Business News

Events Industry Looks to the Future During PCMA Convening Leaders

Convention center

Skift Take

Chris Nassetta, CEO of Hilton Hotels, a featured speaker during PCMA Convening Leaders, predicts the business events industry will exceed the high water mark of 2019 this year.

David Whitaker, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, summed up the sentiment of the second day of the PCMA Convening Leaders conference in Columbus, Ohio, succinctly, “We have to let go of being back, and focus on looking forward.”

One of the developments Whitaker spoke of in Miami is the opening of a new Grand Hyatt convention center hotel in 2025 that will have 800 rooms and 48 suites.

From developments like this to convention center renovations and destination organization rebranding, the second day of PCMA Convening Leaders was all about looking to the future.

During his keynote, Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide, said despite “stubborn” inflation, he is “hyper-optimistic” about the business events industry. Nassetta predicts the industry will bounce back and exceed the high water mark of 2019, welcome news to the planners in the audience.

Encore president and CEO Ben Erwin led Tuesday’s keynote session focused on the 2023 outlook for business evens. He urged the industry to focus on the purpose of events and what they can do for organizations. “What’s important as we enter uncertain economic times is reminding our stakeholders about the value of coming together in person — the purpose, power, and return on investment we have for all of our communities,” said Erwin.

Erwin also stressed the importance of being able to pivot. “Flexibility and agility are important lessons from the pandemic for moving forward in 2023 and how we can work in the in-between — not yes or no, black or white, zero or 100, but adapt and respond to challenges with flexibility,” he said.

Photo credit: Andrea Doyle / Skift Meetings