By the Editors of Convene.
Our readers nominated the industry’s best programs, services, and venues in 10 different categories. We culled the top five for each. Convene proudly presents the 50 best things in meetings today.
Best Destination Videos
“Tourism Toronto wanted to convey to our meeting-planner audience that Toronto is an unfolding city, always evolving, always inspiring with vibrant people, stunning venues, and infectious creative energy that together build an imaginative backdrop for their signature event. If you think you've seen it all, let us surpass your expectations and surprise you over and over again. Simply put: We’d love to have you!”
— Tara Gordon, CMP, vice president of meeting and convention sales, Tourism Toronto
“The Tourism Toronto video does a terrific job of showcasing the city. It highlights the city’s cultural diversity, which is so unique to any other North American city. The video is truly representative of all that the city has to offer (sport, arts and culture, restaurants - some within smaller communities within a large city, the waterfront, and more). All in all, colorful!”
— Andréa Bright, CMP, conference and meeting planner for organizational learning and development, Ontario Nurses’ Association
“It’s been said that ‘San Francisco isn't a short story, but a classic that must be perused and consumed like a multiple-course meal, that will always be equal parts drama, adventure, history, and romance, and that must be returned to again and again to fully understand.’ With that backdrop, the challenge of creating a two- to three-minute video seemed initially daunting. ...It was important for the video to touch on the core ‘themes’ of San Francisco - our diverse neighborhoods, commitment to sustainability, welcoming LGBT travel, kaleidoscopic arts and culture scene, rich and ever-changing food and wine experience, as well as our festivals and yearly events. ...Our strategy was to tell the story of a ‘Day in the Life’ of San Francisco, to let viewers know that no matter how familiar they are with the city, there’s always something new to see, do, taste, and explore. Meeting planners who have viewed the video have been captivated by it - the energy, the editing, the music - but most of all because it illustrates everything that’s magical about the city as a meeting destination. ...The video was created to be an invaluable tool for meeting planners who either a) want to convince a C-level executive that San Francisco would be a great place to host a meeting, or b) want to get the attendees excited about their upcoming meeting. By all accounts, meeting planners feel it will work extremely well to help them achieve those goals.
—John Reyes, CMP, executive vice president and chief customer officer, San Francisco Travel Association
“We do shows in many different great cities all over the country. The San Francisco Travel video truly captures the city’s beauty, uniqueness, and overall appeal. Whether you travel to San Francisco frequently on business or you've never been, the video makes you want to go back again and again.”
—Doug Miller, partner and president, Urban Expositions
‘ASAE GOES TO DALLAS’
“This video was shown at the ASAE Annual Meeting held in St. Louis in 2011 to promote Dallas for the August 2012 meeting. We wanted to do something different, so we asked four association professionals [who were well-known to the ASAE community] - Shannon Watson, CMP, CAE, Solar Energy Industries Association; Peter O’Neil, CAE, American Industrial Hygiene Association and ASAE board chair; Cedric Calhoun, CAE, Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals; and Jaime Andriopoulos, American Society for Clinical Pathology - to star in the video and show four different perspectives of the Dallas experience.”
—Dustin Clark, director of marketing, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
“Dallas! I loved the way they portrayed their cosmopolitan city through the eyes of the attendee experiencing it! It gives a great overview of all Dallas has to offer.”
— Shannon Watson, CMP, CAE, video star and director of meetings and education, Solar Energy Industries Association
“We’re thrilled that meeting planners are so receptive to ‘It’s You...Vancouver.’ Through the video, we wanted to share with the world Vancouver’s iconic attractions, natural beauty, and artistic talent, and to showcase the city as a four-season destination. And Watasun’s song - fun, original, and engaging - absolutely reflects Vancouver as a young, up-and-coming world city.”
— Walt Judas, vice president of marketing communications and member services, Tourism Vancouver
“The video won over our entire team. We’re using it at our convention next year, and have posted it to our website. It’s a great departure from the usual destination promotion video.”
— Fabienne April, global communication strategist, Kiwanis International
‘LET’S GO’ DENVER’
“VISIT DENVER’s ‘Let’s Go’ video creates an emotional connection to the Mile High City, with its high-energy pace, music, and dazzling Denver visuals. The video is informative as well, showing viewers many aspects of the city, from Denver’s active spirit and exciting nightlife, to its vibrant arts and culture scene, sports, and breathtaking Rocky Mountain backdrop.”
— Rachel Benedick, vice president of sales and services, VISIT DENVER
“The Visit Denver video is extremely well put together. The opening slide with the statement ‘The View From Denver is Amazing’ [makes] you want to see what is going to [come next]. The statement is answered in quickly building layers of photos with a minimum of text. I like the fact that there is no voiceover, only music that helps build the pace. The occasional text slide leads you along a fast-paced view of the city.”
— Stephen Emery, senior manager of meetings and expositions, Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Best High-Tech Facilities
ARIA, LAS VEGAS
ARIA features 300,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, but the tech-savvy details don’t stop at the exhibit halls. Each of the property’s 4,004 guest rooms offers the best in high-tech amenities. “Everything is digital in the rooms,” said Jane Walbridge, vice president of meetings and events for Aimia, who has held trade shows at ARIA for two years in a row. “They’ve also thought of everything in the function space - hanging points, lighting, audio. All of it is just state-of-the-art and very easy for a production group to work with.”
OTTAWA CONVENTION CENTRE
The Ottawa Convention Centre’s technology and communications infrastructure is customer-centric and easy to use. In addition to projectors and screens in every room, the facility offers digital-media and HDTV video services, simultaneous interpretation equipment, and state-of-the-art teleprompters and lighting services throughout the entire property. And an on-site tech team will work with you to make sure you’re meeting all of your goals - and your budget.
VIRGINIA BEACH CONVENTION CENTER
The 29,000 square feet of meeting space, 31,029-square-foot ballroom, and more than 150,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space at the Virginia Beach Convention Center all come