Based on the hugely successful PCMA Community Conversations program in the USA, the APAC version titled Community Connect is helping event professionals undertake end-to-end reviews of their events from strategy through to post-implementation. Initially, just for members, the APAC PCMA team has opened the sessions up to non-members, it is a tangible way the organisation can support regrowth in the region.
Whilst there is a lot of informational content available, Community Connect session attendees are valuing the peer-to-peer exchange to learn about what their colleagues are doing day-to-day to manage their constantly changing approach to events.
Karen Bolinger, PCMA Managing Director for APAC
Karen Bolinger said these sharing forums which forge community, encourage peer support and facilitate the development of solutions to the big issues – all of which the industry needs right now.
“With the staggering rate of change going on in the industry, it is vital we talk to each other. These new community-driven sessions allow us to have open and honest conversations in which attendees share practical tips, insights, and new ideas on how to approach all the new aspects of events. So far these events have proved to be popular with the APAC community and we invite everyone from the industry to attend, to listen, share and learn,” said Ms Bolinger.
PCMA engaged Kirsty Simmonds as an independent consultant to attend the sessions and provide feedback on the quality and format of the events. Simmonds said the Community Connect sessions were highly valued by the participants as they were ticking a few boxes for them right now.
“PCMA’s goal is to create collegiate forums away from participants’ workplace, to problem solve, inform, educate and support each other, with the goal of accelerating their own practices, and, as professionals, to be at the leading edge for their businesses and clients. Friendly, energetic and confidential forums, participants are achieving a lot from their 90-minute power sessions!” said Ms Simmonds.
The first two Community Connect sessions, held in July 2020, focused on virtual events, and medical events and meetings, respectively. The key topics discussed included: the financial models available for virtual events, the best technology platforms to use, how to showcase a host location online, and risk management strategies for hybrid events.