PCMA Convening Leaders 2019, By the Numbers

January 15, 2019

Pittsburgh put on one heck of a show for several thousand industry leaders last week at PCMA’s Convening Leaders annual conference, held Jan. 6-9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The theme hit hard on innovation in an ever-changing industry.

“We built this conference around the theme 'Disrupt + Deliver' because that’s what the industry needs and wants,’’ explained PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat. “We leave here with a greater commitment and better understanding of how business events can and must drive economic and social progress.’’

A roster of standout speakers included tennis champion and advocate Billie Jean King, actor and advocate Geena Davis, author and marketing pro Seth Godin, and PERIOD founder Nadya Okamoto.

Here’s how the event broke down, by the numbers:

  • 4,000 business events strategists and industry leaders in attendance
  • 36 countries represented
  • 1,200 guests who tuned in via live stream
  • 138 experts, advocates, industry leaders and celebrities in attendance
  • 54% of presenters were female
  • 75 age of Billie Jean King, who spoke candidly about her 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match
  • 68 one-on-one on-site meetings scheduled through the Braindate platform
  • $300,000 raised through on-site fundraising projects
  • $664,000 funded in grants and scholarships through PCMA Foundation
  • $5 donated to Convening Leaders social impact efforts and the PCMA Foundation for every latte served at a Hilton-sponsored onsite cafe
  • 20 local families in need who received newborn care packages built by volunteers
  • $200 won by each member of the winning hackathon team who tackled a challenge regarding how to create “sticky” learning opportunities at PCMA’s Education Conference in June

Several big announcements were also made at Convening Leaders. As part of its new vision that business events can also be drivers of positive social change, PCMA announced its commitment to combat child exploitation by signing The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism.

The Meetings Mean Business Coalition also announced plans to continue promoting the intrinsic value of face-to-face meetings and events while protecting the industry from financial or reputational threats.

PCMA will continue to expand its global presence this year through a dozen Knowledge Exchanges in Europe and Asia-Pacific, in addition to the PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards on May 7 in Washington, D.C., the Education Conference June 25-28 in Los Angeles, and the APAC Annual Conference, Nov. 6-8 in Macau.

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Partner Voices

From apps to chatbots to completely redesigned meeting spaces, technology is revolutionizing how events are planned, executed and experienced. It’s now at the core of most successful events and, ultimately, is instrumental in helping attendees forge meaningful connections and gain insight. The opportunities to create truly impactful experiences will only increase with the rise of “all-in-one” tech tools and the introduction of 5G internet.