5 minutes with a PCMA pioneer

The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) is the official strategic partner for the Knowledge Program at this year’s AIME, which is set for a new vision under organisers Talk2 Media.

CIM spoke with Antonio Codinach, the regional business director-APAC at PCMA-ICESAP, who is based in Singapore, ahead of the full day of learning on Monday 18.

What kick started the PCMA’s expansion into the Asia Pacific? Under the leadership of president and CEO Sherrif Karamat, the PCMA has been transforming from a largely North American base to a global organisation. The acquisition of ICESAP in 2017 was a strategic approach to bring the best practices the PCMA made in North America to the Asia Pacific.

What is the PCMA offering? We bring our high level innovative education for industry professionals, through a series of experiential events and interventions both online and face to face. Not only through our own events waving our PCMA flag but also tapping into external events such as AIME in Melbourne.

What can we expect at AIME? It’s a good mix of content, experience, facilitators and speakers and collaborators. It’s all about the level of education. I don’t think anyone out there is putting together the types of programs we put together and that is how we differentiate not only from local but also international organisations.

What was your main priority in 2018? We have been building a lot of autonomy from HQ (US) and we have a lot of freedom to try new ventures, revenue channels and business models in the region to see which ones work better. In other words we are understanding what the needs of the market are and then walking backwards.

Any plans to set up shop in Australia? We have always been very close with Australia, and understand such a mature market needs special needs. But the PCMA now has a permanent team in the region based in Singapore. That helps us to feel closer to Australia. We are doing a lot of listening to understand what the industry needs.

We have supported AIME for the last seven years including leading education sessions and bringing hosted buyers. There has always been a strong partnership with Australia and this will consolidate that. Will we have an office in Australia? Early days. Let’s go one step at a time.