To the Point

We’re Not Going It Alone

Regional partnerships are key to PCMA’s global strategy.

In business — as in life — you can’t overestimate the importance of good partners. Whether you’re the one seeking out a partner or on the receiving end, there’s so much more to be gained working together than working alone. The secret is finding organizations with different but complementary strengths and aligning those strengths to reach common goals.

PCMA has a history of strong partnerships. So, when the Board of Directors officially decided to make globalization a strategic goal, it made sense that partnerships with industry leaders around the globe would play a key role. We’re not simply reinventing the wheel in different parts of the world, or repackaging the same content or services for everyone. Instead, we’re identifying valuable partners already established in different markets and finding ways to build education that benefits that region and the industry overall. Our new mission statement unveiled earlier this year makes our continued focus on education clear: “Through education, PCMA inspires, connects, and innovates the business-events community globally.”

A few months ago, we announced the acquisition of Singapore-based Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP). That purchase will allow us to enhance industry collaboration globally and deliver superior education to the Asia-Pacific region, offering accreditation and certification.

While this partnership resulted in an acquisition, we will continue to collaborate with other global organizations on standalone education projects. Recent examples of such partnerships include the PCMA Business School at IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany, and at the Singapore MICE Forum, where we partnered with SACEOS, a Singapore-based MICE association.

We’re also partnering with international groups on research that will help inform the global industry. In collaboration with the Joint Meetings Industry Council, PCMA is funding a study on the professional, business, academic, and economic outcomes of business events and how they can best be communicated to affected communities and governments, a project that is being managed by the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. In addition, the PCMA Education Foundation is partnering with the German Convention Bureau and the European Association of Event Centres on research that will help define how event participants will engage with meeting designs of the future.

With just under 7,000 members and an audience of more than 50,000 individuals in more than 40 countries, PCMA is already the world’s largest community for business-event strategists. But as we expand our reach, we realize one size does not fit all. We will continue to collaborate with partners in different regions of the world to offer superior education and to facilitate a diverse exchange of ideas throughout our global community.

Deborah Sexton

Deborah Sexton is president and CEO of PCMA.