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PCMA 2011 Annual Meeting wrap-up

The Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) 2011 Annual Meeting: Convening Leaders recently took place at the MGM Grand Hotel Conference Center in Las Vegas from January 9-11, 2010.

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting, PCMA held its second annual CEO Summit, in collaboration with the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), for convention center and convention and visitors bureau CEOs on Sunday, January 9.

Co-located with the event was the Virtual Edge Summit, a gathering for business to business corporations and event management companies with more than 80 experts who shared their secrets to success for adding virtual elements to events, meetings, learning, and community initiatives.

PCMA auction featured New Orleans
The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) and New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) sponsored the General Session on January 11 at Convening Leaders and announced an exciting opportunity for meeting professionals.

The NOMCVB and MMCNO, have partnered with PCMA for the 2011 PCMA convention center auction; marking it the fourth time a convention center has auctioned its meeting space to benefit PCMA.

The auction is designed to raise money to fund high level meetings in industry education. The auction offers meeting professionals tremendous savings and features the city and convention center.

“In partnering with PCMA, New Orleans will be showcasing their beautiful and historic city along with their state-of-the-art convention center,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA president and CEO. “The Auction offers planners an incredible deal and supports educational resources for all PCMA members and our industry.”

“New Orleans consistently is voted by meeting professionals as one of the top five CVBs in the nation, and we look forward to working with the winning customer to provide customized marketing tools and strategic resources to exceed their expectations,” said Stephen Perry, NOMCVB president and CEO.

The auction will remain open until June 30, 2011, unless sold through the Buy It Now! option.

The auction package includes up to 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space and a proportionate amount of meeting space, for up to 10 days between 2011 and 2018.

“We are excited about this opportunity to join with our local partners and offer the New Orleans Convention Center for auction which in turn supports a great industry cause,” said Bob Johnson, MCCNO president/GM. “The winning bidder can be assured of a great experience.”

It was also announced at Convening Leaders that The American Society of Anesthesiologists won the 2010 auction that featured Chicago and McCormick Place.

“My Board and Annual Meeting team were thrilled when I brought this auction opportunity to their attention; substantial cost savings coupled with Chicago, a premier meeting destination, we just couldn’t pass it up.” said Chris Wehking, CMP, director of meetings and exhibits, American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Second annual CEO Summit
The CEO Summit brought together more than 60 convention center and CVB executives for high-level collaboration and sharing of information.

Also included, was a panel session of customers sharing the critical issues they are facing with the current economic conditions and their shifting expectations. An open discussion focused on the current trends in the market and the changing relationship between the DMO, the Center, and the customer.

“PCMA is very pleased at the level of participation by top industry leaders in the CEO Summit,” said Sexton. “This program focused on educating destination stakeholders on the value of the meetings and convention industry and the importance of collaboration to ensure the future success of the meetings industry. The CEO Summit is an example of how PCMA is constantly working on collaborative opportunities to promote the value of the meetings and convention industry and committed to delivering superior and innovative education.”

Gaylord CEO honored
In recognition of extraordinary leadership and overcoming difficult challenges during a time of crisis, the PCMA selected Colin Reed, Gaylord entertainment chairman and CEO, to receive the prestigious 2010 PCMA Chairman’s award. Reed accepted the honor in person during the general session on January 10.

In early May of 2010, Nashville experienced a historic series of storms that brought a record 13.5 inches of rain in just two days, causing widespread flooding to the region.

Under Reed’s direction, the Gaylord Opryland safely evacuated 1,500 guests overnight as the flooding left the majority of the resort underwater, closing it indefinitely.

In early June, Reed promised that the property would re-open by November 15, and after six months of intensive planning, restoring, and rebuilding, the Gaylord Opryland re-opened on the promised date.

Gaylord seized the opportunity to improve the property, re-designing guest rooms, enhancing meeting facilities and adding new amenities.

“The PCMA Chairman’s award is the highest honor PCMA bestows each year to an individual or organization for their unique achievements or contributions to the meetings industry in the previous year,” said Kati Quigley, CMP, PCMA chairman. “Colin Reed demonstrated extraordinary leadership during a time of crisis, ensuring the safety of their guests, and then went on to meet the challenge of restoring this magnificent property in a record amount of time, while seizing the opportunity to make improvements and updates to one of our country’s most beloved properties.”

Fundraising events benefit Las Vegas charities
Several Las Vegas charities also benefitted from fundraising efforts of PCMA members and sponsors.

PCMA’s Hospitality Helping Hands (HHH) program, sponsored by Experient and Marriott’s Innovention Network, took place on Sunday, January 9. At this program, Convening Leaders attendees choose to participate in one of two hands-on community service projects.

Participant’s entire $75 registration fee went directly to the charities. HHH is a Network for the Needy program, sponsored in part by founding partner Global Experience Specialists (GES).

The program benefitted U.S. VETS and the WestCare Women and Children campus.

U.S. VETS helps homeless veterans get off the streets by providing them employment assistance, sobriety support, counseling, and transitional housing.

The WestCare Women and Children campus offers crisis intervention program for runaways, homeless adolescents, and treatment for women with their children who are affected by substance abuse.

Annual giving campaign; the Water Conservation Coalition
Individual contributions made to the PCMA Education Foundation in 2011 will not only support education and research initiatives, but will also go toward the Foundation’s 2011 green initiative; the Water Conservation Coalition (WCC).

The WCC’s mission is to encourage organizations in the Las Vegas Valley to increase their water conservation practices. Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is the presenting partner of the PCMA Education Foundation’s annual giving campaign.

Party With a Purpose; St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Proceeds from the 18th annual Party With a Purpose (PWAP) will benefit St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to healing and caring for abused, abandoned and neglected children. PWAP is the premiere fundraising event of the meetings and conventions industry, having raised more than $1.7 million dollars. GES is the founding partner of Party With a Purpose.

Network for the Needy donation drive; St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Brought to you by founding and principal partner GES, PCMA’s Network for the Needy program will be collecting used greeting cards at Convening Leaders. The cover of the card is removed and affixed to a blank card. The r
esidents sell these cards and the proceeds benefit the facility and residents of St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.

To find out more about Convening Leaders, Hospitality Helping Hands, Network for the Needy, or Party With a Purpose, visit ww.pcma2011.org.



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