10 Great Things to Look for at PCMA

January 6, 2017

PCMA Convening Leaders is set to kick off Jan. 8-11 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, and that means it’s time to start planning your itinerary as you gear up to join several thousand of your peers in the Live Music Capitol of the World. If you’ve attended the conference in the past, you know what to expect: three jam-packed days of mind-expanding education, a host of inspiring general sessions, plentiful networking opportunities, and fun events in and around the host venue and city.

To make the most of your Convening Leaders experience this year, here are a few things you won’t want to miss, both at the event and in one of the country’s coolest and hippest cities.

1. Education, Education, Education: With topics ranging from expo trends, event experience design and business event operations, to work/life integration, social media trends and leadership, there will be no lack of cutting-edge sessions to help boost your knowledge base. Learn how event producers pull off one of Austin’s most legendary multi-media events at “SXSW – the Makings of an Iconic Event,” on Monday at 3 p.m.

2. General Sessions: Convening Leaders is known for its inspirational roster of speakers, and this year will be no exception. Find out what value and trust mean in the digital age from author and academic Rachel Botsman; learn how “The Third Industrial Revolution” could help us meet our world’s future challenges from Economist and European Union advisor, Jeremy Rifkin, and feel more empowered to tackle personal and professional hurdles after hearing how CEO Isaac Lidsky beat seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve personal success.

3. Austin Destination Tour: This hop-on-and-off-style tour will introduce you to the city’s history and one-of-a-kind culture while showing you iconic points of interest, attractions and local hangouts. You’ll also have a chance to discover Austin’s six entertainment districts and familiarize yourself with each of their hotels and venues. 

4. Braindates: This unique and innovative platform enables you to set up one-on-one meetings with other like-minded attendees so you can connect, share insights and expertise, and enjoy a more meaningful, structured networking experience. Make sure to sign up in advance online!

5. Tech Central: This is your one-stop shop for all things event technology related. Experience hands-on tutorials at the Tech Bar and TechClinics; experience mind-blowing, immersive AR/VR, and become a social media strategy guru at the Social Media Hubs. You can even try your hand at Drone Racing!

6. Texas State Capitol: If you happen to have a free hour or two, make sure to check out the magnificent Capitol Building in downtown Austin, the largest capitol building in the U.S. (because yes, everything is bigger in Texas!). Take a free, 30-minute guided tour where you’ll learn a little national, state and local history, then stroll through the surrounding 22-acre grounds featuring 17 monuments, stunning historical buildings and beautiful landscaping.

7. Food Trucks: Known for its “food trailer” craze, Austin is home to more than 1,000 mobile food vendors serving up a vast variety of delicious, unpretentious and palate-pleasing culinary options year-round, from authentic Texas barbecue and tacos, to cupcakes and scrumptious vegan fare. Check out 20 of the top-rated food trucks HERE.

8. Learning Labs: From the Design Lab that highlights new concepts in design thinking, to the dynamic Content Development Lab providing the latest best practices for curating program education and engaging content, self-paced Learning Labs are engaging, interactive and creatively inspiring. And don’t forget to visit the Wellness Lab for brief, practical sessions on mind and body self-care, nutrition and stress management.

9. Bullock Texas State History Museum: This larger-than-life museum is a must-see for visitors interested in learning about the Lone Star State. Overflowing with fascinating, interactive galleries, this enormous treasury features more than 500 artifacts and the largest IMEX theater in Austin. Click HERE for more information.

10. Networking Parties: Between the music festival-themed “Austin Live 365!” opening celebration; the Party With a Purpose charity bash at Austin City Limits Live; Austin Live! After Hours parties and the AustiNite closing night reception, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to mix business with a little carefree fun. Cowboy boots optional!

Can’t attend Convening Leaders this year? PCMA has you covered with their streaming live hybrid event that includes a robust schedule of education and three general sessions. Go HERE to register. Click HERE to check out the full schedule.

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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: