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January 4, 2011

PCMA launches new hybrid experience for upcoming annual meeting

A free virtual element covering education, networking and resources will be built into Convening Leaders, The Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA’s) annual meeting to be held next week in Las Vegas.

The initiative shows PCMA’s commitment to innovation in meetings and events technology, allowing virtual attendees to access live complimentary broadcasts of the general sessions at the event, which takes place from 9-12 January, and select plenary sessions and Masters Series programmes in the new PCMA365 virtual environment.

In addition to education, the hybrid event will feature networking opportunities, along with other innovative initiatives, such as the Partner Showcase and Resource Center.

PCMA launched PCMA365 in November 2010 and has already run a series of webinars and education programmes, which the association reports have been well attending and received.

“Virtual meetings are not only the wave of the future, but excellent complements to face-to-face meetings,” said PCMA president and chief executive Deborah Sexton.

“PCMA has been working with INXPO, one of the industry’s leading providers of virtual events, to gradually phase in a virtual experience for PCMA members and attendees that will educate them on the strategic and tactical knowledge required to execute virtual and hybrid meetings successfully, while demonstrating best practices designed to keep them at the forefront of the meetings industry.”

Meanwhile, PCMA chair Kati Quigley explained why she believes Convening Leaders to be a natural fit for a hybrid event.

“By providing meeting professionals with a new and innovative virtual environment to view PCMA’s signature education, along with new networking opportunities, we will allow a whole new audience that is unable to attend in person to experience some of the education and excitement of Convening Leaders,” she said. “Our goal is to arm both our face-to-face and virtual attendees with the essential information they need to face their challenges and recognize new opportunities in 2011. At the same time attendees will also learn more about creating a virtual environment of their own.”

As part of PCMA’s aim to educate the meetings industry about virtual and hybrid events, this year the Virtual Edge Summit will be co-located with Convening Leaders. Virtual Edge Summit, which takes place from 12-13 January, offers educational sessions designed for meetings professionals, including strategy, event marketing, virtual communities and virtual-driven business models.

Click here for the Convening Leaders conference schedule.

For more information or to register for Convening Leaders, the hybrid experience in PCMA365, or the Virtual Edge Summit, visit http://www.pcma2011.org

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