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PCMA Focuses on Global Growth and Initiatives to Bring Organization to New Heights

Photo of Sherrif Karamat

CHICAGO — The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has ambitious plans to grow in the coming years, with PCMA and Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) President and CEO Sherrif Karamat, CAE, taking the organization to great heights — both in membership and new initiatives. 

Karamat highlighted the association’s evolution and outlined next steps during the Convening Leaders 2024 event, held in January in San Diego.

“We are not the same industry we were before the pandemic,” Karamat said. “We are a significant part of an increasingly complex economic and social ecosystem. And that means that, as an industry, we must think bigger, beyond our traditional mandate, in order to enact change and make our world a better place.”

At the same time, PCMA is not the same organization it used to be, he said. “By 2025, PCMA plans to connect with over 10,000 business event professionals, with a global community exceeding 35,000 people. Our footprint now spans five continents, signaling our expanding global influence. We have welcomed two vibrant communities of event marketers into our fold, our educational offerings have flourished, now boasting 18 certificate programs and a learning library with more than 200 pieces of content, and sustainability by design is no longer a theory but the cornerstone of our event development process. We have even co-founded an AI startup — and we’re not done yet.”

Related. PCMA Convening Leaders 2024 Breaks Attendance Records

Among recent developments is a partnership with the American Geophysical Union, which has delivered on multiple initiatives, including workshops and educational sessions. PCMA also appointed its first Head of Global Sustainability, Carolina Goradesky, and announced a partnership with the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe, representing 29 countries. These partnerships will culminate in the industry’s first Sustainability and Climate Summit, to be held in conjunction with Convening EMEA in Barcelona Oct. 2–3, 2024.

Also new, the PCMA Foundation and Business Events Sydney released the first of its two-part findings of a new global study into Advancing Women in Business Events. Last year, research was conducted to explore the pronounced gender gap in the global business events and trade show industry. Part II is scheduled for release later in the first quarter of 2024, laying out evidence as to why women’s leadership skills are critical to the success of the business events industry of the future.

On the tech front, PCMA and Gevme launched Spark, an AI productivity tool, in 2023. A new enhancement to the tool just announced at Convening Leaders analyzes streaming content in real time and distills insights and summaries.

PCMA will host a workshop during Business Events Industry Week in April in Washington, D.C., AgendAi, focusing on the benefits of generative AI and how to craft AI–driven plans. On the agenda for 2025 is the inaugural Convening LATAM, to be held in Bogota, Colombia, May 4–7. PCMA will share program details over the next few months.

Reach Sherrif Karamat at


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