First time for this Maven at the PCMA annual meeting: Convening Leaders, January 9 – 12, 2011, in Las Vegas. PCMA stands for Professional Convention Management Association. This year it was co-located with the Virtual Edge Summit.
I decided to check out the summit for a few reasons: our video maven, Allison Gerlach was working the event as part of the Freeman crew, outgoing Chairman, Kati Quigley (Microsoft) is someone I highly respect, and PCMA is an organization that I've been interested in joining for a while.
Trends were pretty much as expected. The continued importance of face to face events, how to deal with content, and how to manage or merge with virtual event platforms.
There were 3 players in the virtual space that had either longevity in the industry or super cool platforms. They were INXPO, UNISFAIR, and Social 27. INXPO and UNISFAIR being first to the gate with their platforms and Social 27 looking really slick and the only Microsoft.NET, Windows Azure based platform.
The other buzz was about mobile applications - there were too many vendors to list with many, many different plays in dealing with event content. Mobile apps for events will be come a standard in this industry. It will be interesting to see who bubbles to the top.
The best piece of information I received at the conference was a brochure created by Michelle Bruno of Bruno Group Signature Events called the Buyers Guide to Mobile Apps. An extremely well written piece that breaks down what to look for in a mobile app for your business.
I'll definitely be checking out the PCMA annual meeting again in the future and highly recommend this organization to those new to the industry and long-timers as well. I'm looking forward to seeing what value membership in PCMA & my local chapter brings to my business.
Head Maven, www.creativemaven.com