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PCMA is the leading resource and premier educator for professionals in the meetings and convention industry.


PCMATODAY April 2012


Breaking the (Conference) Mold


PCMA’s Education Conference goes deep, with customized sessions exploring the links between leadership and revenue generation and expense management.


Not all meeting topics are created equal, so why should all sessions be a uniform length and format? PCMA broke the mold at 2012 Convening Leaders—to rave reviews —and will continue to lead the industry in rewriting the rules about meeting design at the PCMA Education Conference, June 10–13 at the Marriott San Antonio Rivercenter on the city’s famous RiverWalk. The conference attracts committed,


those two topics,” Crane said, “exploring them in depth, but applying them to multiple perspectives.” An important feature will be interactive “Deep Dive” ses-


sions, which will go longer than traditional sessions and give attendees a chance not just to hear new ideas, but to create plans for how relevant strategies can be helpful in their own work. And time will be set aside for informal and structured discussions that will allow “attendees to internalize what they are learning and make the transition into applying ideas and strategies,” Crane said. Attendees can partici- pate in smaller shared-interest group discussions, as well as in end-of-the day recaps of conference ideas. Other Education Conference features include:  A “State of PCMA” session, discussing trends


passionate meeting professionals who are oriented toward leadership, according to Kristin Crane, PCMA’s director of edu- cation, who said: “The emphasis is on connection, communi- cation, and specialized experience.” Daily general sessions will feature thought leaders who


can offer attendees a “big-picture” perspective, Crane said, and will include SmithBucklin Corporation President and CEO Henry Givray (see Convene’s interview on p. 73), futurist Michael Rogers, and author and speaker Mark Scharenbroich. At times, the conference will literally regroup, into sessions that will focus deeply on two areas critical to the success of individuals and organizations: revenue generation and expense management. Strategies toward achieving mastery in both areas will be threaded throughout a variety of topics, such as creating virtual meeting components or negotiating with suppliers. “The idea is to apply a concentrated focus on


12 pcmaconvene April 2012


in the industry and how PCMA can continue to meet members’ needs in the future.  A “fishbowl” conversation where meeting plan-


ners and suppliers can compare candid notes on what they expect from one another.  A “pre-test” that will help attendees assess their


needs and determine how they should spend their time at the conference, along with a post-conference assessment that will allow attendees to calculate their own personal ROI from attending the meeting.


“Our goal,” Crane said, “is that attendees will leave the


meeting having learned new strategies and processes that can immediately become part of their toolkits.” Registration is open for the 2012 Education Conference at pcma.org/educon.


www.pcma.org


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