The annual PCMA Convening Leaders event, hosted by the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), serves as a unifying call for leaders to envision a more expansive and impactful role in global transformation. PCMA's mission is to propel social and economic progress through business events.
To ring in the new year, 360 Live Media participated in Convening Leaders 2024, contributing to the inaugural Event Strategy Center and gaining invaluable insights.
Here's what we learned from global experts about the future of business strategy and events:
1. The Future of AI is Now
With the uptick of artificial intelligence (AI) usage this past year, especially within the workforce, there's a prevailing belief that widespread adoption will occur in the next 5-10 years. One speaker even predicted that significant change could happen within the next two years.
While some organizations are just embarking on their AI journey, many recognize its pivotal role in successful business operations.
Organizations need to take the next step forward when it comes to keeping up with AI. In addition to continuing to inform audiences about how AI will impact them, event organizers need to design practical application workshops for audiences, including hands-on teaching for the next level of using AI to aid people with their work.
2. Sustainability takes Center Stage
Sustainability is not just a buzz word or a nice-to-have conversation—it is a growing, crucial concern that event strategists need to proactively address.
Circularity—a key aspect of sustainability—is the idea that designed products and systems are created to reuse resources and eliminate waste. It’s the biggest shift for trade shows in 2024, which means that events need to be crafted in a way that ultimately promote sustainability. The need for change is evident, and it’s more important now than ever to take a proactive approach towards this challenge.
PCMA has partnered with American Geophysical Union (AGU) to map out sustainable event designs, hold conversations related to climate change, and support the business events community with the education and resources needed to make an impactful change.
3. Shift From Talking to Listening
As we rapidly accelerate into an era where technology is even more intertwined with our lives and careers, events are one place where we can take a pause to be human, truly connects with our colleagues and friends on our purpose and goals, synthesize thoughts in conversations, and create a space to remember what is important.
This ultimately then calls for the shift of events from being designed for talking to being designed for listening. Speakers on the main stage referred to listening with intention—whether listening to the market, innovation, or each other.
Event organizers should create space for people to listen to the speakers on stage as well as interact with their fellow attendees in the audience.
PCMA Convening Leaders 2024 not only showcased the evolving landscape of business events but also emphasized the need for proactive adaptation to emerging trends in AI and sustainability, along with a more profound focus on genuine human connections.
As we navigate this transformative journey, the call is clear: think bigger, act bolder, and envision a better future for our events.