Over the last 16 years here at Convene, I’ve trained my eye to pick up nuggets about conference business in other places outside of our industry channels. There’s a practical element to the little thrill I get — I can usually use what I find as fodder for our content. But I also think: There it is! Hiding in plain sight! Because no matter how much progress we make to increase awareness, the idea of business events as a standalone industry still remains a novel concept to many outside of our immediate circle.
Recently, I found a story in an unusual place that underscores the value of events. For a while, my daughter, who recently finished her residency in emergency room medicine, was having her mail forwarded to our home. This past spring, I found myself absentmindedly flipping through the pages of her ACEP Now, the publication of the American College of Emergency Physicians. I’m not sure why — headlines like “Factor XA Inhibitor Reversal Not Ready for Prime Time” are gibberish to me. But next to that story, I spied a little gem that did speak to my lay person’s mind: “Meet the Emergitones: A Melody of Jazz and Emergency Medicine.”
The article was about how a pair of emergency room docs discovered a shared interest in music and the two, one a pianist and the other a drummer, started sitting in as part of the jazz trio that plays during the annual Michigan College of Emergency Physicians meeting’s opening reception. One of them heard a fellow emergency room physician playing saxophone during an ACEP wellness event and invited him to join the group. Soon they picked up two other ER docs, a bass player and vocalist, and formed the Emergitones, a jazz band that plays at various emergency medicine events, including an ACEP18 reception.
In the article, Emergitones member Dr. Martin Rossip makes a connection between an emergency-room environment and a jazz performance: Both require collaboration and the ability to pick up on each other’s vibes. “The most satisfying shifts are when everyone is working together to help the patient — nursing, admin, consultants, family, etc. — with each person doing their best to help the others do their jobs as well as possible,” Rossip said. “The same goes when playing music on stage: The audience always picks up on the performers’ interactions and also their attitudes toward each other. It’s a great experience when each player’s first goal is to make their bandmates shine.”
I thought back to this story when our associate editor, David McMillin — who is a singer in the pop rock-alternative band Fort Frances — shared how impressed he was when he heard the Destinations International (DI) house band, made up of destination professionals from around the U.S., perform on the opening night of DI’s annual convention in St. Louis in July. I wanted to learn more. Read how the band came together and how they made each other shine — it’s a great example of collaboration and serves as an important reminder: Your attendees are multifaceted. Are you exploring ways to let them share their other talents?