Foreign Affairs Columnist and Bestselling Author, Thomas Friedman to Keynote PCMA’s 2021 Convening Leaders


Marina Bay Sands in Singapore to Host the Event’s Global Broadcast Center.

CHICAGO, Illinois, USA, November 24, 2020 – Thomas Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author of ‘The World is Flat ‘will deliver the keynote for PCMA’s annual Convening Leaders meeting in January.

Friedman is well known for his commentary on U.S. world affairs, and most recently, the 2020 election as a columnist for the New York Times. Described as “the country’s best newspaper columnist,” by Vanity Fair, Friedman will emphasize the importance of embracing an infinite mindset to effectively lead and thrive in an unpredictable, chaotic world. Serving as a vehicle for hope, inspiration, community and connection, Convening Leaders 2021 will be among the first omnichannel events of its kind – combining digital, face-to-face partner and chapter events in key cities and venues around the world. Through the use of the AI-enabled event technology platform Juno, Convening Leaders aims to provide a truly unique global engagement experience with safety as its number one priority.

PCMA has partnered with the Singapore Tourism Board to create a Global Broadcast Center for Convening Leaders located at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Creating experiences that enhance the content and networking at any event are the desired outcomes; showing how to utilize technology, like augmented reality, to create richer experiences for your audiences is a game-changer.

“During a time when the business events industry has been drastically affected by the pandemic, Friedman’s message will inform and inspire our audience”, notes PCMA President and CEO, Sherrif Karamat. “Through our partnership with Singapore Tourism Board we are excited to showcase what an omnichannel event looks like; launching a Global Broadcast Center in Singapore as part of our biggest event showcases our commitment to the rich future of the industry.”

“The Singapore Tourism Board is excited to collaborate with our longstanding partner PCMA by supporting the Global Broadcast Center as Convening Leaders, held at the new Marina Bay Sands hybrid broadcast studio. The collaboration is a testament to Singapore’s position as a key MICE hub as well as PCMA’s resilience to adapt and emerge stronger from the pandemic”, said Dr. Edward Koh, Executive Director, Conventions, Meetings and Incentive Travel, Singapore Tourism Board.

As the pandemic derailed industries worldwide, PCMA’s leadership created a path forward with our Recovery Discovery program. “The road to recovery was always going to be tough,” said Tonya Almond, PCMA’s Vice President of Experience and Design. “This led us to not only think outside of the box but find a speaker like Thomas Friedman who speaks on how to embrace the chaos and thrive in this unpredictable climate, which we think is immensely important for the business events industry.”

Where connection is king, Convening Leaders 2021 is more than just an educationally focused event. Social justice and impact will also be heavily amplified through the PCMA Foundation. Featuring events such as the Purposeful Perks experience box fundraiser, Hospitality Helping Hands service projects, and wellness activities. In 2020, Convening Leaders participants raised more than $357,000 to aid the Foundation’s mission of supporting research and scholarships for students and business events professionals.

Learn more about PCMA Convening Leaders at conveningleaders.org.


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.