For this year’s Best in Show feature, we switched gears. Instead of showcasing, as we’ve done in past years, extraordinary places, spaces, destination videos, F&B offerings, tech tools, and other bits and pieces that make the events world go round, we zoomed in on you. We asked dozens of event organizers across different professions and industries two questions: What was the best new initiative at your most recent event — or the one thing you always do that really sets your event apart from others? And second, what’s one new breakthrough shared or idea launched at your event that will help advance your field?
Truthfully, we had more success with responses for the first than the second question. And as we read what event organizers shared with us, we realized that there probably isn’t a single thing that happened at an event that anyone can put their finger on that will advance an industry or profession— it’s hundreds and thousands of things. From critical information discussed at sessions, to research findings detailed on posters, to connections made for future collaborations, business events simply move their constituents forward — armed with more knowledge, a deeper community, and the kind of validation that comes from being with peers who are doing similar work and making a difference in the world.
Following the links below, you’ll find examples of how event strategists used one tool at their disposal — their creativity — to design those kinds of memorable and meaningful events. Whether their efforts were intended to break down barriers to participation — like a program that enabled attendees from lower-income countries to attend a medical event with complimentary registration, or a literacy event held entirely in a public school — or to create an over-the-top experience, like a welcoming party at a villa outside Rome, complete with dancers, baroque art, and fireworks, these event planners’ results are best in show in our book. We hope that you are likewise inspired.