Neil Brownlee PCMA

Head of Business Events, Neil Brownlee

Article Published 24/11/2022

In September, members of the VisitScotland Business Events team attended PCMA Convening EMEA, which was held in Vienna, Austria, between 28 and 30 September 2022, with the overarching message of 'together we move forward.' This year's event was attended by a record number of international industry colleagues and associations who met to share their learnings, inspire and learn from each other.

The three-day event programme was packed with thought provoking educational sessions on topics including an audience first approach, changing behaviours, sustainability within events, innovation-led products and services to solve current issues.

Our Head of Business Events, Neil Brownlee, introduced the first keynote speaker, Gerd Leonhard, from The Futures Agency, and had the opportunity to promote and discuss Scotland's Journey to Change campaign with attendees.

During his session, Gerd discussed what the next 10 years for our industry could look like. Whilst delivering a positive outlook he did caution that there will be many changes and further challenges to overcome, where crisis will be the norm, and how we need to work collectively to navigate these challenges.

"The goal needs to be to rehumanise conventions and protect what makes us human", said. Gerd Leonhard, CEO, The Futures Agency. "There will need to be spaces for us to reconnect with real experiences providing opportunities for attendees to rebalance and reconnect. Face to face events need to have powerful speakers and unique content. Unforgettable experiences and transformations are the goal for successful future conferences."

On the second day of the event, Senior Business Events Manager, Rory Archibald, chaired a panel session titled 'Audience first approaches to understanding changing behaviour'. Rory was joined by Tom Reiser of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis; Giulia Ineke Sarri of AIM Communication; and Daniel Waigl of CIRSE. The panel discussed how they gather and analyse audience insights to create engagement plans that are flexible, relevant and tailored. A summary video of the session can be viewed here.

The next PCMA Convening EMEA will be held in Copenhagen from 20th to 23rd September 2023. We are looking forward to attending the event and to highlight the work taking place in Scotland.