NATIONAL HARBOR, Md — Last week, from March 7-9, POWER OF PURPOSE: Business Events Industry Week (POP), organized jointly by three of the top hospitality and events industry associations, returned to the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
Its inaugural event was held last March, after two years of restrictions on meetings and events. The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), Destinations International (DI) and the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) launched POP, a series of events designed to help re-establish the meetings industry community.
In 2022 attendance was so strong that it encouraged the organizers to make POP an annual one-trip call-to-action for business events stakeholders to gather in Washington, D.C. Attendance was also strong this year. “We were truly inspired to have nearly 2,000 people attending events throughout the week including 568 destination representatives and business events strategists who attended the Showcase and over 230 registered for the Convention Sales and Services Summit,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Destinations International. “The business events industry is faced with a full range of issues and opportunities. Gathering together in person for a week of future-focused discussions helps reiterate that nothing replaces face-to-face meetings and when we come together, we can work to tackle key challenges.”
This year, POP offered event industry professionals a series of co-located, new and previously existing experiences to do business, plan for the future, demonstrate the power of inclusivity, showcase innovation and insights, and advance key policy initiatives as one global movement.
POP used locations and venues throughout the Washington, D.C. region as an inspirational canvas for the weeklong series of experiences that features professional development, a commercial marketplace, idea incubators, community social transformation activities, and networking experiences. “Our industry is about bringing people together. We want to educate, inspire, listen, and create meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, President & CEO, PCMA and CEMA.
POP week began with a pre-event on March 4, DI’s four-day educational program for professionals seeking their Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) Credential. The program ended on March 7, day one of POP.
On day one the American Society of Association Executives opened POP with Springtime Revived, bringing back the iconic Springtime in the Park event. POP’s opening reception featured keynote Dr. David J. Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, addressing how to differentiate authentic DEI efforts from propaganda.
Day two saw the return of DI’s Showcase 2023, a one-day trade show featuring exhibits from over 100 destination organizations; the PCMA Foundation’s Fashion Show, Living in Color, showcasing fashion inspired by or made in The Palm Beaches; and day one of IAEE’s two-day Women’s Leadership Forum. “The IAEE Women’s Leadership Forum sold out with over 200 attendees,” said IAEE President & CEO David DuBois, CMP-F, CAE, FASAE, CTA.
On day three, DI’s 2023 Convention Sales and Services Summit provided a day-long educational track for sales and services professionals, and POP concluded with PCMA’s Visionary Awards, one of the industry’s premier black-tie recognition events.
“The Business Events Week continues to be a huge success as we bring together thousands of industry professionals to celebrate the continued growth of the exhibitions and events industry,” said DuBois “We are globally recovering very well and expect to surpass 2019 business levels in 2024. Many events are already exceeding those pre-pandemic numbers.”
Reach David DuBois at email@example.com; Sherrif Karamat at firstname.lastname@example.org; Don Welsh, President and CEO & Foundation Executive Director of Destinations International, at (202) 835-4219 or email@example.com