PCMA Selects Barcelona for Next European Gathering and Adds Sustainability Event

Skift Take

The next edition of PCMA's European gathering will take place in Barcelona in 2024. The event will also feature a co-located sustainability and climate tech conference.

the next edition of PCMA Convening EMEA will be in Barcelona, Spain from 30 September to 2 October, 2024. PCMA made the announcement today at Convening EMEA in Copenhagen, Denmark. CEO Sherrif Karamat described the host, Barcelona, as a “tremendous partner.”

PCMA also announced that it will be adding a co-located sustainability conference to the program. The conference is being organized in partnership with the Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe (SANCBE), a network of 29 national destination marketing organizations led by Matthias Schultze, CEO of the German Convention Bureau and Eric Bakermans, director marketing meetings & conventions at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.

“We are more than happy to join forces with SANCBE to unleash the full potential of our communities together and combine our strategic knowledge to co-create a sustainable future for business events,” said Karamat.

The conference aims to bring leaders from inside and outside the business events industry to help solve event sustainability challenges. It will also look at sustainable business practices in general. Content will focus on climate technology, sustainable aviation as well as banking, and other areas of climate science.

PCMA is looking to use the learnings from the conference to reimagine its events. “What we are going to discover at this conference is going to be how PCMA is going to reimagine its events,” said Karamat in a press briefing.

PCMA doesn’t plan on replacing in-person events with virtual ones. It highlighted the not-insignificant carbon footprint of virtual events and mental health issues stemming from the isolation of remote work as core reasons for this stance.

When asked why PCMA – a U.S.-based association – is starting a sustainability conference in Europe, Karamat shared that he sees Europe ahead of North America in sustainability matters. 

“The challenges of sustainability and the digital transformation are global in nature and can thus only be addressed through cooperation, common goals and frameworks, and a shared vision,” said Schultze. “Together with PCMA our new conference, initiated and hosted in Europe, will expand this movement to the global scale,” he added.

Middle Eastern countries have approached PCMA to take its Convening EMEA to the region. Karamat confirmed that PCMA doesn’t plan to run the conference outside Europe. It will, however, explore running smaller regional events in the region.

Columbus, Ohio hosted PCMA’s largest event, Convening Leaders, in January. It will head to San Diego, California, in January 2024.