by Vincent Alonzo | January 08, 2018
At a press conference today at PCMA Convening Leaders in Nashville, TN, outgoing PCMA President & CEO Deborah Sexton listed her top three hopes for the meetings industry.

1. The meetings industry has to be more innovative
. "Things are much better than they were a few years ago, but I still don't think we're as innovative as we need to be as an industry," Sexton said. "It's up to all of us as individuals to move outside of our comfort zone when it comes to embracing change."

2. The industry has to shift to a focus on developing planners that are business strategists.
 "This is not to diminish the importance of managing meetings logistics, there will always be a need for that," said Sexton. "But meetings are being acknowledged as being an important part of an organization's marketing strategy and planners have to step up to that challenge. I'm very proud of the initiatives PCMA has established aimed at helping planners become business event strategists."

3. Events are not engagement strategies.
"Events are part of an engagement strategy but they are not the strategy itself. Organizations have to make that distinction," Sexton told the audience.