What I Learned from Being Awarded PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties

My position as head of marketing at CadmiumCD affords me lots of opportunity. I get to connect with industry leaders regularly, stay up to date on the coolest new tech, and — best of all — make a living writing and talking with others.

I’ve done my best to take advantage of these opportunities and because of my efforts was recently named as part of PCMA’s 20 in Their Twenties class of 2016.

A group of PCMA's 20 in their Twenties Award Recipients at Convening Leaders Annual Conference closing reception. The events industry is full of hard work, but here's a time when these future leaders could goof off and let their hair down.

Being up on stage with friends and colleagues cheering me on was cool enough. What made the experience even better was the chance to connect with the other award recipients. These are some of the best young eventprofs (planners, marketers, and entrepreneurs) working in the events industry today.

I connected with most of them outside of the PCMA’s Convening Leaders Conference, and found some common themes among our conversations. Here are some of the issues that we as eventprofs will have to face in coming years:

  • The Increasing Wealth Divide — Vancouver is a beautiful city. But it’s a beautiful city with a big problem. Homelessness. As the wealth gap between rich and poor increasingly widens, we will see our meetings increasingly being affected by this divide. As costs go up and the middle class shrinks, our attendees will find it harder to attend our conferences.
  • The Health of Our Planet — Vancouver is the most eco-conscious city I’ve ever been to. Everywhere you go, there is information about global warming and sustainability. Being in the events industry, we have a great responsibility to uphold. We build pop-up cities that are full of waste. Going forward, we need to be conscious of where our excess food goes, how we’re dealing with waste, and how technology can be used to replace paper and make our conferences more sustainable.
  • The Quality of Education — I like fun speakers as much as the next guy. But I don’t like when I walk away with a sense that I haven’t learned something, or that I haven’t been inspired to take action. Attendees want to be taught, engaged, and challenged… not sold-to or talked-at. We need to remember the purpose of our events. Collaboration and communication are key. Lecturing or selling to a group of peers is a waste of everyone’s time. People pay a lot of money to attend our conferences. Their time and resources must be respected.

PCMA's Events Industry 20 in Their Twenties Class of 2016 posing in front of the 20 in their Twenties signage in the foyer of the Vancouver Convention Center

Being part of an industry that touches virtually every other industry, these are issues we 20, as well as every other eventprof out there will have to address in the years to come. That being said, I’m confident we can come up with some pretty good solutions. If the group I met is representative of our future leaders, we’ve got some pretty good heads in the game. Plus, so many steps are already being taken by current leaders and PCMA made a conscious effort to set the standard for 2016.