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PCMA Releases Business Events Compass

New PCMA Foundation Report Delivers Insights and Strategies for the Business Events Industry in the Next Normal

PCMA today released Business Events Compass – an actionable framework of insights and strategies for business event professionals and their business partners to guide their careers and businesses during the pandemic and beyond. The PCMA Foundation funded report provides explicit research-based insights on geographic and industry sector business events recovery opportunities as well as recommendations for the evolution of participant engagement, business models and expected reskilling needs.

“In the Spring I stated that our industry needs to be a part of the solution and not exacerbate the health crisis. Since then our industry has been shattered by COVID-19. And if we are going to play a role in bringing people together during the pandemic and through the induced economic and social crises, we are going to have to do it within a whole new paradigm,” said PCMA president and CEO Sherrif Karamat, CAE. “Business Events Compass is about understanding that paradigm and how careers and businesses in our global business events industry can evolve to thrive and continue to deliver the human connections our world so badly needs.”

Example Report Insights:

A key element in PCMA’s Recovery Discovery initiative, examples of Business Events Compass insights include:

  • Business event professionals, chief human resource officers and event participants all agree that face-to-face events cannot be fully replaced by digital alternatives.
  • Best case economic recovery scenario (virus contained) for business events is currently estimated to be Q3-2021.
  • The speed of business events recovery varies significantly by global region, industry economic sector and event experience type.
  • Smaller locally focused business events will thrive in the initial recovery, driven by organizational business meetings and conventions/conferences/congresses. Incentive experiences and exhibitions will recover much more slowly.
  • 39% of business event participants 25-49 years old expect to attend the same or more business events in 2021 than they did in 2019. This compares to 17% for participants 50+ years old.

Comprehensive Global Methodology:

Supported by a PCMA Foundation investment, PCMA Insights – PCMA’s global consulting practice — undertook an unprecedented assembly of global data and perspectives to inform development of the insights and strategies in Compass during May and June. This included six PCMA Think Tanks with over 130 global business event leaders, business sentiment surveys from thousands of PCMA members and global stakeholders, surveys of frequent business event participants, surveys with chief human resource officers, and interviews with global brand and association leaders. These were supplemented with reviews of regional pandemic health policies and analysis of global econometric recovery models.

“Making a difference for business events professionals when they are needed the most is what the PCMA Foundation does. This is arguably the business events industry’s most comprehensive research undertaking since the 2009 economic significance studies,” said PCMA Foundation Chair Valerie Sumner. “Given the ebbs and flows inherent in this pandemic, our plan is to support ongoing updates of Compass as needed for our members and invest in the resource and reskilling strategies contemplated in its recommendations so our members can continue to thrive.”

With the pandemic continuing to impact economies, travel demand and health and safety regulations around the world, PCMA and its research partners will continue to collect data and share insights with subscribers to the report through timely updates.

Where and How to Get More Information on the Full Report:

An executive summary of Business Events Compass is available now free of charge on the PCMA website to all members ($49 USD to non-members). A subscription to the full report, including updates through December 2020, is available for $495 USD for members ($895 for non-members).



PCMA Insights is PCMA’s in-house consulting practice that helps destinations and brands accelerate economic and social transformation through business events. PCMA Insights draws upon its rich collection of industry data and trends, thought-leadership research and best practices to develop actionable recommendations that drive performance for its global clients.


The role of the Foundation of PCMA is to support the mission of PCMA through fundraising and grant giving focused on scholarships, education and research that will advance the business events industry. Annually the Foundation funds over $600K in impact, and since 1985 has funded over 1,600 scholarships, 100 research studies and education programs, and $2.5M in charitable giving.

For all media inquiries, additional comment and request for interviews, please contact:Bruce MacMillan
[email protected]
+1 312.423.7231

About PCMA

PCMA believes that business events can economically and socially transform communities, enterprises and individuals. As the world’s largest platform for business events strategists and their business partners, PCMA’s success is driven by a commitment to providing provocative executive level education, face-to-face networking and business intelligence to its global audience of 7,000 member professionals and students.

Through its Ascent leadership initiative to promote inclusion and diversity across the business events industry and beyond, PCMA seeks to empower those challenged by gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or disabilities to find success.

Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries and regional offices in Switzerland and Singapore. Visit us at or on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.



Donica YoungPCMA Releases Business Events Compass