2014 Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC), Montreal
By Rachel Stephan, sensov/ event marketing
If you are one of the 350 event professionals who attended the two and a half day PCMA Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC) last November in Montreal, you’re probably still experiencing euphoria. Delegates were treated to an educational event that was aimed to empower and impress, as it featured inspirational keynote speeches from the likes of Astronaut Dr. Dave Williams, Olympic champion Mark Tewksbury and Olympic coach Debbie Muir, to storm-chaser Greg Johnson and world-renowned motivator Mike Lipkin. The innovative plenary environment successfully facilitated engagement. And if that wasn’t enough, there were over twenty insightful educational sessions and open discussions, which were led by industry leaders such as Jeff Hurt and Gary J. Summers – who taught us that mindful thinking can bring about a significant change in our work and personal lives. In addition to robust content, delegates were treated to an impressive opening ceremony sponsored by Fairmount Queen Elizabeth Hotel and the unforgettable Tourism Montréal’s closing ceremony inspired by the roaring 1920s. Moreover, the presence of PCMA President and CEO, Deborah Sexton, as well as the 2014 PCMA Chair Christopher Wehking, was a true testament to the importance of this growing Canadian conference. In fact, Ms. Sexton, boldly referred to CIC as a “mini-Convening Leaders.” The third year will be even better so save the date: PCMA CIC November 22-24, 2015, Toronto ON.
2014 PCMA Education Conference, Toronto
The 2014 PCMA Conference was held in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from June 22 to 25, 2014. Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO, shared the vision for this conference, as PCMA’s “opportunity is to take risks and innovate in front of our members, so they do not have to take chances within their own organizations.”The conference was filled with innovation, energy, and overall delegate excitement, as this year’s theme was all about learning to take risks and reinventing meetings in order to demonstrate their value to members. As such, the conference was presented in two styles. While day one was delivered in a traditional conference model, day two presented open and collaborative learning and tangible key takeaways. This opportunity provided the delegates with a chance to experience the new format from a live learning lab, in the hopes of empowering them to create unique and memorable experiences for their customers. The “open area learning” on day two, featured four tracks in business and strategy, industry know-how, technology, and leadership. The hot-button topics, presented every 30 minutes, in small group forums provided an intimate safe haven for pitching ideas. As a result, it fostered a healthy environment for creative brainstorming and challenging discussions. As Teresa Alfaro from the Volunteers of America so elegantly puts it, “PCMA is not afraid to take risks and try something new. They put the delegates first, so they are able to walk away with wonderful ideas and real life implementations so that they can improve in their jobs every day.” The member base would agree, this year’s Education Conference was a huge success!
Workshop: Trade Show Conversations 2014
Do you remember when you first joined PCMA? If not, take a peek at first-timer Kevin Hung’s feedback into the wonderful world of PCMA events, as it will be sure to bring back fond memories… This past April, I attended my very first PCMA Canada East workshop, Trade Show Conversations, and it was amazing! I met Elizabeth McCullough, Sonia Moff at, and Blake Mintz and was fortunate to absorb their advice and insight about innovative concepts, best practices, and future trends in the industry. Minutes into the session, I was immediately impressed by their wealth of knowledge. The diverse background of the experts provided us with a variety of views that kept the session relevant and interesting. The workshop was small and intimate, which allowed attendees to easily participate and network. This format not only kept things interactive but also allowed for diverse perspectives. One of my key takeaways was the importance of exhibitors having quality and high-value interactions to ensure attendees have a memorable experience. I look forward to implementing this tactile knowledge in my daily job.
International Women’s Day
On Friday, March 7, 2014, PCMA participated in another successful International Women’s Day community event at the John Innis Community Centre. Volunteers from the chapter, and the surrounding community, came together and provided an afternoon full of entertainment and delicious food. A huge thank you to and beyond again this year by providing us with enough food to feed up to 350 women.
Other sponsors include:
- CentreStage AV for audio visual services (for the second year)
- Freeman Audio-Visual for the tables and chairs (and the wheels to get them there)
- Starwood Hotels and Resorts and IHG for the toiletries that were added to gift bags
- We can’t forget our many thanks to the PCMA volunteers for giving of their time and spirit for this wonderful event.
Finally, the immense support we received from industry partners was instrumental to the success of this event. Again, to everyone involved – thank you.