5 Highlights from PCMA Convening Leaders

Each year, we at CadmiumCD renew our commitment to the conferences and events industry at leading industry meetings. That’s why we love attending PCMA Convening Leaders at the beginning of January. It’s a time to refresh, refocus, connect with current clients and old friends, learn from great minds, and set the tone for the rest of the year.

This year, Convening Leaders was especially important to us, as it was the first year that PCMA used CadmiumCD’s Abstract Scorecard to help streamline their meeting planning process for the event. In celebration of the new year, we wanted to invite you to take a moment to go through some of the biggest highlights from this year’s Convening Leaders.

5 Highlights from Convening Leaders


1. Great Educational Content

We were thrilled when PCMA came to us and said they wanted to do things a little differently for 2017. Instead of the traditional call for papers, where speakers submit their abstracts and a review committee selects presentation based on merit, PCMA wanted attendees to share content ideas via a ‘story,’ effectively crowdsourcing the submissions process.

The experiment was a success and PCMA got plenty of strong topic ideas for Convening Leaders. Speakers were then selected and managed using the Conference Harvester.

PCMA delivered a fresh and engaging educational experience onsite too. Interactive sessions, like the live shooter workshop, audience response systems, and flipped sessions allowed attendees to participate in educational activities in a meaningful way.

2. Expanding Tech Central

In past years, Tech Central was a small part of the conference housed in the hallways of the convention center. The area has grown, showcasing over 25 companies this year, and has become a strong part of PCMA education. It is a dedicated section for attendees to learn about new technology, attend sessions on how to effectively leverage new technology, and gain hands-on experience with new tech tools.

Take a look at this fun video Dahlia El Gazzar’s team put together on the last day of the conference:

Can you spot Joe Felperin from CadmiumCD? He tends to stand out!

3. The #PCMACL Tech Pitch Competition

Part of Tech Central’s expansion was the inclusion of the Tech Pitch Competition. Every company showcased in Tech Central was considered for the competition, but only 8 were chosen as finalists. Finalists had to pitch their new technology to a judging panel, which included Liz King of TechsyTalk, Jim Kelley of PSAV, and Dahlia El Gazzar of DAHLIA+.

Michelle Wyatt, CadmiumCD’s co-founder and CEO, had the opportunity to pitch eventScribe Boost, the new onsite meeting planning app from CadmiumCD. Though we did not win the compition this year, we’re happy that our industry partner, Dan Sherman from the HIP Network, took home the prize for his new product, ShowScore.

4. A New Class of 20 In Their Twenties

Being an alumni of the 20 in their Twenties award program, I was excited to meet this year’s class of emerging leaders and reconnect with my colleagues from previous years.

Once again there was a great global presence, and the class represented individuals doing exceptional work on both the planner and vendor sides of the industry.

5. Highlighting Exceptional Experiences

PCMA, like CadmiumCD, is about educational conferences first and foremost. That being said, there are certain perks to being a leader in this industry. This year, PCMA’s host city, Austin, TX, pulled out all the stops.

During Covening Leaders’ opening session on Monday, the audience was surprised by a live concert from Shakey Graves and a fantastic speech by Matthew McConaughey, reminding us that even though we’re here to do business, it’s okay to have a little fun.

Tuesday’s lunchtime keynote was also a strong reminder of what we can do with our time here. Jeremy Rifkin talked about world economics, environment, and reminded us of the enormous sphere of influence the meetings and events industry has on these issues.

How did you participate?

Tell us your story from PCMA Convening Leaders in the comments below! Didn’t attend? Tell us how you are professionally involved with the organization or similar associations.