Give Back, Help Out, Pitch In at Convening Leaders


social impact

Hospitality Helping Hands volunteers at work Jan. 6 at Convening Leaders 2019 in Pittsburgh. (Jacob Slaton)

What can you do for others? PCMA has taken that question to heart, offering more opportunities than ever to make a difference at Convening Leaders 2019. From volunteer activities to ways to donate and from educational sessions to charity parties, there are plenty of options for philanthropy and fun.

“We strongly believe business events bring people and communities together, serving as a catalyst for social progress,” said PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat. “Connecting individuals through social impact projects transforms lives and creates a legacy extending beyond the gathering itself.”

Volunteer activities began Sunday and continue through Wednesday, Jan. 9. On Sunday, participants provided support to homeless mothers-to-be during PCMA’s Hospitality Helping Hands off-site event benefiting Beverly’s Birthdays. Participants created packages filled with essential items for newborn babies. And on Monday, volunteers with Operation Gratitude made care packages for Pittsburgh-based first responders and troops.

On Jan. 8, the organization PERIOD.org seeks help assembling menstrual kits for local women in need. And on Wednesday, Living in Liberty will create street outreach kits for local victims of human trafficking.

Another way you can make a difference during the conference is by participating in Empathy Sessions — immersive virtual-reality (VR) experiences meant to help participants better understand global challenges. Academics will be on site on level three outside the Ascent Studio to collect data about VR’s empathetic capabilities.

Looking for more? Write notes of encouragement to the survivors of the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting in Pittsburgh. The notes will be posted on the tree at PCMA Connect and then delivered to the synagogue following the conference.

When your caffeine craving kicks in, visit the PSAV Inspiration Café. Not only does this space provide warm drinks and networking areas, but this is also a way to give back to the Pittsburgh community. Also, stop by the Inspiration Café to assemble kits filled with crayons, paper, glue, and other supplies that will be given to public school children. Another café, sponsored by Hilton, will donate $5 for every latte served to Convening Leaders social impact efforts and the PCMA Foundation. You also can round up your purchase amount at any vendor, all of which will be donated to the PCMA Foundation.

Another way to give back to the community is by perusing local artisan wares from Shoppe 561 today in the lunchroom. Every item sold at Shoppe 561 contributes to the movement to end human trafficking.

Perhaps the most well-known Convening Leaders charitable event is Party with a Purpose, which was Monday and offered business events industry leaders an energetic and lively networking event. Party with a Purpose raised funds for Living in Liberty and the World Affairs Council’s Global Education Program.

“The PCMA Foundation supports local charities making a difference in the community and those that align with our core values,” said 2018 PCMA Board of Trustees Chair David Peckinpaugh. “PCMA is a strong believer in eliminating hatred and discrimination and we will continue to support organizations that uphold those tenets.”

Finally, three education sessions Jan. 8 will share how participants can create meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together.

  • Discover how to increase innovation, drive better business results, and improve employee engagement during “Improve Business Results With Diversity and Inclusion” from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. in Ballroom A.
  • Learn how to spot the warning signs that someone is being held against their will and what to do in such a situation during “Finding Solutions to Social Justice Issues from Human Trafficking to Homelessness” from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. in Room 408-410, level 4.
  • Discuss the role economic impact plays in advocacy and the value your event brings to a city during “Beyond the Spend: Does Your Event’s Economic Impact Matter?” from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. in Ballroom BC.

Convene content partner Ascent wrote this story.