The Professional Convention Management Association’s 2008 Annual Meeting, January 13-16 in Seattle, is structured to provide as many different ways, formats, and levels of learning as there are learning differences among its members. The more-than-80 educational sessions—covering topics from attendance building and negotiations to international and green meetings—will be held as panel discussions, case studies, experiential learning, and lectures, and each session is rated “essential,” “professional,” or “executive” to make it easier to find topics at a specific level of expertise. To encourage networking, PCMA also is providing an online social networking community called PCMA Connect to help attendees identify who they want to talk with at, before, or after the event.
PCMA also is again partnering with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for its Executive Edge program, which is designed for the leadership level of meeting planners. The Master’s Series will cover business ethics, negotiations, and how to make meetings relevant to the next generation.
Because no meetings industry association conference would be complete without some big names speaking at the general sessions, PCMA has put Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., on the slate to talk about the environment; Microsoft’s Mich Mathews to tackle communications; and authors Joe Pine and Jim Gilmour, who will discuss how to make meetings more authentic experiences for their audiences.