Vancouver, BC (January 6, 2016) - The Vancouver Convention Centre, Tourism Vancouver and the local hospitality community are preparing to welcome close to 4,000 professional meeting planners and supplier members of the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) for the organization's annual Convening Leaders conference - taking place January 10 to 13th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This is the first time this prestigious annual conference has been held in Vancouver.
Convening Leaders is about professional development and networking for meeting industry professionals and showcases the latest innovations and trends in event technology, meeting design and business event strategy. The conference is expected to contribute an estimated $6.2 million in direct spending to the BC economy and represents millions of dollars of potential future meetings business for Vancouver.
Many of those attending represent existing and potential future convention clients for Vancouver. Given the importance of this group, the Vancouver hospitality community is rolling out the red carpet, aiming to surprise and delight this group of influential decision makers, with the ultimate goal of securing future convention contracts.
Upon arrival in Vancouver, delegates will see Vancouver International Airport's Control Tower aglow in PCMA colours and street banners at Canada Place welcoming the group. City tours are scheduled for more than 320 delegates, morning runs and yoga sessions have been organized in partnership with lululemon, and activations at each host hotel include a custom #PCMACaesar cocktail offering (Canada's classic cocktail). Spectacular Opening and Closing receptions are being hosted at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
PCMA will leave its mark on Vancouver, too. PCMA brings a corporate social responsibility agenda to each Convening Leaders host city through their Hospitality Helping Hands program. In Vancouver, a team of 150 PCMA delegates will fund and build creative play environments at two "at risk" daycare centres in Vancouver.
Convening Leaders also provides a unique opportunity for Vancouver's hospitality and event management students to further develop their skills. Throughout the conference a team of 250 student and industry volunteers will be engaged assisting conference organizers. All of the student volunteers are enrolled in BC hospitality and tourism education programs and will have the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour
"British Columbia continues to be a destination of choice for meetings and conventions. Welcoming these events to our province has an important economic impact with increased tourism, business and employment opportunities. The Convening Leaders conference is also providing important work experience to 250 students who are currently enrolled in tourism and hospitality programs, allowing them to learn from professionals in the sector.".
Deborah Sexton, PCMA President and CEO
"The creative construct for Convening Leaders 2016 is Cultivating Creative Moments, which couldn't be more appropriate for Vancouver. This diverse city is a hub for endless inspiration and the Vancouver team has consistently demonstrated they are among the world's best with respect to delivering creativity and professionalism to the meetings industry."
Claire Smith, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Vancouver Convention Centre and Co-Chair of the Vancouver Host Committee
"After years of planning, we're excited to welcome the best and brightest to one of our industry's leading events - PCMA Convening Leaders. This week will be the largest site inspection in Vancouver's history. Influential decision makers from across North America and around the world will experience firsthand what makes Vancouver one of the world's most livable cities and why we are North America's best convention centre - one that continues to attract the pinnacle of industry events like PCMA's Convening Leaders."
Dave Gazley, Vice President of Meeting and Convention Sales, Tourism Vancouver and Co-Chair of the Vancouver Host Committee
"We are thrilled to welcome PCMA Convening Leaders to Vancouver. Bidding on and securing citywide conventions is a highly competitive business and Convening Leaders gives us the sustained attention of many of the top clients in the meetings and conventions industry. This event is an incredible opportunity for Vancouver's hospitality community to pull out all the stops and demonstrate the skill, creativity and passion we put into hosting meetings, conventions and events."
About Vancouver Convention Centre
Located on Vancouver's downtown waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the world's first LEED® Platinum certified convention centre offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre features two connected buildings with a combined total of 466,500 ft2 (43,340 m2) of flexible meeting, exhibition, ballroom and plenary space. The facility is committed to environmental sustainability as well as unparalleled service, technology offerings and culinary excellence.
About Tourism Vancouver
Tourism Vancouver is the official destination marketing organization for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The not-for-profit, member-based organization represents over 1,000 tourism businesses in Metro Vancouver and beyond. Tourism Vancouver markets Vancouver as a premier leisure, business, meetings and group travel destination in strategic markets around the world.
About Professional Convention Management Association
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,000+ members with a community of like-minded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization's face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 39 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at pcma.org.