Staff Reporters
Feb 9, 2018

Convening Leaders: A lesson in engagement

PCMA reports record attendance at 2018 event in Nashville.

Convening Leaders: A lesson in engagement

The 62nd edition of PCMA’s Convening Leaders event, which took place at Music City Center in Nashville last month, welcomed 4,457 participants from 45 countries — marking a year-on-year increase of seven per cent and setting a new attendance record for the annual event.

More than 50 per cent of attendees were business events strategists from the association and corporate sectors (80 per cent and 20 per cent respectively) and 43 per cent industry suppliers.

As well as those who met face-to-face in Nashville, 1,604 participants followed Convening Leaders LIVE online and, in collaboration with SACEOS, an additional 109 meeting professionals in APAC tuned in to a delayed broadcast at watch parties organised at Singapore PSB Academy City Campus and Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Newly appointed PCMA president and CEO, Sherrif Karamat, said: “We were so pleased with this year’s attendance and event engagement. We endeavoured to ensure innovation and technology presented at the event exceed expectations; it was affirming to see first-hand the response to the new features we introduced and world-renowned speakers that commanded our stage.”

This year’s event was created under the central theme of “Amplifying Engagement”, specifically chosen for its ‘Music City’ location.

Two powerful keynote speakers presented notions of leadership, and what it means to be a leader. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, former United States Army general and veteran of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, inspired attendees to think outside the box when applying leadership in their business, while social innovator and philanthropist Bill Strickland delivered an emotional presentation on ethical leadership to enact social change.

This year’s event also saw the installation of a new ‘Future of Face2Face’ zone, where industry experts discussed the evolving business environment and changing brand strategies. Alongside a series of interactive sessions, this space also featured a technology showcase and an impressive 65-foot-by-18-foot wall of HD screens known as ‘The Mix’. Designed by Freeman, The Mix allowed attendees to plug into different conference sessions, watch breaking news or access industry-led content using headsets.

For a dramatic close, Nashville’s iconic Musicians’ Hall of Fame hosted a concert for Convening Leaders attendees, where guests met Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members Steve Cropper, Duane Eddy and Billy Cox, who played bass for the legendary Jimmy Hendrix. The evening concluded with an unforgettable music performance by GRAMMY award-winning artists, Peter Frampton and Little Big Town.

Next year’s PCMA Convening Leaders will take place in Pittsburgh at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center from 6-9 January 2019.

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