As a supplier, (someone who sells services to event planners), I often view conferences as a sales opportunity with little thought about the educational value of attending. Quite often, I’ll judge my ROI by who I’ve met and what potential I’ve created for additional work. But my recent trip to Montreal for the PCMA Education Conference has changed my view of these trips. Yes, I made great contacts with lots of new potential. But what really excited and motivated me was the content presented at this conference. Jeff Hurt, an expert in social media and relating it to the event business gave several wonderful presentations, with lots of wisdom, insight and practical ideas. Jeff is worth following, his blog is at

Jessica Levin and Midori Connolly facilitated a great session inviting us to plan a hypothetical event incorporating tools such as twitter, facebook, etc. into our planning and event execution. The peer-to-peer format really works, it’s fun and a great way to network. Speaking of peer-to-peer, Michael McCurry, one of the conference co-chairs led a dynamic unconference session. Michael is a passionate, effective and knowledgeable guy, not to mention a lot of fun to be around. He’s also worth visiting at

By mentioning some people, I of course run the risk of leaving lots of great people out. Suffice it to say, this conference changed my view of what I’ll look for when I evaluate my reasons to attend. I’ve increased my awareness of the latest tools of the trade, been inspired to grow and made some great new friends along the way. What could be better!


I hope you’ll visit us at to find out more about creativity, innovation and living with enthusiasm.

Billy Kirsch

About Billy Kirsch

Billy is a Grammy & Emmy nominated, CMA & ACM award winning songwriter with numerous Top 10 hits to his credit. His team building programs and keynote speaking presentations help people tap into their creative abilities to become more innovative and engaged in their work. Clients include Fortune 100 companies and organizations throughout the world.