As a long time attendee of the PCMA Convening Leader’s annual January event, this year’s “virtual remake” Jan. 11-15 did not disappoint. Noted as the best way for participants to kick off the New Year, its traditional format of stellar education and networking was only slightly diminished by the lack of face-to-face interaction.
A total of 3,500 people from 36 countries registered to watch the content online through the Juno AI platform, interacted in The Kitchen conversations and as part of micro-communities and satellite gatherings keeping the level of engagement very high.
The event moved from its planned location in Houston to Singapore, with 19 official network partners hosting watch parties from United Arab Emirates, where 300 people joined the event, to a Marriott International gathering in Denver and a Hilton event in Dallas with 50 attendees each.
For those accustomed to the standard industry vernacular that we’re used to hearing from speakers, a new vocabulary surfaced as a result of the various education sessions highlighting the new virtual reality. Terms such as Gamification, Tik-Tok, Zoom Room, Fun Format, Bandwidth Considerations, and Twitch and Cyberpunk 2077 as streaming platforms (a.k.a. video games) are on track to become part of our professional conversations.
Counteracting these highly technological assemblies were opportunities to join wellness groups practicing Guided Meditation, Zen Yoga, and a Pranayama Breathing Session all sponsored by Puerto Rico. For the virtual side of this hybrid event, in person networking was replaced by chat rooms and scheduled groups for conversations highlighted by the opportunity to replace your facial expressions with those of various emoji’s when conversing online.
In conclusion, PCMA retained its reputation for soliciting a high level of involvement from the attendees. This was aided by the fact that the virtual format produced an enhanced number of global speakers as well as those participants able to attend due to the elimination of the travel component. It’s a testimony to the organizers that the energy of the audience was not diminished by the pivot to a hybrid event.
Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO of PCMA said face-to-face meetings are starting to come back…with full recovery in 2023. “Recovery is on its way, but we can’t expect to go back to what it was. We have changed, and we have to help people face that new reality.”
See you (hopefully in person) Jan. 9-12, 2022, when PCMA Convening Leaders brings its flagship education and networking event to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, be safe – innovate!