March/April 2024

Cover illustration by Dalbert B. Vilarino

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A Change of Scenery — Without Leaving the Ballroom

How the event technology company Encore brought host city Washington, D.C. to a ballroom for a VIP audience.

BY Barbara Palmer April 12, 2024

How Your Brain Values an Experience

Neuroscientist Paul Zak on how immersion is created — and how to make the most of it.

BY Barbara Palmer April 10, 2024

4 Ways to DIY a Speaker Coaching Program

Even if planners don’t have the resources to hire a professional coach, there are ways they can improve their speakers’ effectiveness.

BY Barbara Palmer April 9, 2024

Do International Attendees Seeking Visas Need Letters of Invitation?

Members of PCMA’s Catalyst community offer meeting manager some guidance on what international attendees need for their visa applications.

BY Convene Editors April 8, 2024

Swifties and Scholars: Inside an Academic Conference About Taylor Swift

Indiana University Bloomington conference explores music star Taylor Swift’s lyricism, feminism, economic impact, social-media presence, and more through an academic lens.

BY Casey Gale April 8, 2024

From Skeptic to Sought-After TEDx Speaker Coach

Fifteen years ago, she coached speakers for the first major TEDx event. Hayley Foster has since built that initial experience into a successful business, helping speakers to focus on what makes their message unique and their presentation authentic.

BY Michelle Russell April 6, 2024

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Speaking at Events

Your speakers aren’t the stars of your show — their message should take the spotlight. In Don’t Tank Your TED Talk, short talk expert Hayley Foster offers a primer for succinct and compelling presentations you can share with your presenters to keep the audience engaged.

BY Michelle Russell April 6, 2024

Attendees Want Less Flash, More Substance

Research from Freeman reveals that attendees value hearing from industry experts and from each other more than celebrity keynotes. It’s even more highly prized, the research suggests, than open bars.

BY Barbara Palmer April 1, 2024

Who Is More Creative: Humans or Gen AI?

The thinking about generative AI so far has been that it is best at rote tasks and cannot compete with human ingenuity. But research from The Wharton School and Cornell University suggests otherwise.

BY Michelle Russell April 1, 2024

The Lasting Legacy of Medical Meetings

Amidst debate over intermittent fasting, release at American Heart Association of a new study underscores the crucial function of medical and scientific gatherings in sharing research with the public.

BY Michelle Russell March 29, 2024

What’s Keeping Women out of the Business Events C-Suite?

Women make up 70 percent of the global events industry workforce yet hold only 16 percent of the top management positions, according to a new research report. We talked to Business Events Sydney CEO Lyn Lewis- Smith, who spearheaded the report with the PCMA Foundation, about what can — and should — be done to help women climb the ladder.

BY Barbara Palmer March 25, 2024

How an Agrifood Event Is Cultivating Innovation and International Participation

Rooted in New York but reaching the world online, the Grow-NY Competition and Summit provides $3 million in funding for innovative startups working throughout the agrifood ecosystem, from new farming technologies to ready-to-eat food products.

BY Casey Gale March 18, 2024

Ensuring Live Events are Accessible to All

Accessibility consultant Austin Whitney’s love of music and music festivals led to his life’s mission to improve access at events for people with disabilities.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst March 11, 2024

Conference Metrics That Matter

“What gets measured, gets managed,” is a phrase coined by management guru Peter Drucker. For annual conferences, this is best accomplished by identifying and adopting a combination of leading and lagging performance measures.

BY Dave Lutz, CMP March 4, 2024

‘Programming Stellar Content That Connects With an Audience’

TED’s chief program and strategy officer on how TED — and the business events industry — has evolved post-COVID.

BY Michelle Russell March 4, 2024

Designing Events for Synthesis

Your packed education program will leave participants feeling overwhelmed unless you provide opportunities for them to synthesize their experience. Here’s how.

BY Beth Surmont February 12, 2024

Who Organized the Event Better — Humans or AI?

Humans faced off against AI in an event-planning competition at PCMA Convening Leaders 2024, and the result of the exercise shines a light on industry gaps and opportunities.

BY Magdalina Atanassova February 9, 2024

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