February 23, 2012
The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) saw 3,751 attendees at its annual four-day education conference, Convening Leaders, in San Diego, Calif., Jan. 9-12.
Known for its variety of breakout sessions and streamed content, PCMA went one step further this year, offering attendees complimentary admittance to the co-located Virtual Edge Summit.
The conference averaged about two keynote speakers a day, tasked with enlightening and inspiring those who have seen it all. Engagement, first impressions, social gaming, the unconscious mind, and the idea human beings can be reduced to “life code” were discussed and re-discussed days later. Closing keynote speaker Bert Jacobs challenged everyone to live like we did as a child, with our arms wide open.
The conference’s networking functions took attendees from a ballroom at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, to the USS Midway for the Party with a Purpose fundraiser and into the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter for the “Urban Convergence” block party.
- The opening general session included three 20-minute presentations by keynote speakers on three different topics. One speaker did a virtual presentation, while attendees could attend breakout sessions by the other two keynotes if they chose.
- Breakfast was served in an expanded learning lounge, which featured formal and informal presentations on hybrid and virtual events, hot topics and community connections, as well as a hands-on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) tech lab. The learning lounge was available throughout the conference.
- Convening Leaders offered three days of optional fitness classes, which included Zumba, Pilates and a Fun Run/Walk on the final morning (pre-registration required).
- In an effort to reduce PCMA’s carbon footprint, shuttle numbers were reduced and sponsored petty cabs offered attendees complimentary transportation.