WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 2,000 trade show executives and other meeting and events professionals flocked to Washington, D.C., March 23-25, 2022 for the first Business Events Industry Week. Coordinated by PCMA and Destinations International, the three-day event at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center included Destination International’s Convention Sales & Services Summit, the Event Industry Council’s hybrid Equity Task Force workshop, the International Association of Exhibition and Events’ Women’s Leadership Forum, and the PCMA Foundation’s 2022 Visionary Awards celebration.
The purpose of Business Events Industry Week, according to PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat, was to unite the global business events industry in the nation’s capital to advance the role that business meetings and events play in the economic, social and intellectual enrichment of individuals and communities. “We wanted to bring the world to the nation’s capital to discuss issues that everyone is facing and have our voices heard outside of our industry at various levels of governments,” Karamat said.
“It’s time to restore what has been lost these last two years and build a pathway forward. Since 2019, PCMA and Destinations International have been on an exciting journey to bring business events strategists and destinations together. We created this opportunity because what happens during Business Events Industry Week matters everywhere. The power of purpose begins with all of us.”
“IAEE is proud to collaborate with other associations to bring a holistic set of activities to industry professionals,” IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, said. “The content presented and overall atmosphere of empowerment at the Women’s Leadership Forum is a perfect fit with the Business Events Industry Week’s Power of Purpose theme.” More than 180 participants came to the IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum, a two-day event that featured sessions tailored to meet the needs of women at all stages of their careers in the global exhibitions and events industry.
“The energy, enthusiasm and engagement among the attendees at this year’s program was exciting to experience,” IAEE Executive Vice President & COO Cathy Breden, CMP, CAE, CEM, added. “This program provides attendees with a broad range of impactful information that can be applied immediately to their career, regardless of where they may be in their career path.”
The PCMA Foundation’s Visionary Awards honored 2014 PCMA Chairman of the Board of Directors and 2019 PCMA Foundation Lifetime Achievement Honoree Chris Wehking with the establishment of an Education Scholarship Fund. More than $128,000 has been raised to support the fund. Among the other honorees celebrated at the event was Kai Hattendorf, CEO of UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, who received the Business Strategist of the Year award.
Business Events Industry Week was a three-day event that ended with a splash with the Destination Showcase, which was co-produced by Destinations International and PCMA. The 540 participants at that event had an opportunity to meet and do business, as well as hear a keynote that was especially apt for the events’ theme given by Roy Spence, Co-Founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute.