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At far left: Marina Bay Sands hotel and convention center

September Meeting-Planner Conference in Singapore Postponed Indefinitely

PCMA’s Convening Asia Pacific event was redesigned for this year to have virtual elements start in July that would lead up to an in-person event in September. All event elements are now on hold.

Last held in Sydney in 2020, the Convening Asia Pacific conference run by the Professional Convention Management Association did not happen in-person or virtually in pandemic-burdened 2021; instead, PCMA hosted its flagship Convening Leaders event in Singapore that year, a one-time departure from using a North American destination. For the 2022 return of Convening Asia Pacific, the association focused on delivering a redesigned hybrid event that would take place across two full months, concluding with the in-person gathering in early September in Singapore.

Unfortunately, a combination of pandemic-related factors has led to that event being postponed, with no new dates set for Convening Asia Pacific to take place.

Florence Chua, managing director for PCMA APAC, sent an e-mail to potential event participants on July 12, which read in part:

“As the Asia-Pacific region continues to navigate the uncertainties put forth by the global pandemic, PCMA recognizes that business events professionals in some markets are overwhelmed with producing events in an intense environment, while certain markets have yet to re-open fully.

“PCMA is committed to delivering regionally relevant premier education, inclusive networking, and facilitating the growth of business events in the APAC region. This is and will continue to be our vision for Convening Asia Pacific; however, we must postpone Convening Asia Pacific to a date yet to be determined.  

“Limited budgets, increasing travel costs, intense workload, and the extended border restrictions have proven to be a barrier in our efforts to deliver an impactful and meaningful Convening Asia Pacific for all stakeholders. We understand what you are challenged with, and we remain committed to delivering a productive and meaningful gathering when the region is positioned to move forward.”

In April, PCMA APAC announced its 14-member regional advisory board to act as local ambassadors in the region to amplify the voice and presence of PCMA there. According to a press release from the association at that time, “their leadership and representation of diverse audiences will be integral as PCMA APAC tunes up engagement in the region and prepares to launch its fully re-designed PCMA’s Convening APAC conference—an omnichannel experience” that was set to begin with virtual sessions in July and August, culminating with the in-person event at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in September.  

PCMA APAC’s board members are:

  • Deborah Caldwell, senior vice president, regional lead APAC global events, Bank of America
  • Jean Chua, head, branding & communications, NTT DATA
  • Simon Lin, vice president & executive director, APAC, HIMSS
  • Teagan Seccombe, head of events, Australia, Harcourts International
  • Deanna Varga, CEO & founder, Mayvin Global
  • Karen Bolinger, founder & chief disruptor, Karen Bolinger Consulting
  • Oscar Cerezales, chief strategy officer, MCI Group
  • Darren Chuckry, founder & managing partner, HK Initiative
  • Ramesh Daryanani, vice president, global sales, APAC, Marriott International
  • Shogo Kaneda, business events strategist, SK Business Events
  • Edward Koh, executive director, conventions, meetings & incentive travel, Singapore Tourism Board
  • Weemin Ong, vice president, conventions & exhibitions, Marina Bay Sands Pte, Ltd.
  • Paula Rowntree, head of events, Australian Psychological Society
  • Veemal Gungadin, CEO, GEVME

In North America, PCMA will host its Convening Leaders 2023 event from January 8 to 11 in Columbus, Ohio.

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