Project Management Institute (PMI) is a leading project management and professional development organization with over 600,000 members and 300 local chapters across the world. It constantly strives to provide project professionals and changemakers with valuable knowledge, networks, and resources.
PMI hosts regular, multiple events to boost its community members’ skills, build meaningful relationships and engage with industry experts. Through its events, PMI shares best practices and provides practical insights into project management.
Ricardo Triana, Managing Director, PMI – Latin America, shared how PMI successfully hosted a range of monthly, local and regional events via Airmeet. Ricardo is responsible for managing 19 different countries and 46 local chapters in every major city, covering around 31,000 members and impacting 600 million people in the region.
We detail Ricardo’s account of how PMI has been able to host powerful events for the geographically vast Latin America via Airmeet’s social webinar plan and drive his membership association to success.
About PMI (LATAM) events
Ricardo shared, “Most of our events before the pandemic were in-person. But when the pandemic struck, we implemented regionalization, and that changed everything. We started to have regional events and local chapter-wise events. Every chapter or city has its own set of local events. And all of them were moved to virtual events.”
Powered by Airmeet’s social webinar features, PMI was able to host several regional and local events virtually. They are hosting a virtual series of events called PMI LATAM Changemakers Initiative, a monthly series of events called PMI in Portuñol, a summit on PMI Infrastructure Projects as well as a Congress celebrating the Peru Bicentenary called Peru Proyectando.
Among others, PMI LATAM Changemakers Initiative was their regional event series. The first event in the series of four to be held in the year – ‘Agility Champions‘ (May 6th to 8th) had almost 2000 people and was meant for PMI, chapters, and regional allies to upskill and showcase products, services, and promotions and turn professionals into true changemakers. The second episode ‘Social Heroes‘ (July 22nd to 24th) had almost 1800 people and was focused on Social Projects, Government and Education.
The unique and modern events were hosted in local languages with sessions in both Spanish and Portuguese. The two-day events consisted of three keynote sessions and short talks on relevant industry topics with around 40 speakers. During the events, they also hosted three panel discussions in the IT, Telecomm, and Financial Sector with experts.
Challenge : Reaching a wider audience outside existing members’ bubble
Ricardo said, “When we hosted in-person events, we had a recurring audience joining in, to learn and grow. But it is really difficult to reach out to new people.
We wanted to leverage virtual events for their potential to reach a wider audience. We wanted to reach the members as well as others in the profession who may turn into our prospective members.”
Ricardo shared his journey of discovering Airmeet and said, “Last year, when I was organizing my first regional events, I started looking out for platforms. So I checked out Webex, Zoom, and more.
But Airmeet stood out among all these. It allowed connections through the networking tables, and it was relatively easy. That’s when we decided to continue using it. We used it for our first event to engage our large regional volunteer group. Our volunteer group found it to be a cool tool to actually meet people that they haven’t met. They could actually group and network using social tables. You can stream live, ask questions, and more.
So we started to use Airmeet’s social webinar plan in March 2020. In Oct 2020, we upgraded our license for upto 2000 participants. We wanted to use it to launch our monthly PMI Portunol event for all 19 countries using a common language. This monthly event helped integrate not only our volunteers but all the professionals in the region.”
PMI was able to reach a wider audience by hosting virtual events easily via Airmeet. The Airmeet’s social webinar features that enabled this are –
- Ease-of-use: PMI found the platform very intuitive and easy to navigate. Participants could log into the event via the browser without downloading it. Participants and hosts alike found virtual events easy and quick via Airmeet. The easy onboarding on the tool and humanized networking experience for the volunteer group and PMI sealed the deal for PMI.
- Excellent user experience: Airmeet’s HD quality audio and video and lag-free live streams created a great user experience.
- Scalability: PMI could host large regional events with a huge audience because Airmeet allowed scaling up the number of participants without negatively impacting the quality of experience.
Challenge: Offering unique value proposition for the audience by creating connections through interactive sessions and building trust
Ricardo discussed the challenges of growing the audience and said, “When you are reaching people outside your bubble, you have to shout that your events are different from all the others. To stand out among 300 other expert-led webinars occurring in the same week, we had to show our differential value as a membership association. Our content and event had to be appealing, unique, interesting, and create connection. We had to achieve all this through our virtual events.”
Panel discussions and keynote sessions: PMI could host a range of sessions in their Changemakers Initiative event on Airmeet. The all-in-one event platform, enabled him to host sessions ranging from keynote to panel discussions and multi-speaker sessions. All the speakers could share their live video feed, screen, or presentation and replicate the experience of an in-person panel discussion.
Multi-day events: PMI Changemakers Initiative was hosted as a two-day event on 7-8 May 2021. Airmeet enabled them to host multiple sessions during this event. Airmeet even enabled parallel events to be hosted in different regional languages during the same time. This allowed the varied audience to attend the session in their preferred language, simultaneously.
Immersive experience: Airmeet’s multitude of features helped them boost engagement and interaction. Ricardo said, “The chats, Q&A, and emojis are really useful.”. He added, “You are listening to your speaker, like any other virtual event, but what makes the Airmeet event different is the immersive interaction and connection.”
Airmeet event support services: Ricardo shared, “We regularly use the event support services to help us ensure that the events are successful and so people can start believing in the event and the organization. For me, this is super critical because if the event fails, then people are not going to trust us. Through Airmeet’s support services, we get confidence. And we are able to better understand what to expect, what to commit, and the limitations as well.”
Challenge: Enabling effective networking among PMI Changemakers
One of the major requirements of the PMI Changemakers Initiative event was to offer networking opportunities. It should enable connection with other changemakers like professionals, project managers, among others.
Solution: Networking Lounge
Ricardo said, “I like the networking tables. Once people get the hang of it, they realize its power and what they can do, they find it is really special. They then realize how they can meet new people and talk face-to-face.”
Airmeet’s social lounge feature enabled networking via social tables among the changemakers. Participants, hosts, and speakers sitting at the same table could video-conference among themselves. Once they decided to move on, they could shift to another table in the lounge and network. This made networking more effective and allowed changemakers to meet people like themselves, who want to promote real change in Latin America.
Ricardo said, “We wanted to focus our efforts on four major sets of events during the year that were bringing together different people from Latin America. Those are the PMI Changemaker initiative, and we host them in May, July, Sept, and November.
Each of these events focuses on a different industry and a particular audience. We have already hosted the May event via Airmeet and are looking forward to hosting the upcoming Changemaker events on the platform too. We have been able to unite all the regions through this one platform, whether Peru or Colombia, and host all our events on one platform.
Currently, we also host one or two monthly meetups and major regional events like Changemaker Initiatives via Airmeet. We also host other major local events like Congress for PMI Peru, Congress for PMI Colombia, PMI Tour Mexico and we are are planning a Congress for PMI Argentina, on the platform.”
PMI has several virtual events planned for the coming months and is leveraging Airmeet to accelerate its membership growth and reach.
Book a demo to learn how you too can leverage Airmeet to host global, value-driven events.