The setting will be different — the sunny warmth of southern California in June vs. wintertime in western Pennsylvania. But PCMA will pick up and carry Convening Leaders’ theme to the West Coast for its annual Education Conference without skipping a beat.
Taking place in Los Angeles from June 25–28, EduCon’s focus will feel familiar to attendees who were part of the organization’s flagship event in January. “As we reviewed the feedback from Convening Leaders, we recognized that the theme of ‘Disrupt and Deliver’ extends beyond a four-day program,” said Kara Brockman, CAE, DES, education manager at PCMA. “We want to weave the thread of disruption through the program at Education Conference as we strive to give event organizers innovative ideas that they can use for their own audiences.”
From looking at the changing work environment to analyzing the future of hotel room blocks, attendees can choose from sessions spread across five studios in the Los Angeles Convention Center — each designed to meet individual learning behaviors. “We want to cater to different types of education,” Brockman said. “Some people prefer more interactive, hands-on content while others want to hear case studies. The studios will help attendees maximize their time and make sure they can learn on their preferred terms.”
As PCMA works to satisfy Education Conference attendees’ learning appetites, many of those attendees are trying to determine how to accomplish the same challenge at their own events. In the latest edition of Convene’s Meetings Market Survey, one respondent highlighted the need for “more stories or case studies on alternatives to traditional classroom settings for educational sessions.”
“Open space learning was a game-changer,” the respondent wrote, “but what’s next? How do we increase attendee engagement while balancing the needs of different generations?”
Speaking of engagement, the EduCon program will aim to create more intimate opportunities to speak directly with the lineup of speakers and thought leaders who will present sessions. “Each studio will have optional after-chat sessions where speakers can address questions that may not have been answered during the session,” Brockman said. “It’s more than a question-and-answer period, too. We’ll have tailored activities to help everyone get more value from the program.”
On the second day of the conference, attendees will also have a chance to soak up some of that So Cal sunshine in the center’s outdoor space, where participants will engage in a rapid-fire, peer-to-peer session of sharing successes and failures. “Members of our audience have encountered their fair share of disruption and put their own unconventional ideas to work,” Brockman said. “We want to make sure that they can benefit from hearing about each other’s experiences.”
With the added benefit of a dose of Vitamin D.