Meeting Planners Share Big Ideas at PCMA

Photo Credit: Jacob Slaton Photography
Photo Credit: Jacob Slaton Photography

The idea that “half of all sessions driven by attendees inspire collaboration”  left its mark in Post-It form at the PCMA Convening Leaders conference held in Boston earlier this month. Conference attendees, which included a mix of meeting industry professionals, were given Post-It notes at registration and encouraged to take their “big ideas” to the Big Idea Zone, a networking area that featured tables and chairs for one-on-one conversations, as well as real-time video, whiteboard brainstorming and social media channels for sharing ideas.

The zone also included several standing glass panels for sticking idea-adorned Post-Its that were labeled with categories such as Working Together, Globalization, Technology and Meetings Design. Ideas left under the Working Together category, for example, included “Inclusive meetings, really inclusive” and “Don’t live by the rules.”

The trade show kicked off the Big Ideas initiative, created in partnership between PCMA and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, as a year-long strategy to inspire new and innovative ideas in the meeting and convention industry. Throughout the year, meeting industry professionals are encouraged to share big ideas through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag: #BigIdeasCL.

“Big ideas fuel industry growth by proving that taking risks delivers tangible and forward-thinking results for a vibrant, strong future,” says Phillip J. Jones, president and CEO of the Dallas CVB. “It is these ideas combined with optimism and perseverance that can drive change for the meetings and conventions industry, which is a major economic engine for the country.”

PCMA and the Dallas CVB expect the initiative to extend beyond the PCMA Convening Leaders conference as it offers meeting planners and suppliers an industry-wide forum to compare best practices, generate new ideas, provide networking opportunities, develop professional skills and advocate for industry change.

“The Big Ideas initiative isn’t just about coming up with a transformational million dollar idea. We want to encourage the industry to continuously have open conversations that will move it forward and enact positive change,” says Deborah Sexton, president and CEO of PCMA. “The Big Ideas initiative will bring to light areas where the meetings industry can innovate so we can continue to define trends and not be defined by them.”