#BIGIDEASCL: Asking the (Outside) Experts

By Michelle Russell, Editor in Chief @PCMAConvene

Every industry needs a regular infusion of fresh thinking. With that in mind, PCMA and the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau — a PCMA Uber Partner — have joined together to foster innovation with the BIG IDEAS initiative. Supported by the PCMA Education Foundation, BIG IDEAS was launched at PCMA Convening Leaders in Boston this past January, and will last throughout 2014 — a year-long quest to gather the best ideas to move the industry forward.

What’s the hallmark of a big idea? For one, it looks at the tried-and-true from a genuinely different perspective. Here’s an example, taken from Convening Leaders 2014:

Four design students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University were invited to attend the first day of Convening Leaders on Jan. 13. Their mission: to share their experiences in terms of the design of the conference itself. They were given no parameters other than to observe the event and meet afterward to consolidate their thoughts for an education panel recap session, moderated by global meeting professional Kristin Mirabal, CMP, on the following afternoon.

During the recap, Harvard’s Allison Green and MIT’s Sofia Berinstein, Zheela Qaiser, and Myung Sung talked about what they thought worked and what didn’t. The Opening General Session was clearly a hit. “There was so much energy,” Green said, “and your theme was brilliantly displayed and woven throughout the whole session.”

Qaiser agreed, adding: “Entering the main event, I thought it was amazing that all of these people were entering the hall all at once and were having their badges scanned, yet there were no long lines. It was like managed chaos. Inside, the projection screen was just awesome. The whole event catered to our [generational] ADHD world, and I was standing there thinking, I can do 20 things in this room all at the same time! It felt great.”

In addition to that positive review and benefits found in the meeting’s networking areas, the students agreed that wayfinding could be improved. And they found there was a tradeoff in the breakout sessions — between the depth of information provided in a lecture-based session that didn’t feature any attendee interaction vs. shallow engagement in sessions that had baked-in interactivity. According to the students, there wasn’t enough time to really share valuable information during the designated interactive period.

In all, the design students identified three key attributes of a well-designed face-to-face event: social energy, a forum to help to make connections, and a focus on visuals.

Would you allow an industry outsider to critique your program? It’s one idea that can lead to others to improve your participants’ face-to-face experience.

Read more: http://pcma.org/convene-content/convene-article/2014/04/03/-bigideascl-asking-the-outside-experts#.U0f2Ea1dXOU#ixzz2yaT1vaup

Shark Tank Star Mark Cuban Joins The Big Ideas Challenge

Taking the stage at the Professional Convention Management Association’s (“PCMA”) Convening Leaders conference in Boston earlier this year, 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  — an innovation development initiative to define the future of the country’s Trillion dollar meetings and events industry. The BIG IDEAS CHALLENGE is part of an Uber partnership between PCMA and the DCVB.

The BIG IDEAS CHALLENGE invites the global meetings and events industry and big-thinkers everywhere to share their ideas on how people can better connect and engage at meetings and events today and in the future. It also seeks ideas on how the industry’s story of success and innovation can be better showcased to policy-makers and investors.

The winner of the BIG IDEAS CHALLENGE will receive an opportunity to brainstorm 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.

“As a city that benefits tremendously from meetings and events of all kinds we want to make sure BIG IDEAS continue to fuel our industry’s explosive growth” said DCVB president/CEO Phillip J. Jones. “Dallas is a community built on BIG IDEAS by people who aren’t afraid to say ‘lets do this. We want to invite those who believe in the power of BIG IDEAS to join us in defining the future of one of the country’s largest industries and opportunity generators.”

“The thinking behind the BIG IDEAS initiative is to encourage conversation within the industry on how to keep us moving forward and how we can consistently bring pioneering ideas to our community,” said Deborah Sexton, President & CEO, PCMA.

BIG IDEAS can be submitted to the BIG IDEAS CHALLENGE by anyone before 1PM ET June 23rd 2014 at www.pcma.org/big-ideas or via paper entry form during the BIG IDEAS Networking Luncheon at PCMA Education Conference on June 23, 2014 in Toronto.

You can follow @BIGIDEASCL on Twitter for regular updates. The top five ideas will be posted on pcma.org by July 7, 2014 for public voting, and the winner will be announced on August 1, 2014.

Complete details on the BIG IDEAS CHALLENGE are available at http://pcma.org/big-ideas.

Contact: Frank J. Librio, Jr. – (214) 571-1075


About Professional Convention Management Association
PCMA is the multi-channel professional resource and premier educator for leaders in the meetings, conventions, events and trade show industries. PCMA provides their 6,300 members with a community of likeminded colleagues, innovative education and creative global solutions to enhance both their professional development and their organization’s face-to-face and virtual connections. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 35 countries. For additional information, please visit the PCMA Web site at pcma.org.

About Dallas

The Dallas metroplex is the leading business and financial center in the Southwest, offering visitors an unparalleled array of amenities such as more than 75,000 hotel rooms, flexible meeting space, moderate climate, service-oriented staff, and a central location with two major airports with more domestic nonstop flights than any other U.S. city. As one of the top visitor destinations in Texas, Dallas provides the best shopping in the Southwest and the largest urban arts district in the nation, with five cultural venues designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects.

Read more: http://pcma.org/be-in-the-know/pcma-central/convention-and-meetings-news/news-landing/2014/04/01/shark-tank-star-mark-cuban-joins-the-big-ideas-challenge?e=bmac76092%40gmail.com&m=14923250#.UzxiZ61dXOW#ixzz2xl4bhNEo