Rolling Out the Red Carpet

Redesigned Awards Dinner Becomes an Oscar-Like Gala

Celebrating inspirational leaders in business events – that’s the theme of this year’s PCMA Education Foundation Visionary Awards. The April 27 program at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C., represents a rebranding of the Foundation’s annual awards dinner.

The event will spotlight and honor meetings industry professionals and their extraordinary contributions. The Oscar-like gala will feature a red-carpet experience, complete with an entertaining awards program and after party. Three individuals will receive Lifetime Achievement honors, while four will be recognized with Professional Excellence awards, announced live at the event.

“It’s always good to change while you’re ahead,” said Gary Schirmacher, CMP, 2015 chair of the Foundation. “The dinner has been a longtime successful fundraiser for the Foundation, but I’m proud to say our Board of Trustees showed leadership in supporting a revamp of the event to deliver an even better experience to attendees. We’re excited to wow everyone at the new Visionary Awards.”

The evening’s Lifetime Achievement honors will be awarded to a meeting professional, a supplier, and an educator. Professional Excellence awards will honor a meeting professional of the year, an event designer of the year, a community advocate of the year, and a supplier of the year.

The event attracts more than 1,000 professionals in business events — and a new generation of emerging professionals aspiring to lead and succeed. The redesigned format allows attendees to host a reserved table and network with guests, Schirmacher said.

The evening begins with a red-carpet reception, followed by the awards program. The Lifetime Achievement honorees will also take the stage, allowing everyone to celebrate their inspirational achievements.

An after party and silent auction, hosted by the Austin CVB and the Austin Convention Center, will feature food, drinks, music, dancing, and more. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on premier items and support the Foundation.

A reserved VIP table with seating for 10 is priced at $8,000 and includes a listing on the PCMA webpage and program. For $3,500, groups can reserve a table of 10 in open-seating format, and for $375, guests can purchase an individual ticket in open seating.

To learn more, visit or contact the Foundation’s Meredith Rollins at or (312) 423-7218.