PCMA has come a long way since the formation of their European Advisory Board at Convening Leaders 2017, with its successful Knowledge Exchange programme in Europe and annual event European Influencers Summit. They have also created the education programme for three leading industry events happening this month in EMEA, US and APAC. Regional Business Director EMEA at PCMA, Luca Favetta, talks about how PCMA is partnering with other industry leading organisations to provide tailored senior-level education for each region.
HQ: In your opinion, what is the biggest problem with the education element of events today?
LF: Event organisers tend to overschedule the agenda, trying to over-control the outcome and create conditions where participants have little flexibility to create their learning path and to live the event at their own speed. This penalises the overall learning experience of attendees.
What is a good strategy for events to enhance their education element?
At PCMA, we explore different content delivery methods to enhance the ability to create meaningful learning, create engagement before, during and after, and minimise (wherever possible) passive learning. The more we engage with our audience the better we are at delivering content that ensures they walk away with relevant, actionable takeaways.
At this year’s Influencers Summit 22-24 September in Barcelona we are delivering content in different learning styles with a plan to share our content produced at the event to keep the energy and engagement alive.
Most events provide similar content, delegates listen to the same ‘hot topics’, just at a different location. Is it possible for our industry to solve this?
Out of the box thinking and creativity are the keys to overpass and solve this issue. While we recognise that there are “Hot Topics” and “Trends” that have to be on the agenda, looking at adjacent Industries, searching for commonalities with other similar worlds outside of our industry can help to engage new audiences, speakers and stakeholders outside of the events industry, bringing a complete new and fresh spirit to the content we deliver at our events. At the 2018 European Influencers Summit, speakers like economist Kjell Nordström spoke about the rise of cities in the next few decades which may drive massive global political, economic and social shifts, forcing our industry and many others to disrupt or be disrupted.
What do you do to ensure that attendees learn what the event set out to teach?
Adapting content delivery style to attendee’s behaviour can help on this. Asking the right questions pre-conference, can help to “identify” attendees based on their preferred learning style (Visual, Verbal, Engaged/Social, etc.) and to build content matching each different approach.
Continuing the discussion post event through digital engagement like for example online group discussions, can help to crystallise messages and contents delivered at the event.
How does each region differ when it comes to education?
Similar content themes are relevant across all regions and we rely on evaluation feedback, website data and work with our regional industry leaders to give us deeper audience insights so we localise content offerings to meet their needs. Certain cultures may embrace more traditional learning styles so we take that into consideration when creating programs.
How is the process of working together with visit.brussels Association Bureau to tailor the education component for the upcoming European Association Summit?
visit.Brussels set their program strategy and sourced speakers for EAS before collaborating with PCMA on the session and speaker development. PCMA is also providing evaluation best practices so the lead organisers can gather more usable feedback to help improve future programs. We are also delivering a session sharing the results from a recent meetings and events trends study conducted with Marriott International.
Luca Favetta will be speaking on March 1 at the European Association Summit 2019, his session Five Trends Shaping The Future of Meetings and Events will be also joined by Davi Kaur, Head of Communications - European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, EORTC.
Photo credit: Vincenzo Cristiano
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