Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

November 25 2013

This is the Ultimate Way to Get to a Meeting

By David McMillin

pcma convening leaders bus

I’m always searching for innovative ideas to meeting planning, but for this story, I didn’t need to look very far. As meeting professionals gear up for PCMA’s 2014 Convening Leaders, one organization is turning the journey to Boston into much more than a standard business trip.

Marie Lou Coupal, CMP, business development manager at Canada-based JPdL, is helping meeting professionals near Montreal maximize their time, save money and cut carbon emissions while traveling to Convening Leaders. The route is called the Mobile Meeting Movement Road Trip. With help from sensov/ event marketing, GES Montreal, AVW TELAV and the PCMA Canada East Chapter, it’s giving Canadian attendees a chance to spend five hours each way networking, learning and relaxing.

Coupal says she was inspired to launch the first-of-its-kind program after attending the meeting design workshop during PCMA’s 2013 Convening Leaders Hybrid. Coupal was in the middle of the recertification process and could not attend the face-to-face experience. This year, she wanted to make sure that she could go. With the close proximity to Montreal, she wanted to extend the offer to her industry peers, too.

The reaction from Montreal-based members has been overwhelmingly positive.

“They’re excited about the concept of making the most of their travel time with education and networking while saving money,” Coupal says.

SEE ALSO: What You’ll Learn at Convening Leaders This Year

The entire experience is a lesson in the art of productivity. While it obviously eliminates airport lines, taxi fares and plenty of other headaches, the Mobile Meeting Movement also adds the ability to earn valuable CEUs with two interactive workshops. Led by Rachel Stephan of sensov/ event marketing and Mitchell Beer of Smarter Shift, the programs will take place on the way to and from Boston. Meals are provided (with vegan and gluten-free options available, too), and the total round-trip cost is $275. That price tag includes a $10 donation to the PCMA Education Foundation, and here’s one of the best pieces of news: it’s nearly $100 cheaper than any of the flights I just found in an online search.

SEE ALSO: When You’ll Find the Cheapest Flights

Can You Create Something Similar For Your Meeting?

Depending on where you live, boarding the bus may not make sense. However, you may want to consider using a similar approach to inspire a group of attendees to travel together to your next meeting. Travel expenses can be one of the biggest hurdles for some attendees. If a large concentration of your members are located within a relatively short drive of your host city, perhaps the Mobile Meeting Movement will enough to get them onboard with your registration fees - literally.

Want to join the Mobile Meeting Movement? Click here. Registration closes November 30. If you’ll be traveling from elsewhere, click here for exclusive attendee discounts.

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