PCMA Convening Leaders 2020: Reaching New Heights

Author: David McMillin       

CL welcome

Attendees register for Convening Leaders 2020 on Sunday at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The registration desk is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday. (Jacob Slaton Photography)

Get ready to stretch. With “REACH” as this year’s conference theme, PCMA invites you to use the next three days to find new ideas and make new connections that will transform your career, your organization, and your own events.

“As the PCMA community kicks off a new year and a new decade,” said PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat, “we have designed an immersive and innovative experience to empower the thousands of business events professionals from around the world with insights to personally transform and drive organizations and communities forward.”

San Francisco makes an ideal host for a program rooted in the power of innovation. The city is home to many groundbreaking companies — Uber, Airbnb, and Salesforce, to name a few — that are reshaping the way the world lives, works, and travels.

Convening Leaders, which has more than 4,500 attendees from more than 40 countries, is the place where the events industry comes to preview the future of face-to-face engagement. The REACH theme is intended to help attendees strive to achieve bigger professional success, build deeper personal connections, find wider audiences for events, and create lasting, community-wide impact.

“The program is about more than reaching your objectives in 2020,” Karamat said. “It’s about unlocking your full potential to reach well beyond those goalposts to achieve new levels of success by showing how to move from strategy to execution.”

Here are highlights of what you can expect while here in San Francisco:

On the Stage. Bestselling author and the voice behind the third most-watched TED Talk of all time Simon Sinek, 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and iconic NASA flight director Gene Kranz — whose keynote is sponsored by Visit Houston, Convening Leaders 2021 host — are among the speakers who will share wisdom on the Main Stage this week. Other presenters include Bozoma Saint John of Endeavor, future of work strategist and regular Forbes contributor Heather E. McGowan, and business expert David Meade.

In the Studio. To help you and your peers create customized learning journeys, PCMA has divided breakout content among eight specialized studios. Get actionable insights for your contract negotiations in the Business of Events Studio, helpful tips on how to de-stress in the Lifestyle Studio, strategies for turning your event content into a binge-worthy podcast in the Media Studio, and much more.

At the Arena. Halls B and D will house the Innovate + Elevate Arena and continue PCMA’s tradition of exploring new concepts in open-space learning. Here, subject matter experts discuss everything from cost-saving tips for eco-friendly F&B to designing a more inclusive environment that welcomes all attendees, helping put lessons from the content studios into action.

With Your Peers. There is no shortage of opportunities to reconnect with colleagues from past Convening Leaders and make new connections during the conference — from spaces designed to facilitate casual chats at the Moscone Center to tonight’s Party With a Purpose at The Masonic and tomorrow night’s closing celebration with Maroon 5 at the Chase Center.

By the Bay. From visiting the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood that launched the hippie counterculture, to views of the Golden Gate Bridge enveloped by a blanket of fog, to choosing among the area’s dozens and dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants — the list of reasons so many people leave their hearts in San Francisco is a mile long and wide. Take time to explore why Robert Redford calls this “the most beautiful place in the world.”

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