Connect Marketplace is Where Events Business Gets Done.
Connect Marketplace isn't just any conference—it's your gateway to unlimited opportunity. Secure your spot!

2024 BizBash 40 Under 40: Jaime Bennett

Jaime Bennett, 37, is managing director for Professional Convention Management Association's Europe, Middle East, and Africa (PCMA EMEA) division.

Bb40u40 2024 Recipient Graphic1200x628 Bennett Jaime

Jaime Bennett, 37, is managing director for Professional Convention Management Association's Europe, Middle East, and Africa (PCMA EMEA) division. She's based in Northern Ireland. A quote from her nomination: "Her leadership style is defined by a crystal-clear vision that she passionately communicates, inspiring her team to reach their full potential. Under her guidance, individuals are not just employees; they are empowered to grow into the best professionals they can possibly be."

My career journey: "I could honestly have you reading for hours but I will keep it short. I was introduced to the industry through my uncle. From a young age, I was intrigued by his job and what conferences and events his clients delivered. I have always been a very organized, methodical person, so planning was innate to me.

I started working in a conference-friendly hotel during my studies, and knew from dealing with clients and events that I wanted to learn more. I moved to an agency that handles events, travel, accommodation, and training. I then landed a role as events manager at a PCO (Professional Conference Organizer), which I did for over four years and had me traveling across the U.K., Ireland, and the U.S. My next move was to a publication house delivering their B2C wedding shows and productions.Bennett reminded aspiring event professionals that 'perfection is a myth.'Bennett reminded aspiring event professionals that "perfection is a myth."Photo: Daniel Rasmussen Photography

Next, I took a more audiovisual/technical and production role and became commercial operations director of a U.K.- and Ireland-based company providing event, exhibition, and technical services to venues and clients. I wanted to get back to the planning side so made a strategic move to work within a convention bureau before I moved back to a PCO as a director of sales and marketing. That brought me into the pandemic, where I started to invest more in my own professional development and was delighted to get the job a as a business director of PCMA EMEA as I felt all my global experience and insights would assist me to understand our community firsthand.

Since taking the role in 2021, I was elevated to regional director and, in 2023, managing director. I now oversee EMEA; our global sustainability strategy; and EMA, an in-house corporate event planner and marketer community in the U.K., which PCMA acquired in 2023."

Impressive stats I'm responsible for: "All impressive stats achieved by me have had others contribute to that success, so I will pick a few from our recent event, which took great teamwork, passion, and perseverance: Since the first Convening EMEA in 2021 to 2023, we have had a 58% increase in participants. We sold out in 2023, so this figure could have been even higher. Last year saw participants from 46 countries participate in Convening EMEA, and we had 29 in 2021, which is 59% growth in two years. Also, 98% of our participants said they would recommend our future events."When asked about what's next for her, Bennett said: 'I don't like to think too much about what's next for me as I am more focused on what is now for me.'When asked about what's next for her, Bennett said: "I don't like to think too much about what's next for me as I am more focused on what is now for me."Photo: Daniel Rasmussen Photography

My greatest career accomplishment: "Becoming the youngest chair of AIPCO—the Association of Irish Professional Conference Organizers—in 2017 was one of my greatest accomplishments. Not only was I honored to lead the association for a two-year term, but I was also working with all the owners and C-level executives from the leading PCOs in Ireland, who managed the association alongside the chair. It enormously assisted my personal and professional growth."

The advice I would give my younger self: "Perfection is a myth. Do your best and try to be better every day and you will not go wrong, but do not strive for perfection as it is a myth and the greatest learnings come from your failures. Self-progress is the key, so compare you to yourself, not to others."

My ideal day OOO: "A day spent sailing. I have sailed from a very young age and it is the one passion I have kept up—whether it be competitively or for pleasure. It really is the place I am happiest. I am also very fortunate to share this with my husband and many friends, so it adds to the experience when you can share a passion—and preferably in sunnier climates, like chartering around Greece. However, some of my best days have been sailing with friends and family on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland competitively, which adds to the fun. I'd finish the day with some food and refreshments either on the boat or on the shore."

Back to the full list

Page 1 of 47
Next Page