PCMA Chair Leonard Hoops Shares His Agenda For 2024

January 30, 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 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


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on LinkedIn!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
One of the most iconic names on the Las Vegas Strip just got an upgrade. Mandalay Bay has everything that your business needs from a refreshed convention space designed to inspire productivity and creativity, to an impressive selection of world-class restaurants and amenities. If you're looking for a venue that's both inviting and innovative, you have to be here. New Wave Experiences Mandalay Bay continues to invest in a new wave of enhancements both in the convention space and within the resort as a whole. New restaurant openings including Orla by Michael Mina, drawing inspiration from the award-winning chef’s childhood in Egypt and with flavors and décor inspired by the spices found in markets common to coastal Mediterranean towns, as well as Caramá by Wolfgang Puck, bringing the essence of Italy and spirit of Wolfgang into one concept, are recent additions. The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas also experienced a recent remodel of all 424 rooms. Swingers, a high-end, adults-only golf and entertainment concept will debut in Fall 2024. Enhanced Technology Creating a truly effective conference venue requires careful thought into what a business needs: the right technology, capacity, and inspiration to bring ideas to the next level. As part of the resort’s refresh, Mandalay Bay implemented state-of-the-art technology upgrades, installing cutting-edge Cat6A Ethernet cabling throughout the convention center. This advancement doubles the frequency of data transmission, enabling lightning-fast speeds up to 9400% faster. The convention center now boasts 11 dynamic digital walls, spanning up to 24' x 13', strategically positioned for brand placements, sponsorships and targeted event messaging. Additionally, attendees can benefit from 20 double-sided 55" mobile flexible display units, facilitating effortless navigation to meeting rooms and events. RFID locks were installed on all meeting room doors, and over 200 motion detection cameras have been placed throughout the space. Refreshing New Design & Fine Art The newly remodeled convention space provides a bright and vibrant atmosphere that complements Mandalay Bay's tropical-inspired brand. Featuring white-washed walls and ceilings adorned with bold floral patterns in cerulean and coral tones, the space is complemented by warm walnut accent walls. In addition to the redesign of all pre-function spaces, meeting rooms and ballrooms, Mandalay Bay's 1 million square feet of exhibit space has undergone a rejuvenation, including new paint, covered pillars and relocated strobe lights. Sustainable Spectacles Mandalay Bay is committed to Focused on What Matters and creating more responsible meetings. Refillable water stations all available around the resort, cutting unnecessary plastic usage from single-use bottles. The Mandalay Bay campus’ recent upgrades represent a bold step forward in redefining the Las Vegas experience. With a focus on innovation, sustainability, and unparalleled service, Mandalay Bay sets a new standard for excellence in business hospitality. Whether you're seeking cutting-edge conference facilities, world-class dining options, or simply a luxurious retreat, an unparalleled meeting experience awaits.