The comprehensive education programme at IMEX America opened today with a look at what’s on the horizon for meeting planners – an insight into future meeting space, sustainability developments and communication tips was delivered by a host of industry experts.
Award-winning magician Tim David delivered the MPI Keynote, beginning a packed programme of almost 70 education sessions on the first day of the show. Human connection – a lost art in a noisy world was a lively session covering the art of persuasive communication including how to get the best out of people by making changes to language and behaviour.
He explained: “The quantity of social media has gone through the roof, but what about the quality?” Tim went on to reveal the skills required to influence other people, focusing on the subtleties of body language as one of the main channels of communication.
Through his work, Tim has learnt what makes people tick and shared many tips in this motivational presentation uncovering the key to effective communication and fostering connections.
Caitlin Connors, event planner at the Charles Koch Institute who attended the session, commented: “Tim’s session really rang true – human connection is vital, especially in the industry we’re in. It’s crucial to foster relationships and go the extra mile.”
TJ Johnson from the International Legal Technology Association added: “As a planner for a large international association it’s my job to help people connect – Tim’s keynote has given me some valuable tips on boosting human connection. When planning huge conferences, the networking is as vital as the education.”
What’s Ahead? Innovation @ Future Meeting Space was covered by Laura d’Elsa at the Inspiration Hub, home to all show floor education. Laura, who is Regional Director USA/Canada for the German Convention Bureau (GCB), introduced the future meeting space project – a partnership between the German Convention Bureau, the European Association of Event Centers (EVVC) and the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO). Together these organisations are examining the future of events from multiple angles including infrastructure, education, technology, mobility and culture. During this packed session, meeting planners discovered more about the group’s goals and objectives and previewed some of the trends data coming out of focus groups with industry, design, academic and business experts, to innovation guides and case histories.
Attendee Gloria Pickett from American Express Meetings & Events said: “What an exciting session – the technology that’s predicted for the future is simply awesome. It’s like Star Trek coming to life! Meetings and meeting technology are forever evolving and this session was an interesting and useful glimpse into the future.
Beth Gerundo from The Hartford added: “The technology Laura showcased in her presentation is certainly something I anticipate my organization will take advantage of sooner rather than later. We’re all about the ‘wow’ factor and like to offer something different. The session offered a peak into the future and insight into what the next generation of meeting planners will be dealing with.”
The comprehensive education programme at IMEX America covers key topics including Business Skills, Creative Learning, Diversity, General Education, Health/Wellbeing, Marketing and Communications, Research/Trends, Risk Management/Compliance, Sustainability, and Technology/Social Media.
Two new search filtering options have been added on the education section of the IMEX America website to help attendees pinpoint content specifically tailored to how long they have been in the industry. The Young Professionals line-up, sponsored by IAEE, is for anyone with up to three years’ experience. This includes CEIR research – 10 tips for exhibitor success delivered by David DuBois, President and CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™ (IAEE) this afternoon. The audience engagement workshop which took place today is part of the Senior Professionals sessions, sponsored by SPiN, for those with eight years’ experience or more. Shawna Suckow, Founder & Chairwoman of SPiN, delivered the session which promised to ‘confound, frustrate, enlighten, and entertain’.