Convening Leaders is the annual event hosted by the Professional Convention Management Association. PCMA sought to highlight its central theme, “designing colLABoration,” an exploration of how spaces paired with design thinking create personalized, memorable experiences for audiences — as well as foster a stronger connection between presenters and attendees.
Reaching for the stars
PCMA partnered with Freeman to produce a main stage opening session that accurately represented the conference theme, while both setting the tone for the conference and educating thousands of event professionals. Together, we created an entirely new general session concept drawing from innovative technology and rigging concepts previously only employed at high-profile events like the Academy Awards.
A crowd of one
We produced diagonal staging and seating — creating more access points and a vibrant feel accentuated by lighted trusses arching from the stage all the way to the back rows. The effect drew attention to the speakers while generating a sense of intimacy.
Applying “designing colLABoration” effectively required harnessing logistics and rigging never seen at the Austin Convention Center — including moving video displays. The main stage was set with seven screen walls while three middle LED screen walls were equipped with multidirectional, computerized rigging. The two lateral screen projectors strategically moved to emphasize high-visibility content and allow speaker entrances and exits.
Success through innovation
The opening session was the perfect launch for a three-day event that saw record attendance for Convening Leaders. PCMA declared that the main stage production granted an immersive experience to an audience of more than 4,000, captivating participants with the visual content and elegant beauty of the environment while providing a dynamic backdrop for keynote speakers — all critical results since engagement was central to the “designing colLABoration” theme.