The Professional Convention Management Association is adding new initiatives and expanding its programs for its annual meeting in Toronto, January 7 to 10 — the association's first outside the U.S. New on the agenda, the Masters Series will feature Roch Parayre, PhD, senior fellow at the Mack School of Technological Innovation at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will address strategic innovation. Other Masters Series speakers include J.P. Pawliw-Fry, co-founder of the Institute of Health and Human Potential, who will discuss “emotional intelligence,” and Jack Phillips, PhD, founder of the ROI Institute, who will talk about his strategy of measuring the return on investment of meetings.

PCMA's other new program, the Innovation Zone, will showcase several products, but it is not a trade show or selling opportunity, says Deborah Sexton, president and CEO. “There are some new products out there [and it] would be advantageous for our membership to see, feel, and decide whether or not they could use these innovations,” says Sexton. Experiential Learning, which debuted last year with six sessions, is expanding to offer 10 experiential learning sessions; all are nearly sold out.

At Executive Edge, produced in conjunction with Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, attendees will learn how to use the power of “design thinking” to unlock breakthrough ideas. This invitation-only program for senior level planners and suppliers is nearly sold out.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Jean Chretien, former Canadian prime minister, will participate in a panel that will discuss the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and its impact on meetings. This closing general session panel will be moderated by NBC News White House Correspondent David Gregory. Registration numbers for the annual meeting were ahead of where they were at this time last year, which attracted 3,000 attendees.