What to Expect at PCMA EduCon 2021

Author: Convene Editors       

JW Marriott Desert Ridge

EduCon is taking place at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona.

After Convening Leaders 2021 — which took place online and in person in Singapore, with other satellite experiences throughout the U.S. — wrapped up in January, the PCMA team quickly went to work sifting through insights from participants. The goal was to “really design what our audience needs and the answers they’re still trying to find” about moving into the next normal, said Tonya Almond, CMP, PCMA’s vice president, knowledge and experience design. The events and education teams have used those learnings to plan this week’s PCMA EduCon 2021, taking place in Phoenix at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, and online.

No matter how participants attend, they have three options that cater to different learning styles and comfort levels — to learn alongside a group of peers in Solutioning Workshops, work through hot topics in Long-Table Discussions, or glean knowledge on their own during Thought Leadership Talks.

Part of what PCMA learned from Convening Leaders, Almond said, is that “people may be very active listeners and participatory when they’re face to face, but maybe not so much digitally and vice versa,” she said. So, there will be options for each individual to experience, “depending on where they are on their journey.”

Participants also can look forward to several activities that will help bring them “together in a meaningful way,” Almond said during a recent EduCon preview webinar. They will give both audiences a chance to make connections across formats. Here are just a few of those activities:

Conversation Starters

Various times Wednesday and Thursday

Both digital and in-person attendees will be able to participate in this popular community activity started at Convening Leaders 2021. PCMA members have volunteered to facilitate 30-minute discussions on 14 different topics — from managing a changing workforce to engaging a digital audience. For the digital conversation starters, only 20 participants can be on camera, so show up early. There is no registration required.

Solution Meet-Ups

Various times Wednesday and Thursday

Created for the in-person event, these meet-ups require advance sign-up because they are limited to 16 people. The Orange County Convention Center and Visit Orlando will share insights on hosting in-person events in “Best Practices for Return to In-Person Events,” while “F&B: What’s Eating You?” facilitated by Louisville Tourism, will give attendees a chance to discuss F&B issues and ideas.

Hospitality Helping Hands

3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Thursday at The Hub (Grand Canyon 6)

Teams of no more than 10 people will help assemble, test, and decorate wheelchairs to be donated to the Arizona Chapter for Paralyzed Veterans of America, which serves U.S. military veterans who endure spinal cord injury and spinal cord disease/dysfunction. Space is still available and you can sign up on site.

Song Division

4 p.m. Thursday

This hour-long entertainment break for both in-person and digital attendees will keep everyone’s energy high and give them a chance to bond. Expect a live performance of an original song written during the session that will be professionally recorded and available as a keepsake. It takes place at 4 p.m. Thursday.

For more about what to expect in the coming week — including health and safety and other information — watch our EduCon preview webinar here.