Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 2013

This Conference Could be the SXSW of the Southeast

By Jennifer N. Dienst

idea of grouping them together at a bar,” Gray said. “We would advertise, ‘If you want to meet people at these four companies, go to this bar.’ But Robert [Prioleau, partner and strategy director] at Blue Ion [website-design firm,] thought it would be a cool concept to bring attendees into the studios, let them see the actual workspaces, and bounce around between them.”

Since most of the participating companies were located within walking distance of each other in downtown Charleston, the end result was a progressive happy hour that mixed curious locals, out-of-town presenters and speakers, and festival participants in a casual, come-and-go-as-you-please atmosphere.

In all, Gray estimates that close to 500 visitors participated in the Strut, although an official tally isn’t available. “Studio Strut was also an opportunity [for us] to offer another free event,” Gray said. “For a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs in their early 20s, they can’t afford [festival tickets]. This was a way for them to get out and meet people.”


Innovative Meetings is sponsored by the Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau

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