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Industry Briefs
PCMA Shines In San Diego

Nearly 4,000 of the industry’s leading association, corporate and independent meeting planners, including industry associates, converged on San Diego for Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) Convening Leaders 2012. The 4-day event unfolded at the striking San Diego Convention Center from Sunday, January 8 to Wednesday, January 11, and included a wide array of general sessions, workshops and other educational activities. The event also boasted a Virtual Edge Summit, which streamed live video online, providing access to cyberspace delegates who could not attend in person. Additionally, PCMA TV broadcast coverage of Convening Leaders proceedings to a channel at each of the six meeting hotels housing attendees, including the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, Omni San Diego Hotel, Embassy Suites San Diego Bay, and the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter.

An important component of Convening Leaders was the popular Learning Lounge, which offered 15- and 30-minute presentations on a variety of topics in each of the four hub areas. It also featured live chat rooms for discussions, as well as video interviews where topics or challenges were presented for discussion.

Session topics ran the gamut from “The Latest in Digital Events, Meetings, and Other Solutions,” and “Engaging Stakeholders for Sustainable Event Success,” to “Meetology® The Science Behind Effective Meetings” and “Adapting to Budget Constraints.” Convening Leaders was especially strong on social media educational workshops, providing valuable information on how to most effectively use the newest in technology to market, communicate about and administer your event.

Arguably one of the best organized and smoothest running events in the industry, attendees had so many session options from which to choose, it was difficult to determine the best ones to attend and those that had to be missed. Despite the plethora of educational possibilities, Convening Leaders was not all work and no play, however. On Sunday, January 8, panoramic views of the San Diego Bay served as a stunning backdrop for guests as they sampled diverse and delicious regional cuisine at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego during the festive Opening Reception. The world-renowned Mass Ensemble performance group, known for their exotic mix of sculpture, music, dance and visual arts, were the featured entertainment.

On Monday, the USS Midway Museum, the longest serving aircraft carrier in U.S. Naval history and one of San Diego’s most unique special event venues, was showcased for guests during PCMA’s annual fund-raiser – Party With a Purpose. Since 1994, the event has raised more than $1.8 million in charitable conations. Proceeds from this year’s event benefited San Diego’s Reality Changers, providing city youths from disadvantaged backgrounds with the resources they need to become first-generation college students.

And finally, on Tuesday, January 10th, the high energy Urban Convergence Networking Reception block party was held under the stars in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Touted as the perfect way for guests to complete their San Diego experience, more than 20 diverse restaurants, shops and galleries opened their doors for PCMA’s enjoyment. Live music featuring Kool and the Gang, fine wines, global culinary delights and street performers were all part of this exciting and uniquely San Diego event.

Convening Leaders 2013 will be held in Orlando, Florida from January 13-16.
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