You may have noticed that I’m leaving out my experience with regards to the educational sessions…that can be handled separately, stayed tuned.
Here we go, on to days 3 &4…
Day 3 – Monday
Lowes Iron Chef Lunch – Eh, yawn. There was so little audience interaction, I felt disconnected. I didn’t know what they were doing half the time. Plus, I did see that they were working with lobster, and I thought for a second, WE might be getting lobster for lunch. What a let down. What we did get for lunch really wasn’t impressive. And, I’m sorry, but the huge space we were in for this lunch was so cold I was shaking through every event held in here. Brrrrr…..
Chapter Receptions – Disaster! Okay, I love the outdoors. But not when it’s 110 degrees and 70%+ humidity! TROPICAL. The idea itself was great. There were five separate reception locations (all in the same general vicinity at the Pointe Orlando). The idea was to bring several different chapters from around the world together into one of those five locations. Fantastic. I love meeting other chapters. BUT, I did not enjoy feeling the sweat drip down my back as soon as I stepped off the bus, only to get worse as we entered the reception area. My own chapter members (and many others) started to get cranky. The wine and beer was warm, there was this odd mist being sprayed over the crowd (hello? humidity and mist…not good for the hair thank you) and too many people stuffed into the same patio area. Our escape? We made a break for it to the lovely air-conditioned Hooters directly across from us. Yes, I said it – HOOTERS. Cold beer, better attitudes.
Rendezvous. No Rendezvous for me! After jumping from one supplier reception to another and then grabbing a late dinner – Rendezvous was just out of my planner budget, and I needed some sleep!
Day 4 – Tuesday
Having Kelly Cutrone as part of the general session on Tuesday was a great way to connect with the younger (MTV) crowd. I personally enjoyed Kelly much more on stage that I did on TV!
A few takeaways from Kelly…
- All steps forward are good steps.
- Good ideas with great input, become great ideas!
- Changing & innovating until you reach your successful end point.
- Take that big risk; don’t be afraid to fail.
- Repeated failure can lead to success.
- Find your own way around the barriers, people won’t remove them for you!
And of course, Joe’s motto – There’s no try, there’s only do or do not!
St. Louis Promotional Lunch with Comedian Kathleen Madigan
Richard Petty Race Car Driving – Officially the BEST Offsite Insights experience! Suited up, racing down the speedway at 145 miles per hour…I couldn’t stop smiling. The one thing to remember next time? Sneakers. The venue DID have extra sneakers (and socks) on hand for those dressed in sandals, or I might have been out of luck! (Never did see that in the paperwork when I signed up.)
As we lined up, thankfully I was close to the front, as the skies did open up and it poured down on us. Unfortunately, the last 5-6 people weren’t able to take the ride, but they did get TWO tickets each to come out and ride another another. Very generous!
Closing Reception – Universal Studios
Thank you Universal Studios for taking it up a notch. What a great reception! The City Walk was just awesome, and a great way to experience the restaurants, bars and other venues. The setup kept all of us in one location, but we could easily navigate to other parts of the City Walk to explore without getting lost. Once the reception was over, we were led to the Hard Rock (let the party begin!).
Fantastic venue, the Hard Rock. DJ rocked, the band was awesome, the dance floor was packed… To escape the crush of the dance crowd, you could head up to the second level balcony and watch from above. As you can see from the pic below (slightly blurry), MPI members love to dance. We took over that dance floor!
Below… it’s a MOB scene at the Hard Rock!
And the number is?
I read yesterday that the MPI numbers for WEC are out! See quoted article below from M&C, posted by Sarah Braley.
Meeting Professionals International has released attendance numbers for its recent World Education Congress, held in Orlando last month. About 2,500 traveled to the convention, with 225 companies purchasing 3,534 hosted-buyer appointments for the new program that replaced the organization’s usual trade show. Further breakdowns of the figures, such as how many planners attended and how many of those planners were hosted buyers, still are being determined. On the smartphone front, the WEC app for iPhone/iPod took the crown, being downloaded 851 times, followed by 465 downloads for the iPad app and 273 for the BlackBerry; just two people with Android phones downloaded that app.
With regards to the WEC app, (and according to @MPITheresa) the stats above were provided by a data report from QuickMobile. You may notice that there were only two android app downloads reported by QuickMobile. According to the Android Market report, there were actually a few hundred downloads. MPI is working out the bugs as we speak. As a devoted android user, I was one of those “two”. But a critique of the app will be saved for another day.