization and implement a global sustainability strategy through the lens of business events. We look forward to sharing more exciting news with you at Convening Leaders 2024.

PCMA Foundation – In an effort to provide career opportunities and connect talent and employers in our industry, the Foundation will host a new Virtual Career Fair on October 11.

Your PCMA Foundation provided 113 scholarships to event organizers and students to date, launched the Guiding Principles in Experience Design report, and provided $39K in give-back support to charitable organizations located in the cities where PCMA events were held. Over 3,600 individuals have supported the Foundation to date through individual donations and fundraiser participation. To help us continue the philanthropic work of the Foundation, please consider a donation.

Volunteer Leadership – The inaugural US and Canada Advisory Board comprised of 26 leaders represents industry agencies, business event strategists, and suppliers was introduced earlier this year. Thank you to our Advisory Board members who support PCMA’s efforts to amplify the importance and influence of business events throughout the world.

Again, I am excited for the work we have accomplished, and will continue to do, to enhance your engagement in PCMA.

Desirée Knight, CAE, CMP Fellow, DES 

PCMA Chair  

Become a Member

Get premium access to provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence.