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PCMA set to acquire association of corporate event marketers

Two meetings industry associations have announced plans to merge.

USA-based PCMA (Professional Convention and Management Association) is pursuing the acquisition of fellow countryman the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) in what it describes as a ‘calculated risk’.

The two organisations signed a formal partnership in January to introduce their members to new audiences and this move, yet to be ratified by members, is seen as the ‘logical next step’.

The aim, according to statement, is to ‘propel’ both associations ‘into an exciting new chapter as organisations adjust to the evolving role of business events in an omnichannel world’.

Sacramento-based CEMA began over thirty years ago, to provide event marketers with the creative direction needed to drive innovation and growth for some of the world’s leading brands.

The organisation has more than 800 members and has developed close working ties with the likes of Cisco, Salesforce and Oracle who support CEMA’s programming and content. Although its activities has been affected by the pandemic the PCMA board insists CEMA was not a ‘victim’ and that its leadership has been ‘transparent’ about the challenges it has faced.

No CEMA employees will lose their jobs as a result of the merger.

Chicago-based PCMA has 7,000 members and has been extending its international reach, with activities taking place in 37 countries, including in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

It is hoped the merger will provide long-term stability and growth for both organisations. PCMA will maintain and enhance CEMA’s brand and cohesive member community through an Advisory Board, and by preserving its current management leadership, events, and content while leveraging the international resource network and infrastructure of PCMA.

CEMA members are voting to ratify the proposal as approved by both the PCMA and CEMA Board of Directors. Results of the vote are expected to be announced next week with the completion date for a final Agreement expected in January 2021.

A statement said: “This is a win-win for both organizations, their respective members and business partners as we together focus on the recovery of business events through the pandemic and beyond.”