Stronger Together, CEMA Joins PCMA in New Division


CHICAGO, Illinois, USA, December 7, 2020 – PCMA is proud to announce today, that the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), the premier community for event marketers, has been acquired as a wholly-owned division of PCMA. The deal between the two organizations was signed after members of CEMA voted overwhelmingly in favor of the acquisition by PCMA. This acquisition will propel both organizations into an exciting new chapter as businesses and organizations adjust to the evolving role of business events in an omnichannel world.

Based in Sacramento, California, CEMA began over thirty years ago with a vision to provide event marketers with the creative direction needed to drive innovation and growth for, what would become, the world’s leading organizations. Today, CEMA is 800+ members strong, with participation from global brands like Cisco, Salesforce and Oracle.

Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO of PCMA commented, “CEMA has been a leader in the event marketing space for more than three decades. As part of our ongoing commitment to delivering value to our members, so that they can emerge out of the pandemic prepared for a new reality, we continue to look for ways our industry can bring more creativity, content and learning from professionals in adjacent fields. PCMA’s Board Chairman Stuart Ruff-Lyon added, “As COVID-19 restructured nearly every industry and organization around the world, PCMA and CEMA focused its attention and effort on delivering high-value, recovery-focused resources for both of its members. Now, as the world moves forward into recovery, our partnership has evolved into a stronger offering to members of both organizations and the industry, as one.”

Members of both organizations will benefit from new professional development and networking programs, expertise and research, membership growth, and long-term stability and organizational expansion. CEMA and PCMA will cross-pollinate peer-to-peer learning and idea exchange forums and educational and experiential learning content.

“We are thrilled to be joining the PCMA family and excited at the prospect of expanding and enhancing professional development, networking, and growth opportunities for CEMA members,” said Kimberley Gishler, President and CEO, CEMA. Karen Cooper, CEMA’s Chairwoman of the Board added, “We are now in an optimal position to pursue strategic growth and regional expansion, and create even better engagement and experiences for the membership of both associations.”

Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO of PCMA, and Kimberley Gishler, President and CEO of CEMA, pose for a photo at Convening Leaders 2020 in San Francisco, Calif.


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 educates, inspires, and listens, 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.