Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 01 2014

Big Ideas Challenge: Who Will Land in the Shark Tank?

By Christopher Durso

Since it was first announced, the BIG IDEAS Challenge has been leading to this: an opportunity to brainstorm with Dallas Mavericks owner and “Shark Tank” investor Mark Cuban. After spending months curating an online conversation designed to draw out the best ideas to move the meetings and conventions industry forward, PCMA and the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau, supported by the PCMA Education Foundation, took the discussion live with the BIG IDEAS Networking Luncheon at the PCMA Education Conference in Toronto this past June.



Seated at round tables in the Constitution Ballroom at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch, then used pencils and index cards to share, debate, and record their ideas. PCMA reviewed the hundreds of submissions and honed them into five concepts:

› Reality TV show —
putting a spotlight on the industry that will enhance the understanding of our value.

› Universal name badge — tied to the individual rather than the event, with interaction and connectivity.
› Hybrid virtual integration — connecting a face-to-face attendee to a virtual attendee, one-on-one, in real time, to share their experiences together.

› Gamification —
start pre-conference to juice creative, build anticipation, and contribute to the program; have participants share results and judge them live on site (think “Shark Tank”).

› Global competition — for meeting planners and architects to design the convention center of the future, with constant customization space.

From July 21–31, the PCMA Education Foundation invited meeting professionals to vote for their favorite BIG IDEA. A thought-leader team was scheduled to convene on Aug. 1 to make the final selection, with online voting counting for two-thirds of the choice. Check back next month to learn the winning BIG IDEA — and meet its creator.

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