The International Association of Conference Centers (IACC)-The Americas held its fourth Thought Leader Summit at the 31st annual conference in Houston last month to discuss “Designing Meeting Experiences for Tomorrow.” The event was broadcast live at the host property, La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa, and webcast around the world. Participants and viewers participated real-time via twitter.
According to IACC-Americas President, Peter J. Stockmann, the group convened to “delve into the impact of the global economic downturn in business, virtual workplaces, and advanced technologies that foster collaborative and innovative solutions and how it all affects the meetings industry.”
The distinguished panel included a carefully selected group of global leaders who shared their experiences and perspectives of the hospitality industry including facility design, executive education, training methods, and technology solutions. The panel included:
- Jeff Loether, President, Electro-Media Design, Gaithersburg, MD
- Richard Fawell, Principal, VOA Associates, Beijing, China and Chicago, IL
- Raymond Smith, Founding Partner & Chief Learning Officer, EduPresence, Columbia SC; former Associate Dean of Executive Education, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
- Nancy Keeshan, Executive Director, Duke Corporate Education, Durham, NC
- Bruce Burkhalter, Vice President of Technical Services, Benchmark Hospitality International, The Woodlands, TX
- David Rochefort, Executive Director of Leadership Development, The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada
- Diane Dettinger-Myracle, Chief Learning Officer, Girl Scouts of the USA, New York, NY
Facilitator John Potterton, CMP (VP Education, Professional Convention Management Association, Chicago, IL) started the session by noting that the conversation would focus on “the design and execution of meetings and learning experiences” with three primary goals:
1. To examine how content designers employ innovative methodologies to engage participants and to extend learning back into the workplace.
2. To develop a greater awareness of the ‘must-haves’ in learning-facility design, especially the technology solutions within facilities.
3. To discover what IACC venues and other learning facilities are doing to build and/or renovate their facilities to support tomorrow’s global leaders.”
The wide variety of topics included:
• The attributes of great organizational leaders which are related to learning
• The new realities of program design, and how facilities must adapt to them.
• Cutting-edge program formats which rely on client-supplied technology
• New technology challenges for conference centers
• Designing “whole-brain” meeting experiences
• The call for IACC conference centers to tout their uniqueness
• Expectations of the next generation
The entire IACC white paper “Designing Meeting Experiences for Tomorrow” is available for download.