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October 27, 2016

Roundup: PCMA Releases 2017 Convening Leaders Program, GBTA Talks Tech and Events

austin, texas
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PCMA’s 2017 Convening Leaders program, a new study from the GBTA Foundation on technology and events, and Westin’s big Nashville opening are the three meetings industry headlines to follow today. 

PCMA Announces 2017 Convening Leaders Program

PCMA has announced its program for its 2017 Convening Leaders event, which will take place in Austin January 8 - 11. 

Under the theme “designing colLABoration”, the program will offer inspirational presentations, real-world case studies, peer exchange and access to leading solution providers. Topics under discussion will range from business event operations and event experience design to personal brilliance and leadership, with individual sessions covering everything from Boosting Delegate Numbers in the Digital Age to Leading Effective Virtual Teams.

New for 2017 will be Brain Dates, a one-on-one learning experience that lets delegates share knowledge with each other. Closer to the event, delegates will be able to make offers and requests for knowledge on topics of interest.

At the Tech Central open space, delegates can experience a hands-on tutorial at the DigiTech Bar and Tech Clinics, enjoy an up-close Tech Demo or stop at one of the new Social Media Drop In Corners to keep up with the latest in event social media strategy.

At the same time, Learning Labs throughout the Austin Convention Center will range from the new Design Lab, highlighting new concepts in design thinking to the new Main Stage Production Lab featuring the latest A/V technologies. 

The speakers lineup includes: 

Rachel Botsman, who coined the phrase “collaborative consumption,” will explore how trust is shifting from institutions to individuals, changing the way we live, work and travel.

Dan Goods will share the remarkable story of creating his dream job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, revealing an invisible world with endless possibilities.

Harvard Graduate at 19, Supreme Court Clerk turned CEO Isaac Lidsky will share his inspiring story that proves even the most insurmountable odds can be overcome with the right perspective.

Economist and advisor to the European Union, Jeremy Rifkin, will explain how converging renewable energy and the internet of things will usher us into a new era to meet these challenges.

Scott Belsky, author of "Making Ideas Happen" will share insights and proven tips attendees can use to push bold new projects to completion.

Visit www.conveningleaders.org/registration


GBTA Foundation Study Examines Technology’s Role in Event Planning

The GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Lanyon, has released a new study on the most valued and desired features when it comes to site sourcing technology in a Lanyon Live breakout session. 

A majority of planners (57 percent) use events or meeting management technology or software when planning events and nearly all who do (96 percent) find value in using technology to manage their meetings and events. Additionally, almost six in ten (58 percent) of those who do not currently use it see the potential for technology to improve their processes and programs.

Location (27 percent) and cost (26 percent) are the top factors for choosing a property to host a meeting or event. Currently only two in five planners (43 percent) have access to technology that automatically populates city specs including everything from proximity of the venue to other hotels, restaurants and airports along with hotel rates to food and beverage pricing or even a city’s crime rates. Half of the planners who use this type of technology find it very valuable to make more informed decisions as would 45 percent of those who don’t have access to it. Some planners even said this feature would top their wish list if they created their own meeting and event planning product.

Another valuable tool when selecting a city and event site would be a Yelp-style site for meeting planners. This formalized approach to consulting industry experts would only work with a few important caveats however, planners say. The site would need to be limited to experienced planners, populated with up-to-date information and shielded from supplier’s eyes to be seen as a credible and useful resource.

Once the city is chosen, RFPs are often sent to a number of venues to collect additional information before making a decision. Four in five (81 percent) planners currently use technology that allows them to send a single RFP to multiple properties and allows properties to respond directly to the RFP within the platform for easy comparisons – both highly valued features. Seven in ten (70 percent) planners use technology to compare property details side by side and nearly all (88 percent) find this feature very valuable.

Planners would also like the ability to track each venue’s pricing from the initial bid to final negotiated price, which becomes very helpful when companies place an emphasis on budget tracking and cost savings.

This study used both a qualitative and quantitative approach. The qualitative side is based off of nine one-on-one in-depth interviews conducted with individuals with significant event-planning responsibilities. These took place in both April and August of 2016. The quantitative side consisted of a survey completed by 94 North American individuals with mid- (25-500 attendee) to large-scale (500+ attendee) event-planning responsibilities who were at least “somewhat involved” in planning or overseeing of meetings and events at their company and “involved” or “very involved” in the site sourcing process. This survey was fielded between May 18 and June 2, 2016.

Source: GBTA

Westin Opens in Nashville

In hotel news, Westin Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of The Westin Nashville in the city’s downtown district. 

Located adjacent to the city’s new convention center, the 453-room property has 20,000 square feet of adaptable event space, including pre-function areas and 12 meeting venues. Guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the city.

For dining the hotel has two signature restaurants in addition to L27, the highest rooftop bar in the region, which offers views of Nashville’s skyline with a pool, cabanas, a food and craft beverage program and daily live entertainment. Oak Steakhouse Nashville, a Charleston import of the Indigo Road Restaurant Group, offers classic American fare with a southern twist and craft cocktails accompanied by live music; while the Decker & Dyer provides a more casual lounge and eatery in the hotel lobby.

Also on property is the Rhapsody Spa, which has nine treatment rooms, including one couple’s treatment room, a relaxation room and a eucalyptus steam room. 

Visit www.westin.com/nashville

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About the Author: Adam Leposa





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