PCMA Convening Leaders 2018 – Key Take-aways
FEBRUARY 1, 2018

PCMA always starts the New Year with a bang with its Convening Leaders event, and 2018 was no different. From January 8-10, meeting professionals from around the world were treated to the best of Nashville, Tennessee and of some of the top trends shaping the current meetings industry. The event attracted a record attendance of over 4,500 in-person and somewhere between 1,500 and 1,900 online registrations.

Convening Leaders is the largest non-tradeshow gathering of event professionals and suppliers, and is known for its strong educational focus. Attendees had their choice among a plethora of sessions, workshops, broadcasts, simulcasts—you name it. While some attendees might have found it overwhelming at times, World PCO Alliance President Gregg Talley, who was in attendance, understood the purpose behind this approach. "I think it reflects how different generations think and interact-the theory goes that this varied program increases the opportunity for serendipitous meetings and associations."

Any association can relate to the push for a more global representation, both within their memberships and in their event attendance, a trend that played out at Convening Leaders. "Most noticeable was the international attendance by destinations and students,” says Gregg. “PCMA is making a huge push to be more global in all aspects of what it does."

For those who didn’t attend the event, Gregg offers what he considers to be the key take-aways:
• Learn how to turn a meeting inside out and add interactive elements to transform even a huge event into a more intimate experience.
• Stay on top of current event technologies. Even if you aren’t in a position to invest in all of it, or even if you don’t require it, it’s always good to be aware of what is out there and how other events are leveraging these tools.
• Don’t be afraid to experiment with different meeting formats. It’s okay to fail—even in front of your members!
• Find opportunities to interact with supplier partners in non-tradeshow environments. These alternate environments offer a different dynamic that can be rewarding for both parties.

The learning opportunities offered by PCMA Convening Leaders make it one of the key annual events that Alliance partners have in their calendars. But as Gregg Talley points out, attending events like Convening Leaders is not something he only does for himself. "Alliance members stay current by participating, speaking and continuously learning in the business events space so our clients don’t have to!"


The IAPCO Annual Meeting and General Assembly is always one of the must-attend events in the industry, and this year's edition was no exception. Click here to read all about it.