PCMA Press Conference Highlights New Directions for 2020

Author: Curt Wagner       

PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat and Mubarak Al Shamisi, director of the Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau, sign a strategic training and partnership agreement Monday. (Jacob Slaton Photography)

PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat discussed new and established strategic opportunities for PCMA during a Monday press conference after opening remarks from PCMA Board of Directors Chair Gregory O’Dell, incoming chair Stuart Ruff-Lyon, PCMA Foundation Chair Carol McGury, incoming Foundation Chair Valerie Sumner, and SF Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro.


A new strategic alliance has been struck between the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a global community of corporate event marketers, and PCMA, effective Jan. 1. As part of the collaboration, the two associations will co-develop education programs at each other’s signature events — at PCMA’s Convening Leaders, EduCon, European Influencers Summit, and Asia Pacific Annual Conference; and at the annual CEMA Summit and during CEMA Study Tours. In addition, both organizations will collaborate on webinars and other services to deliver greater value to one another’s membership.

RELATED: PCMA and CEMA: ‘The Synergy is There’

Abu Dhabi

Prior to the press conference, Karamat and Mubarak Al Shamisi, director of the Abu Dhabi Convention & Exhibition Bureau (ADCEB) signed a strategic training and partnership agreement that, in part, allows PCMA to support ADCEB in three key areas, including Convention Services Manager training for elected event executives from the Emirate. The agreement also entails hosting an Abu Dhabi Advisory Summit, which is set to take place later in 2020, as well as introducing a series of educational programs to help build the knowledge base and event-management capabilities within Abu Dhabi’s MICE industry.

The Abu Dhabi agreement is part of PCMA Insights, PCMA’s consulting services, which also has struck agreements with Los Cabos, Barranquilla, and Sarawak, Malaysia. More about those relationships will be announced Tuesday.

Destinations International

As was previously announced, PCMA is collaborating with Destinations International on the education program for the Feb. 5, 2020 Destination Showcase in Washington, D.C., and in future editions.


BEAM (Business Events Analytics/Metrics), a unique data analytics product PCMA introduced in 2019, draws from multiple data sources to help the business events industry make informed decisions, recognize trends, and deliver intelligence for strategic planning. The Nashville CVB, Showcare Event Solutions, and the Vancouver Convention Centre are among early adopters.

Bylaws Vote

Responding to a question about the bylaws vote, O’Dell noted the amendment was approved by a majority vote — 81 percent — of the membership. Essentially, the bylaw empowers the board to update PCMA’s bylaws on the membership’s behalf.

Convening Leaders’ Impact

As part of the press conference, which was moderated by Robert Wright, managing director at Davies Tanner, Karamat shared some statistics for Convening Leaders 2020. One in four of CL attendees are C-level executives, he said, and more than 400 are CEOs.

D’Alessandro conveyed the value of hosting Convening Leaders to San Francisco, saying that while the event brought more than $14 million into the city during the week, the long-term economic impact could be even more significant. “The exposure that we get to the world of meeting planners is really important for San Francisco,” he said, “and the opportunity to showcase some of the attributes the city has is really critical.”

Beyond the economic significance, Karamat highlighted remarks Simon Sinek, Monday’s keynote speaker, made about how leaders make decisions, not organizations. “It’s not about what matters for PCMA or where PCMA is going,” Karamat said. “It’s about where all of you are going, and what we can do together: advance this industry, advance our society.”

Become a Member

Get premium access to provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence.