•  About Conference
    • Important Links

      Tools For Gaining Approval

      Our core conference objectives:

      • Cultivate Progressive Leadership through niche-specific networking and education opportunities.
      • Expose Proactive Industry Market Research through extensive field work, industry analysis and decades of experience.
      • Discover Relevant Programming Opportunities developed through case studies, success stories and peer perspectives.

      A Historical Connection to our Industry...

      We are excited to be hosting our 23rd Annual Club Membership and Marketing Conference at the beautiful Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, IL. The story behind this distinguished property is charming and includes a unique connection to the private club industry. Chicago millionaire, Potter Palmer, commissioned and gifted the hotel to his new wife, Bertha Honore Palmer. Nearly a century ago, Mrs. Palmer purchased 1,000 acres in what is now Osprey, Florida and built her dream home on the property naming it “The Oaks”. Her heirs sold the land to create The Oaks Club where she is recognized as the Grande Dame and her legacy thrives. We look forward to weaving elements of Palmer family history into our conference programming and welcoming you to Chicago!

      Hotel Accommodations:

      Hilton Palmer House
      17 East Monroe Street
      Chicago, IL 60603
      Reserve Online
      Reservation Center: (877) 865-5321
      Group Name: 23rd Annual Membership & Marketing Conference

  • Benefits Of Attending
    • Why is PCMA’s Annual Conference Such a Great Deal?

      Budgets may be tight, but the 23rd Club Membership & Marketing Conference remains a bargain when it comes to bang for your buck.  Here are five reasons why:

      1. Curious about the market relevancy trends affecting our industry? Interested in case studies and success stories? Looking for the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers? You will leave the PCMA conference feeling inspired, informed and supported by a network to call upon long after the conference is over.

      2. Engage in the 9 hours of dynamic educational experiences featuring a mix of general sessions, breakout sessions, and breakout roundtable discussions.

      3. Be proactive during the 4 hours of time dedicated to connecting with and learning from niche specific industry vendor resources that can impact your club operations.

      4. Earn continuing education credits. The conference experience affords you credits accepted by CMAA, CSCM and PGA to keep you up-to-date and compliant.

      5. There’s no getting around it – traveling can be expensive. PCMA conference registration includes all meals except dinner. Plus, there are discounted hotel accommodations and professional headshots are provided at no additional charge - both huge value adds!

      A Success Story...

      "Like many clubs, Sawgrass was hit hard by the economic downturn. We were struggling to find that “magic bullet” that would bring in new members and turn our club around. Searching for answers I turned to PCMA and was introduced to Club 360, the concept of engaging all of the club’s assets to enhance usage and satisfaction of our members. It was logical and innovative idea and I decided to take it back to the club.

      With the support of our team, I began providing regular, relevant reports to our board, management and department heads featuring national and local market trends, our competition, demographics and member usage. For most of the team, this was new information and really opened our eyes to new opportunities.

      Through knowledge, we were able to build a marketing plan that appealed to our specific marketplace and an emerging new family market. Essentially, we made a calculated effort to address our dress codes and to feature creative events directed specifically to the market we were trying to attract. The programs were wildly successful and created a buzz that Sawgrass was the “fun” club.

      The Result: Membership grew to capacity at 1475 members with a 3 year wait list, we completed over 13M in renovations, built a new fitness center, and renovated our Beach Club. Our members just approved a new 24.5M teardown and rebuild of our Clubhouse.

      The Club 360 approach provided the knowledge and confidence our Board, Management and staff needed to make the long-term decisions to propel our club forward to the future. The bottom line, conference attendance and the concepts learned can make an extraordinary difference to you and your club."

      Janet Collins, CMP
      Director Membership Services
      Sawgrass Country Club
      Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
  • Electives
    • 2018 Pre-Conference Elective Schedule

      Offered in conjunction with the 23rd Annual Club Membership & Marketing Conference.  Conference attendance is required or elective participation.  Membership Management Institute (MMI) electives are small group, classroom style courses available to PCMA members.  Electives will take place at the Union League Club - Chicago, IL.  Specific room locations will be communicated to confirmed participants directly.

      Creative Storytelling That Drives Membership Engagement & Growth

      Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.           

      In this session, former television news reporter, Ed Heil, will help you identify the unique and newsworthy stories around happenings within your organization that will differentiate your club within the competitive landscape of the luxury market. Storytelling doesn’t come naturally to everyone so this session will showcase successful examples and explore techniques for shifting your thinking from “straight to the point” marketing to brainstorming creative and engaging content that drives member engagement and attracts new members to your club. This hands on session will put you in the middle of an editorial meeting where you will work with other club marketers and communicators to identify and flesh out the stories most likely to resonate with your group's "members". Ed will also walk you through the ways to leverage these stories to across communication platforms to maximize your time and efficiency while boosting the engagement of your team members, club members and likeminded prospective members. Course takeaways include and are not limited to:

      • Recognizing the best stories within your club and how to position them in a way that is memorable and interesting to your audience.
      • Understanding how creating interesting stories can lead to an increase in membership.
      • Creating the time and space in your week to accomplish storytelling.
      • Enhancing your current communications, for example: newsletter stories vs announcements.
      • Promoting “change” such as capital improvement projects, staff turnover, new menus, new hours of operation, etc.

      This course will be inclusive of morning classroom education and an afternoon field trip to Medinah Country Club.  Details of the Medinah Country Club tour can be found on the conference webpage, Classroom education will be from 8am to 11am followed by a break for lunch.  Busses will begin loading at the Hilton Palmer House Wabash entrance for the club tour at 12pm and depart promptly at 12:15pm.


      Instructed by
      Ed Heil
      Storyteller Media + Communication

      Digital Marketing Bootcamp with your personal trainer, Gabriel Aluisy

      Sunday, September 16th, 2018 - 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

      Get your club’s online marketing efforts into shape in this one day interactive program. We’ll cover all things digital from social media marketing to email blasts and from productivity tools to search engine optimization. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by technology or unsure of where to start, this is the perfect primer into the most powerful and cost-effective membership building platforms out there. And if you’ve been successfully marketing your membership online, you’ll learn new techniques and emerging trends so you can stay ahead of the curve. Here are just a few things you’ll take away:

      • Learn how to generate qualified membership leads online without gimmicks or discounts
      • Discover effective techniques for making your content go “viral”
      • Explore little known tips, tricks and hacks for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social networks
      • Get the recipe to turn your members into marketers without sacrificing privacy or prestige
      • Find out how to analyze and make use of website analytics
      • Learn the art of telling a great story online
      • Uncover emerging online trends and best practices

      We’ll develop your marketing muscles together and you’ll come away from this program with confidence, with understanding and with the skills to be a positive force for your club online.

      Instructed by
      Gabriel Aluisy

      Author, Radio Host, Consultant 

      It’s a Balancing Act:  Leading and Following Within Your Club

      Sunday, September 16th, 2018 - 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. 

      Leadership is the ability to influence a group of people towards a goal.  While leadership is revered and respected, leaders also need to be strong followers at times.  This course examines the concept of leadership and followership to allow Club Membership Professionals to become more effective within their clubs.  We will focus on skills and behaviors to be a great leader and follower.  Importantly, the workshop will set you on a path to understand yourself as a leader and follower and consciously develop your abilities to be more effective and more successful in both roles.   The course relies on discussion, concrete research, real-world application, and reflection to help you make the knowledge practical to your daily professional life.  The objectives of this elective are to:   Here are just a few things you’ll take away:

      • Identify your own biases and assumptions about what it means to lead and follow.
      • Describe the importance of self-awareness and feedback to avoid leadership derailment and to be an effective follower.
      • Identify styles of followership.
      • List strategies, tools and ideas for creating cultures to build supportive followers.
      • Develop the capacity to analyze complex organizational challenges and opportunities and identify potential levers for change, using both leadership and followership perspectives.


      Instructed by
      Sue Tinnish, Ph.D.

      Strategic Membership Marketing Management 

      Saturday & Sunday, September 15th and 16th, 2018
      ***Active CMP status is required for enrollment in this course.

      On Saturday, September 15th, this course will be inclusive of morning classroom education and an afternoon field trip to Medinah Country Club.  Details of the Medinah Country Club tour can be found on the conference webpage, Classroom education will be from 8am to 11am followed by a break for lunch.  Busses will begin loading at the Hilton Palmer House Wabash entrance for the club tour at 12pm and depart promptly at 12:15pm.  On Sunday, September 16th, class will resume for full day classroom education from 9am to 5pm.

      This course is designed for club professionals wanting to understand better the importance of incorporating the fundamental principles of strategic marketing management, strategic planning, leadership, and follow-through. The emphasis is on creating a vision, getting buy-in from both the volunteer members and the management team. Commitment to persistent execution and measurable outcomes will also be covered. Understanding that knowledge and awareness of the club’s vision allows every committee and department to develop their own goals, along with the coordinated strategies to achieve these goals, is a key element in a club’s long-term success. (Duration: two days, 16 hours)
      • Creating and implementing a clearly articulated vision
      • Focusing on the club leadership as it’s defined in the mission statement
      • Defining key result areas of a strategic plan
      • Understanding how to develop and implement strategic goals
      • Providing measurable results as defined by a strategic plan
      • The course is specially designed to educate membership and marketing professionals on a strategic, rather than a day-to-day, level

      Instructed by
      Rick Coyne


      Clubmark Corporation
      C.E.O of PCMA

      All educational programs offered by the Association are proprietary to PCMA, LLC.
      All Rights Reserved - 2018.

  •  What Your Peers Are Saying
    • "Attending PCMA conference has become the highlight of my professional year. I came to my first conference not fully knowing what to expect, but with that one and each since, I continue to walk away rejuvenated and refocused. Plan to hear some excellent speakers on both a personal and professional level, gain some valuable insight into other clubs’ best practices, and take home the latest on industry trends. Nowhere else can I gather so much information, make so many connections, and have such a great experience in the process as the annual PCMA conference."
      Roxanne Filby - Country Club of Lincoln - Lincoln, Nebraska

      “As technology continues to enhance communication through the internet, emailing and texting, I still greatly appreciate the chance to meet with my peers face to face - to spend time with professionals who understand the challenges we all face on a day to day basis. I look forward every year to attending the PCMA conference to share ideas, ask for advice, learn best practices and find out about new trends in the business. It is very helpful to have access to experts in the field and to new information and studies. It is a great opportunity to connect with old friends each year, and to meet new ones. I would not miss it, and encourage anyone in the industry to join PCMA, attend the conference, and take a giant step forward in their career.”
      Janice Graves - Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club - Palo Alto, California

      “PCMA membership and the Annual Conference have been extremely valuable assets for ideas and information as a private club Membership Director. The opportunity to network and connect with other membership and marketing professionals from around the country, on both a daily and annual basis, has created numerous friendships that have allowed me to reference the experiences of others within the industry. At each Annual Conference, I walk away with a notebook packed full of new ideas and programs that I can’t wait to implement at my club. Anyone in a similar membership/marketing position at a club should definitely put this event on their calendar.”
      Paul Pillsbury - Thornblade Club - Greer, South Carolina

      "The PCMA conference is always up to speed on fresh new ideas in the club industry. Each year I take away new, innovative ideas that apply to membership sales and retention. PCMA members also benefit from shared ideas and information from club professionals worldwide. I highly recommend attendance at a PCMA conference. Discover for yourself the impact it will have on you as a membership and marketing professional!"
      Terri Kennedy - The Club at Carlton Woods - The Woodlands, Texas

      "PCMA Conference is a “must attend” for membership and marketing professionals at all levels of tenure in the club industry. Tenured directors like myself with over 25 years in the industry still need a “shot in the arm” to keep our focus fresh and current as there is always something new to learn or improve upon. I especially look forward to learning the latest national trends, exchanging ideas with those in like-minded clubs and the camaraderie of my peers and old friends. There truly is something for everyone – motivational speakers, industry leading presenters, technology updates, shared best practice roundtables, and a variety of networking opportunities."
      Debbie Pepper - The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch - Boerne, Texas

      "As a brand new member to PCMA, the 2013 conference in Nashville was my first and I am so elated I was able to experience it. I cannot stress enough the value of having a community of peers that you can connect with to help better understand your industry and keep your club updated with the current trends. The networking opportunities were truly invaluable. I met so many amazing and talented people at the conference that I still keep in touch with and look forward to seeing next year! The conference was very well put together with a panel of informative and relevant speakers that helped provide me with some key takeaways I could immediately implement back at our club. I can’t wait for the next one!"
      Ashley Nierman - The Los Angeles Country Club - Los Angeles, California

      “PCMA membership and conference is an amazing program for all those in the industry. Within my first year, I was able to study for and attain my CMP certification. The conference was an exciting event and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other Membership Directors, share ideas, and to learn from those that have been in the business for years. The conference is full of new and creative ideas that I could immediately apply here at my club. They had a wonderful panel of speakers who shared their ideas and knowledge as well as our round table discussions. I am truly looking forward to next year’s event!”
      Nina Sligar, CMP - Great Hills Country Club - Austin, Texas

  • Medinah Country Club Tour

    • Saturday, September 15th, 2018

      12pm-5pm - Medinah Country Club Tour

      Medinah Country Club is known worldwide for its iconic clubhouse and its world-class legacy of incomparable golf. Medinah Country Club is one of only two clubs to have hosted the U.S. Senior Open, Western Open, U.S. Open, PGA Championship, and Ryder Cup! In addition, Medinah will host the upcoming 2019 BMW Championship.

      Medinah also has a rich tradition of club amenities, from the new and innovative Golf Learning Center to farm to table organic produce grown on property, this unique opportunity to visit one of the most iconic yet progressive and innovative clubs in the country is not to be missed. As General Manager Robert Sereci describes the members experience, "We are building a community with a stream of experiences for all family members. The golf courses, like our farm-to-table garden and food truck, represent things that create experiences that will amplify our neighborhood."

      Our tour of Medinah Country Club will begin with Meacham’s Garden, followed by a visit to their new Racquet Center and Golf Learning Center. Next, we will head to their Skeet and Trap Lodge for a “Taste of Medinah” featuring creations from their food truck. Lastly, we will see the 1920s Byzantine style Clubhouse, with its breathtaking rotunda dome, and finally finishing in The Shop at Medinah, where participants can purchase Club gifts and gear.

      This is a ticketed event and requires separate registration.  Buss will depart from Palmer House Wabash Entrance. Club casual attire is recommended.
  • Silent Auction & Opening Reception at Chicago Yacht Club

    • Sunday, September 16, 2018

      5:00pm to 5:30pm - 1st Time Attendee Connection Point

      Let's be honest...Being a first timer at a big event can be a little awkward no matter how outgoing you might be.  This event offers conference newbies the opportunity to get acquainted with the PCMA team, our conference ambassadors and fellow first timers.  It's also a great time to have your questions answered and make some new friends to sit with during conference education in the upcoming days.  This event will lead into our Silent Auction and Opening Reception.

      *Transportation to Chicago Yacht Club will not be provided by PCMA. Pre-registration is required for admittance. Club casual attire is recommended.

      5:30pm to 7:00pm - Silent Auction and Opening Reception

      Begin the dialogue right away at our opening networking reception. Meet and mingle with a network of colleagues, friends and PCMA's professional club resource partners. Embrace this opportunity to build new club relationships in a professional and friendly atmosphere. 

      Our opening reception will also feature a silent auction.  Auction items will be provided by PCMA regional chapters and professional club resource partners.  Funds generated through the auction will support chapter development opportunities.

      2018 Membership Challenge entries will be on display for your review.  We will invite you to participate in awarding your peers by voting for your favorite entry during the event.  If you'd like to learn more about submitting an entry, please scroll down and open the Membership Challenge tab below.

      *Transportation to Chicago Yacht Club will not be provided by PCMA. All conference attendees are invited to attend, however pre-registration is required for admittance. Club casual attire is recommended.
  • Networking Event at Union League Club of Chicago
    • Monday, September 17th, 2018

      6pm-10:30pm: Club Networking Event at Union League Club of Chicago

      Join us for a spectacular James Bond inspired evening featuring a wine dinner and after party. Attendees can expect a beautifully prepared culinary experience along with creative theme related touches. VIP credentials presented upon arrival will be the key to your table assignments. Our signature progressive style dinner provides you the opportunity to engage with a dynamic group of peers. By mixing up table assignments between each course you can enjoy the company of long-time friends and become connected to professionals you may otherwise not meet. More information regarding the details of this event will be added here once they are confirmed.

      *Transportation to Union League Club of Chicago will be provided by PCMA.  This is a ticketed event and requires separate registration.  Cocktail attire is recommended.


  •  Newsletter & Brochure Fair
    • Year after year conference attendees have confirmed that idea sharing is one of the most actionable takeaways from their conference experience.  One of the best ways to energize and revitalize creative juices and brainstorming efforts is to take in what fellow industry professionals have found to be advantageous and impactful.

      We invite you to share any and all collateral and promotional materials that have been successful in generating qualified prospective members and engaging existing members.  Learning through sharing is a fantastic way to both communicate your club's inventiveness and developing new ideas.

      Conference attendees are encouraged to bring twenty (20) or more copies of club collateral, newsletters and program brochures to exchange with fellow professionals.  There will be specific space within the conference general education room dedicated to the Club Collateral, Newsletter and Brochure Fair.

      If you choose not to hand-carry your entries and would like to ship your materials, please plan for them to arrive no later than September 14, 2018.

      Materials should be addressed in the following way:

      Hilton Palmer House
      Attention: YOUR NAME 
      17 E Monroe Street
      Chicago, IL 60603

  •  The Club Membership Challenge
    • The new generation of private club membership and marketing professionals is more impressive than ever. A more challenging and competitive club membership environment is bringing out the absolute best in club membership and marketing inventiveness. The Club Membership Challenge recognizes and awards clubs for successful membership recruitment, relations, retention and event initiatives.

      Participants of The Club Membership Challenge - 2018 are invited to share their challenge entry initiatives with conference attendees at PCMA's 23rd Annual Membership and Marketing Conference.  A space will be dedicated at this year's conference to feature program display boards.  Please contact with questions or for additional information.

      Sample Entry Topics:

      • prospective member events
      • member guest events
      • referral programs
      • incentive programs
      • special event programming
      • youth programming
      • loyalty programs
      • legacy programs
      • membership categories
      • reciprocal programs
      • etc....let your creativity lead the way.... 

      The Club Membership Challenge Requirements


      Entry Submission Deadline: Emailed to by September 7, 2018
      • Complete online registration form
      • 1 page summary explaining the reasoning and goals behind the membership initiative
      • 1-3 page outline of the membership initiative (What it is, how it works, how it was marketed/communicated, how it was implemented, etc.)
      • 1 page summary of the results        
      • Letter of authorization from club management for entry into The Club Membership Challenge - 2018


      A display board visually outlining the submitted initiative (Maximum size 20" x 30" x 3/16") should arrive to the conference venue by Thursday, September 13th, 2018. 

      Display board box should be addressed in the following way:

      Hilton Palmer House
      Attention:  Donna Coyne
      17 E Monroe Street
      Chicago, IL 60603

      PCMA will not be responsible for the shipment or return of entries. Should you elect to keep your entry, it must be picked up by 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18th, 2018. After this time, unclaimed entries will be discarded.

      The Club Membership Challenge Awards


      • 1st place recognition to be placed on display board at 2018 conference showcase
      • 1st place - crystal trophy honoring your club's membership excellence
      • Waived conference registration for 2019
      • Article and award excellence feature in Club Membership & Marketing Magazine
      • Club industry press release provided to important industry media channels


      • 2nd place recognition to be placed on display board at 2018 conference showcase
      • 2nd place crystal trophy honoring your club's membership excellence
      • Waived conference registration for 2019
      • Article and award excellence feature in Club Membership & Marketing Magazine


      • 3rd place recognition to be placed on display board at 2018 conference showcase
      • 3rd place crystal trophy honoring your club's membership excellence
      • Waived conference registration for 2019
      • Article and award excellence feature in Club Membership & Marketing Magazine 
  • Exhibitor Showcase
    • CLICK HERE if you are a potential exhibitor interested in partnering with PCMA.

      Annual conference is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, but also to explore industry tools and resources that can benefit your club.  We are excited to be hosting our first partner exhibition in 2018 featuring membership marketing specific solutions in conjunction with our networking lunches.  You will have direct access to experts behind the brands leading our industry, tools you need to succeed and answers to challenges facing your organization.

      Exhibitor Showcase Hours:
      Monday, September 15, 2018 from 12:00pm - 1:30pm
      Monday, September 15, 2018 from 4:00pm - 5:00pm
      Tuesday, September 16, 2018 from 12:00pm - 1:30pm

      Participating Exhibitors:
      ***Check back regularly for changes and additions




Professional Certification

PCMA offers professional accreditation through an online and on-demand program designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and recognize membership and marketing professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of club membership and marketing management. [more]

24th Annual Membership & Marketing Conference

  • Save the Date: September 23rd & 24th, 2019
  • Dallas, TX
  • Conference Details - Coming February 2019
  • Conference Registration and Pricing - Coming February 2019
Professional Club Marketing Association | 316 S. McKenzie Street, Suite 110 | Foley, AL  36535 | Tel. (760) 835-9884 | Fax (760) 406-5933 | E-mail: