Meeting of the world’s largest network of business events professionals kicks off a year of major events in Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA – Today, PCMA has announced Philadelphia as host city for 2026 Convening Leaders, its annual signature event. Convening Leaders is expected to draw 4,300 meeting professionals to the city who will experience Philadelphia and could consider the city as a host site for future meetings and conventions. The event is anticipated to have an economic impact of $8.6 million, and will give the city a considerable amount of opportunities to host future convention business.
The world’s top business events professionals and suppliers will travel to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for three days of senior-level education and unparalleled networking opportunities. The event will take place in January 2026, helping kick off a year of major events for Philadelphia.
“We couldn’t be more excited to launch America’s Semiquincentennial in 2026 than by hosting PCMA Convening Leaders in the city that founded our nation,” said Gregg Caren, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Over 250 years after America’s first convention, we will again convene with the brightest minds in the business events industry to spark innovation and growth opportunities.
“Philadelphia, a must-visit destination in 2026, together with Convening Leaders will give so many the opportunity to experience how our city activates and embraces marquee events. There is a real sense of pride in saying that Philadelphia will be the host site of the FIFA World Cup, the MLB All-Star Game, and now PCMA’s flagship event in 2026. Together with our hospitality partners, we are grateful to PCMA for selecting Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and for the positive economic impact this event will have on our city.”
“We couldn’t be more thrilled that PCMA has picked Philadelphia as the host city for the 2026 Convening Leaders event,” said Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger. “The Shapiro Administration is planting a flag to show that Pennsylvania is open for business, and we can’t wait to showcase what Philadelphia has to offer the rest of the country.”
“In 2026, a banner year for our city, there is no better destination to host this major industry event than Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to show meetings and events industry professionals that Philadelphia is a welcoming destination with a strong tourism and hospitality sector. We are thankful to PCMA for selecting our great city to host and we look forward to welcoming them and their members in 2026.”
PCMA Convening Leaders will be hosted in San Diego in 2024, followed by Houston in 2025 and Miami in 2027.
“The business events industry plays a critical role in bringing people together that drives economic growth and social good for individuals, organizations, and communities” said Sherrif Karamat, president and CEO of PCMA. “Each of these destinations has a unique identity and offers a diverse range of experiences for our participants. We look forward to bringing our global community together to learn, connect, and innovate for the future.”
As America’s founding and first World Heritage City, Philadelphia will be the centerpiece of America’s 250th birthday celebration in 2026. It will also be PCMA’s first time back in the City of Brotherly Love since 2006, with Philadelphia now featuring an entirely new destination portfolio that opens minds and wins hearts with every new visit. Philadelphia is also on pace to host its most citywides, an event that generates more than 2,000 hotel rooms on its peak night, in two decades in 2026 that will bring over a million convention attendees to the city, boosting visitation projections to new heights.
2026 will also mark another milestone, the 70th anniversary of PCMA. The organization was founded in Philadelphia in 1956 as the Professional Convention Management Association. Today, PCMA is the world’s largest community for meetings and events planners, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. They have 17 North American chapters and members in nearly 60 countries.
About the PHLCVB:
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) creates positive economic impact across the Philadelphia region, driving job growth and promoting the health and vibrancy of our hospitality industry by marketing the destination, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and attracting overnight visitors. The PHLCVB’s work engages our partners, the local Philadelphia community as well as culturally and ethnically diverse regional, national and international convention, sporting event and tourism customers. The PHLCVB is also the official tourism promotion agency for the city of Philadelphia globally and is responsible for growing the number of overseas leisure visitors who come to the region each year. To learn more, visit DiscoverPHL.com.
PCMA, PCMA Foundation, and CEMA educate, inspire, and listen, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose, and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists, providing senior-level education, networking, and market intelligence for the global business events industry. Our mission is to drive social and economic progress through business events. Headquartered in Chicago, IL PCMA has 17 North American Chapters, regional communities in APAC, EMEA, and LATAM, and members in 59 countries. The Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA), a PCMA subsidiary, advances strategic event marketing and marketing communications for senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. Visit us at pcma.org.