December 2019

Cover illustration by Andrew Bannecker

print edition

NASA Legend Gene Kranz is a Go for Convening Leaders 2020

More than 50 years after helping land a man on the moon, former NASA flight director Gene Kranz will take the Convening Leaders 2020 Main Stage to share how his experience in executing some of the country’s major events in space can apply to all types of decision-making on the ground.

BY David McMillin December 5, 2019

Two for One: How Organizers Combined a Food Writers Conference With a Food and Music Festival

When Hanna Raskin, food editor and chief critic for Charleston, South Carolina’s Post and Courier newspaper, was elected board president of the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) last year, she accepted under one condition: that AFJ suspend its multi-day conference. AFJ’s executive director, Amanda Miller, agreed. The national conference held Sept. 25–28, 2018, in Phoenix,

BY Kinsey Gidick December 2, 2019

How the International Baking Industry Exposition’s Marketing Strategy Keeps the Event Fresh

The International Baking Industry Exposition’s marketing strategy has been the yeast that makes the event rise to the top in a highly challenging environment.

BY Kate Ammerman Jacquelyn Wells December 2, 2019

Creating a Safe Space for Failure

Sessions that explore failures can encourage more meaningful — and enjoyable — learning. Here’s how a couple of organizations made room for failure at their events.

BY David McMillin December 2, 2019

Sound Barriers: Keeping Focus in a Noisy Open Office

Our inability to focus at work isn’t just a result of digital distractions. Our workplace environments also can contribute to the problem.

BY Barbara Palmer December 1, 2019

How Event Professionals Stay Focused on the Job

Respondents to a recent Convene survey about distractions at work shared some of their strategies and tips for staying focused in the face of multiple distractions.

BY Convene Editors December 1, 2019

Summit of Minds: ‘Great People, Great Content, and the Great Outdoors’

Now in its sixth year, Summit of Minds draws 300 thought leaders across different disciplines to the French Alps to explore weighty issues of the day — and the surrounding awe-inspiring terrain.

BY Nancy Mann Jackson November 27, 2019

Aspen Isn’t Just for Movie Stars

Aspen’s walkable downtown, great venues and accommodations, and locals who work together put this mountain resort within reach.

BY Barbara Palmer November 27, 2019

How EDUCAUSE’s 2019 Annual Conference Made Inclusivity a Priority

EDUCAUSE made inclusivity a priority at its 2019 annual conference — in the forms of simple, handwritten notes of encouragement, an AI translation program, and an indoor park.

BY Jennifer Dienst November 27, 2019

Recycling and Repurposing? The NARA Is on It

The rendering industry’s role in the fuel industry was a hot topic among the attendees of the North American Renderers Association Annual Convention.

BY Casey Gale November 26, 2019

Irving: Two Texas Destinations in One

A fam trip to the Las Colinas area of Irving, Texas, showcased the city’s new walkable convention district near hotels, the convention center, and the Toyota Music Factory entertainment complex.

BY Curt Wagner November 26, 2019

Helping Attendees Avoid Distractions at Events

Providing attendees with designated areas to recharge their phones, catch up on emails, or just chat will keep them focused in sessions. If not, get better speakers to keep their attention.

BY Michelle Russell November 25, 2019

Why Email is so Exhausting — and What You Can Do About It

It’s not just the volume of emails professionals must deal with that’s the problem. It’s the mental toll email takes, say authors Emma Seppälä and Jaron Lanier.

BY Barbara Palmer November 25, 2019

How to Create Impactful Learning Experiences at Your Events

Christine Renaud, CEO of e180, shares what she has learned about collaborative and peer-to-peer learning from how professionals interact using the company’s Braindate platform — including how to flip the traditional teacher/student model.

BY Christine Renaud November 25, 2019

Convening Leaders’ Trending Now Studio to Spotlight ‘Forces of Change’

The PCMA Convening Leaders 2020 program will include a studio that’s tuned in to the latest topics and trends shaping the future of the events industry.

BY David McMillin November 25, 2019

Why We Like WCIT 2019: IT Leaders, Lightning Rounds, and Kim Kardashian

The 23rd World Congress on Information Technology convened for the first time in Armenia, bringing together tech giants — and others — for an innovative, ever-improving program to challenge the industry.

BY Casey Gale November 22, 2019

Here’s What Event Sponsorship is — and What it’s Not

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received invitations to attend webinars and download industry research reports and read articles all aimed to help conference and show organizers grow sponsorship revenue. Problem is, when you dig into these resources, you find that they are more focused on print and digital advertising than true sponsorship. Sponsorship is

BY Dave Lutz, CMP November 22, 2019

‘Business Events are a Catalyst for a Sustainable Future’

Where is the business-events industry headed? At Convening Leaders 2020, Sherrif Karamat plans to share his vision for what’s next.

BY Sherrif Karamat November 22, 2019

How to Survive, Thrive After Commission Omission

In early 2018, when Marriott reduced its longtime commission structure by 3 percent, everything changed for independent meeting professionals. Nearly two years later, here’s a look at how three have strategically worked through that challenge.

BY Nancy Mann Jackson November 22, 2019

Association Renaissance Counting on New Business Model

Associations are at an inflection point. The conditions are in place to make associations more relevant and to provide greater value — but that will require rethinking today’s model.

BY Don Neal November 22, 2019

Does ‘Meeting Recovery Syndrome’ Prevent You From Doing Your Best Work?

Organizational psychologists have a term for the toll those meetings take on our psyche: “meeting recovery syndrome,” or MRS.

BY Michelle Russell November 22, 2019

PCMA Convening Leaders and San Francisco — Where Innovation Meets

Long known for its innovative chops, the City by the Bay is home to ‘unicorn’ startups that are already changing the way the events industry does business.

BY Curt Wagner November 22, 2019

Can Creativity Be Learned? Allen Gannett Thinks So

The author of The Creative Curve, who will present an Event Strategy and Design studio session at PCMA Convening Leaders 2020, shares four steps event organizers can take to approach their events with greater creativity.

BY Cristi Kempf November 21, 2019

Grape Skins, the Faulty Bra Assumption, and WTF: A Guide to Critical Thinking

The founder of a foundation to promote critical thinking shares three tips on how to make it a regular practice. 

BY Michelle Russell August 25, 2019