Anyone lucky enough to be part of the ISES Global Event Summit is probably still in recovery mode.
Our group first attended IMEX 2016 in Frankfurt, always a whirlwind of meetings with destination specialists along with education sessions. (My particular favorites were all the presentations on emerging technologies that will change how we stage events.)
After that, we headed up to beautiful Scotland, a visit that took in breathtaking landmarks including Gleneagles Resort, Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Yacht Britannia. Clearly, we were on the move.
However, GES delegates were not just taking in Scot spirit—stirring though that was. The Summit devoted the lion's share of time to strategy sessions that used a variety of tools to reach one overarching objective: To enable industry representatives to develop world-leading events through exchanging knowledge, creating insight, and developing new perspectives on key trends and challenges.
I'm a writer, so I spend a lot of time alone, running conversations through my own little head. Not at the Summit. We discussed issues in small groups and in big groups. We wrote narratives by ourselves and built event models out of Lego bricks by working as teams.
Sean Blair of ProMeet served as our facilitator, and he had his hands full. In case you were born last week and didn't already know this, ISES members are talented, passionate, opinionated and outspoken. I doubt anyone would be brave enough to stage complex, groundbreaking events without these qualities. But these traits make it difficult to corral a conversation and keep it moving forward.
Nonetheless, we did keep moving forward, tackling topics that included making face-to-face experiences more meaningful, making the most of the emerging collaborative (read: Uber) economy, keeping events safe and secure, and developing events that leave a legacy.
The brainchild of the Summit—and it represents the very fine brains of all the delegates—will be a white paper that gives us a platform to help shape the future of events.
The Summit made me realize that despite the many years I have spent covering this profession, I still have so much to learn. The Summit brought surprises at every turn. This is entirely due to the smart, committed delegates there, who are emblematic of all the event professionals at work today.
The 2016 Summit is over but the payback from it is yet to come. Stay tuned!
Photo by Nadine Froger