Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cool Conference Center Tips: Meeting Innovation- Say What!?!

Written by Tracy Reese of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Conference Center in Jacksonville, Florida, in collaboration with Andrea Rice; Tracy is a member of the Emerging Trends Committee for IACC. Enjoy her cool conference center tips about meeting innovation.

Have you ever had a day with back-to-back-to-back meetings?  Did they ever seem to be repetitive and a bit stagnant?  Meetings today can be very structured and uniform, which understandably, sometimes is necessary; however, I think in this industry we all need to try a little harder to start “breaking the rules”…

Innovation - you have heard it before, right?  (Probably like 20 times a day!) Currently, it’s one of the hottest buzz words in the industry, but what does it truly mean??  

More and more lately, the word innovation seems to be associated with technology.  Trust me - this girl believes in using technology to the highest level!  I personally just took a 5-minute break to check in with my other half (my smart phone) and checked emails (reply to 4 of them), sent 12 texts, and checked Facebook!  However, was I really being innovative, or was I actually following the trend?  

We need to start breaking the rules a bit… start thinking beyond the box (no, not outside the box- beyond it)!  Being innovative doesn’t necessarily have to equate to modern technology, or the use of it.  

One of the most powerful meeting series I witnessed recently used NO technology at all.  That’s right; it was “old school.”  The series was held in a facility with state-of-the-art equipment, and yet, the clients simply chose not to use it.  The presenter spoke, engaged attendees, listened to feedback, and answered questions.  Pretty simply stuff… and it totally worked!  Information was communicated in a very personal, warm, engaging, and thought-provoking manner.

That’s right, this “gen-y” gal saw the benefits of simply listening to and engaging with a speaker, instead of participating in the latest PowerPoint presentation (you know the painstaking bullets I speak of!).  Don’t get me wrong, I am not against visual aids, and in the right environment, PowerPoints can be helpful.  I just think we need to start breaking the innovation mold a bit.  Let’s be innovative by going back to the basics… engaging our clients and customers through excellent communication and good ole’ customer service.  Let’s dare to be different!  

So before your next meeting, try to think of the most recent experiences that made an impact on you.  Why was that specific experience a step above the rest?? Was it the innovative technology they used?  Or was the idea of being a part of something different really the innovation in and of itself? 

Happy Meeting.


  1. It is easy to get so many people involved that you can’t get anything done. On the other hand you can’t have an effective meeting if you don’t have the right people there.

  2. The information you have given regarding the conference venues is really helpful to me as I am looking for a good venue to held my business meeting. Thanks for the above information.