While it’s cutting edge, this virtual environment is not just one more shiny technology tool that will be replaced by something else in a few months. It’s a work-in-progress that will bring many of the activities that PCMA members already are engaged in under one virtual roof, with the goal of making it much easier for individuals to connect with each other and with online education and other resources.
I checked in with PCMA’s Senior Marketing Manager, Mary Reynolds Kane, to find out more about the space:
How would you describe PCMA365?
Mary: As the name suggests, it is a virtual space that will offer opportunities to engage every day of the year. It will be open 24-7, so that PCMA members and meetings industry professionals can network and share ideas with one another all the time, not just when we have meetings and other events. What you see right now is just the beginning — we are in no way finished. PCMA is a kind of laboratory for improving meetings, and we will be building the virtual environment in phases, with the goal of demonstrating best practices and strategies that members can go out and build their own. It will help break new digital ground in areas like virtual trade show booths, integrating games into meeting experiences and much more.
How do you hope people will use PCMA365?
Mary: We want to be able to help people network seamlessly. In PCMA365, you can easily send e-mail, participate in general discussions, or set up private chats. You also Tweet in the environment and connect with Facebook and LinkedIn networks.
A big emphasis now is on creating connections and information in advance of Convening Leaders, Jan. 9-12, in Las Vegas. Speakers will be reaching out to attendees and vice versa. You can watch videos about the “behind the scenes” efforts and on how to gain the most from the experience. We also have made it a venue for online education events. You can watch both of those in the Auditorium. We’ve also added a few games to the environment, just for fun.
What is the “Partner Showcase?”
Mary: We’ve filled that with virtual booths created by PCMA’s strategic partners. Our partners have done some really creative things in their spaces. Visitors can watch videos, connect with staff … But what’s really cool about it is that it demonstrates ways to set up virtual booths — and gives planners ideas that they can use with their own meetings and events.
What do you like best about the environment?
Mary: The potential. PCMA365 is not perfect or finished by any means. We didn’t want to wait to launch PCMA365 until we had everything all figured out — we want to build it in collaboration with PCMA members and the meetings industry. It will gain more and more value as more people spend time on it, and contribute their own ideas and input.
To create a profile and begin using PCMA365, go here.