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.


2021 theme: Combating Human Trafficking

The teams may choose to focus on any number of the following clusters, but are not limited to just these, in relation to the competition’s parameters:

  • Training
  • Legislative Advocacy
  • Prevention
  • Safety Tips


Teams will first be evaluated based on their proposals. Teams should not exceed 4-5 members. 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 receive complimentary round-trip air transportation, accommodation, and registration at Convening Leaders. The team will be invited to present their pitch during a concurrent session at Convening Leaders.


August 16th – Registration Opens
September 9, 14, 15, 23, October 6 & 11 – Open zoom calls with PCMA Team members to ask questions
November 9th – Deadline for submission of proposals
November 23rd – Judging concludes. Finalists are announced.
Week of December 6th – Virtual presentation to judges*. Winner announced immediately following.
December 15th – Webinar broadcast to PCMA’s Global Audience
January 10th – Winning team presents at PCMA Convening Leaders

*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. 

2020/2021 Competition Recording

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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