PCMA Blazes a Trail Forward for the Global Business Events Industry


New Acquisitions, Alliances and Partnerships to Ignite PCMA as the Platform for the Global Business Events Industry

COLUMBUS, OH (January 9, 2023) — PCMA today announced several acquisitions, alliances, and partnerships during the first day of Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH. PCMA and CEMA President and CEO, Sherrif Karamat, CAE revealed the Association’s strategic plan is based on four foundational pillars supported by various key initiatives.

“As of today, we are only moving forward – blazing a trail forward with and for the global business events community. We will innovate. We will take risks. We will get outside our comfort zone. And we will always do it for our audiences,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, President and CEO of PCMA and CEMA.

PCMA Bolsters Education Portfolio with Acquisition of the Event Leadership Institute

PCMA believes innovative education and new learning products are critical to the business event industry’s business performance and career success–particularly for the NextGen talent.

To demonstrate its commitment to industry education, PCMA has acquired the Event Leadership Institute (ELI) to offer the most compelling portfolio of learning solutions and content. ELI’s Founder, Howard Givner, and the ELI team will immediately join the PCMA family to establish the industry’s most powerful educational resource and product development design lab.

As PCMA’s new Senior Vice President of Knowledge and Innovation, Givner’s contributions will assist PCMA with leading educational innovation for the global business events industry.

Current PCMA members will benefit from this investment immediately with access to ELI’s extensive existing content library of 260 video modules and webinars, as well as a 20% discount on 17 certificate courses at no additional cost, which reflects a $300 value.

In the coming weeks, PCMA will welcome ELI’s 800 existing members, subscribers, and business partners as part of PCMA’s global community, creating more network connections for everyone.

Karmat noted, “PCMA and the PCMA Foundation will continue to make new investments in the development of education and learning products as part of its plan to ensure the industry continues to be innovative today so that all can thrive tomorrow.”

Business Events Industry Week – New Partners and 2024 Location

March 2022 delivered the inaugural Business Events Industry Week (BEIW) with more than 2,000 business event professionals in attendance.

Don Welsh, Destinations International President and CEO stated “The vision for the future of BEIW is clear — to become the SXSW of the global business events industry. We are thrilled to welcome back our co-locating partners from 2022, and to welcome those for 2023, including a collaboration with ASAE, the AMC Institute, EIC and the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals.”

Karamat shared the 2024 BEIW will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center April 9 – 11. in partnership with Events DC and Destination DC.

Commitment to Climate Crisis

PCMA believes the climate crisis represents the biggest threat to livelihoods, the planet, and the global business events industry, In line with its values, PCMA is taking action. Its new partnership with the American Geophysical Union (AGU), a worldwide thought-leader on climate change impact and innovation, will help elevate the industry and its events when it comes to taking sustainability beyond talk and into action.

Randy Fiser, AGU CEO stated “Our partnership with PCMA is built on five tenets -designing sustainable events; convening discussions related to risk and climate change; supporting the business events community with education and tools; harmonizing data and establishing goals for meaningful progress in the reduction of carbon and recognizing innovation and thought leadership in the business events industry.”

Inclusivity is Not a Best Practice. It is the Only Practice

The global business events industry is committed to bringing people together – all people. PCMA has implemented a strategic alliance with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP). Both organizations are committed to key elements to build value for their respective communities and for business event stakeholders everywhere. NCBMP is a co-locating partner of the 2023 Business Events Industry Week.

PCMA Acquires Event Marketing Association –UK

In 2020 over 700 event marketing professionals and their business partners became part of PCMA’s global community when PCMA acquired CEMA – the corporate event marketing association. PCMA is building upon this audience with the acquisition of the Event Marketing Association – UK (EMA-UK).

EMA-UK is comprised of 800+ corporate event marketing professionals representing a cross-section of EMEA industry segments and global brands. EMA-UK will immediately become part of the PCMA global community.

EMA Chair Richard Waddington shared “EMA was founded back in 2013 exclusively for the in-house UK corporate event profs, We’ve grown our membership from a handful of likeminded individuals to currently just under 1,000 members across the UK, achieving a lot along that journey, through knowledge exchange and collaboration across our membership, whilst also representing them within the wider industry. The opportunity of merging into PCMA and joining forces with CEMA to grow the representation and voice of the corporate internationally is an opportunity for EMA not to be missed. PCMA will bring far greater resource and capability, the opportunity for greater growth and most important far greater value for our members and partners. I’d like to thank the EMA Council members, current and past for all their hard work and commitment and look forward to working with them and the PCMA family through this next phase of our evolvement.”


For media queries from the Americas, APAC, EMEA, and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact: Meghan Risch, PCMA Chief of Staff, Vice President, Corporate Communications

About PCMA

PCMA, PCMA Foundation and CEMA educate, inspire, and listen, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, IL PCMA has 17 North American Chapters, regional communities in APAC, EMEA and LATAM, and members in 59 countries. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a PCMA subsidiary, advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. Visit us at pcma.org.

About PCMA Foundation

The role of the Foundation of PCMA is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant-giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the business events industry. Annually the Foundation funds over $900K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 2,500 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.7M in charitable giving.

Become a Member

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

Join PCMA