PCMA Foundation logo

PCMA Awards Program


Scholarships, Grants, Awards


PCMA and the PCMA Foundation are focused on accelerating the business events industry. We believe research, scholarships, recognition, and engaging leaders are integral to continuing the growth and impact on our community. This site serves as the stepping stone for these programs. View the individual tabs to learn more about our available scholarships, Visionary Awards nominations, grants, and 20 in their Twenties program.

Student Scholarships


All Access Pass Student

This scholarship will provide five (5) PCMA Students with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2022 in Las Vegas

PCMA Student Chapter Grant

Awarded to up to five (5) PCMA student chapters to be used for educational programming. The winning chapters will receive a $1,000 financial award.

Roy B. Evans Student Scholarship

Tuition-based scholarship awarded to up to two (2) undergraduate students.

  • $7,500 tuition award.

Legacy Society Scholarship

The Legacy Society Student Scholarship supports up to three (3) students entering the dynamic field of business events planning by providing a unique opportunity for support and engagement as they enter the workforce.

The Legacy Society Student Scholarship is intended for those in their last year of undergraduate education. Each recipient will receive:

  • $3,500 tuition award.
  • Complimentary PCMA membership for three years after graduation.
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare and three nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, OH.

Foundation Scholars Program

This scholarship program, supported by NYC & Company and PCMA Foundation, provides five (5) undergraduate students with numerous benefits and year-round engagement within the business events industry.

The Foundation Scholars Program is intended for anyone currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. At least one semester of an undergraduate program must be completed at the time of application. Each recipient will receive:

  • $3,500 tuition award.
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare and three nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, Ohio.

Continuing Education Scholarship

Tuition and year-round engagement scholarship for up to three (3) graduate students in the business events industry or those furthering their business events career.

The Continuing Education Scholarship is intended for those who have completed their undergraduate education and are pursuing a graduate degree. Each recipient will receive:

  • $3,500 tuition award.
  • Complimentary PCMA membership for one year.
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare and three nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, OH.

University Engagement Scholarship

This scholarship supports one (1) local university seeking to engage with PCMA. Scholarship will provide benefits to 2 Faculty members and up to 20 Students. Benefits include complimentary registration for Convening Leaders 2022 in Las Vegas

Professional Scholarships


All Access Pass

The All-Access Pass Scholarship is hosted by the PCMA Foundation and awarded to five (5) business event professionals. This opportunity includes:

  • Complimentary registration to 2022 PCMA EduCon
  • Three (3) nights accommodation
  • One (1) ticket to the Give Back Bash evening fundraising event 
  • Special seating for Main Stage sessions and lunches

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Next Gen)

This scholarship will provide five (5) Next Gen individuals with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Student)

This scholarship will provide five (5) PCMA Students with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Supplier)

This scholarship will provide five (5) Suppliers with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Convening Leaders All Access Pass (Planner)

This scholarship will provide twenty (20) business event planners with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Convening Leaders Faculty Scholarship

This scholarship supports up to ten (10) university faculty to attend Convening Leaders 2023. Must be currently teaching at least 2 classes per semester; currently teaching at least 1 class per quarter; OR currently teaching at least 4 classes in the past academic year. Recipients receive: roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

Convening Leaders University Engagement Scholarship (for local Columbus area universities)

This scholarship supports one (1) local university seeking to engage with PCMA. Scholarship will provide benefits to 2 Faculty members and up to 20 Students. Benefits include complimentary registration for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

PCMA Chapter Leaders Scholarship

This scholarship will provide up to seventeen (17) Chapter members with roundtrip airfare (up to $400), complimentary registration and up to four (4) nights of housing for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH.

PCMA Student Chapter Grant

Awarded to up to five (5) PCMA student chapters to be used for educational programming. The winning chapters will receive a $1,000 financial award.

Humanitarian Scholarship, in Partnership with Louisville Tourism

PCMA and Louisville Tourism believe in the power of the humanitarian and instilling compassion throughout the world. In recognition of Louisville officially being declared a “Compassionate City”, this scholarship is focused on recognizing humanitarian and social impact efforts. The PCMA Foundation Humanitarian Scholarship is more than just an event-based scholarship, it is an all-encompassing program looking to foster and promote those who are doing good in the business events industry. Qualified applicants will be individuals who lead, or develop, programs and initiatives in at least one of the following sectors: Inclusion, Empowerment, Social Innovation and/or Cause Awareness. There will be three recipients annually.

Scholarship Recipient Benefits:

  • $1000 in support of the charity of their choice
  • Three nights housing and registration for 2023 Convening Leaders
  • Invitations to attend hosted activities by Louisville Tourism during Convening Leaders 2023
  • Ticket to PCMA Foundation’s Party with a Purpose at 2023 Convening Leaders
  • PCMA membership for one year
  • Ticket to PCMA Foundation Visionary Awards in 2023
  • The recipient’s application will be automatically entered as a nomination in the Community Advocate of the Year award category for the PCMA Visionary Awards. This does not guarantee selection as a finalist or winner of the category.
  • Invitation to attend the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards in Louisville, KY in 2023

Leadership Coaching with Kati Quigley

Exclusive leadership coaching sessions with business events industry leader, Kati Quigley, are available for mid-career professionals looking for professional and/or personal development. Up to three (3) individuals will be selected to reactive ten (10) hours of coaching tailored to the individual’s unique career and personal goals.

Deborah Sexton Education Scholarship

This scholarship supports four (4) individuals each year with at least 3 years of career experience in the business events industry. Recipients receive: a continuing education stipend of $7500, Convening Leaders 2023 registration, housing, and airfare, one-on-one coaching with Deborah Sexton, and a complimentary membership for 3 years.

The Chris Wehking Scholarship

“Mentorship and career development were core values for Chris. When an individual was struck by a life challenge, an illness, loss of a loved one, or damage from a disaster, he was the first to reach out with an offer of support and would enlist others in this effort as well.” – Paul Pomerantz, American Society of Anesthesiologists Chief Executive Officer

Chris Wehking, Business Events Executive, wanted to provide opportunities and experiences for those around him. He wanted to touch the lives of others. This scholarship is in honor of Chris and his commitment and service to fellow members of the events industry. This scholarship is available for up to one (1) student and two (2) business event professionals who have shown how they have excelled at being leaders in their school and/or work life.

Benefits Include:

  • $5,000 education or continuing education stipend
  • Complimentary registration, round-trip airfare (up to $400) and four (4) nights housing at 2023 PCMA Convening Leaders in Columbus, OH
  • Unique engagement opportunities with industry leaders Three years of complimentary PCMA membership

Required Commitment

  • Participate in at least one (1) volunteer opportunity offered by PCMA for three years after the scholarship is awarded
  • Participate in structured meet ups designed for scholarship winners at PCMA events such as Convening Leaders and EduCon (virtual or in person) and informal (virtual or in person) meet ups with industry professionals
  • Be open to participating in marketing and promotional opportunities for the scholarship, including providing updates as to how receiving this scholarship has impacted your career

GMC Awards

Richard A. "Dick" Daignault Award:

This award was created by the Chapter in 1994 in honor of Dick Daignault, a long time Hilton Sales Representative, a career long member of PCMA, and a dear friend and mentor to his peers, his clients, and his competitors. Dick passed away in June 1994 at the age of 64. This award is presented to a gracious and generous supplier partner GMC member who provides leadership through mentoring, demonstrates integrity, and shows consistent respect for colleagues.

Award Criteria:

  • Nomination by GMC PCMA member in good standing or self-nomination
  • Minimum 10 years total membership in PCMA and 5 years membership in GMC PCMA
  • Minimum of 15 years employment in the hospitality industry recommended
  • Not a current member of the GMC PCMA Board of Directors, GMC Awards Committee nor previous recipient of this award
  • Established supplier in the industry and represents exceptional service
  • Has history of active volunteerism in the Greater Midwest chapter level the past 5 years and is an active industry volunteer overall

Robert J. "Bob" Donovan Award

This award was created by the Chapter in 2001 in honor of Bob Donovan, Vice President, Meetings & Travel Services, American Hospital Association. Bob is a career long member of PCMA, and a person who is committed to the continuity and growth of the industry by mentoring new industry professionals, while always maintaining an open door policy. This award is presented to an outstanding meeting professional who leads by example, inspires volunteerism, and is committed to the growth of the industry.

Award Criteria:

  • Nomination by GMC PCMA member in good standing or self-nomination
  • Minimum 10 years total membership in PCMA and five years membership in GMC PCMA
  • Minimum of 15 years employment in the hospitality industry recommended
  • Not a current member of the GMC PCMA Board of Directors, GMC Awards Committee nor a previous recipient of this award
  • Established event professional in the industry
  • Has history of active volunteerism in the Greater Midwest chapter level the past five years and is an active industry volunteer overall

Pillar Award

This award was created by the Greater Midwest Chapter in 2003 to honor a professional or supplier who is recognized as an unyielding supporter of the Chapter through dedicated participation, enthusiastic committee involvement, and leadership.

Award Criteria:

  • Nomination by a GMC PCMA Chapter committee member in good standing or self-nomination
  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience – at least 5 years of which being in GMC
  • Current, active member of a GMC PCMA committee
  • Not a current member of the GMC PCMA Board of Directors, Awards Committee nor a previous recipient of this award

The GEM Award

The Gem Award is presented to a professional or supplier who is both a newer member of the Greater Midwest Chapter and is currently serving on a Chapter committee. Nominated by committee Chairs and Vice Chairs, this volunteer demonstrates passion, and has taken an active role in the achievements of that committee by consistently Going the Extra Mile.

Award Criteria:

  • Nomination by GMC PCMA Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs
  • GMC PCMA committee member who has actively served on a committee(s) for 5 years or less
  • Not a current member of the GMC PCMA Board of Directors, GMC Awards Committee nor a previous recipient of this award
  • GMC PCMA Committee member in good standing

Spirit Award

This award was created by the Greater Midwest Chapter in 2019 to recognize an active chapter member (professional or supplier) who does not reside and/or have a physical office in the greater Chicago area.

Greater Chicago area is defined as the following:
  • Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Kankakee & Lake counties in Illinois
  • Lake, Porter & LaPorte counties in Indiana

Award Criteria:

  • Awarded at the discretion of the GMC Awards Committee based upon direct nomination by a GMC PCMA member in good standing or by nominations received in one of the chapter's other annual awards categories
  • Minimum of 5 years membership in GMC PCMA and 7 years professional experience
  • Not a current member of the GMC PCMA Board of Directors nor GMC Awards Committee
  • Has actively been engaged on one GMC committee during the current calendar year
  • Is a GMC PCMA member in good standing

Hosted Buyer Program Scholarship


A special invitation for event organizers who are responsible for contracting destinations and services for their organizations: Apply for the opportunity to receive a VIP experience during Convening Leaders 2023, which includes: complimentary registration, 4 nights of housing*, and a $400 flight stipend. Buyers are required to participate in all of their scheduled appointments and the Hosted Buyer luncheon held on Sunday, January 8.

*Hotel selection is on a first come, first serve, basis.

Visionary Awards


Professional Excellence Awards:

The PCMA Foundation annually recognizes exceptional individuals across the business events industry and their significant contributions to the industry in 2022. Up to three finalists from each category will be honored at the Visionary Awards; categories and criteria are included below. Nominations are now open. Self-nominations are accepted. Nominee cannot be a current member of the PCMA of Directors and Trustees. Nominations cannot be submitted for individuals working at the same organization.

Please be prepared to answer the following questions for your nomination:

  • Describe your professional relationship with the nominee. 
  • Describe the attributes and achievements in the past year that make the nominee an ideal candidate for this award. 
  • Please provide any additional information you would like to share with the committee. 

Outstanding Service to a Chapter:

The PCMA Foundation annually recognizes exceptional individuals across the business events industry and their significant contributions to their chapter or region from 2021 through 2022. Up to three finalists will be honored at the Visionary Awards. This award is not open to public nominations.


Business Events Strategist of the Year
 

Nominee should

  • Demonstrate professional excellence in all business interactions
  • Seek and execute solutions to event challenges
  • Evolve and improve business events year over year, leading to positive outcomes
  • Demonstrate adaptability and thought leadership 
  • Value and respect vendor/supplier relationships

*Formerly the Meeting Professional of the Year Award


Supplier of the Year
 

Nominee should:

  • Demonstrate professional excellence by anticipating and exceeding clients’ needs
  • Balance client/employer needs and costs effectively
  • Partner with clients to create solutions to event challenges
  • Create positive business outcomes for your organization
  • Demonstrate adaptability and thought leadership


Community Advocate of the Year
 

This award recognizes an individual’s activism through one specific program/project. This award is open to organization and event-based programs.

Nominee should:

  • Create and execute a program through an event that gives-back to the community
  • Gain participation and support from attendees/participants
  • Obtain statistics on impact of project and outcomes
  • Plan unique and creative project


Event Designer of the Year

This award is aimed to differentiate from Business Event Strategist of the Year by recognizing unique and innovative ideas implemented through Event Design. This award is open to business event strategists, business event strategists and suppliers. 

Nominee should:

  • Develop and showcase new trends in event design with a focus on attendee experience
  • Work within event budget to create innovative and experiential designs
  • Create events of the future through event design
  • Share knowledge with others


Digital Experience Strategist of the Year

This award recognizes change-makers and trendsetters of digital events. These are the professionals who transcend geographical borders, balancing event integration with engagement in either face-to-face extensions or standalone digital events. 

Nominee should:

  • Demonstrate creativity and excellence in providing custom solutions to better serve their audience
  • Contribute to the advancement of the digital experience
  • Push the adoption of digital events forward


PCMA Groundbreakers Award

The PCMA Groundbreakers Award is dedicated to honoring industry trailblazers who represent diverse sectors of the business events community. The award will serve to recognize those who have made a significant contribution to their organizations and programs that advance inclusion and equity.

Nominee should::

  • Demonstrated leadership and/or mentorship for diverse industry professionals
  • Supported the business events community
  • Provided though leadership that helped advance the industry


Lifetime Achievement Honorees:

The PCMA Foundation annually recognizes our colleagues with distinguished lifetime career accomplishments and significant contributions to the business events industry. As few as one honoree, or as many as three will be celebrated annually; individuals must be or have been a business event strategist, supplier or educator. Individuals do not need to be current members of PCMA.

Please be prepared to answer the following questions for your nomination:

  • Describe the qualities and attributes that make the nominee an ideal candidate for this award.
  • How has this individual contributed to the professional development of others?
  • Describe your professional relationship with the nominee.
  • Please provide any additional information you would like to share with the committee

Honoree should:

  • Demonstrate leadership through their roles within PCMA, the PCMA Foundation and/or Chapters
  • Contribute to the advancement of the Business Events Industry
  • Demonstrate leadership within their own organization
  • Contribute to the professional development of others

To nominate an individual:

  1. Visit https://awards.pcma.org/
  2. Select “Register” or “Log In” on the right-hand side. If you have not logged in to this site before, you will need to register a new account;
  3. Register and/or login;
  4. Select the "My Dashboard" tab at the top of your screen;
  5. Select nomination category in the drop down menu under "My Applications"
  6. Complete the nomination and submit

20 In Their Twenties


Application Deadline: September 19, 2022

20 in Their Twenties

20 in Their Twenties recognizes the best and brightest young professionals in the business events industry. Applicants must submit a full application, short video and references.

Benefits include:

  • Complimentary registration, three (3) nights of housing and round-trip airfare for Convening Leaders 2023 in Columbus, OH
  • Exclusive opportunities to participate in PCMA events and programs
  • Discounted registration to attend Convening Leaders for the two years following your award
  • Complimentary registration for EduCon 2023
  • Complimentary PCMA membership for one year
  • Recognition in a Convene magazine feature article and through a PCMA-issued press release to other industry publications
  • Crystal award to display
Criteria:
  1. PCMA membership not required
  2. Must be 29 years old or younger at the time the award is presented (January 8-11, 2023)
  3. Open to Event Organizers and Suppliers meeting age requirements
  4. Must be employed full-time or seeking full-time employment in the Meetings, Conventions and Business Events industry
  5. Demonstration of leadership (application must address at least 3 of these):
    • Creative thinking and problem solving
    • Challenges the status quo
    • Leading a team or project to achieve a common goal
    • Elevating an industry network into business relationships
    • Effective communicator
    • A positive role model for PCMA’s Code of Ethics
    • Leadership in organizations (inside or outside the industry)

Areas of Evaluation:

  • Content and Quality of Video (30%)
  • Overall Written Application Quality (30%)
  • Demonstration of Leadership (15%)
  • Career Goal (15%)
  • References (10%)

PCMA Board Nominations


Open 2023 PCMA Board Positions and Terms

To Nominate:

  • Select the "My Dashboard" tab in the upper right hand corner
  • Select "Board Member Nominations" in the drop down to create your nomination

Nomination Deadline: 5:00 pm (CDT) on Friday, June 24, 2022
Application Deadline: 5:00 pm (CDT) on Wednesday, July 6, 2022

  • Chair-Elect (1 position available; 1-year term)
  • Secretary-Treasurer (1 position available; 1-year term)
  • Director/Trustee (up to 8 positions available; 2-year term)

For detailed overview on qualifications & commitments click here: https://www.pcma.org/board-nomination/

Digital Event Strategist Scholarship


Application Deadline: May 31, 2022

Digital Event Strategist Scholarship supported by Encore

The Digital Event Strategist certification is designed to help individuals and organizations develop, plan, produce, and measure the results of their digital engagement practices. There are a limited number of opportunities, each valued at over $890 USD. This scholarship is sponsored by Encore and includes the following:

  • Access to the DES 6-week online course and exam. Enrollment for the course you choose must be completed by April 30, 2023)

Forgot Password?

Contact Us

PCMA Foundation
35 East Wacker Drive, Suite 500
Chicago, IL, 60601
Phone: +1 877.827.7262
Email:   foundation@pcma.org