Scholarships & Opportunities

The road to greatness is not always paved with equal opportunity. The goal of the PCMA Foundation is to build and support that road for the meetings and business events industry. The Foundation funds more than 500 scholarships annually benefiting emerging leaders, students, faculty and other professionals. Funds raised throughout the year have a lasting impact.

Currently Open

Hosted Buyer Program Scholarship

A special invitation for event organizers who are responsible for contracting destinations and services for their organizations: Apply for the opportunity to receive a VIP experience during Convening Leaders 2023, which includes: complimentary registration, 3 nights of housing, and a $400 flight stipend. Buyers are required to participate in all of their scheduled appointments and the Hosted Buyer luncheon held on Sunday, January 9.

Deadline: October 19, 2022

Digital Event Strategist Scholarship supported by Encore

The Digital Event Strategist certification certification is designed to help individuals and organizations develop, plan, produce, and measure the results of their digital engagement practices. There are a limited number of opportunities, each valued at over $695 USD. This scholarship is sponsored by Encore and includes the following:

  • Access to the DES 6-week online course and exam. Enrollment for the course you choose must be completed by April 30, 2023

Deadline: October 1, 2022

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Next Gen)

This scholarship will provide five (5) Next Gen individuals with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Student)

This scholarship will provide five (5) PCMA Students with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Supplier)

This scholarship will provide five (5) Suppliers with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Planner)

This scholarship will provide twenty (20) business event planners with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Convening Leaders Faculty Scholarship

This scholarship supports up to ten (10) university faculty to attend Convening Leaders 2023. Must be currently teaching at least 2 classes per semester; currently teaching at least 1 class per quarter; OR currently teaching at least 4 classes in the past academic year. Recipients receive: roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Convening Leaders University Engagement Scholarship (for local Columbus area universities)

This scholarship supports one (1) local university seeking to engage with PCMA. Scholarship will provide benefits to 2 Faculty members and up to 20 Students. Benefits include complimentary registration for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

PCMA Chapter Leaders Scholarship

This scholarship will provide up to seventeen (17) Chapter members with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

PCMA Student Chapter Grant

Awarded to up to five (5) PCMA student chapters to be used for educational programming. The winning chapters will receive a $1,000 financial award.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Leadership Coaching with Kati Quigley

Exclusive leadership coaching sessions with business events industry leader, Kati Quigley, are available for mid-career professionals looking for professional and/or personal development. Up to three (3) individuals will be selected to reactive ten (10) hours of coaching tailored to the individual’s unique career and personal goals.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Deborah Sexton Education Scholarship

This scholarship supports four (4) individuals each year with at least 3 years of career experience in the business events industry. Recipients receive: a continuing education stipend of $7500, Convening Leaders 2023 registration, housing, and airfare, one-on-one coaching with Deborah Sexton, and a complimentary membership for 3 years.

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Humanitarian Scholarship, in partnership with Louisville Tourism

PCMA and Louisville Tourism believe in the power of the humanitarian and instilling compassion throughout the world. In recognition of Louisville officially being declared a “Compassionate City”, this scholarship is focused on recognizing humanitarian and social impact efforts. The PCMA Foundation Humanitarian Scholarship is more than just an event-based scholarship, it is an all-encompassing program looking to foster and promote those who are doing good in the business events industry. Qualified applicants will be individuals who lead, or develop, programs and initiatives in at least one of the following sectors: Inclusion, Empowerment, Social Innovation and/or Cause Awareness. There will be three recipients annually.

Scholarship Recipient Benefits

  • $1000 in support of the charity of their choice
  • Three nights housing and registration for 2023 Convening Leaders
  • Invitations to attend hosted activities by Louisville Tourism during Convening Leaders 2023
  • Ticket to PCMA Foundation’s Party with a Purpose at 2023 Convening Leaders
  • PCMA membership for one year
  • Ticket to PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards in 2023
  • The recipient’s application will be automatically entered as a nomination in the Community Advocate of the Year award category for the PCMA Visionary Awards. This does not guarantee selection as a finalist or winner of the category.
  • Invitation to attend the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards in Louisville, KY in 2023

Deadline: September 30, 2022

The Chris Wehking Scholarship

“Mentorship and career development were core values for Chris. When an individual was struck by a life challenge, an illness, loss of a loved one, or damage from a disaster, he was the first to reach out with an offer of support and would enlist others in this effort as well.” – Paul Pomerantz, American Society of Anesthesiologists  Chief Executive Officer

Chris Wehking, Business Events Executive, wanted to provide opportunities and experiences for those around him. He wanted to touch the lives of others. This scholarship is in honor of Chris and his commitment and service to fellow members of the events industry.  This scholarship is available for up to one (1) student and  two (2) business event professionals who have shown how they have excelled at being leaders in their school and/or work life.

Benefits Include:

  • $5,000 education or continuing education stipend
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare (up to $400) and four (4) nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, OH
  • Unique engagement opportunities with industry leaders Three years of complimentary PCMA membership

Required Commitment:

  • Participate in at least one (1) volunteer opportunity offered by PCMA for three years after the scholarship is awarded
  • Participate in structured meet ups designed for scholarship winners at PCMA events such as Convening Leaders and EduCon (virtual or in person) and informal (virtual or in person) meet ups with industry professionals
  • Be open to participating in marketing and promotional opportunities for the scholarship, including providing updates as to how receiving this scholarship has impacted your career

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Closed

20 in Their Twenties

20 in Their Twenties recognizes the best and brightest young professionals in the business events industry. Applicants must submit a full application, short video and references. Current employment is not required. Benefits include:

  • Complimentary registration, three (3) nights of housing and round-trip airfare for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH
  • Exclusive opportunities to participate in PCMA events and programs
  • Discounted registration to attend Convening Leaders for the two years following your award
  • Complimentary registration for EduCon 2023
  • Complimentary PCMA membership for one year
  • Recognition in a Convene magazine feature article and through a PCMA-issued press release to other industry publications
  • Crystal award to display

Deadline: September 26, 2022

Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship

Tuition-based scholarship awarded to up to two (2) undergraduate students.

  • $7,500 tuition award.

Deadline: May 9, 2022

Legacy Society Student Scholarship

The Legacy Society Student Scholarship supports up to three (3) students entering the dynamic field of business events planning by providing a unique opportunity for support and engagement as they enter the workforce.

The Legacy Society Student Scholarship is intended for those in their last year of undergraduate education. Each recipient will receive:

  • $3,500 tuition award.
  • Complimentary PCMA membership for three years after graduation.
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare, and three nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: May 9, 2022

Continuing Education Scholarship

Tuition and year-round engagement scholarship for up to three (3) graduate students in the business events industry or those furthering their business events career.

The Continuing Education Scholarship is intended for those who have completed their undergraduate education and are pursuing a graduate degree.

Each recipient will receive:

  • $3,500 tuition award.
  • Complimentary PCMA membership for one year.
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare, and three nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, OH.

Deadline: May 9, 2022

Foundation Scholars Program

This scholarship program, supported by NYC & Company and PCMA Foundation, provides five (5) undergraduate students with numerous benefits and year-round engagement within the business events industry.

The Foundation Scholars Program is intended for anyone currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. At least one semester of an undergraduate program must be completed at the time of application. Each recipient will receive:

  • $3,500 tuition award.
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare, and three nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, Ohio.

Deadline: May 9, 2022

VIP Hosted Group Opportunity at PCMA EduCon

As a member of a VIP Hosted Group at EduCon you will have the opportunity to engage with a small (5-10) group of business event professionals throughout the conference while building a relationship with a PCMA partner.

Each VIP Hosted Group member receives the following:
1. Complimentary registration to EduCon
2. Complimentary Give Back Bash ticket
3. VIP Seating at Mainstage sessions and Lunches
4. A customized event itinerary which may include invitations to a focus group, hosted dinner, and/or cocktail reception
5. A $300 travel stipend* (participation in partner events is mandatory to be eligible)

*Please note that housing and airfare arrangements are the responsibility of the individual. A travel stipend will be issued post-conference. Your email address will be shared with your VIP Hosted Group sponsor if selected to participate.

Deadline: April 30, 2022

Education Conference All Access Pass

The All-Access Pass Scholarship is hosted by the PCMA Foundation and awarded to five (5) business event professionals. This opportunity includes:

  •  Complimentary registration to 2022 PCMA EduCon
  • Three (3) nights accommodation
  • One (1) ticket to the Give Back Bash evening fundraising event
  • Special seating for Main Stage sessions and lunches

*If you have already registered for EduCon 2022 and are awarded this scholarship, a refund on your registration is not guaranteed. All other benefits will be honored.

Deadline: March 31, 2022

APAC DES Scholarship

To help support the APAC event management profession adapt to delivering impactful digital and hybrid events, the PCMA Foundation is gifting the region US$10,000 in scholarships to the highly coveted PCMA Digital Events Strategist (DES) Certification.

Open to members and non-members, 12 scholarships are available for emerging digital and hybrid event managers and planners who have worked on at least one digital or hybrid event this year.

Entry Criteria

  • Open to all Event Professionals (PCMA Members and Non-Members) working in Conferences, Corporate Events, Exhibitions, Incentives, Meetings or similar in the APAC region
  • You must be free and able to complete the Digital Events Strategist (DES) Course should the DES Scholarship be awarded in either the October intake (Beginning 4 October 2021) or the November intake (Beginning 1 November 2021).
  • Submission of a Digital/Hybrid Event Case Study to demonstrate some experience in this area. The event needs to be executed between 1 January 2020 and 24 September 2021.
  • Judges’ decision is final, and no consultation will be entered into.

Successful applicants will be contacted by a member of the PCMA APAC team by 29th September 2021. PCMA reserves the right to use the case study submissions at its discretion for content purposes.

Deadline: September 24, 2021

Wayfinder Award

The PCMA Foundation will honor an individual and an organization for their innovation, courage, leadership, and solution-focused approach when impacted by a significant external challenge. The awards will be given to those who have made an impact on the business events community, their organization and customers.

Nominations must be related to how the individual or organization has made an impact on the business events industry during the pandemic (in the year 2020). Nominations must showcase examples of innovation, courage and leaders, in creating a better environment for those around them.

Deadline: April 16, 2021

Digital Event Strategist Scholarship

The Digital Event Strategist certification is designed to help individuals and organizations develop, plan, produce, and measure the results of their digital engagement practices. There are a limited number of opportunities, each valued at over $890 USD. This scholarship is sponsored by the PCMA Foundation and includes the following: DES 6-week online course and exam to be used during the April or May course offerings.

Deadline: February 28, 2021

CSPI + PCMA Membership Scholarship

Scholarships are available for young professionals in convention sales roles within the business events industry. Up to five (5) individuals will be selected. Recipients will receive:

• One year complimentary PCMA membership
• One year complimentary CSPI membership
• Recipients will be paired with a convention sales leader for mentorship
• Complimentary registration to PCMA’s Convening Leaders in January 2021
• Complimentary registration to CSPI’s annual meeting in February 2021

Deadline: December 15, 2020

Convening Leaders Independent Event Organizer or Small Business Owner Scholarship

This scholarship supports up to twenty (20) independent business event professionals or small business owners to participate in Convening Leaders 2021. Recipients receive: Complimentary registration to Convening Leaders 2021 and a one-year PCMA professional membership.

Deadline: November 9, 2020

University Engagement Scholarship

This scholarship supports up to five (5) universities seeking to engage with PCMA. Scholarship will provide benefits to 1 Faculty member and 20 Students per university program. Students receive: Complimentary registration to Convening Leaders 2021. Faculty members receive: Complimentary registration to Convening Leaders 2021, and a one year PCMA faculty membership.

Deadline: November 9, 2020

PCMA Student Chapter of the Year

Awarded to up to two (2) PCMA student chapters to be used for educational programming. The winning chapters will receive a $1,000 financial award.

Deadline: November 9, 2020

CMP Online Prep Course Scholarship

PCMA Foundation will provide twenty five (25) CMP Online Prep Course Scholarships. The CMP Online Course Prep consists of 9 study modules, with practice exams and printable outlines to help individuals study for the Certified Meeting Professional Exam administered by the Events Industry Council. Recipients receive: Access to the CMP Online Prep Course and EIC recommended text books, valued at $611. Recipients will also receive a one-year complimentary membership to PCMA. 

Deadline: November 9, 2020

Leadership Coaching with Kati Quigley

Exclusive leadership coaching sessions with business events industry leader, Kati Quigley, are available for mid-career professionals looking to repurpose their skills for a new career opportunity. Up to three (3) individuals will be selected to receive ten (10) hours of coaching tailored to the individual’s unique career goals. More information about Kati.

Deadline: November 9, 2020

Convening Asia Pacific: The Global Recovery Forum Scholarship

Interested in attending Convening Asia Pacific: The Global Recovery Forum? The PCMA Foundation supports select individuals to attend the event complimentary either in-person in Sydney or digitally on 10 November, 2020.

  • Registration fee USD $99
  • Access to all educational sessions
  • Conference meals and breaks (applicable for in-person attendees)

Deadline: November 4, 2020

Greater Midwest Chapter Student Scholarship

The Greater Midwest Chapter of PCMA is pleased to offer (1) tuition-based scholarship exclusively for student leaders within the GMC PCMA Community. Applicants are considered based on academic record, written essay, meetings industry experience, letters of recommendation and GMC PCMA involvement.

  • $5,000 tuition based scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year. Funds are distributed directly to your college or university

Deadline: April 30, 2020

Future Leaders Scholarship

This scholarship program, supported by SmithBucklin, supports up to five (5) individuals each year who will be entering their Junior or Senior year at University in Fall of 2019.

  • $1000 tuition award
  • Complimentary registration, roundtrip airfare, and 4 nights housing at PCMA Convening Leaders (2020)
  • Complimentary registration at PCMA Education Conference (2020)
  • Shadow opportunity with the SmithBucklin Team in the DC or Chicago office (Summer 2020)
  • PCMA membership for one year

Deadline: October 7, 2019

Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship

Tuition-based scholarship, supported by Canadian giving, awarded to up to ten (10) undergraduate students.

  • $2000 tuition award

Deadline: October 7, 2019

Medical Business Events Professional Scholarship

This scholarship program, supported by Visit Houston and PCMA Foundation, supports up to five (5) Medical Business Event Professionals seeking to engage with PCMA.

  • PCMA membership for one year.
  • Complimentary registration and three nights housing at 2020 PCMA Convening Leaders in San Francisco.

Deadline: August 9, 2019

European Influencers Summit Education Grant

Interested in attending the European Influencers Summit? The PCMA Foundation funds select individuals to attend the event complimentary.

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation (22 September – 23 September 2019)
  • Round trip economy airfare up to 400 euros/460 USD
  • Registration fee
    • This is inclusive of ALL educational sessions, conference meals and breaks, networking events and transfers.

Deadline: June 30, 2019