Scholarships & Opportunities

The PCMA Foundation supports professional success and continued education at every stage in the career journey through awarding scholarships each year. Questions? Contact [email protected]

Currently Open

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, four (4) nights of housing and round-trip airfare for Convening Leaders 2025 in Houston, TX
  • 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 2025
  • 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 16, 2024

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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

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, 2024

Convening Leaders University Engagement Scholarship (for local Houston 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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

Convening Leaders Faculty Scholarship

  • This scholarship supports up to ten (10) university faculty to attend Convening Leaders 2025. 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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

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 2025 PCMA Convening Leaders in Houston, TX
  • 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, 2024

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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

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 2025 in Houston, TX.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

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, 2024

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 2025 registration, housing, and airfare, one-on-one coaching with Deborah Sexton, and a complimentary membership for 3 years.

Deadline: September 30, 2024

Closed

Convening EMEA 2024 All Access Pass

The Convening EMEA All Access Pass Scholarship is hosted by the PCMA Foundation and awarded to twenty (20) business event professionals. This opportunity includes:

•    Registration to 2024 Convening EMEA in Barcelona 30th September – 2nd October

•    Choice of offsite Exploration Tours – 30th Sept

•    Welcome Reception

•    Event Dinner

•    All access pass to the onsite event and event platform, pre-, during and post-event

•    Refreshments & lunches

•    Barcelona travel pass

•    Post-event access to the event platform for 12 months

•    Travel Allowance (Roundtrip, economy airfare – up to $400 within Europe and up to $750 outside of Europe)

Deadline: May 10, 2024

edUcon 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:

· Registration to 2024 PCMA EduCon in Detroit, June 23 – 26

· Four (4) nights accommodation

· Roundtrip, economy airfare (up to $500 USD)

· One (1) ticket to the Give Back Bash evening fundraising event

· Special seating for Main Stage sessions

Deadline: April 1, 2024

Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship

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

  • $7,500 tuition award.

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 four nights housing at 2025 PCMA Convening Leaders in Houston, TX.

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 four nights housing at 2025 PCMA Convening Leaders in Houston, TX.

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 four nights housing at 2025 PCMA Convening Leaders in Houston, TX.

EDI Apprenticeship Program

The EDI Apprenticeship Program is designed to expose individuals who have a passion for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry with a paid career exploration opportunity and valuable hands on cross-training experience. Throughout various departments of the host and partner organizations, apprentices will hone their skills in areas like marketing, sales, events, and communications. Industry partners provide rotation opportunities resulting in a unique apprenticeship experience.

  • The 2023-2024 Apprenticeship Program includes the opportunity to receive:
    • An overview of Choose Chicago and the impact of tourism in our local economy
    • Career tracks focused on event planning and event operations with the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and United Airlines.
  • All applicants must commit to a 600-hour apprenticeship (not to exceed six months unless noted) with availability to work at least 32 – 40 hours per week.
  • Selected applicant will receive a paid stipend during the program (minimum $17/hour), along with transportation and meal support.
  • Selected applicant must successfully pass a drug test, background check and show proof of being fully vaccinated.
  • Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship program, (1) selected applicant will be offered full-time employment as a coordinator level full time position at PCMA.
  • Travel will be included as part of the program. All travel-related expenses will be included.
  • All applicants must be age 21 or over and a resident of Chicago (preferred) or Illinois suburban communities.

*If a position cannot be offered with one of our corporate partners, Tourism Diversity Matters will assist Choose Chicago with job placement.

Hosted Buyer Program

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 2024 in San Diego.

This opportunity includes:

  • Complimentary registration for Convening Leaders in San Diego

  • Three (3) nights hotel accommodations

  • Flight stipend (up to $500 USD)

Buyers are required to participate in all of their scheduled appointments and the Hosted Buyer luncheon held on Sunday, January 7.

Deadline: Sept. 18, 2023

Chair of PCMA Board of Directors and Trustees – Shadow Experience Scholarship

This scholarship supports one (1) individual with at least 3 years of professional experience in the business events industry. This is a remarkable opportunity to shadow Desirée Knight, CAE, CMP Fellow, DES, in her role as the PCMA Board Chair at Convening Leaders 2024. Desirée is the Senior Director, Meetings & Events for American Psychological Association, has served on the PCMA Board of Directors since 2019, and is currently the Chair of the PCMA Board of Directors and Trustees.

Applicants should demonstrate a passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the business events industry.

Scholarship recipient receives: Convening Leaders 2024 registration, 4 nights housing, round-trip airfare (up to $400 USD), and an exclusive one-on-one shadow experience with Desirée Knight throughout the conference.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

Convening Leaders Faculty Scholarship

This scholarship supports up to ten (10) university faculty to attend Convening Leaders 2024. 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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

Convening Leaders University Engagement Scholarship (for local San Diego 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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 2024 in San Diego, CA.

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 18, 2023

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 18, 2023

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 2024 registration, housing, and airfare, one-on-one coaching with Deborah Sexton, and a complimentary membership for 3 years

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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

  • PCMA membership for one year
  • $1000 in support of the charity of their choice
  • Three nights housing and registration for 2024 Convening Leaders
  • Invitations to attend hosted activities by Louisville Tourism during Convening Leaders 2024
  • Ticket to PCMA Foundation’s Party with a Purpose at 2024 Convening Leaders
  • Ticket to PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards in 2024
  • 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 2024

Deadline: September 18, 2023

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 2024 PCMA Convening Leaders in San Diego, CA.
  • 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 18, 2023

CEMA Summit All Access Pass brought to you by Visit Greater Palm Springs

This scholarship is hosted by Visit Greater Palm Springs and will be awarded to ten (10) business event professionals.

This opportunity includes:

  • Registration to 2023 CEMA Summit in Salt Lake City, August 6 – 8

  • Three (3) nights hotel accommodations

  • Roundtrip, economy airfare (up to $450 USD)

Scholarship applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a current CEMA member

  • Must be a business event marketer

  • Must be interested and able to attend CEMA Summit in Salt Lake City, August 6 – 8

Refunds cannot be guaranteed if you register prior to being awarded the scholarship*

Deadline: June 23, 2023

If applying for a Convening Leaders scholarship, please do not register for the conference until award decisions have been made as we cannot guarantee a refund on you registration.

Please note that scholarships involving Convening Leaders will officially open on June 26, 2023

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 must be completed by April 30, 2024

Convening EMEA Scholarship

The All-Access Pass Scholarship is hosted by the PCMA Foundation and awarded to twenty (20) business event professionals.

This opportunity includes:

  • Registration to 2023 Convening EMEA in Copenhagen 20th – 22nd September.
  • Choice of offsite Exploration Tours – 20th Sept
  • Welcome Reception at Copenhagen City Hall
  • A truly memorable Wonderful Copenhagen Dinner
  • Refreshments & lunch on 21st – 22nd September at the Bella Centre
  • 3 Day Copenhagen travel pass (including airport train)
  • Two (2) nights accommodation
  • Travel Allowance
  • Roundtrip, economy airfare (up to $400 within Europe and up to $750 outside of Europe)

Deadline: May 31, 2023

Convening EMEA Hosted Planner Application

The Hosted Planner groups are hosted by Convening EMEA Partners and awarded to (20) event planners. By completing this form, you are agreeing to participate in all the below:

This opportunity includes:

  • Registration to 2023 Convening EMEA in Copenhagen 20th – 22nd September
  • Choice of offsite Exploration Tours – 20th Sept
  • Welcome Reception at Copenhagen City Hall
  • Participation in your host’s programme that will compliment your event experience
  • Join your host for main stage session in a reserved seating area
  • A truly memorable Copenhagen Spectacle Dinner
  • Refreshments & lunch on 21st – 22nd September at the Bella Centre
  • 3 Day Copenhagen travel pass (including airport train)
  • Two (2) nights accommodation from 20th September

Deadline: May 31, 2023

EduCon Scholarship

EduCon Scholarship hosted by Business Events Montreal, for Event Organizers.

This scholarship is hosted by Business Events Montreal and will be awarded to ten (10) business event professionals.

This opportunity includes:

  • Registration to 2023 PCMA EduCon in Montreal, June 25 – 28

  • Three (3) nights hotel accommodations (Sun-Wed)

Scholarship applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Largest meeting attendance must equal 500+ delegates

  • Must be considering Canada as part of bid year rotation in the next 3 years

  • Country of residence is outside of Canada

Scholarship recipients commit to the following:

  • Attendance to Montreal hosted client event at EduCon

  • Participation in reserved seating section at Main Stage sessions

Deadline to apply: April 13, 2023

Refunds cannot be guaranteed if you register prior to being awarded the scholarship*

Deadline: April 13, 2023

EduCon 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:

  • Registration to 2023 PCMA EduCon in Montreal, June 25 – 28
  • Four (4) nights accommodation
  • Roundtrip, economy airfare (up to $400 USD)
  • One (1) ticket to the Give Back Bash evening fundraising event
  • Special seating for Main Stage sessions

Deadline: March 31, 2023

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

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

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

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