Grants and Research

…It’s our obligation to coach the next generation and ensure the future sustainability of well-trained professionals.”

Dana L. Saal, CMP, CAE, Saal Meeting Consulting

Recently Funded Grants

Global Economic Significance of Business Events

In partnership with Events Industry Council, IMEX, MPI Foundation, and Hilton Worldwide, Research conducted by Oxford Economics
The first study of its kind, results show the global impact of business events. In 2017, the industry contributed $1.5 trillion in total global GDP and generated more than 10.3 million jobs worldwide. Business events brought together more than 1.4 billion participants in more than 180 countries in 2017.
Learn more here

The Future of Meetings & Events

In partnership with Marriott International, Research conducted by Fahrenheit 212
An update from 2015 study, this research gathered leaders from disparate industries to discuss five key macro trends that will affect the business events industry in the next five years. The trends that emerged are:
Emotional Intelligence
Orchestrated Serendipity
Multimodal Design
Bigger than Oneself
Clear Sense of Place
Learn more here

Future Meeting Space

In partnership with German Convention Bureau, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, and European Association of Event Centres (EVVC)
This second phase of research concentrates on the user perspective, asking event attendees worldwide in an online survey about their experiences at meetings and conferences. Findings highlight the different attendee types and how the use of different methodical approaches and tech tools affects knowledge transfer, learning success, networking and experience value for each type
Learn more here

Best in Class Chapter Education Program:

This program provides each PCMA chapter with a top-ranked speaker to deliver an educational program supporting regional education strategies. See PCMA Chapter pages for more information on specific programming.

Travel Truths for Business Events Corporate Incentives:

In partnership with Melbourne Convention Bureau, Research conducted by Essence Communications
Explores what is driving Asia-Pacific’s expanding Corporate Incentive Travel market, which favors travel over financial incentives to motivate and reward high-performing staff and Millennials. APAC’s business events sector is already valued at more than US$200 billion so researchers identified ways event strategists could maximize CIT and develop new revenue models.
Learn more here

Attendee ROI Playbook

In partnership with IAEE, Research conducted by CEIR
Examines how individuals and/or organizations determine what business to-business exhibitions to attend and their expected return on the investment of attending
Learn more here

Coming Soon:

Room Block of the Future

In partnership with Hilton Worldwide and NYC & Company, Research conducted by Kalibri Labs, CBRE, & Prism Partnership
Gain a better understanding of attendee accommodation booking behavior for business events. Explore attendee needs, expectations, behaviors and trends utilizing an interlocking analysis of booking data together with a custom survey of event attendees.

Event Participant Behavior Research

In partnership with and research conducted by Steelcase Event Experiences
This project is a live study of event participant behaviors in open space learning environments during PCMA Convening Leaders. The goal is to uncover hidden obstacles, elevate the participant’s experiences, and identify opportunities for new ways to engage participants and improve the effectiveness of open space learning at business events.

How We Make Investments

The PCMA Education Foundation funds programs that inspire the meetings and business events community through senior level education; ground-breaking research; and individual scholarships which help to create new generations of event strategists throughout the world.

Apply for A Grant

Our grant process requires that you submit a Letter of Inquiry first prior to a full proposal.
All Letters of Inquiry must include:

  • Information about you/your organization

    This should be brief and include the name and history of your organization/projects and how what you currently do will help accomplish the project’s goals with the funding requested.

  • Topic & brief summary

    1-2 sentences about the project or topic.

  • How your project connects with our goals

    1-2 sentences that show how the project links to the Foundation’s Strategic Plan

  • Milestones

    A brief timeline of key milestones and overview of methodology.

  • Outputs

    The reports, products, tools, etc. that you hope to accomplish with funding.

  • Funding amount requested in USD

    The median grant amount for projects funded in recent years is $20,155 falling into a complete bell curve range of approximately $5,000-$50,000 and a normal range of approximately $10,000-$25,000.

  • 15% or less of overhead

    Overhead, indirect costs, and facilities and equipment expenses shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the grant amount.

Letters of Inquiry can either be sent using the form below or by email to Stacey Shafer at, indicating “Letter of Inquiry” in the subject line. Proposals will be reviewed by the Foundation Team within 14 days to determine if a full proposal is requested. Full proposals will be reviewed by the Foundation Grants Committee within 30 days of submission.

What We Do Not Fund

The PCMA Education Foundation does not fund projects that benefit an individual’s personal matters, any commercial and/or financial interests, venture capital proposals, capital improvements, business equipment or supplies, endowments or other projects/initiatives that do not align with PCMA’s Strategic Plan.

Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.

See the impact the Foundation has on the industry

Mary ReynoldsGrants and Research