During Convening Leaders 2014 in Boston, PCMA, the PCMA Foundation and the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau launched the BIG IDEAS Initiative to showcase BIG IDEAS and BIG Thinkers in our industry.
We had over 100 post-it note submissions along with 100′s of tweets and Facebook postings outlining ideas from room sets to convention center design. Here’s a summary of the “idea buckets” that became apparent:
SPACE DESIGN: Ideas submitted here focused on redesigning venues to make them more appealing and to enhance networking potential. There was an interesting idea about converting abandoned shopping malls into meeting venues. David Adler also challenged tradeshow organizers to think more like shopping mall managers.
ENGAGEMENT and EXPERIENCE DESIGN: Ideas submitted here focused on enhancing attendee engagement at events by introducing new types of networking experiences with higher levels of participation. Borrowing from the tech world, using Hackathons to deploy creativity and diverse group dynamics to solve a specific challenge was seen as a powerful idea to be explored.
LEARNING DESIGN: BIG IDEAS around learning design were seemingly driven by the fact that people “learn different” today but that educational events have yet to sufficiently integrate that line of thinking into their event design. “Social learning” was offered as one concept. Another example of a BIG IDEA around learning design that is currently in-play is “One Day University”.
OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: BIG IDEAS shared in this area suggest Convening Leaders attendees remain challenged by current technology solutions aimed at improving meeting operational efficiency. Submissions were focused on the need for fully-integrated, end-to-end planning solutions and a global database of meetings that included history and event specs.
ENGAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY: Surprisingly few BIG IDEAS focused on technology innovations. Those provided focused again on improving attendee engagement and creating more value from networking sessions. BIG IDEAS around “smart badges” and an integrated social media management platform were suggested.
Taking the stage at the annual Convening Leaders conference in Boston, the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau (“DCVB”) announced that ABC Shark Tank star and NBA Dallas Stars owner Mark Cuban will headline the BIG IDEAS CHALLENGE.
The winner of the BIG IDEAS Challenge will receive an opportunity to pitch their BIG IDEA to Mark Cuban as part of a brainstorming session later this year in Dallas on the future of the meetings and events industry.