Want to know how your meeting looks to your attendees? Put yourself in their shoes and secret shop your own event. Post-show surveys from attendees are a great way to collect feedback after your event, but secret shopping your own meeting can reveal the good, the bad, and the ugly. This approach can help you
The JW Marriott Los Angeles LA LIVE team recreated a 1950s diner for breakfast at PCMA’s recent EduCon. The result? Attendees could scoot into a booth to sit and chat instead of juggling a muffin and latte while standing. And the retro theme was an immediate conversation starter.
Looking for a way to differentiate your conference? Drop the ‘something-for-everyone’ program approach and use your event as a setting to deliver wisdom, says Dave Lutz of Velvet Chainsaw Consulting. Here’s what that looks like.
According to 77 percent of respondents from a recent report by Agency EA, experiential marketing has proven to be the most effective form of marketing for their brands. Agency EA broke it down for Convene, using Samsung’s 10th annual Galaxy Unpacked as an example.
If we are going to dedicate the time, money, and resources to bring people together, then we owe it to them to create a space that changes them in some way. I love the idea of engineering the unexpected.
Sherrif Karamat, President and Chief Executive Officer
Sherrif Karamat, CAE, is President and Chief Executive Officer of PCMA. Karamat also serves as President of the PCMA Foundation and Publisher of Convene magazine.
As CEO, Karamat leads the vision, mission and promise for PCMA’s global family of brands. Karamat serves the greater business events industry as a prominent business architect, enabling our community to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development.
In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Karamat led the development and implementation of PCMA’s new vision: driving global economic and social transformation through business events. In addition to his responsibilities at executive level, Karamat also directed streamlining of PCMA’s content creation and delivery channels into one organization. He oversaw partnership, business services, membership, business development and technology teams.
As part of PCMA’s growth strategy, Karamat has led a major data intelligence program and played a key role in the 2017 acquisition of Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP).
A leader in the business events industry, Karamat previously served as Vice President of Business Sales and Services for Toronto Convention & Visitors (Tourism Toronto). He has served on various boards and is currently a director on the Destination International Board of Trustees.
Karamat is a life-long learner. In addition to completing his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada, he has completed postgraduate certificate programs at Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. At Harvard Business and Law School, he completed a program on strategic negotiations for senior executives and a program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one on data intelligence and big data.
Robert Haas, Chief Administrative Officer
Robert Haas is responsible for PCMA’s IT, human resources, data and finance departments as its first Chief Administrative Officer. He utilizes data, content and personalized experiences to help PCMA better understand its members’ needs and develop an audience-focused strategy.
Haas has more than 15 years of database marketing, product development and consulting experience from working in business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. He understands how innovation, research and technology intersect and evaluates what is leading edge versus cutting edge.
Haas will leverage data to determine best practices in business events and how the industry can drive global economic and social transformation.
He previously served as PCMA’s Chief Innovation Officer. He joined PCMA as Vice President of Business Development and Data Intelligence. His previous roles include Senior Vice President of Strategic Product Development and Marketing at Scranton Gillette Communications Inc. and in direct response marketing for Tribune Direct.
He has a bachelor’s degree in international business from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
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Mona Cotton, Chief Business Officer
As Chief Business Officer, Mona Cotton leads the Business Development, Client and Member Services, and Business Services teams. She has more than 20 years of business leadership experience in the areas of partnership, sponsorship, business development, media publishing and business services.
Cotton, a PCMA leader for more than 15 years, takes a strategic approach to transforming PCMA’s client relationships and business opportunities. Her role at PCMA is to facilitate connections between business-to-business organizations and business-to-consumer operations, identifying opportunities to fuel economic and social progress and success for PCMA and its members, customers and clients.
While she has watched as business events shifted from logistics to engagement, Cotton said the value of relationships remains steadfast in the industry.
Prior to PCMA, Cotton led and supported various sales efforts at the National Association of REALTORS, Airborne Express (now DHL) and Fox Associates, a Chicago-based magazine representative firm. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Indiana University.
Michelle Crowley oversees regional brand development, content outreach and innovation as PCMA’s first Chief Growth & Innovation Officer. She is responsible for regional and revenue development in the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. In addition, Crowley is responsible for education and product development.
She leads PCMA’s global growth strategy by evaluating and identifying how the organization can deliver value to its members through new and existing business models, education programs and new products.
Crowley began her career at PCMA and continues to work with global travel brands, build strategic relationships and partnerships with key markets, and design year-round engagement campaigns. She has held various positions at PCMA including Vice President for Global Growth and Business Transformation.
Crowley is 2019 MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Meredith Rollins, Chief Community Officer
As PCMA’s first Chief Community Officer, Meredith Rollins leads the community engagement team.
The team delivers programs and services that strengthen the connections between PCMA members, facilitate knowledge sharing and advance the network of professionals in the global business events industry. Her key areas of responsibility include community and chapter engagement, research, social impact and volunteerism. She remains Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation.
Rollins joined PCMA in 2007 and held roles in project management, global development and account management with the PCMA partnership program. She was Director of Strategic Development for the Association for Corporate Growth, a global community for middle-market M&A business leaders from 2012 to 2015. Rollins became Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation in 2015.
Rollins received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Joycelyn Winnecke, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer
Joycelyn Winnecke is PCMA’s first Chief Marketing and Experience Officer. She oversees global marketing and communications, content creation and delivery, and audience development for events, media channels and education products.
A veteran journalist, media executive and civic leader, Winnecke formerly was President of Tribune Content Agency where she spearheaded a financial turnaround of the legacy content syndication and licensing business. Prior to that role, she was Vice President and Associate Editor of the Chicago Tribune where she helped engineer the digital transformation and led the creation of several successful audience and revenue initiatives including Blue Sky Innovation and Trib Nation, staging as many as 100 live events each year. As a journalist, she reported and led coverage of politics, lifestyle and culture.
Winnecke was Managing Editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and City Editor at the Indianapolis Star before joining the Chicago Tribune. She worked as a Washington correspondent in the Scripps Howard News Service bureau and for 10 years also wrote a weekly column on food and cooking for Scripps Howard.
Her leadership has been recognized by many, including Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40’’ and the Today’s Chicago Woman list of “Most Influential Women in Chicago.’’ She serves as President of the YWCA board of directors and on the President’s Advisory Board for Governors State University. She is a member of The Chicago Network, the Economic Club of Chicago and the International Women’s Forum.
Winnecke earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana in her hometown of Evansville and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Gina Meier, Director, Human Resources
Gina Meier is Director of Human Resources for PCMA, a position she has held since 2006. She is responsible for helping PCMA execute its vision of driving global economic and social transformation through its human capital.
Her responsibilities including professional development, culture, talent development, employee integration and employee engagement.
Meier began her human resources career in 1999 as human resources manager for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC, now a subsidiary of Marriott International Inc. She previously worked as director and manager in Starwood’s housekeeping division.
Meier received a bachelor’s degree in hotel/motel administration and management from Eastern Illinois University.
CASE Online Course
What is CASE?
The Certified Association Sales Executive 10 module online course is an interactive, self-paced, certificate course that fills your knowledge gaps, builds your business acumen and teaches you how to become an association mastermind. Discover how to anticipate the needs of your clients and be perceived as a partner, not just a vendor.
Each of the first 9 modules features a self-assessment quiz to test your knowledge and ensure you have retained the course material
Modules 2-10 lead you through the steps to build an effective Account Plan for a client of your choosing; through research exercises and a SWOT Analysis you’ll identify opportunities on how you can best partner with your customers in the future
The course culminates with you presenting your strategic solutions to your target client and then guides you through a goal setting exercise you can apply to your future endeavors
After completing all ten modules, you’ll earn a CASE® certificate and 70 Clock hours
Includes online course exam and review
Professional Meeting Management® 6th Edition relevant chapters
Principles of Association Management 4th Edition textbook
Bruce MacMillan, Chief Marketing Officer
Bruce MacMillan is responsible for PCMA’s global brand development and marketing strategies as PCMA’s Chief Marketing Officer. He leads the marketing, events and print and digital teams, which includes Convene magazine.
MacMillan has more than 30 years of experience in the global business events and tourism industry and has worked with business enterprises on every continent. His past leadership roles include CEO of VisitDFW, a regional consumer content marketing venture, CEO of Meeting Professionals International and CEO of Tourism Toronto.
He developed and led Vancouver, B.C.’s successful national bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. MacMillan also runs BANDWIDTH consultancy, advising destinations on event sales and marketing strategies and served as consortium consulting partner in the Destinations International DestinationNEXT global initiative.
MacMillan has received numerous awards including twice being named one of the Top Twenty most influential people in the global MICE industry.