Why I'm Excited to go to PCMA's Convening Leaders Annual Meeting in Boston

January 10, 2014

Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is Executive Vice President of Business Development at Tarsus Group, US. Follow her on Twitter @TSNN_Rachel.

Every year, one of the industry meetings I really look forward to going to is the Professional Convention Management Association’s Convening Leaders annual event, which runs Jan. 11-14 this week in Boston.

There are several reasons why I am REALLY excited about this year’s event:

1.       It’s in Boston. I absolutely LOVE Boston, and I haven’t been there in a few years. It’s a fantastic city in every way, but I especially love the people, history and Boston has some great convention center venues and hotels.

2.       PCMA always delivers AMAZING educational sessions. There are so many to go to that I’m interested in, I have to really be discerning in figuring out which ones to choose. One of the sessions I am particularly interested in is “Crisis Management: The Boston Marathon Case Study”. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) was moving into Hynes Convention Center for its annual meeting when two now-infamous bombs shattered the celebration at the Boston Marathon finish line and this session will take a look at how they managed to still hold their event.

3.       I always like that PCMA mixes up their educational offerings – it’s not just all the same type of session. There’s an area called Tech Central where people can check out the latest trends in event technology, there are interactive sessions at the Learning Lounge that will allow people to discuss group topics and there are the PCMA Business School and Masters Series, to name just a few.

4.       PCMA also always has GREAT keynotes, and this year is no exception. Lisa Bodell from Future Think will lead the opening general session and talk about how organizations can get ‘unstuck’ from the status quo. The next morning, Mike Walsh from SpeakInc. Will talk with attendees about how to design their organization for the future and the last day features Salman Khan from the Khan Academy talking about “The One World School House: Education Reimagined”.

5.       PCMA has the BEST hybrid event in the industry. I couldn’t make it to last year’s meeting at the last minute and took part online instead and thought it was extremely well executed. If you can’t make it this year, sign up here to still take part: http://conveningleaders.pcma.org/attend/hybrid-event

6.       The networking is awesome at PCMA. The opening night will be at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Centre with yummy local food and bands, the next night is ‘open hospitality’ and PCMA’s annual “Party with a Purpose”. I’ll be taking in a Boston Celtics game with Reno Tahoe USA and then heading to the party most likely. There are plenty more exciting networking events planned and even the refreshment breaks between sessions are perfectly planned.

7.       Of course, one of my very favorite parts of an industry meeting like this is seeing all the PEOPLE. I love the people in the meetings and trade show industry. I’ve been a part of this community for 8 years now and enjoy every, single minute of it. I can’t wait to see everyone there!

I could go on and on, but I think everyone gets the picture. I’m psyched to be at this meeting and if you want to follow what TSNN is up to there I am TSNN_Rachel on Twitter and the hashtag is #pcmaCL.

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