Designing Collaboration at 2017 PCMA Convening Leaders

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A few things to look forward to in Austin

The 2017 PCMA Convening Leaders conference kicks off January 8–11 in Austin, Texas, and we are looking forward to another exciting three days of general sessions, in-depth education, and events with a signature Texas flair in and around the Austin Convention Center. 

As with every year, the lineup at Convening Leaders looks set to deliver valuable content to set the stage for event organizers for the foreseeable (and rapidly changing) future. PCMA will bring big trends like personalization to life using data and feedback from previous events. 

Where design and collaboration intersect

The central theme this year is “designing colLABoration,” featuring hands-on education around audience behavior, design thinking, and collaboration. Mainstage keynotes will touch on topics like trust and collaboration in the digital age, transforming healthcare systems through a design-centric approach, and how to increase brand affinity through a deeper understanding of attendees using sensory analytics.

Hands-on learning opportunities throughout the event will let attendees experience collaboration in action, whether in the self-paced Learning Labs, the mini-hackathon, our very own Freeman Experience Insights Lab, or even the Hospitality Helping Hands luncheon, where attendees can help high-risk children in Austin by pitching in on projects benefitting nonprofit learning agency Sammy’s House.

Making technology more human for humans

Technology is a hot-button topic at today’s event conferences. This Convening Leaders is no exception, concentrating on making digital integration as seamless and personal as possible. 

A particular area of focus will be on how to best combine digital and analog in the event industry, including a session on how TED is integrating the top trends that are shaping face-to-face events in the future. What’s more, attendees will be able to participate in Tech Central, a hub for all things technology that includes a DigiTech bar, tech clinics, and social media drop-in corners.

Diverse content for a diverse industry

Thanks to an eclectic mix of thought leaders that includes a NASA JPL visual strategist, a child actor, a Supreme Court clerk, and an economic theorist, plus entrepreneurs, authors, and executives — including Freeman CEO Joe Popolo — this year’s Convening Leaders will offer an interesting program that holds a little something for everyone. On the mainstage and beyond, subjects range from audience acquisition and engagement to leadership and learning design, revenue generation to event experience design, and everything in between.

Thought leadership doesn’t just happen on a large scale, however. The conference also provides a more intimate, personalized way to share knowledge face to face through its networking program Braindates: a matching platform that creates one-on-one sessions with like-minded attendees, a great to personalize a large convention. And there’s room to share fun as well as knowledge, with opportunities to customize the event such as dozens of social events that include luncheons, happy hours, and the kind of live music Austin is known for.

A healthy event — and events for healthcare

PCMA continues its focus on wellness this year with sessions on topics like work-life balance, happiness in a hectic work environment, and increasing brain power and productivity with convenient wellness strategies. 

Going deeper into the intersection of healthcare and events, PCMA will also present MEDtalks, an open forum for medical meeting professionals to discuss topics like how to best serve new physicians at conferences, and how to better collaborate with healthcare companies around new product releases.

All in all, this year’s PCMA Convening Leaders is set to be a great forum for learning, networking, and experiencing the best that Austin has to offer. What are you most excited about for Convening Leaders? Be sure to follow #PCMACL on Twitter and check back with us in January for our extended coverage.


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