As your PCMA Heartland Chapter scholarship winner, I wanted to write an
overview of my experience at Convening Leaders. This was the first time I had the
opportunity to attend Convening Leaders. I spent several hours prior to the
meeting to plan and sign up for the educational sessions. That certainly helped
me prepare and plan for the week.
The first night I was welcomed by members of our own Chapter during the
Chapter reception. I live in Northwest Arkansas, so being able to put faces with
names was wonderful. I lived in Kansas City over 20 years ago and saw several
familiar faces and met some new friends.
I was excited to finally meet the Communications Committee co-chair, Eric
Jacobson (photo 2), that I have worked with for years.
The opening reception was full of fun, dancing, good food, and lots of lights.
I wanted to experience this meeting as a participant, but more importantly to take
“tried and true” ideas back to use in the meetings I plan. There were several
things I saw that I wanted to share:
1. No contact water dispensers by Flo Water.
2. High-end restroom service by Les Cabinets.
3. Signs that are illuminated by Lollipop Signs.
4. T-shirt transfers for activations by Stahl’s Transfer Express.
5. This swing was a huge hit. This was such a fun activation. Great photo op!
Pulling from my notes, these were some of the things that really resonated with
1. When planning a meeting, guests are wanting to be immersed in the city the meeting is held in.
2. As meeting professionals, if sustainability is important to your company,
add information about your company’s sustainability mission/statement in
the RFP, so the city/venue understands your expectations up front.
3. We need to change by design and not by crisis.
4. As we are planning a meeting, we as planners need to dig deeper to learn
more about the city so we can immerse our attendees in all the city has to
Main Stage speakers Ronan Farrow, Indra Nooyi, and Scott Galloway had such interesting
presentations. I will watch their sessions again. Paula Abdul was part of the
opening session, and we were all still talking about her performance the last day.
Yohannon Terrell led a wonderful session on “Becoming Fashion-Forward- A
Future-Focused Blueprint to Making a Lasting Impact.” If you have a chance, it is
worthwhile to revisit.
Another favorite of mine was Tracy Judge, MS, CMP who
spoke on “Which Way Do I Grow? Upskilling for the Events and Roles of Tomorrow”.
PCMA members were so excited to be together again. I want to thank the Chapter for
this opportunity. PCMA President & CEO, Sheriff Karamat, CAE, said from the main stage, “It’s not about the conversation, it’s about the action.”. Now I am ready to take what I learned and
experienced and incorporate it into the meetings I plan. Thank you again to the Heartland Chapter for creating scholarship opportunity for your members.