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.


2019 theme: Face to Face in the Digital Era

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

  • Media & Digital Content
  • Hybrid Events and Broadcasting
  • Beacons
  • Blockchain
  • Mobile Apps
  • Mobile Check-In
  • Piracy
  • Phishing
  • Webinars


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 awarded a fully sponsored trip to attend the Convening Leaders and invited to present their pitch during a concurrent session.


August 12thRegistration Opens
October 15th – Deadline for submission of proposals
November 11th – Judging concludes. Finalists are announced.
December 2nd – Virtual presentation to judges and audience. Winner announced immediately following.
December 10th – Webinar broadcast to PCMA’s Global Audience 
January 6th – Winning team presents at PCMA Convening Leaders 2020 in San Francisco

2019 Competition Recording


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)



Derrick M. Johnson II, CMP, DES
Senior Director of Meetings – The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers


Mary Pat Heftman
President, Restaurant Show Group – Winsight, LLC


Lauren Kramer, CAE
Founder & Principal – Meeting Priorities, LLC


Jack Patronski
Executive Vice President, Industry Development – GES

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