Planner’s Notebook

Final Visit to Boston Before Convening Leaders

This month, our team makes its final site visit to Boston - to make sure every detail is in place for Convening Leaders 2014.

By the time you read this, we’ll be about a month out from PCMA Convening Leaders in Boston. Truth be told, we’ve been actively planning this experience for our attendees since September 2012, and like any large annual conference or convention at this stage, we’re anxious to see it come to life. At this point in the planning process, we’re crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s, triple-checking our plans to ensure we can be as successful as possible. It’s a time of year that is simultaneously exciting and stressful for all of us on the PCMA staff. I know my fellow planners can relate.

To help us ensure we’re ready to go, the PCMA meetings and education teams are preparing to conduct a final “tie-down” visit in Boston on Dec. 4-5. It’s something that has been embedded in our planning processes since I took over this position in February 2006. Our tie-down is absolutely critical to our success, and everyone involved in designing and executing Convening Leaders participates in some way. After all, it’s our last chance to meet with all the key stakeholders in Boston as well as with the Boston Host Committee before the big show. For us, the tie-down meeting is not a time to be strategic or big-picture; rather, it’s the time for us to focus on every small detail.

Some of the things we’ll do on our final visit to Boston include:

  • Conduct final walk-throughs of all the education meeting spaces, review ing diagrams and AV, electrical, and Internet orders. We’ll make any last- minute changes as necessary.
  • Meet with the 2014 PCMA Boston Host Committee, whose members have worked hard over the last year to ensure our attendees’ time in Boston is the best ever. Our team will work with them to answer any last questions and give them a complete update on registration numbers, housing pickup, and more.
  • Review security and public-safety measures with the Boston team.
  • Make sure that all on-site vendors and service providers have what they need, and are prepared and ready to go.
  • Conduct a final walk-through of everyone’s favorite PCMA Foundation fundraiser, Party With a Purpose, at the House of Blues Boston. We’re expecting 1,300-plus fun-loving people to dance the night away to great live music for a great cause, and we have to be ready for the fun.
  • Perform my favorite final task — last- minute food-and-beverage tastings.

As is typically the case with every Convening Leaders program, the entire planning process is a labor of love. The logistics of working with our host cities maybe the same, but the experiences, venues, and relationships always change. Throughout this process, our friends and partners in Boston have been with us every step of the way, and I can assure you that they’re ready to welcome you to their city with open arms.

Kelly Peacy, CAE, CMP

Kelly Peacy, CAE, is CAE, CMP, is senior vice president of education and events at PCMA.