Vancouver’s business events and hospitality community congratulates Claire Smith, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Vancouver Convention Centre on her appointment as the Professional Convention Management Association’s (PCMA) Board Chair this year, effective today.

“I have always been inspired by the work and leadership of PCMA to promote education and the value of the global meetings industry. To be named this year’s PCMA Board Chair is truly an honour,” said Smith. “It is an exciting and busy year ahead for PCMA and I look forward to working alongside a talented and seasoned Board of Directors to champion the great work of PCMA’s team and volunteer community.”

Smith’s appointment makes her the first-ever supplier, Canadian and non-US-based Chair of PCMA’s Board of Directors.

“Claire has been instrumental in PCMA’s evolution and growth. She has played a key role in PCMA’s new vision and strategic plan; her ascension to PCMA’s Chairmanship is a fitting testament to her vision and passion for PCMA and the Business Events Industry,” said Sherrif Karamat, CAE – incoming President and CEO of PCMA.

“Claire is a highly recognized business events professional, innovator and leader, and her many colleagues at the Vancouver Convention Centre and across Canada are very proud to see her assume this important leadership role within such a globally respected industry organization,” said Ken Cretney, President and CEO, BC Pavilion Corporation. “In her new role as PCMA Board Chair, Claire’s commitment and expertise will continue to guide and grow our industry.”

“Claire has been a colleague and friend for close to 25 years and I am blessed to have such a great partner in marketing Vancouver. One of my career highlights was co-chairing the local host committee with Claire for PCMA’s 2016 Convening Leaders,” said Dave Gazley, Vice President, Meeting & Convention Sales, Tourism Vancouver. “Claire is well known as a trusted and respected leader across the industry, and of course within the PCMA community - in Canada, the US and around the globe. The entire Vancouver meeting, convention and hospitality community is so proud of her. We know PCMA is in a good place with her as the 2018 Chair.”

Smith is a recognized voice in the global meetings industry over the last 25 years. She has been on PCMA’s Board of Directors for the past four years, and in 2016, she co-chaired the PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Vancouver, Canada. Apart from actively participating in various industry associations, she is also regularly a featured speaker and session facilitator at industry conferences in Asia, North America and Europe. As the Vancouver Convention Centre’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, she is responsible for strategic business development, leading and directing the sales, marketing and communications team, as well as positioning the facility in the global marketplace.

About the Vancouver Convention Centre

The Vancouver Convention Centre is the world’s first double LEED Platinum certified convention centre. Located on Vancouver’s downtown waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the facility offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The award-winning 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 PCMA

Through education, PCMA inspires, connects and innovates the business events community. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists; providing senior education and networking for the events sector. PCMA crafts and shares knowledge and market intelligence, enabling organizations to make informed business decisions while providing a platform for peer-to-peer exchange. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. For more information on the PCMA family of brands, visit PCMA at, PCMA Education Foundation at, PCMA Convenemagazine at, Digital Experience Institute (DEI) at and the Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia-Pacific (ICESAP) at

High resolution photos available here.

Media Contacts:
Jinny Wu, Vancouver Convention Centre

Phone: 604.647.7353

Amber Sessions, Tourism Vancouver
Phone: 604.631.2870