The future of the business events industry relies on creative thinking. How to embrace disruptive technologies, how to keep digitally distracted attendees engaged, what to do about shrinking room blocks — none of the new or recurring issues facing event planners can be addressed with old solutions. That’s why PCMA is inviting 15 of the most creative attendees at the 2017 PCMA Education Conference in New York to participate in the organization’s first-ever Business Breakthrough Incubator. On Tuesday, June 13, three teams will spend the day together tackling one big-picture challenge or trend facing the industry. Similar to the hackathon concept that has taken hold in the tech industry, the incubator program uses urgency — teams only have approximately three hours to develop and fine-tune their ideas — to fuel innovative thinking.
Identifying the Challenge, Creating the Teams
What will the challenge be? That’s to be determined, and the answer will be based on applications to participate in the program. The prize is confirmed, though: $500 for each member of the winning team and the invaluable recognition of delivering a truly breakthrough concept. Each team will include three meeting professionals and two suppliers.
“We’re going to use the information collected in their applications to create teams with diverse backgrounds where each participant can bring their unique experience for the full group’s benefit,” said Kara Brockman, program manager, education, PCMA. “Our goal is for each member of the group to learn from their group mates and build deeper connections than a typical breakout session.”
Listening to the Crowd
The rest of the Education Conference audience may not be in the room to hear the brainstorming sessions, but they will be able to hear the finished concept. They’ll be able to weigh in on the entries, too. Before the main stage presentation on Wednesday morning, each team will present its ideas, and those in the audience will cast their votes for the winner.
“We know that some of the most promising ideas may not already be on stage,” said PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton. “They’re in the crowd. This is a great opportunity to put the creative and collaborative spirit of the PCMA community in the spotlight.”
Are you ready to make an impact in the incubator? Click here to learn more and complete the application.