Gearing Up for a Grand Ole Time

2018 Committee Co-Chairs Discuss Next Steps and Nashville


As you leave PCMA Convening Leaders 2017 inspired and invigorated for the year to come, mark your calendars for Convening Leaders 2018 — slated for Jan. 7–10 in Nashville, Tennessee. Music City is excited to host this flagship event that brings together more than 4,000 business-event professionals every year.

The 2018 Convening Leaders Content Committee (CLCC) is already getting to work. Aida Campbell, CMP, director of strategic accounts for Experient, returns as CLCC co-chair, joined by John Loveless, vice president of national sales for Global Experience Specialists Inc. (GES).

“I am in a position to pass on some of the learnings from working with our Austin 2017 CLCC to our efforts in creating content for CL 2018 in Nashville,” Campbell said. “As always, I am honored to serve our industry and represent PCMA.”

One lesson Campbell will carry over is the growing collaborative interest of PCMA members, who submitted nearly 70 stories for Convening Leaders 2017. “We are presenting approximately 25 percent of these via concurrent sessions, Learning Labs, Tech Central, and the trade-show design-solutions display,” Campbell said. “There clearly is an appetite for members to contribute, and we always welcome and covet that participation.”

As a new co-chair, Loveless approached Convening Leaders 2017 with a different mindset. “I came with a view of not just attending,” he said, “but with a watchful eye on what works, what sessions are creating the best learning opportunities, and what could be changed to be even stronger for the attendees.”

After this year’s meeting wraps, the CLCC will participate in ongoing strategy sessions and meetings with the PCMA Education Foundation and various industry task forces, such as Technology, Customer Experience, and Leading Change.

Campbell and Loveless’ goal is to produce an event that builds on PCMA’s relevant and stimulating education, creates endless networking opportunities, and amplifies the host city’s fun and lively culture. Nashville last hosted Convening Leaders in 2002, and since then has made some meaningful additions to its business-events infrastructure, including the gorgeous Music City Center along with new hotel inventory. Its well-known entertainment and cuisine aren’t a bad draw either.

“Nashville has a real gem with the Music City Center,” Loveless said. “Couple it with the vibrant nightlife on Broadway and the rich history of music, and it’s bound to be another great Convening Leaders. Still, the greatest thrill I have at CL is when I am seated in the Opening Session and it’s about to start. I can’t wait for that moment to come at CL 2018.”