New PCMA Education Portal Allows 24/7 Session Proposal

It doesn't matter if they have an idea for a January breakout session in June, or if inspiration strikes in the middle of the night — every night. Meeting professionals can now mind their muse thanks to EduGate, its new education portal that allows for 24/7, 365-day submission of ideas and session proposals, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) announced yesterday.

A searchable database, EduGate was developed with the goals of standardizing session proposal submissions, increasing educational staff productivity and enhancing speed-to-session delivery. To accomplish those objectives, PCMA has created universal program submission standards that will allow it to "immediately assess a speaker's fluency and commitment to its submission," while also enabling PCMA staff, program committees and chapter leaders to search for "vetted and approved" education programming.

Other key features:

• EduGate allows for submission classification tagging, which makes it possible to search for education sessions within the PCMA database that fit a specific target audience's needs and wants.

• EduGate allows speakers to submit once and be considered for multi-year, multi-event opportunities.

• EduGate is designed to capture ideas from any source, which means individuals can submit ideas for sessions without having to own and develop the ideas, and without having to volunteer as a speaker.

"PCMA's strategic plans call for us to enhance the relevancy of our educational programming for all member demographics," said PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton. "The 2012 Convening Leader's program was evidence of our commitment — offering a variety of concurrent sessions for each of our member categories: Association, Corporate, Independent, Trade Show, Medical Meetings and Global Meetings. Our post-event evaluations prove we're on the right path and our audience wants more education offerings specific to their niche. EduGate will help PCMA and our speakers deliver our audience's education desires."

EduGate's first trial run will be the call for presentations for PCMA's 2013 annual meeting, which is open through Feb. 29. For more information, visit www.pcma.org.