North American Student Competition

The Business Events Industry Student Challenge engages competing teams on their knowledge and understanding of the industry to create and propose a successful event. The goal of this challenge is to have a proposal for a meeting, incentive trip, exhibition, tradeshow, consumer show, convention, conference, congress or product launch.


2020/21 theme: PCMA Recovery Discovery

The teams may choose to focus on any number of the following clusters in relation to the competition’s parameters:

  • Participant Engagement
  • New Business Models
  • Reskilling
  • Webinars and Online Meetings
  • Hybrid Events
  • Hub and Spoke Event Model
  • Omni-Channel Events
  • Micro Communities


Students will first be evaluated based on their proposals. A committee of industry professionals will score the proposals, narrowing them down to the top five. The top five teams will then be invited to present their final proposal, virtually via Zoom, to the panel; this will include a 5-minute Pitch Presentation and a 5-10 minute Q&A session. These presentations will be rebroadcast to the general public.

The winning team will then be invited to present their pitch during a concurrent session at Convening Leaders.


August 17th, 2020Registration Opens
April 1st – Deadline for submission of proposals
April 12th – Judging concludes. Finalists are announced
Week of May 1st – Virtual presentation to judges*. Winner announced immediately following
Week of May 8th– Webinar broadcast to PCMA’s Global Audience
July – Winning team presents at PCMA Educon

*Presentations can be done live or submitted as a pre-recorded video however teams are responsible for playback and at least 3 team members must be available for live Q&A with the judges. 

2019 Competition Recording


PCMA Business Events Compass
Compass is PCMA’s business events industry global recovery plan and is the starting point on PCMA’s Recovery Discovery journey.

COVID-19 Recovery Dashboards
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, PCMA and Convene will be surveying business event professionals — planners and suppliers — to understand our community’s short- and long-term business expectations.

The Future of Live Events (White Paper) Brought to you by Greater Fort Lauderdale
PCMA and Greater Fort Lauderdale explore the opportunities and hurdles that the industry may face going forward.

The Future of Meetings and Events
PCMA Foundation in partnership with Marriott International, Research conducted by Fahrenheit 212

Future Meeting Space
PCMA Foundation in partnership with German Convention Bureau, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, and European Association of Event Centres (EVVC)

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