Learning Content Schedule

Our Convening Leaders 2023 program is designed to relay key insights, lessons learned, and actions you can take to position your audience and business for long-term success.

The program is organized into three learning content studios:

  • Leadership
  • Future
  • Impact

All times are in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

MAIN STAGE – MONDAY

9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Embrace Uncertainty to Reach your Full Potential

SPEAKERS: Allyson Felix, Iconic Athlete
SPEAKERS: Yes Theory’s Thomas Brag & Ammar Kandil

Brought to you by Destination Canada and Singapore Tourism Board

Conquering their fears by following their hearts have led iconic athlete Allyson Felix and viral YouTubers Yes Theory down unique paths. Allyson Felix will share her journey to becoming an inspiration to female athletes everywhere, not only for being the most decorated track and field Olympian in US history, but a powerful advocate for women and mothers in sports.

Yes Theory is a group of friends from Egypt, France and Sweden who have traveled the world conquering everyday fears. Thomas Brag and Ammar Kandil will share how they live by their motto @Seek Discomfort by tackling insecurities to change their lives and others in their growing global community. These inspiring stories will reveal how fears and uncertainty can be channeled into meaning-making for personal and societal impact.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World

SPEAKER: Adam Grant, Organizational psychologist at Wharton, bestselling author of Think Again, and host of the podcast WorkLife

Brought to you by Visit Detroit

To survive and thrive, organizations need original thinking. Yet most individuals stay silent instead of voicing their best ideas – and many leaders stifle dissent rather than encouraging it. In his bestselling book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Organizational psychologist Adam Grant set out to explore how to unleash original thinking. “Originals are nonconformists, people who not only have new ideas, but take action to champion them,” says Grant. “They’re people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world.”

In this talk, Grant will reveal how to evaluate and pitch new ideas, how to create psychological safety, and how friendly managers end up being the least supportive. Grant will help you understand how to get better at recognizing and championing new ideas, and how to build cultures that welcome diverse perspectives and honest feedback.

MAIN STAGE – TUESDAY

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The 2023 Outlook for the Business Events & Hospitality Industries

MODERATOR: Carly Fiorina, Chairman, Carly Fiorina Enterprises
SPEAKER: Chris Nassetta, Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Worldwide
SPEAKER: Ben Erwin, President and CEO, Encore
SPEAKER: Matthew Slaughter, Dartmouth

Brought to you by Orange County Convention Center and Visit Orlando

Implications like inflation, rising energy costs, plus the climate crisis and increased demand with fewer resources, are challenging the global business events industry . Do you have a handle on the potential impact this will have on your business in the coming year?

Former tech CEO and public figure Carly Fiorina will moderate a high-powered panel with Hilton, Encore and an international economics expert to get to the bottom of these macro trends, how business events will be impacted and the industry growth trajectory over the next few years.

Sunday, January 8

Monday, January 9

10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Conversation Starters

Extending Your Event in Multiple Channels
Bring your ideas and lessons learned on repurposing content and creating ongoing connections long after your closing session.

How Have You Stretched Your Event Budget?
Join us for the popular conversation about how to prioritize what’s most important and what questions to ask your suppliers to uncover potential cost savings.

How the Negotiating Stakes Have Changed
Join this conversation to discuss how leverage on both sides of the negotiating table has changed. How are you proactively approaching business relationships going forward?

Developing Meaningful Hybrid Workplace Relationships
Join this conversation to share strategies on connecting with colleagues without the traditional office water cooler.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Convene Live: How Event Models Can Transform Membership Models

Organizations have gone through unforeseen changes since the pandemic began, many offering digital and hybrid events in new ways. You’ll hear case studies on how to increase your reach by offering multi-channel opportunities for your members to consume content, do business and build community in new ways.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Democratizing Innovation: How to Transform Big Ideas into Reality

SPEAKER: Naomi Clare, Storycraft Lab
SPEAKER: Mateo Nicolás Salvatto, Asteroid Technologies

The next great idea could be at your fingertips. To bring it to life it’s important to have an equitable, inclusive space that matches creativity to a solutions-driven framework to help produce a new business model, marketing campaign, or company-wide process. Bring your big idea to this interactive masterclass and gain inspiration from Asteroid Technologies CEO Mateo Salvatto, on the intersection between inclusion and innovation. Using your ideas, we’ll test selected techniques, used by organizations like Microsoft, Google and IDEO, to drive creative problem-solving and innovative processes to leverage with your teams and customers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover different ways a growth framework will help you examine ongoing challenges through the lens of transformation and inclusion.
  • Create an equitable and experimental canvas for your team’s ideas—and steps for creating a proof of concept and business case.
  • Tie your ideas to business outputs and gain buy-in from colleagues, leadership and stakeholders.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Living & Leading a Life Authentically in Full Color

SPEAKER: Amanda Perna, Creative Director/ Owner of The House of Perna

Brought to you by The Palm Beaches

Fashion designer and two-time Project Runway contestant Amanda Perna is known for designing bright, whimsical clothing with a mission to empower women. She’ll share why living in color is not just an outward way to express your style. It’s about being your authentic self, making adjustments as you go and sharing your “superpower” with others.

Learning Objectives:

  • Take steps to find and create an environment where you shine as your authentic self.
  • Be intentional about your decisions and how you represent yourself knowing you have no control of the outcomes.
  • Get the most out of your team and partners by discovering and leveraging their unique superpower.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Gender Expansive Experiences Within the Business Events Industry

SPEAKER: Chase Brunson, AffiniPay

During this conversation, a gender-diverse panel of business event strategists will share their stories and insights into their professional experiences. The panelists will also discuss the range of current challenges and barriers that members of the transgender community have and continue to face when booking and attending events.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the experiences of gender-diverse populations as they relate to the business events industry.
  • Gain awareness of existing and future implications regarding transgender issues and business events.
  • Identify opportunities and methods to make events safer and more inclusive for transgender, nonbinary and gender-expansive participants.

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Conversation Starters

Contracts, Clauses and Booking Events
Join the conversation to share the latest insights on contract clauses, negotiations and how you’ve booked business with suppliers to lower risk on both sides of the negotiating table.

Navigating New Audience Experience Expectations
Discuss changing audience behavior and how to address their needs in the event experience. Share which actions you have taken and leave with fresh ideas to design events that matter.

Quiet Quitting or Setting Healthy Boundaries at Work?
Join the conversation to spot the differences between quiet quitting and setting healthy boundaries. Share ideas on how you have created boundaries to be your most productive at work and at home.

How Are You Using Data to Improve Your Event Design?
Exchange tips on how your event data can help you uncover actionable insights to create new value for your audience, sponsors and all stakeholders.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Make People Feel Valued By Speaking the Language of DEI

SPEAKER: Greg DeShields, Executive Director, Tourism Diversity Matters

Brought to you by Visit Greater Palm Springs

Inclusive language seeks to honor the diverse identities of every person, making them feel valued and inviting them to be part of the conversation. It’s even more critical when navigating sensitive topics, including those involving race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Industry DEI expert Greg DeShields will help you gain awareness on how you can incorporate inclusive language in your communications to acknowledge diversity, convey respect and promote equitable opportunities for your audience and colleagues.

Learning Objectives:

  • Prioritize terms that are correct, respectful, and inclusive to avoid reinforcing harmful language habits and assumptions.
  • Gain best practices for inclusive language and learn more than 100 common non-inclusive words and phrases.
  • Demystify some concepts around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and steer clear of miscommunication.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Convene Live: Does Salary Have to Be a Tightly Kept Secret?

Conducting salary surveys can uncover wage inequity, like Convene’s Salary Survey, but the more targeted approach to combat this issue is salary transparency. A March 2022 bankrate.com survey, revealed that more than two out of five Gen Z workers have shared their salary with a coworker vs. fewer than one out of five boomers. How do we get to a place where salary sharing isn’t so taboo? You’ll hear contrasting viewpoints and the implications of sharing vs not to help you navigate this uncomfortable conversation – as a manager and as an employee.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine the latest research on pay gaps and what that means for the business events industry.
  • Recognize the benefits of salary transparency as a starting point to achieve equitable pay.
  • Adopt your own approach to discuss salary with peers, current and prospective employers.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Social Listening + AI = Deep Personalization

Brought to you by Encore

One of the benefits of social media is the ability to eavesdrop on conversations about your event or brand digitally. These insights help you understand what individual customers like, dislike, and need from your content, programming, and people. With AI you could gather thousands of people’s sentiments from multiple channels in any language and analyze them all in real-time. The personal nature of your responses would become an essential tool in your customer retention toolbox. Learn how to make this dynamic duo work for you.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review some popular AI-enhanced social listening tools.
  • Convert social insights into action steps for your events.
  • Go beyond social mentions to supercharge social listening with AI and drive real business results.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The CL23 Sustainability Journey

SPEAKER: Ryan Thorpe, Assistant General Manager, Greater Columbus Convention Center
SPEAKER: Amanda Simons, Principal, Sustainability Consultant, Honeycomb Strategies

Attention is a scarce commodity and it’s harder than ever to capture and keep your audience’s attention. Thriving organizations leverage multi-touch experiences to accelerate the journey from attendee to loyal customer. This session will explore how to guide your audience down their desired path by curating and delivering compelling content experiences with existing resources.

Learning Objectives:

  • Create customer personas that reveal the multi-dimensional characteristics of your attendees.
  • Develop a content journey that gives your audience a seat at the creation table.
  • Explore how to scale your content plan based on your audience and stakeholder needs with your team’s bandwidth in mind.

Tuesday, January 10

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Convene Live: Leap of Faith – Stories About Embracing Uncertainty

SPEAKER: Beth Surmont, Vice President of Event Strategy & Design, 360 Live Media

In her recent Convene article, contributor Beth Surmont explored why embracing uncertainty is vital to thriving on the long, tough road ahead. The events community can lean on each other for support to proactively produce events amidst the challenging, uncertain path forward. You’ll hear inspiring stories from fellow event profs who have made the leap, how it changed them and what they learned in the process.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Deliver The Event Metrics Digital Marketers Demand

Brought to you by Encore

Event strategists increasingly want events to behave like other digital marketing channels with hard metrics, high NPS scores, and transparent return on investment. While event technology providers adapt to marketing’s demands, event strategists need to catch up, acquiring more skills and mar-tech mastery to hit those digital high notes. Learn the technology and competencies required to act like a digital marketer while planning events like a boss.

Learning Objectives:

  • View current event technology through a digital marketing lens.
  • Position your events as marketing data goldmines.
  • Prepare for the convergence of digital marketing and events.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Mentorship Experience (Invite only)

Mentoring is a vital tool in disseminating the capital of talent, skill, knowledge, and is a key facilitator of professional and personal development. Participate in this session to learn about how great Mentoring relationships work from Nan Marchand Beauvois, an executive with the US Travel Association and connect with a Mentor, specially curated for you by PCMA’s Community Engagement team.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain best practices as a Mentor – and a Mentee
  • Learn how to set reciprocal expectations.
  • Determine effective ways to discuss goals and intentions of your mentoring relationship.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

F&B Trends to Table with a Sustainability Twist

SPEAKER: Aurora Benton, Founder, Astrapto

Brought to you by Louisville Tourism

F&B sourcing and menu planning is more of a balancing act than ever due to the pressure of pleasing attendees’ diverse palates, navigating rising costs while being sustainable on top of it all. This session isn’t your typical “What’s Hot & Trendy in F&B” list. You’ll get a break down of the top trends, how to creatively bring your vision to life that is cost conscious and environmentally friendly.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the F&B Trends in the Event industry and how to balance bringing unique experiences to life with reducing food waste.
  • Be inspired to design creative, flexible menus that allow you to manage rising costs and sourcing limitations.
  • Learn what questions to ask and how to work with your supplier partners to bring the trends to table in a sustainable manner.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Accessible Event Design – The Convening Leaders Tour

SPEAKER: Rosemarie Rosetti, Accommodating People with Disabilities at On-Site and Virtual Meetings and Events

Planning inclusive events and experiences for people with disabilities requires empathy and education. Accessible design and DEI expert Rosemarie Rosetti will share her story and guide you through a behind-the-scenes tour on how to collaborate with your venue and supplier partners to design an inclusive meeting and event environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize what’s important when designing events from a disabled person’s perspective.
  • Identify the questions to ask your venue and supplier partners upfront to be prepared for every eventuality.
  • Design your event environment with the intention of providing physical and psychological safety.

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Conversation Starters

Getting Sponsors to Support Your Sustainability Goals
Share methods and ideas to proactively involve your sponsors in your sustainability action plan. Collaborate on solutions to achieve your mutual objectives.

The Halo Effect: Events as a Marketing Vehicle
Sharing the pros and cons of launching new products and services at your events, this discussion will explore ways to cut through the noise and use the halo effect of your events as a marketing launchpad.

Contracts, Clauses and Booking Events
Join the conversation to share the latest insights on contract clauses, negotiations and how you’ve booked business with suppliers to lower risk on both sides of the negotiating table.

Extending Your Event in Multiple Channel
Bring your ideas and lessons learned on repurposing content and creating ongoing connections long after your closing session.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

The 2023 Outlook for the Business Events & Hospitality Industries

MODERATOR: Carly Fiorina, Chairman, Carly Fiorina Enterprises
SPEAKER: Chris Nassetta, Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Worldwide
SPEAKER: Ben Erwin, President and CEO, Encore
SPEAKER: Matthew Slaughter, Dartmouth

Brought to you by Orange County Convention Center and Visit Orlando

Implications like inflation, rising energy costs, plus the climate crisis and increased demand with fewer resources, are challenging the global business events industry . Do you have a handle on the potential impact this will have on your business in the coming year?

Former tech CEO and public figure Carly Fiorina will moderate a high-powered panel with Hilton, Encore and an international economics expert to get to the bottom of these macro trends, how business events will be impacted and the industry growth trajectory over the next few years.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Essential Leadership Styles for the 21st Century Workforce

SPEAKER: Leo Piccioli, Leadership & Innovation Speaker, Author

As technology accelerates and takes over boring, repetitive tasks, humans will take care of innovation, empathy and entertainment-related work. Now the old-fashioned leaders, those who expected mostly obedience and were successful are confronted by new generations expecting leaders they want to follow with a mission and values they connect with. Former CEO, author and speaker Leo Piccioli, will examine the intersection between accelerated trends and leadership styles. You’ll gain an understanding of the new demands on leaders and what to emulate to inspire and motivate your team.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize how accelerated trends and current events have placed new demands on leaders at all levels.
  • Compare 20th and 21st century leadership examples to understand what to embrace and emulate as the business world and future of work continues to evolve.
  • Adopt characteristics to attract and motivate today’s diverse workforce.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Building and Benefiting from Events in the Metaverse

Brought to you by Encore

Even though the future vision of the metaverse is yet to be fully realized, business events in the current metaverse are emerging. Join metaverse event designers for a frank discussion on business and consumer trends. You’ll learn what it takes to design, deliver, and monetize metaverse events and how to overcome the barriers and learning curve of Web3 technologies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Dive deep into the contours of current metaverse technologies and tools.
  • Learn metaverse event design dos and don’ts.
  • Develop a metaverse blueprint for your current event portfolio.

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

What’s New, What’s Next For International Business Events

Stress and long hours are no strangers to event professionals. However the pandemic and continued uncertainty have, in some cases, compounded repeated exposure to stress impacting emotional, mental and physical well-being. Clinical professionals from the Ohio State Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Wexner Medical Center will share tips from their evidence-based training and therapy program to add to your wellness routine and how to support colleagues to build resilience in your teams.

Learning Objectives:

  • Stay on top of how you manage stress, trauma and take action to build resilience.
  • Recognize instances where you can provide emotional support to peers versus directing them to professional support services.
  • Build a culture of built-in support amongst your peers

2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Conversation Starters

Keeping People Safe and Making Them Feel Welcome
Share how you have implemented inclusive event strategies to design emotionally and physically safe environments and experiences for your attendees.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Integrating Your Event Technologies
Share what has and hasn’t worked when integrating different software tools into your event tech stack.

Creating A Lasting Legacy in Your Event Destination
Discuss how legacy projects can play a larger role in transforming communities and enhancing your audience’s experience.

Quiet Quitting or Setting Healthy Boundaries at Work?
Join the conversation to spot the differences between quiet quitting and setting healthy boundaries. Share ideas on how you have created boundaries to be your most productive at work and at home.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Coping with Stress, Trauma and Building a Culture of Resilience

SPEAKER: Arianna Galligher, Director, Gabbe Health & Well-Being Program; Associate Director, Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program, OSU Wexner Medical Center

The war in Ukraine, rising energy costs and continued economic uncertainty are a few macro trends making a significant impact on organizations with an international event portfolio. You’ll gain an understanding of how these trends have influenced new audience acquisition, booking and logistics nuances when executing international events. Industry leaders will share new developments on the event landscape in their region and answer your burning questions to help you stay on top of your game.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize how current global travel trends could potentially impact your audience and key stakeholders.
  • Mitigate your business risks by understanding key challenges to consider throughout your planning lifecycle.
  • Assess what new knowledge and skills are required to deliver successful international meetings and events.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Uncomfortable Conversations – What Has to Change?

Brought to you by Visit Detroit

Have you ever avoided uncomfortable conversations on challenges individuals and our industry as a whole are facing? It’s tough for so many reasons and that’s why this session will spotlight challenging topics led by PCMA’s 20 in their 20s. We will spotlight uncomfortable topics, deep dive and explore what you believe needs to change. It’s time to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Join us for an immersive session and help us identify what needs to change.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Peek Behind the Curtain: The Making of Convening Leaders’ Main Stage

If you want an exclusive glimpse into the design strategy and execution of the biggest stage at Convening Leaders, you won’t want to miss this behind-the-scenes experience. You’ll get exposed to PCMA’s and Encore’s creative processes that drove our event’s Main Stage production and obtain inside access into the journey from design conception to execution. Stay tuned for additional exciting elements to be revealed! Timing subject to change.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Trending Topics Impacting Contracts, Communication & Business Outcomes

Both planners and suppliers agree that the contracting experience has been one of the biggest challenges in the current business environment. A panel of industry leaders will examine industry trends, including the impact of political, economic and social issues on everything from clauses to communications and staffing shortages impacting service levels. Come prepared to share your biggest challenges and exchange creative solutions with your peers on both sides of the negotiating table.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore current business challenges and their impact on contract clauses plus how your communication with suppliers from RFP to execution has changed as a result.
  • Determine realistic timeframes to make business decisions tied to registration performance in order to mitigate potential financial consequences.
  • Adopt new contracting and negotiation strategies that address business objectives and potential roadblocks concerning both parties in a transparent manner.

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

CL23 Behind-the-Scenes Sustainability Tour

SPEAKER: Amanda Simons, Principal, Sustainability Consultant, Honeycomb Strategies

SPEAKER: Ryan Thorpe, Assistant General Manager, Greater Columbus Convention Center

This tour will take you behind-the-scenes to see sustainable F&B sourcing, prep and planning in practice, waste diversion tactics, and you’ll walk the space to discuss sustainable signage and engagement strategies. Don’t miss this chance to get a glimpse into how PCMA, the GCCC & Honeycomb collaborated to bring the CL23 sustainability efforts to life.

Learning Objectives:

  • Dive into sustainable practices to learn how they could apply to your logistics planning.
  • Examine what sustainable decision-making looks like and the factors to consider.
  • Understand how small and individual sustainable choices contribute to a bigger mission.

Wednesday, January 11

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Zero Waste + Circularity – What Does it Mean & How Do We Get There

SPEAKER: Courtney Lohmann, Senior Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, PRA Business Events

We hear a lot about circularity and zero waste.  But let’s get into the nitty gritty of what it is, what it means for events and how you can strategically implement it at your event.  This session will break through the noise and provide you with examples of executed strategies around circularity and zero waste. These examples will be simple and complex. Giving you a wide range of ideas and tools, you can take back to your planning table and then implement it at your next event.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what circularity and zero waste mean.
  • Learn how to strategically apply circularity and zero waste strategies to your event.
  • Apply these concepts and build upon them year over year to increase your impact.

See You in Columbus!

The future of business events is coming. Are you ready?