On Thursday, May 18th, over 100 industry professionals from our PCMA Northern California Chapter, gathered at the Oakland Marriott City Center for the 3rd Annual LEAP Conference entitled “Design in Action”, an event that focused on how designing your events can truly have an impact on an audience.
The event kicked off with the opening general session and a look at “Bringing Dreamforce to Life: Designing the World’s Biggest Software Conference”. Catherine Simmons, Vice President, Strategic Events at Salesforce, described the elements and steps that Salesforce takes in event design, starting well before logistical elements are put into play, from the many meeting and stakeholders to the information and data used to bring forth a single design aesthetic and methodology.
Breakout sessions encapsulated a range of topics throughout the day. Each breakout had its own spin on incorporating design into an event. Breakout sessions were interactive and informative with topics including Innovative Marketing Campaign Design, delivered by Brian Bouchelle, Director, Global Accounts with Omni Hotels and Resorts; Engaging Events; Lessons from the World of Adult Learning, delivered by Ellen Foley; Introduction to Experience Design and Infusing Experience Design into our Work, both delivered by Annette Gregg, Vice President of Sales for Allied PRA; Digital Native Event Experience, delivered by Marc Pomerleau, Global Strategy Vice President, Freeman XP; and Escaping Stagnation with a Conference Redesign, delivered by Dana Saal, Meeting Design Profession, Saal Meeting Consulting.
Finally, Mikal Mekki, author of “Running with Finishers”, entertained and inspired the group during the midday working lunch session, entitled “Regenerative Source of Creativity and Power – Work/Life Flow”. In his talk, Mikal – Husband, Father, Leader, Author, Event Planner and Speaker – spoke of being able to be whatever it is we want to be….attain whatever it is we want to attain, while maintaining a balance in life. A great message for an inspired group of meeting planners and industry professionals.
In between sessions, there was no lack of networking, and some even took advantage of the meditation room, where our fast paced industry colleagues actually took time to slow down their bodies and relax for a few minutes.
In true PCMA NCC fashion, sponsors came forward in a big way with great raffle prizes to end the day.
A special thanks all of our LEAP sponsors for their generous support before, during and after the program. Notably, the Oakland CVB and Marriott Oakland City Center were amazing hosts, and PCMANCC is grateful for their partnership. A special shout out to Jennifer Witherington and Dawn Bohlmann for all of their hard work in making LEAP a huge success. We’ll look forward to seeing you at the 4th Annual Conference next year.
Adrienne Fisher, CMP, CTSM
Executive Director, Corporate Events
About Face Productions, Inc.