Welcome to Vancouver!

Your Guide to ‘Cultivating Creative Moments’

Against the backdrop of the beautiful coastal seaport of Vancouver, engaging new features and perennial favorites will greet thousands of meeting professionals at PCMA Convening Leaders 2016. Attendees are drawn to this industry showcase to gather the latest innovations in event technology, meeting design, and business event strategy.

Organized around the theme “Cultivating Creative Moments,” the conference brings together thought-provoking education and the best networking opportunities, all in one spot, according to Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP, PCMA’s senior vice president of education and events. “Variety continues to be the driving force for the conference,” Peacy said. “We’re bringing back popular features like Learning Lounge and TechCentral, due to the ever-changing nature of technology, and adding new educational programming, including two new education tracks.”

One of the new tracks, Leading Change, is designed to give professionals the tools and resources they need to be change agents. Meeting professionals will take away new strategies for “moving ideas forward and upward,” Peacy said. Sessions include “Conversations and Presentations That Win Most,”  “The New Reality: How to Seize the Power of Change,” “Modern Organizational Leadership: Leading Teams by Influencing Partners,” and “Strengthening Strategic Muscles.”

“Meeting professionals are frustrated because they attend Convening Leaders, leave with great ideas, and then have difficulty pitching them and moving forward,” Peacy said. “Skills in persuasion will be an integral part of this session.”

In the other new track, Being Your Best, attendees will learn key wellness strategies to combat the personal and professional stress that goes along with the meetings industry. According to Peacy, the idea for this new addition grew out of attendee conversations at last year’s Convening Leaders. Topics include “Be People Smart: Watch Productivity Soar,” “The Happy-Hour Effect,” and “Culture at Work: Strategies to Spin Stress into Success,” plus sessions and experiences on fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

“The idea is to work smarter, not harder,” Peacy said. “With long days and heavy travel schedules, meeting professionals can suffer from the stress and burnout of the job. This session will help professionals find tools to achieve the work-life balance they need.”

PCMA’s Convening Leaders attendance has increased by 29 percent over the last decade, thanks to its lineup of educational sessions and the opportunity that it provides some 4,000 attendees to access orchestrated networking in just three days. The program attracts the world’s top speakers to its General Sessions, which this year feature Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson; WhiteSpace at Work founder Juliet Funt; Wharton School marketing professor Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On; Gretchen Rubin, author of New York Times best sellers The Happiness Project and Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives; and Amy Purdy, a medal-winning Paralympic snowboarder.

Convening Leaders 2016 also features Thought Leader speakers Michelle Stacy, former president of Keurig, on high-engagement leadership; Johnny Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes, on marketing and customer experience; Michele Wucker, author of The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, on business strategy and preparedness; positive psychologist Robert Biswas-Deiner on courage at work; CNN commentator Mel Robbins on high-performance teams; and global economics expert Afshin Molavi on geopolitical risk.

Several special-interest additions are part of Convening Leaders 2016, including dedicated education and networking rooms for medical and corporate planners. Likewise, this year introduces the Women@Work program on Wednesday, with a focus on career and leadership strategies.

And there are plenty of opportunities to experience Vancouver, including two receptions and Party With a Purpose. “For meeting professionals, Convening Leaders is a can’t-be-missed event,” Peacy said. “The three days of content will inspire professionals to consider new ideas, encourage people to connect, and deliver the confidence to act on sound ideas in their organizations.”