PCMA Invests in EMEA Business Events Recovery

New European hires to accelerate delivery of programmes and events to support return of business growth in the region

February 25, 2021 – BELFAST, Northern Ireland – In anticipation of the recovery of business events in the EMEA region, PCMA Business Director EMEA Jaimé Bennett today announced the appointment of two established industry experts to help drive recovery efforts throughout the region with a focus on a continuous evolution of services, community and content to drive value for business event stakeholders.

Olivia Galun – Senior Manager, Events and Community: With over 25 years of business events experience, including most recently managing marketing, community engagement and event operations for IAPCO, Liv will join PCMA’s EMEA team to implement the region’s community development and events strategy to meet the needs of our audiences through a variety of programmes currently in development. Liv will take up position on Monday 12th April.

Stephanie Geddis – Marketing and Partnership Manager: For the last two years Stephanie has helped her clients at ICC Belfast achieve remarkable results from their events. This included leading the transformation of client events from traditional to new hybrid solutions. At PCMA EMEA Stephanie will deliver an omnichannel marketing and content plan to create business and relationship building opportunities for our members, business partners and stakeholders throughout the region. Stephanie is a member of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties Class of 2021 and will take up the position on Monday 8th March.

From left to right: Jamié Bennett, Managing Director, PCMA EMEA — Olivia Galun, Senior Manager, Events and Community — Stephanie Geddis – Marketing and Partnership Manager.

“Recovery is coming and with these new hires PCMA is putting in place a best-in-class EMEA team to deliver on the needs of our members and business events stakeholders throughout the region”, said Jaimé Bennett. “Olivia and Stephanie have established business events industry track records of understanding customer needs and building high-performance solutions that will be vital as recovery emerges in the next few months”, she added.

Since joining PCMA in September, Ms. Bennett has worked extensively with PCMA’s EMEA Advisory Board and business partners to develop a plan specifically to address the evolving needs of business events stakeholders in the region. This included an EMEA business event industry engagement survey to explicitly understand stakeholder priorities for 2021.

“Out of almost 400 survey responses, 53% were event planners”, said Annalisa Ponchia Baccara, CMP, CMM, Director of Innovation & Customer Experience at AIM Group International and PCMA Regional Advisory Board member. “They made it clear that rebuilding their businesses and upskilling their careers/workforces were where PCMA could make the biggest difference. Based on these insights and also on specific educational content recommendations, PCMA implemented a plan that has already resulted in a 30% increase in EMEA members. With these new hires, we are resolutely focused on solving the challenges and opportunities faced by stakeholders throughout EMEA and we are achieving this by accelerating the delivery of strategic educational programmes and knowledge sharing”, explained Ms. Baccara.

The survey results also pointed to the intense desire by EMEA business event stakeholders to safely reconnect in a hybrid format this autumn when pandemic-related gathering constraints are expected to have eased in Europe. This led to the redesign of the European Influencer Summit into an omnichannel event for the entire EMEA region. Convening EMEA 2021 will take place in Lausanne, Switzerland October 17-19th and will bring together event professionals and creatives from Europe, the Middle East and Africa with the support of Switzerland Tourism, The International Olympic Committee and Lausanne Tourism.

“PCMA has a compelling leadership vision for EMEA, focusing on the unique needs of our EMEA audiences and a remarkable team to bring it all to life – all at a time when business events industry recovery in the region is taking shape”, added Ms. Bennett.


For media queries and requests for interviews with Jaimé Bennett, please contact:
Maryam Sabbagh
[email protected]

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 $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 http://www.cemaonline.com.

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