PCMA unveils new acquisitions at Convening Leaders

The association has added the Event Leadership Institute and the Event Marketing Association UK to its portfolio, and also will partner with a scientific association to tackle climate change.

(Left to right) Sherrif Karamat, president and CEO of PCMA and CEMA; Randy Fiser, CEO and executive director of AGU; Jason Dunn, executive director of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals; Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International; and Howard Givner, senior vice president of knowledge and innovation for PCMA.
(Left to right) Sherrif Karamat, president and CEO of PCMA and CEMA; Randy Fiser, CEO and executive director of AGU; Jason Dunn, executive director of the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals; Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destinations International; and Howard Givner, senior vice president of knowledge and innovation for PCMA. Photo Credit: Michael J. Shapiro

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has announced a slew of acquisitions and partnerships at the 2023 Convening Leaders, which is taking place 8-11 January in Columbus, Ohio. An estimated 3,300 meeting professionals are in attendance.

In an effort to bolster its educational offerings, PCMA has acquired the Event Leadership Institute (ELI), which provides meetings industry training, professional development and education. Current PCMA members will receive immediate access to ELI's existing content library.

"PCMA and the PCMA Foundation will continue to make new investments in the development of education and learning products as part of its plan to ensure the industry continues to be innovative today so that all can thrive tomorrow," said PCMA and president and CEO Sherrif Karamat, who also holds the same positions with the Corporate Event Marketing Association.

The ELI team, including founder and CEO Howard Givner, will join PCMA's ranks. Givner's new role will be senior vice president of knowledge and learning for the organisation. In addition, ELI's 800 existing members, subscribers and business partners will be folded into the business in the coming weeks.

Givner echoed Karamat's message on the importance of innovation and education to help future-proof the industry. "We need to be more agile in developing new skills to adapt to whatever comes next. This is going to require a big effort and that means we need big partners," he said. "With PCMA's resources, global reach and industry leadership, we're going to take meetings learning and innovation to the next level."

PCMA also announced the acquisition of the Event Marketing Association — UK, a community of more than 800 corporate event marketing professionals across a variety of industry segments and brands. The organisation will immediately become part of the PCMA portfolio, building on the success of CEMA, which was acquired by PCMA in 2020.

"EMA was founded back in 2013 exclusively for the in-house UK corporate event profs. We've grown our membership from a handful of like-minded individuals to currently just under 1,000 members across the UK, achieving a lot along that journey, through knowledge exchange and collaboration across our membership," said EMA chair Richard Waddington. "PCMA will bring far greater resources and capabilities, opportunities for greater growth, and most important, far greater value for our members and partners."

New partnerships put climate change, DEI at the forefront

Recognising that climate change poses one of the biggest threats to the global business-events industry, PCMA had developed a strategic partnership with the American Geophysical Union to drive action on sustainability. The international scientific association will work with PCMA on the following five goals:

  • Designing sustainable events;

  • Driving discussions on climate change;

  • Recognising innovation and thought leadership within the industry;

  • Providing resources and education to help support the business-events community; and

  • Collecting data and establishing goals for reducing the carbon footprint of meetings.

Karamat noted that the partnership would allow PCMA to collaborate with climate experts and scientists, leading the charge towards a more sustainable future. "This is our opportunity to step in front of issues, instead of being in this constant hamster wheel where we are just reacting and reacting. We cannot afford to react," he said.

PCMA also plans to strengthen its partnership with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, which is a co-locating partner of Business Events Industry Week, to be held 6-9 March in National Harbor, Md.

Source: Northstar Meetings Group



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