Today, we’re excited to announce that PCMA and the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), the premier community for event marketers, are pursuing an agreement wherein CEMA will be acquired as a wholly-owned division of PCMA. This acquisition will propel both organizations into an exciting new chapter as businesses and organizations adjust to the evolving role of business events in an omnichannel world.
Based in Sacramento, CA, CEMA began over thirty years ago, with a vision to provide event marketers with the creative direction needed to drive innovation and growth for, what would become, the world’s leading organizations. Today, CEMA is 800+ members strong, with participation from global brands like Cisco, Salesforce and Oracle that find value in, and continue to support, CEMA’s programming and content.
What this means for PCMA and CEMA Members:
The relationship is a logical evolution of the strategic alliance cemented in January to introduce each organization to new audiences. It will spark continued growth and development for both organizations’ stakeholders in the following areas:
- Enhanced professional development and networking programs: The organizations will cross-pollinate peer-to-peer learning, idea exchange forums and educational and experiential learning content.
- Educational content and research insights: CEMA members can tap into PCMA’s sophisticated research portfolio, anchored by Business Events Compass. PCMA members can access CEMA’s diverse community of senior corporate and technology event marketing experts as speakers and collaborators.
- Expanded member network connections: PCMA members will benefit from connections with event marketers who have pioneered business events as omnichannel engagement platforms for their brands. PCMA and CEMA members will benefit from collaboration and ideation within an expanded diverse global community.
- Long-term stability and growth: PCMA will provide CEMA with infrastructure support and financial investment that will allow the brand to expand its membership and geographic presence. CEMA members will have access to PCMA products and programs such as its category-leading Digital Event Strategist certification.
PCMA will maintain and enhance CEMA’s unique brand and cohesive member community through an Advisory Board (formerly the CEMA Board of Directors), and by preserving its current management leadership, events, and content while leveraging the global resource network and infrastructure of PCMA.
What are the next steps in the acquisition process?
CEMA members are currently voting to ratify the proposal as approved by both the PCMA and CEMA Board of Directors. Results of the vote are expected to be announced next week with the completion date for a final Agreement expected in January 2021.
This is a win-win for both organizations, their respective members and business partners as we together focus on the recovery of business events through the pandemic and beyond.
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Frequently Asked Questions
- This acquisition will propel both organizations into an exciting new chapter as businesses and organizations adjust to the evolving role of business events in an omnichannel world. This is a win-win for both organizations, respective members and business partners as we together focus on the recovery of business events through the pandemic and beyond.
- The pandemic has impacted the events industry at all levels and has been challenging in many ways. During challenging times, you are often forced to think differently, think about new opportunities, and a new path forward.
- We are excited about the expanded opportunity to leverage each of the organization’s strengths and power to create better engagement and experiences for our respective memberships.
This acquisition by PCMA builds new career and business connections for PCMA members to the leading event marketing community. It provides opportunities for mutual collaboration and innovation at a time when business events are going through an unprecedented reset. PCMA is prepared to invest with CEMA to make this happen for both member communities.
While CEMA has certainly been impacted by the pandemic, they were no “victim”. Their leadership has been transparent with their members about any business and financial challenges experienced as a result of COVID-19.
PCMA is in a good place having disrupted itself and pivoting very quickly to focus on both hybrid events and best-in-class educational products for business events professionals.
We historically have embraced both innovation and risk-taking, this acquisition is no different. We are taking a calculated risk to do what is best for our members and the industry.
No, CEMA employees will join PCMA and there are no anticipated job losses for either organization as a direct result of the acquisition.
PCMA’s board will continue to operate in the same fashion as it currently does. An Advisory Board made up of CEMA’s former Board members will provide counsel to PCMA’s Board on CEMA opportunities and operations. As issues arise that will require consideration of the CEMA brand and division, we will adhere to our strict governance standards.
PCMA will maintain and enhance CEMA’s unique brand and cohesive member community through an Advisory Board (formerly the CEMA Board of Directors), and by preserving its current management leadership. events, and content while leveraging the global resource network and infrastructure of PCMA.
The pandemic has required that we all embrace the permanence of constant change. In the months and years ahead, we will continue to be upfront and honest about any significant changes to our business.
At this time, membership in the two associations will remain distinct. CEMA Members have the opportunity to join PCMA as a member at the existing rates and get involved with their local PCMA chapter. Looking ahead, there will be opportunities for joint education and learning between CEMA and PCMA members.
The joining of the two cultures and respective memberships provides an extraordinary opportunity to learn from each other and enhance the role of business events as agents of economic and social transformation.
It means you will continue to enjoy everything you love about PCMA and look forward to even greater experiences and value.
Not at this time, membership in the two associations are distinct.
Nothing is planned at this time. Down the road, a bundle option will be evaluated.
In the short term, sponsorship engagement opportunities will remain the same with each organization. Looking ahead, PCMA and CEMA will build opportunities for sponsors to build an enhanced partnership that covers both entities for added value and ROI.
The partnership set the stage for ongoing communication which eventually led to a mutual decision to join forces. CEMA and PCMA have long shared a vision for the advancement of event marketing as a vital element in the marketing stack. Each brand offers unique and complementary qualities and services to help event professionals learn and grow.
We have collaborated on educational sessions at Convening Leaders and CEMA Summit, as well as a joint research project that will be released in December.
January 2021 subject to the approval of the CEMA membership.