European Business Events Leaders Assemble for PCMA’s Annual Influencer Summit

Barcelona event delivers 49% attendance increase

PCMA’s European Influencers Summit, its regional flagship event, saw attendance rise 49% as it gathered business events leaders and global brands from 237 organizations in 37 countries to Barcelona, Spain for two days of senior-level education and networking.

The third annual European Influencers Summit delivered an executive-level experience where industry leaders collaboratively explored how business events can drive economic and social transformation across communities and in organisations.

The 2019 event, held 22-24 Sept., was hosted by the Barcelona Convention Bureau, Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) and the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona.

“Our goal for this year’s event was to disrupt conventional approaches to industry challenges and deliver tangible solutions to showcase how business events are one of the most powerful platforms for global economic and social transformation,” said PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat.

Participants to the Summit included senior events executives from global brands including the International Olympic Committee, Dell Technologies, Cisco Systems, Siemens AG, IBM and the European Society of Anaesthesiology, Panos Tzivanidis, associate director of hospitality, events and logistics for the International Olympic Committee, said the Summit reinforced why PCMA is “absolutely my professional home.”

The European Summit was “two days of very intense education and networking with high-calibre senior leaders from across the European events industry, with a really great line up of speakers who inspired and delivered tangible ideas that we were able to take back and include within our businesses,” he said.

International business strategist Rik Vera shared his “net curiosity score” KPI metric to assess adaptability and survival in a challenging business environment. Author and global speaker Fredrik Härén shared how creativity is about finding a connection between disparate ideas. Business expert and BBC mentalist David Meade offered simple engagement tactics to increase productivity. Nearly two dozen additional experts and industry leaders also addressed the group.

An “Ideathon” brought participants together for a collaborative exercise to co-create solutions to an industry challenge. Masterclasses offered deeper dives into industry challenges while 20/20 Talks provided short, collaborative education opportunities. The event’s Innovate + Elevate Hub presented a different approach to networking with micro-learnings and key areas for experiential activations.

Barcelona played a key role in the education and experiential strategy with off-site learning tours to FC Barcelona’s Barça Innovation Hub to learn about strategic partnerships, the Hospital de Sant Pau museum for a session in creativity and Valkira Hub Space to hear how companies in the city’s innovation district achieve meaningful connections with data storytelling.

“PCMA brought to Barcelona a unique event, with a high-level program and the best companies and professionals in the industry,” said Marc Rodriguez, CCIB general manager. “The city had the opportunity to show the best of itself to the most prominent agencies, senior managers and CEOs. Thus, the PCMA European Influencers Summit will have a clear positive effect to continue attracting to Barcelona new events, talent and innovation, which will return in more economic and social impact.”

PCMA will continue to engage with its European business events leadership community at ibtm World 19-21 Nov. in Barcelona.

Photos from the event are available at

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

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 $700K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 2,500 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.7M in charitable giving.

About CEMA

The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) is the eminent community for senior event executives, association peers and industry partners and is an integral component of the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) brand collective. CEMA promotes professional networking opportunities, facilitates peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and drives industry standards. Through strong relationships with strategic partners, CEMA fosters both finding innovative solutions to business issues and continuous focus on members’ career growth. For more information, please visit

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