HIP Network delivered another packed Sessions in the City event on Thursday, November 17th at the newly-renovated Washington Marriott Georgetown. Influential event organizers and suppliers converged to hear the emerging trends within the meetings and events industry.
The day began with the CEO & Founder of HIP Network, Dan Sherman, announcing the acquisition of Convene Green from ASAE and encouraging attendees to sign the Convene Green pledge. Sherman also informed attendees of HIP Network's re-branding and the new focus towards launching the industry's first business intelligence platform to be featured at PCMA’s Convening Leaders Technology Lounge in Austin. “Our inclusive BI Platform will provide unbiased guidance on Event Impact, History, Sustainability and Security to both Planners and Suppliers alike” said Sherman.
Sarah Weller with Steelcase Event Experiences presented the latest trends within event design and why space matters. “If you really want to design for learning at your event, give people choice and variety of their seating,” said Weller. Steelcase has executed several examples of fostering learning environments for their clients which Weller showcased to the audience.
The topic of event marketing was front and center during Erin Lee’s presentation. Erin is the Managing Director of Marketing at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and spoke on growing attendance and meeting registration goals for BIO’s International Convention. “As event marketers we are really challenged. Not only do we need to retain our attendees every year, but we must also drive new ones,” said Lee.
Joe Colangelo, CEO and Co-Founder of BEAR Analytics, delighted the crowd on the future of data in the industry and forecasted it’s impact. “Our events are dealing with more information than ever before and emerging technology is beginning to support it,” said Colangelo. Event technology’s emergence within the marketplace and its connection to data resonated throughout Colangelo’s session.
An event planner panel discussion comprised of Allison Wachter at ASAE, Stacey Chattman of 2U and Yvonne Butters at the International Association for the Study of Pain rounded out the first half of the event. The conversation focused on what planners are experiencing during the deal cycle of selecting meeting locations to finding innovative ways to showcase new technology such as interactive attendee bracelets.
After a brief break in the action, the audience returned to hear about the $25 million renovation recently completed at the Washington Marriott Georgetown from General Manager Kori Johnson. The event’s premiere destination sponsor, Experience Grand Rapids, then showcased their destination during a fireside chat with Sherman and VP of Sales and Services, Tom Bennett. “Our arts scene is booming with ArtPrize, the world’s largest collective art competition with $500,000+ in prize money given away,” said Bennett. “Also, our craft beer culture which has led to Grand Rapids being named ‘Beer City USA’ and being named by USA Today as the best beer town in the country.”
Freeman’s Vice President of Business Development, Tom Miller, then took the stage for another discussion, this one centered around what Freeman’s clients are now asking for. This included the use of mobile technology, communicating with younger audiences and creating more engaging learning environments. “Our new brand is central to the themes I’ve heard discussed today,” said Miller. “Forward design-thinking and the use of data is what we’re focusing on now.”
The event wrapped up with an inspiring discussion on event sustainability from Eric Ricaurte, Founder and CEO of Greenview. Ricaurte touched on the sustainability movement for events and making it a conversation that is much easier to have. “If you love this industry, then shouldn’t you love what this industry can do for the planet?” asked Ricaurte. “We can watch these trends pass by and then be affected by them at some point, or we can start a movement ourselves.”
Mark Korsak’s graphic illustrations of the key event topics are showcased: