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PCMA Gives Global Executives an Innovative Edge

7 December 2012 No Comment

By: Michelle Stoddard Crowley, Manager, Global Development
Professional Convention Management Association

While everyone was preparing for Thanksgiving, PCMA was in the midst of a big week in Barcelona. As EIBTM celebrated the 25th anniversary of its trade show, PCMA was celebrating our first Global Executive Edge program. Our membership has expanded around the world, and this inaugural event highlighted the organization’s continuing efforts to deliver innovative tools to the international meetings community.

The main topic of the program was innovation. Everyone in the meetings industry loves to use the word, but what does it really mean? In our five-hour interactive program, Frans Johannsson, author of The Medici Effect, challenged 40 attendees to reconsider how we can all adopt truly outside-the-box approaches to designing engaging experiences.

If you haven’t read Johansson’s acclaimed book, I recommend it as bedside material for anyone looking to awaken a new sense of imaginative energy. Consider it your holiday gift to yourself – - and your organization.

Meeting Global Meeting Professionals

With more than 15,000 participants on the EIBTM show floor, the PCMA booth was packed with a diverse range of meeting and event planners from around the globe. From seeing current PCMA members to connecting with new colleagues, these big events provide a chance to get a first-hand account of the issues that are impacting our community today and tomorrow. We brought seven hosted buyers with us to Barcelona who were all very vocal as the effectiveness of the EIBTM show model. They returned home with plenty of new contacts and new potential business partners.

International Education

PCMA did more than shake hands and man the show booth – - our leaders were in front of EIBTM participants to contribute their own knowledge to the show’s learning component. In addition to speaking on a panel during EIBTM’s Forum, PCMA’s COO Sherrif Karamat, CAE, presented a session on hybrid meetings during IAPCO’s Wednesday session. PCMA SVP-Education and Meetings, Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP, added her perspective to the hybrid discussion in her “Innovation in Meetings” session, too. Kelly also took center stage as a panelist on EIBTM’s Great Association Debate.

International Exploration

When I wasn’t in the PCMA booth or the EIBTM classroom, I was making the most of my time in the inspiring city of Barcelona. I’ve spent time here on four occasions, and the city continues to surprise me with new places to try delicious Spanish and Catalan food and new neighborhoods to tour.

On Tuesday, I didn’t have to explore, though. Thanks to Worldwide Convention Specialists, PCMA joined convention center representatives for dinner. From Cape Town to Kuala Lumpur to Toronto, Glasgow and Stockholm, the evening gave me the opportunity to hear a wide range of perspectives on what’s happening at convention centers across the globe.

As we look ahead to 2013, PCMA will continue to provide members with the tools and resources they need to navigate the changing landscape of the global meetings industry. If you have questions about our hosted buyer opportunities or our global initiatives, please contact me at mcrowley@pcma.org.

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