Big ideas lined up for 2019 PCMA EduCon in L.A.

Americas News
Big ideas lined up for 2019 PCMA EduCon in L.A.

‘Street scientist’ Sara Ross, and songwriters John Ondrasik and Ciaran Gribbin are to speak at global industry association PCMA’s 2019 EduCon, in Los Angeles in June.

Organisers promise the conference will deliver personalised education content with actionable outcomes, networking opportunities and fresh approaches to solving industry issues as they continue to engage leaders from both within and outside of the business events industry as presenters for the three-day event.

“PCMA is celebrated for programmes that are cutting-edge and provocative, delivering what business events strategists need to be successful,” said Tonya Almond, PCMA Vice-President of Knowledge and Experience Design. “At EduCon, each person will be able to tailor programmes specifically for her own needs, in the format that best suits his learning style.”

EduCon is traditionally focused on a practical approach to learning in smaller-scale, collaborative education sessions. More than 800 business events professionals from a dozen countries joined EduCon in 2018, so it is a more intimate affair than PCMA’s annual Convening Leaders event which traditionally attracts around 4,500 attendees.

“EduCon provides focused sessions that help me with my relationships with colleagues, clients and suppliers. It offers me the opportunity to engage more actively in the sessions I attend,” said Annette Suriani, CMP, Chief Marketing Strategist for AMS Meetings Solutions.

EduCon 2019 lists business events professionals from association, corporate and healthcare sectors, including Walmart Inc., National Association of Corporate Directors, Abbott and Tableau Software Inc.

Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik will kick-off the event with a keynote on how to design the world you want. Leadership expert Sara Ross, former Vice-President and global head of leadership at IHHP, will draw upon scientific research and personal experience for her keynote on managing emotional intelligence (EQ) to increase productivity and profitability, drive innovation and strengthen relationships. While former INXS singer, and Rock and Roll Team Building founder Ciaran Gribbin will demonstrate the powerful role music can have in any organisation.

Other speakers will provide one-hour sessions aligned with one of EduCon’s four key education studios.

  • Collaboration Studio, where attendees work together to find practical solutions to industry issues and participate in topical workshops
  • Deep Dive Studio, where groups can closely examine hot industry topics and explore the components most relevant to individual needs
  • Fresh Look Studio, where experts from outside the business events industry inspire participants to break down barriers and find creative problem-solving solutions
  • True Stories Studio, where sessions focus on case studies 

Experiential learning in the form of post-session ‘After Chats’ will follow most studio sessions.

The pre-conference Hackathon, facilitated by Jamie Murdock from Experient and Donna Kastner from, will allow participants to work in teams to come up with innovative solutions for how the hospitality and tourism industries can address unsheltered homeless individuals.

The Innovate + Elevate Hub, an evolution of the Innovate + Elevate Arena introduced at 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders, will provide fast-paced education sessions on the Accelerate Stage.

Around 200 domestic and international suppliers are confirmed to attend, including Air Canada, Discover Puerto Rico, GES, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, ISACA, MCI Group Canada, Palais Des Congres De Montreal, Vienna Tourism Board, VisitScotland, and US representatives from Destinations International, Events DC, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Music City Center Nashville, NYC & Company, Teneo Hospitality Group, Ritz-Carlton Group, Visit Houston and more.

For the event programme and to register, visit

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