Ripples expected as PCMA appoints Karen Bolinger as APAC MD

US-based Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has put former Melbourne Convention Bureau and key Australian industry figure, Karen Bolinger at the helm of their Asia Pacific arm.

While PCMA has operated in the Asia Pacific for a number of years, their voice in Australia has been fairly muted.

This appointment will raise PCMA’s profile in Australia, which is bound to send ripples through an already crowded group of meetings industry bodies—at a time when COVID-19 has dried up revenue streams.

Ms Bolinger will lead the PCMA’s Asia Pacific office in Singapore from a permanent base in Melbourne.

The team will be focusing on region-specific events, content, education programs, stakeholder management and identifying new business partners.

PCMA solidified their position in the APAC market when they acquired Singapore-based meetings industry membership body, Incentive, Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP), in July 2017.

PCMA aims to help the region’s recovery post-COVID-19. Ms Bolinger will support the association’s growth in the region as the industry bounces back.

“As stakeholders in the global business events industry look towards a post-COVID-19 recovery, we believe that the Asia Pacific region will recover first,” Sherrif Karamat, PCMA President and CEO said.

“Karen will support PCMA’s APAC growth through her track record of business event industry leadership success and ability to introduce new strategic initiatives in the face of industry and marketplace challenges.”

Ms Bolinger said she was looking forward to taking on the challenge.

“In light of the current environment we find ourselves in, I’m excited to work with PCMA and the Asia Pacific team to develop a clear pathway of available opportunities to activate the recovery of the business events industry in the APAC region,” Ms Bolinger said.