PCMA Chair Leonard Hoops Shares His Agenda For 2024

January 23, 2024

On Jan. 10, American Psychological Association Senior Director, Meetings and Events Desirée Knight, who served as 2023 PCMA Chair, officially passed the gavel to Visit Indy President and CEO Leonard Hoops on on the main stage at Convening Leaders 2024 (CL24) in San Diego. 

Hoops, the first destination marketing organization (DMO) leader to chair the association, addressed the audience, which peaked at more than 4,200 during the three-day annual event – the largest ever, according to PCMA President and CEO Sherrif Karamat. 

Prior to taking the stage, Hoops sat down with us at the Visit Indy activation in The District at CL24 to share his priorities as chair of the association in 2024. Here are three highlights from our conversation about his goals.

  1. Exponential growth strategy. “PCMA right now has about 8,000 members and an engaged community of about 50,000. It's heavily North American, but our growth has been heavily driven globally,” he said. “Our goal is [that] by the end of 2030 we will go from 8,000 to 25,000 members. And here's the real kicker: Our engaged community will grow from 50,000 to 300,000.”
  2. Getting it just right. After spending the last year on a listening tour, Hoops plans to hone in on addressing member concerns – whether it’s focusing on North America versus global membership, addressing the needs of senior-level business events strategists versus the next generation of leaders or evaluating the association’s business model, which relies heavily on suppliers.
  3. Branding. “What does the PCMA brand mean … visually, strategically and its identity? PCMA used to stand for Professional Convention Management Association,” Hoops said. Today, the association touts itself as “The Platform for the Business Events Industry,” and its membership includes business events strategists and suppliers. Over the last several years, PCMA has expanded with several acquisitions, including Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), Event Leadership Institute (ELI) and Event Marketing Association (EMA) UK. In 2023, PCMA and Gevme launched Project Spark in May and rolled out a suite of AI learning and training services for business events in September. How will those be branded going forward? Hoops said his goal is to complete an assessment and determination by the end of his term in January 2025. 

Want to know more? Listen to the full interview here.

Photo credit: Jacob Slaton, Whatever Media Group

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