August 16, 2021 | Produced in partnership with PCMA

Florence (Flo) Chua has been appointed as the Managing Director of PCMA APAC. We asked Chua what she’s excited about in her new role, what she has learnt in the last 24 months and how events have positively impacted her career.

With a strong marketing background, Chua’s approach is strategic, deliberate and maximises every asset.

Congratulations Flo on the appointment with PCMA. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how business events have positively impacted your career path?

Thank you, I am so thrilled to be part of the PCMA community.

I started my career in television and video production; that is where I first noticed events and its role in marketing.

My tenure with MCI is how I got exposed to the association world; my role was to market associations’ products in the APAC region. That was when I learnt how conferences, seminars, events in all forms are revenue generating, in addition to being educational, plus I loved how inspired attendees became when they got together and felt part of a community.

It was during this time I realised an event is a strategic asset that connect people purposefully to ideas and opportunities, to unite and to transform.

Having worked for both corporate companies and in associations throughout APAC, what excites you about PCMA?

Simply put, PCMA is focused on why we do what we do, and working towards the desired economic and social outcomes we seek to achieve. Our community represents a diverse set of stakeholders who are deeply passionate about our work – [to] activate and engage audiences around a purpose to achieve outcomes – and the larger impact we bring to our organisations, communities and cities.

Business events is made up of people from all backgrounds and we are facing one of the biggest challenges to our industry as a result of COVID, what advice would you give to event professionals right now?

The painful disruption to our industry has now gone on for roughly 18 months and counting; let’s take a moment to recognise the resilience of our community. This is true passion, we remain hopeful. My advice would be to constantly think about your audiences – your members, customers, internal stakeholders etc. – how has the pandemic impacted their behaviours and needs? What can you do to help? We need to observe keenly, keep testing, and evolve our how, while keeping sight on the strategic objectives.

PCMA’s Digital Event Strategist Certification is built around future-proofing careers and building community. Why do you think this is important?

PCMA designed the Digital Event Strategist (DES) certification way before the pandemic. Digital is inevitable, even without COVID. We should not view digital as an interim, replaceable solution.

The pandemic has accelerated its adoption; however, it is important to reflect on the pros and cons so we can continue to muscle its strengths as face-to-face events return. There are benefits of face-to-face that are irreplaceable, likewise for digital. The DES certification is not only for this COVID-impacted period, but also for a digital world which we are all unequivocally marching into.

What’s one thing you’ve learnt in the last 24 months that you’d like to share?

Seeing possibilities and connectivity – if we focus too much on returning ‘back to normal’ it may short-change our ability to see the potentially permanent shifts that are here to stay. Stepping back to see the desired goals and connecting to that thinking has been helpful for me.