Chase Brunson, CMP

Project Management Institute

This year, PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties program honors exceptional young leaders in the business events industry. Class of 2024 member Chase Brunson, CMP, Event Manager at Project Management Institute, shares why he thinks the coming year will present opportunities for the business events industry to show support for groups facing discriminatory legislation.

What is an opportunity and/or challenge you see on the horizon for event professionals?

As politics continue to play a big role in where planners can host events that are welcoming, accessible, and most importantly safe for all attendees, I think this next year will present bold opportunities for our industry to band together and draw difficult lines to show what we’re willing to accept on behalf of our attendees. The event and hospitality industries were vital players in stopping anti-LGBT legislation across the U.S. in 2016. In 2024, legislation is already doubling down on stripping rights from the LGBT community, women, people of color, and those with disabilities. We know our industry has the power to put a stop to these discriminatory bills — the question is: Will we?

What role do you think digital events have to play in the industry?

Digital events are the most accessible option we can offer to attendees. There are a multitude of reasons one might choose or prefer to attend virtually — lack of childcare, budget constraints (professionally or personally), ability, personality, ways of learning, time constraints, etc. — and if we are not offering a digital counterpart to our in-person events we are immediately alienating some attendees. We have the industry data that proves digital events only add to our programs, and we should be offering them whenever possible.

What made you choose the events industry as a career?

While attending Texas A&M University, where I expected to major in Kinesiology to become a cross country coach and high school teacher, I began working in the transportation special events department. I fell in love with the fast-paced, always-evolving event industry after my very first Aggie football game. The 16-hour workdays flew by, and I went on to work every single home game throughout my time in college. I even returned for a season after I had moved away from Texas. My first job after graduation was an event coordinator position in an association, and ever since, my career has continued to be focused on professional development events within associations. I never wanted a desk job, so I enjoy that so much of my career involves being onsite at events and those ever-changing environments.

Members of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2024, supported by PCMA Foundation and Experience Columbus, were recognized at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024, Jan. 7-10 in San Diego, California.

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