A Beginner’s Guide to the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference

Preparing for a brand-new experience can be a daunting task. But fear not, friends! In this article you are about to dive into contains tips and advice on how to get the most out of your PCMA Convening Leaders Conference experience.

↓ Take a look at this video for some insight from our current PCMA-TRU members!

 

“What is this conference you speak of?”

You might be wondering what all the hype is about. The PCMA Convening Leaders Conference is a gathering of students and professionals with the shared interest of learning more about being a better leader in the events industry. Each year, this 4-day conference moves from city to city, bringing with it a variety of thought-provoking speakers and workshops. On top of all the workshops, you get to enjoy free food, fantastical receptions and sightseeing.

“How do we pay for all of this?”

As a club, PCMA-TRU focuses its fundraising efforts on sending every club members to the Conference. This means that we try extra-hard to secure grant funding as well as put on as many successful events as possible, like our signature event the Mosaic Fashion Show.

 ← Take a look at this timeline for a better understanding of how we achieve our Conference goals.

 

I’m not a professional, and I have no experience in the events industry. How will I fit in?”

The majority of attendees are professionals, which means that this will be an amazing networking and learning opportunity for you as a student.  As long as you have an open mind, you will be just fine. To prepare yourself, think about what you would like to learn from someone in your dream job. What kind of questions would you want to ask? Giving this some thought will prepare you for the most ideal situation. The conference also offers a Student Session on the first day, which gives you a chance to meet hundreds of other like-minded students from across the continent and beyond, as well as vital information about how the conference operates. Taking advantage of this “PCMA-U” session will prepare you for the days to come.

Here is a suggestion of things you can bring on your trip (aside from general items like your toothbrush and travel documents.) →

“How do I choose which sessions to attend? There are so many over-lapping choices! Help!”

Take some time to read the schedule prior to leaving for the Conference. Make a note of all the sessions you would like to go to, then find out which ones are being taped and which ones are not. That might help you narrow down your choices. Research the speakers’ names and find out what they do – some of them will have Ted Talk videos that will give you an idea of what their sessions will be like. At the 2015 conference a few PCMA-TRU members got to meet Drew Dudley, and they exchanged business cards and contact info! Awesome connections can be made, so be sure to take full advantage of your chosen sessions.

“I’m new to the club and not sure if I should commit to a trip with a bunch of total strangers. Thoughts?”

JUST DO IT. You will have an amazing time and make tons of new friends. It’s a life-changing experience – don’t miss out!

 

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