Sacred Time

I can't tell you how many times I've asked myself, "What city am I in again?" when traveling for business.

If the extent of their host-destination experience is their hotel and the convention center — with maybe a restaurant or two thrown in for good measure — how can meeting attendees have a distinct impression of where they’ve been?

With the focus on cramming meeting itineraries with rich content to make sure attendees get what they came for, I hope we don’t lose sight of the place they’ve traveled to. Giving meeting participants a few free hours between the end of a session and an evening event can be all they need to get a sense of their surroundings. Why not include suggestions for local activities, such as a short walking tour, in your conference program?
Sometimes, they’ll just want to strike out on their own. An impromptu visit to an historic and cultural site, taken with friends and colleagues, can peg a meeting and its host destination in someone’s mind for years to come.
Last week at the PCMA Education Conference in Montreal, Convene Account Executive Wendy Krizmanic, Scientific Societies Director of Meetings Betty Ford, and I took advantage of a few free hours to venture to St. Joseph’s Oratory, on the northern slope of Mount Royal. Wendy snapped some photos (including the one above) while I filed the experience in my memory bank, where it will be linked with the conference as part of my wonderful experience in Montreal.

Michelle Russell

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.