Thursday, January 6, 2011

Countdown to Convening Leaders

Tomorrow morning I leave for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, part of the PCMA staff's great westward migration for Convening Leaders 2011, which begins Sunday and runs through Wednesday. If the Twitter feed is any indication, there's a lot of buzz around this year's annual meeting -- as well there should be, given the General Session speakers and Masters Series programs on tap, the virtual extension of Convening Leaders on PCMA365, the co-location with Virtual Edge Summit, the cognitive carnival of the PCMA Learning Lounge, and the crazy assortment of other learning, networking, and social events.

Before I begin the pre-meeting cycle of laundry and packing, I thought I'd share a few of the things I'm most looking forward to at Convening Leaders -- in no particular order, with the understanding that I'm not not looking forward to anything that I don't mention:

1. Daniel Pink. I've interviewed Dan Pink, Wednesday's General Session speaker, for Convene twice now, and both times found him thoughtful, interesting, and deeply engaged with the world of meetings and conventions. He's sure to have some insights into the implications and relevance of his best-selling book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us for our industry.

2. The PCMA Daily experience. The primary responsibility of Convene's editorial team is to produce the PCMA Daily newspaper, which is published on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. (That's us in the photo on the right, working on the Daily for last year's annual meeting -- Roger Greiner, art director; Barbara Palmer, senior editor; Michelle Russell, editor in chief; an animatronic version of me, executive editor; and Hunter Slaton, senior editor.) It's a lot of work, and the downside is that it pulls us away from a lot of the annual meeting as it's happening, but it's also a good way to get a handle on the entirety of the program. And, as a former newspaper reporter, I like falling back into the rhythms and excitement of daily journalism -- if only for a few days.

3. PCMA Learning Lounge. I already linked to this above, but check out the full schedule of events here. Crazy, right? Peer-to-peer roundtable discussions, 60 different TED-style presentations in a Big Idea Pavilion, a Social Media Experts Bar, and more.

4. Virtual Edge Summit. Also linked above. As the webpage says -- they're not a fad, and they're not going away. And, done correctly, virtual meetings augment and enrich the face-to-face experience. Virtual Edge is a hands-on learning lab dedicated to proving that. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty there. In a wireless, digitally facilitated kind of way.

5. In-N-Out Burger. With 16 locations in Nevada -- including nine in Las Vegas!

And now it's time to pack. Travel safely, everyone, and I'll see you at the MGM Grand.

No comments: