by Michael J. Shapiro | January 07, 2020

The Professional Convention Management Association will partner with the Corporate Event Marketing Association, the two organizations announced at PCMA's Convening Leaders conference in San Francisco. The alliance will primarily take the form of collaborative education and research, and will help grow the audience of each organization via cross promotions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We really feel that CEMA and its president and CEO, Kim Gishler, are best-in-class among event marketers," said Sherrif Karamat, CAE, PCMA's president and CEO. "We look forward to collaborating."

The two organizations have already embarked on a research project looking at how CEMA members are using artificial intelligence at business events, Karamat added. The agreement calls for CEMA to assist in developing education at PCMA's main educational events - Convening Leaders, EduCon, the European Influencers Summit and the Asia Pacific Annual Conference. For its part, PCMA will co-develop education for the annual CEMA Summit and for CEMA Study Tours. The respective leadership is open to countless additional possibilities as well.

"The main goal is to elevate the education in both organizations," said Gishler. "We can help each other. It just fits, and it's the right time to do this. Our members are going to be thrilled - it's a win-win for everyone."

The CEMA strategic agreement is one of several PCMA has established in recent years, with partners such as AIME (Asia Pacific Incentives Meetings Events); Abu Dhabi; Sarawak, Malaysia; IAPCO; COCAL; and a joint venture with Destinations International for the annual Destination Showcase event. "There is no PCMA without collaboration," added Karamat.

Convening Leaders kicked off Sunday night, Jan. 5, in San Francisco. More than 5,300 event professionals are in attendance, according to preliminary figures. One in four attendees is an executive, noted Karamat, and more than 400 CEOs are present. The annual conference runs through Wednesday afternoon.