Innovation Meetings Alliance Launches at IMEX

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Founder Ira Ozer announces a collaborative initiative of MICE planners, suppliers and subject matter experts to promote innovation meetings.

With the goal of promoting innovation meetings as an identified MICE category, Ira Ozer, CPIM, CRP, CEP, has announced the formation of the Innovation Meetings Alliance.

An innovation meeting, said Ozer, creates a culture of innovation with specific components and methodology. It includes taking groups out of the conference room for at least part of the program to experience something specific to the destination that is inspirational, historical or creative. “The destination and hotel can tell the stories of the innovative and historical things that have happened there,” he said.

Ozer defines a 10-part framework: strategic innovation design, innovative venue selection, communications and engagement plan, innovation assessments,  innovation process and training, innovation technology, creative and inspirational activities, recognition and rewards, results and analysis and ongoing plan.

To be announced in November during IMEX, the Innovation Meetings Alliance welcomes all planners and suppliers to join. There is no fee; the alliance is a marketing arm meant to complement industry associations, said Ozer. He is joined by initial members Donna Mitsos, innovation meetings planner; Stephen Shapiro, innovation expert and author; Shannon Lucas, innovation author and co-founder of Catalyst Constellations; Susan Linder, innovation storyteller and communications expert; Sarah Routman, founder of Laugh Healthy; Sharon Fisher, founder, Play with a Purpose; Samuel Robinson, executive vice president, myQuest; Tim Houlihan, founder of Behavioral Grooves; Bruce Bolger, founder, Enterprise Engagement Alliance; Beatriz Kasusky, director of sales, Melia Hotels International and more.

“We will be creating marketing materials to promote this category of meetings to the various stakeholder groups, including a website that features the participating companies by type of innovation meetings service they offer,” said Ozer.

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