Jan. 11–15, 2015
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
For the first time since 1956, TRB met in a convention center as opposed to one or more hotels. Although the move required increased attention to logistics, it was a rousing success. Moving the program to a convention center allowed TRB to consolidate exhibits and educational sessions, which in the past were divided between venues by topic area, limiting opportunities for dialogue and informal networking. “It really did change the dynamic of the meeting in terms of synergy,” said Mark Norman, director of TRB’s Technical Activities Division.
TRB used the money it was no longer spending on shuttle buses to provide Wi-Fi for the first time. As a result, TRB could monitor Twitter to see what trended and send out an online survey at the end of the meeting. Reactions to both the new venue and the improved technology infrastructure were overwhelmingly positive.
Convene’s Pre-Con/Post-Con series asks meeting planners about their challenges and how they intend to address them (Pre-Con), and then circles back around after the meeting has occurred (Post-Con) to see how well they worked out.