Insight and Inspiration at PCMA’s Education Conference

Author: Michelle Russell       

What do unconscious bias, the power of female consumers, the value of “deselection,” and painting with french-fry grease have in common? They’re all topics that will be explored by a handful of speakers during PCMA’s Education Conference, June 10–13, in Cleveland.

The four experts addressing those subjects have been interviewed by Convene and are representative of the diverse line-up of presenters covering a wide range of topics over the three-day program — all with an eye toward inspiring event professionals, no matter the industry or profession they serve.

Here’s some wisdom shared by each of the four speakers:

Paulette Brown 

Paulette Brown, attorney, first woman of color president in the American Bar Association’s history, and co-chair of her firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, on unconscious bias: “The best panelists will necessarily include diversity. One of the ways in which implicit bias manifests itself is to have an unwillingness to look beyond our own ‘in group.’”

Bridget Brennan

Bridget Brennan, author of best-selling Why She Buys and CEO of Female Factor consulting firm, on how the convenience revolution has shaped consumer expectations across all of their experiences, including live events: “People’s expectations don’t really change across categories. So, if you have a really seamless, wonderful experience ordering a pizza [online], that might impact the way that you view buying financial services. We are applying new benchmarks across all sectors.” (Full interview to be published in June issue of Convene.)

Peter Sheahan

Peter Sheahan, founder and CEO of Karrikins Group, on how to find opportunities for change in the midst of disruption: “None of us wake up in the morning with nothing to do. We find ourselves facing increasingly complex business challenges, but we’re expected to manage them with fewer resources while striving for growth. That’s about as difficult as it gets. Deselection acknowledges the fact that you have to be very clear about what matters most.”

Phil Hansen

Artist Phil Hansen on overcoming perceived setbacks: “All of our challenges in life are composed of two parts — the limitation (in my case a shaky hand) and our belief about that limitation (I believed one couldn’t be an artist if he or she had a tremor in his or her hand). My current mindset when running into challenges is to look at the two parts of a challenge and work on each one as its own. Oftentimes our beliefs hold us back. If we look past our beliefs, get out of our own way, and get creative with the limitation, we can make amazing changes in our lives.”