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PCMA Convening Leaders sets attendance records

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) announced January 31 2011, that its 55th Annual Meeting, Convening Leaders, has set a new attendance record with 3743 meetings industry professionals taking part in the conference from more than 40 countries.

Of those, 3524 attended PCMA education sessions. Both 2011 figures surpass all previous attendance numbers. PCMA’s Convening Leaders was held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev., January 9-12, 2011.

This year PCMA introduced a hybrid extension of Convening Leaders in its new virtual environment, PCMA365, to demonstrate how hybrid events can complement face-to-face meetings.

Six hundred thirty-two virtual attendees, representing 1427 virtual session visits, participated in the virtual meeting, accessing live broadcasts of PCMA’s general sessions, and select plenary and masters series sessions.

Attendees at the hybrid meeting in PCMA365 also engaged in networking opportunities and visited a partner showcase, as well as a resource center. A live moderator brought both the live and virtual audiences together by interviewing industry leaders, keynote speakers and learning lounge presenters.

“We could not be more thrilled with the attendance for Convening Leaders, for both the face-to-face, as well as the virtual meeting,” said Deborah Sexton, PCMA president and CEO. “PCMA has always been a leader in bringing cutting edge ideas and education to the industry, and with the help of our industry partners, Freeman, INXPO and Content Management Corporation (CMC) we were able to demonstrate the possibilities and potential that exists with a virtual environment. In addition, our partners at the MGM Grand and the Las Vegas CVA provided the perfect backdrop to ensure our attendees overall experience was truly both unique and memorable.”

New this year, the Virtual Edge Summit was co-located with Convening Leaders on January 12-13, and offered a wide range of educational sessions and workshops specifically designed for meetings professionals, as well as senior level managers, marketing staff and IT professionals.

The Virtual Edge Summit covered strategy, and “how to” for those new to digital event offerings, as well as experienced virtual and hybrid event producers.

“The co-location with PCMA’s Convening Leaders event was very exciting and tremendously successful,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Virtual Edge Institute. “The Virtual Edge Summit and PCMA attendees have a great deal of synergy and we were very pleased at the number of PCMA members that registered for the Virtual Edge program. We’re looking forward to working with PCMA in the future.”

Also this year, Convening Leaders introduced an innovative new learning lounge, an industry first, that provided new ways to experience face-to-face and online education with business networking.

Featured were peer-to-peer discussions, six theatres offering continuous 15-minute presentations, a social media expert bar and a supplier showdown.

The 2012 PCMA Convening Leaders will be held January 8-11 in San Diego, Calif. For more information visit pcma.org.



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