PCMA and the PCMA Education Foundation Jointly Awarding Grant Funds

PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association) and its partner organization, PCMA Education Foundation, have today, July 6, announced that they will be jointly awarding research grant funds totalling over $75,000 USD in order to advance the second phase of three major meetings industry research initiatives that are sure to propel the development of our industry in 2017.


PCMA announced that they are funding research on work that is focused on what the professional, business, academic and economic outcomes of the business events industry are and how they can be best communicated to the respective communities and governments they effect. The project is being managed by the University of Technology, Sydney and is in collaboration with JMIC (Joint Meetings Industry Council). The project will focus on creating a set of case studies detailing where the outcomes of business events have positively impacted cities around the world. Best practices in the sector will be captured as part of this research and case studies are due to be completed by early 2019.

Sherrif Karamat, COO, PCMA said “By helping to fund this prestigious piece of work with our industry partners, we are helping to prove to the wider world that business meetings and events are a vital part of all our economic futures. For the first time as a result of this work, the case studies generated by JMIC will be thoroughly researched examples of the broader benefits that business events can bring to cities across the globe.”


While this is underway, PCMA Education Foundation is supporting two other critical pieces of work into key industry issues that can profoundly impact the business events industry.

First a study around the issue of travel boycotts. These political tools have risen in popularity in recent years to force political or ethical change in the US and abroad. For example, in Charlotte, North Carolina in February 2016, government passed a law allowing transgender people to choose public bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity. The Governor later called this action ‘a threat to public safety’ and within a month, legislature passed a law prohibiting local governments from enacting their own anti-discrimination rules. As a result, many national organizations such as the National Basketball Association decided to terminate their business in North Carolina. This legislation has since been rescinded.

The impact these travel boycotts are having on the business events industry is the subject of this research. The Foundation is contributing $30K USD and the work is being carried out by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the global association for official destination marketing organizations (DMOs). The study will provide much needed information for event organizers and destinations to navigate travel boycotts as they impact meetings and travel.

For the second study, the PCMA Education Foundation has partnered with the German Convention Bureau (GCB) and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) to delve into how different types of event participants are impacted by the use of various elements and methodology. Phase one was previously completed, initialled by the GCB and EVVC together with the Fraunhofer Institute of Labour Economics and Organization (IAO). So far, they have identified six so-called future meeting scenarios that match the developments in the industry. The six scenarios show various forms of future events and the second phase will build on those results focusing on identifying success factors for event organizers.

Meredith Rollins, Executive Director of the PCMA Education Foundation said “We’re glad to be partnering with DMAI to understand the true impact of travel boycotts and GCB and EVVC to define how participants will engage with future meeting design. Education is key to success for our industry and both of these research projects tackle issues that will shape our industry today and for the future.”

For media queries from the Americas and EMEA and requests for interviews with Sherrif Karamat, please contact:
Meghan Risch

For Asia Pacific media inquiries, please contact:
Jessica Kauffman, Senior Account Manager, ZADRO

About PCMA

PCMA believes that business events can economically and socially transform communities, enterprises and individuals. As the world’s largest platform for business events strategists and their business partners, PCMA’s success is driven by a commitment to providing provocative executive-level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence to its membership of 8,400 professionals and students and global audience of over 100,000 business event stakeholders.

Through its Ascent leadership initiative to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry and beyond, PCMA seeks to empower those challenged by gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or disabilities to find success.

Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries and regional offices in Northern Ireland, Australia and Singapore. Visit us at pcma.org or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.