Why was PCMA EduCon 2023 so special?

published on July 5, 2023
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Last week Montréal hosted PCMA EduCon 2023 — and what an experience! If you’re less familiar, PCMA is an acronym for the Professional Convention Management Association. PCMA events are where the most influential people in the meetings industry convene. One such event is the annual EduCon (Education Conference) event.

If you were in Montréal last week, you probably felt the magic.

Why was Montréal the right destination for this event?

Montréal is unparalleled in North America. The city is a hotbed of creativity and talent, offering an incubator environment for innovative ideas and sustainability solutions. We’re a leader in domains such as artificial intelligence and video game production. But we’re also recognized as a city that is prioritizing sustainability. In fact, Montréal was ranked first in North America for its performance in rendering tourism more sustainable.

What made this year’s event so special?

Whether in person or digitally, Montréal tried to go the extra mile. For instance, to greet attendees at the airport, we set up a booth that offered not only snacks and beverages, but also a live DJ and local guides to answer questions and make suggestions. On Twitter during the event, our handle was Montréal - Host of PCMA EduCon (ask us anything).

Essentially, we wanted to make sure that attendees felt welcomed across multiple touch points.

Additionally, we tried to infuse the event with that patented Montréal charm. For instance, during the opening ceremony artfully put on by the Montréal’s convention centre (the Palais des congrès de Montréal), guests were welcomed by a cast of colourful characters that directed them to pass through colour-coded zones, each of which presented a different experience — like a choose-your-own adventure party. There was a games zone, a bonfire zone and a forest zone set against the Palais’s beautiful backdrop of giant pink trees.... not to mention a trajectory through the experience of OASIS immersion.

Also, we helped educate event professionals!

We offered a FAM (familiarization) tour to a couple dozen clients, which included an opportunity to discover local hotels, such as the Montréal Marriott Château Champlain, Le Centre Sheraton Montréal Hotel, Hôtel Bonaventure Montréal, and Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. These clients also discovered the latest Cirque du Soleil show (ECHO), hopped aboard a river cruise, accessed an exclusive music soirée, and participated in a personalized tour of the city.

Furthermore, some EduCon attendees also participated in offsite visits around Montréal, such as Le Balcon and the Biosphère.

That’s a wrap

The closing party was held at an iconic Montréal venue called New City Gas. Combining industrial chic with high-tech cool, this multifunctional event venues is one of the hottest spots in town. Guests were treated to bubbles, food stations, multiple open bars, live Big Band music (1945 The Band), pro bachata dancing, a photo booth, and fire-hot tunes courtesy of DJ Andrew Pololos. Who says business events professionals can’t dance? PCMA’s official Twitter account has provided the conclusive evidence that event professionals can indeed dance!

Hands up if you attended EduCon because…

Perhaps one of the most poignant moments happened on Day Two of EduCon. When Howard Givner and Ken Holsinger were sharing the mainstage during a morning event, the speakers were talking about the staying power of “bleisure” travel (pairing business and leisure). They posed the question: How many of you came to Montréal because it also is an interesting destination? Nearly everyone in the room put up their hands.

We’re honoured that you visited. And we hope to see you soon!

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