by Michael J. Shapiro | July 07, 2017
The Professional Convention Management Association, along with the PCMA Education Foundation, will be jointly awarding grants of more than $75,000 in total to advance three industry research initiatives in the second half of this year. The association outlined the initiatives on Thursday.
First, a project is underway on business-events case studies, examining the professional, business, academic, and economic outcomes of the business-events industry and the best way to communicate those outcomes to related communities and governments. The research, conducted in collaboration with the Joint Meetings Industry Council, is being managed by the University of Technology, Sydney, in Australia. The studies, to be completed by early 2019, will reflect the outcomes in different cities around the world. Best practices will be reported as well, based on case-study outcomes.
"By helping to fund this prestigious piece of work with our industry partners, we are helping to prove to the wider world that business meetings and events are a vital part of all our economic futures," said Sherrif Karamat, who is COO of PCMA. 
PCMA also has awarded a $30,000 grant toward a study of travel boycotts and the effects they are having on the business events industry. Such boycotts have become more common over the past few years; for example, several are still in effect in response to North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill. The study, which is being conducted by Destination Marketing Association International (which this month changes its name to Destinations International), will provide information for both event organizers and destinations on how to navigate such boycotts and their effects.
The organization is partnering as well with the German Convention Bureau and the European Association of Event Centres (EVVC) to look at success factors for future meetings. The first phase of the research, already completed, identified six future meeting scenarios -- forms that future events will likely take. Phase two, to which PCMA is contributing, will identify factors for success in each scenario.
"We're glad to be partnering with DMAI to understand the true impact of travel boycotts, and with the GCB and EVVC to define how participants will engage with future meeting design," noted Meredith Rollins, executive director of the PCMA Education Foundation. "Education is key to success for our industry, and both of these research projects tackle issues that will shape our industry today and for the future."