At the EIBTM 2014 conference in Barcelona I got the opportunity to sit down with Katie Yandell, Global Development Specialist at the Professional Convention Management Association. I took the opportunity to quiz Katie on some of the challenges faced by meeting professionals and ask her about the type of technology she believes will benefit the industry. Find out what she had to say below…




What is PCMA?

PCMA is the leading organisation for meeting and event professionals.

Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA represents 6,500 meeting industry leaders throughout the globe. With seventeen chapters in the United States, Canada and Mexico, our members include planner and trade show / exhibit professionals, suppliers, faculty, students and Emeritus.

Our aim is to deliver superior and innovative education and promote the value of professional convention management.


What are the benefits for becoming a member of PCMA?

PCMA membership is an essential part of your career development. Becoming a member allows you to bring added value to your organisation through access to the latest industry trends, winning strategies and best practices.

PCMA is recognised in the meetings industry as the leading provider of high quality education, innovative resources and networking opportunities that are designed to help individuals build relationships that are critical to their success. PCMA membership will help position you as a leading in your organisation.


What are the main challenges faced by those running professional events?

I would say that one of the main challenges is finding the right venue to suit the characteristics of the event in question. You can have a number of great venues on your list but if they don’t suit the type of event you are planning, you have to put a line through them.

Another challenge is finding someone you can trust to provide assistance. The people you work with need to have the right knowledge of the venue and a clear idea of what it has to offer.

A final challenge, one which I’m sure you’ll have heard time and time again, is that event planners are required to do everything on such a short time scale.


What type of technology do you think would be most beneficial to the industry?

Anything that makes event organisers’ lives a little easier is more than welcome! Event organisers are really pressed with time and we don’t want to spend any few moments we get trying to use a piece of technology. It’s got to be user friendly and it’s got to help event organiser save time.


What do you think of the role of wearables in the market?

Wearables are not something that I am interested in right now. I don’t think the market is quite ready for that sort of technology. You also have to remember that this sort of technology is expensive and event planners have limited budgets, so really it’s just another constraint.


Thank you so much to Katie for taking time out of her busy schedule to chat with me. I really enjoyed learning more about the benefits of PCMA membership, as well as hearing her thoughts on event technology. Much of what she said resonated with other industry professionals I spoke to, particularly regarding the need for time saving technology and it not being the right time yet for wearables.


Don’t miss tomorrow our next interview with Vanessa MCNair, Director at Global Connect UK  !



The author: Gianfranco

Gianfranco is Bizvento’s Marketing Director. He defines the company’s corporate and product messaging and leads the development of digital marketing activities. He gets inspiration from playing with his kids and cooking delicious Italian food for dinners with his friends. Visit or follow us on Twitter to learn more.