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Convening Asia Pacific delivers omnichannel inspiration and demonstrates a bright future in the world of experiences

November 12, 2020 MICE No Comments

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA)’s Convening Asia Pacific: The Global Recovery Forum brought together established and emerging leaders of the business events industry on 10 November in Sydney and digitally around the world, to talk openly about change, challenges and transformation, and lead the industry into a future of events that are engaging and entertaining experiences.

Jack Delosa, Founder, Chairman and Executive Director, The Entourage, said of the challenges the event industry faces: “When you lean into a challenge it forces you to become better… It’s not circumstance, it’s strategy and how you choose to respond that makes all the difference.”

This inspiring message kick-started the Forum in which over 500 people across 20 countries tuned in for, online and at ICC Sydney. The audience heard from brand experience experts, event organisers, marketers, technology specialists and creators who were either in Sydney or beamed in from around the world; they shared practical advice, strategies and results already achieved in a post-COVID world.

The Event Model Evolution Panel featured Rebecca Hallett, Google Asia Pacific and Anna Patterson, George P. Johnson, who were broadcast from Singapore; Lucille Marie Essey, Jack Morton Worldwide who joined from New York; and Benson Looi, Utopian from Tokyo.

The panellists agreed that event technology had ‘advanced 10 years in six months’, stressing that success today requires the fusing ‘at the hip’ of creative and technology. The panellists also predicted the end of ‘events’ and the rise of ‘experiences’, calling for producers to focus on delivering the three ‘Es’: Engagement, Experience and Entertainment, to break through in a hybrid environment.

Demonstrating the intersection between live and digital were some of the regions brightest and best marketers, who took to the stage for Reinventing your Digital Marketing. Moderated by Nicki Kenyon, Australian Grand Prix Corporation, she was joined by Lisa Ronson, Coles, Anthony Gregorio, Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and John Broome, Australia Association of National Advertisers (AANA), as they discussed how digital marketing is fundamental for all events and brand experiences, and while the data derived from digital marketing is interesting, it is the insights from data that adds value.

Ending the Forum was Dr Jordan Nguyen, CEO, Psykinetic, who shared his personal journey on making a lasting impact and the importance of driving forward by continuing to learn through reflection, reinvention and adaption. His message: we all need to thoughtfully adapt, using technology as a tool but not as a replacement for face-to-face relationships, to be successful in the post COVID-era.

Karen Bolinger, Managing Director of PCMA APAC, said the event delivered exactly what was needed to help individuals, businesses and the industry recover in our region.

“Earlier in the year we conducted research in APAC and spoke with planners to find out what their pain points were and what we could do to help address them. With that in mind, we brought together highly experienced professionals to share their expertise with our audience. We knew we also wanted to connect attendees with peers to gain insights and give everyone the chance to share their perspective on their challenges today and how they will overcome them.

“This is our first hybrid event and to host it in Asia Pacific is a testament to PCMA’s commitment to the region as part of the Recovery Discovery journey on how we rebuild our industry. We are thrilled with how this event turned out and look forward to further addressing the topics and discussions covered here in APAC at PCMA’s global event – Convening Leaders in January 2021.

“Thank you to all who attended and our partners who contributed to the success of this event and the important conversations which were started,” said Ms Bolinger.

Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney, said the venue was delighted to host the inaugural Convening Asia Pacific: The Global Recovery Forum in a COVID-safe environment.

“We welcomed the Professional Convention Management Association and its members to ICC Sydney for Convening Asia Pacific. By activating components of our ASM Global VenueShield EventSafe Operating Guide, we were able to safely bring together our region’s top event professionals in a hybrid format, to facilitate the important discussion of our industry’s recovery.”

The next PCMA event is Convening Leaders, which will be held 11-15 January 2021, focusing on three core themes – participant engagement, business models and reskilling. For more information visit:

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