Sunday, May 6, 2012

Convene On Site: Athens

Hello from Athens, where I'm participating in a fam trip sponsored by the Athens Convention Bureau. That beautifully hazy photo to the left is the view from my balcony at the Hilton Athens -- an accurate snapshot of this bright, hot, and heavy Sunday afternoon in the cradle of Western civilization, where it very appropriately happens to be election day.

We've only just hit the ground here, but already this trip has endeared itself to me for a very simple reason: We participants are a mix of media representatives and event planners, heavily weighted toward the latter. As an editor who covers the meetings industry -- reporting and writing on an area in which I have no formal training or education -- I'd much rather tour a destination with practitioners who can share their professional insights throughout our many site visits, meals, and other programs together. It helps me better understand how they approach the events they plan; and it also invariably suggests a lot of different ideas for Convene stories.

Something else that this trip is already doing right: doling out the downtime. Some of us arrived at the Hilton after traveling for more than 18 hours, and upon checking in our gracious hosts told us to relax and freshen up for a while; if we're interested, we can take a bus tour later this afternoon, followed by either an early dinner or simply cocktails and appetizers -- our choice. We're all excited to be here, but as you know it's not uncommon on a trip like this for the spirit to be willing and the flesh to be weak. It's nice to see that reality being taken into account.

If you're curious about what else makes for a good fam trip, check out this CMP Series article we published on the topic. And check back for another dispatch or two from Athens over the next few days.

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