2011 Idea Factory Wrap Up
Planners from around the world gathered in Las Vegas last month to attend the 2011 Event Solutions Idea Factory Conference and Expo. They came to learn, network, seek out exciting new technologies and products, and to discover new strategies for growing their careers.
In addition to more than 100 education sessions, including multiple stages in the Xperience Room, attendees were treated to two keynote presentations by industry icons Preston Bailey and David Tutera, who provided inspiring messages about their professional achievements and secrets to success.
The i-ROOM, dedicated to the latest interactive technologies and participatory learning techniques, proved to be a popular option for planners, with presentations on everything from new meeting apps and tools to branding discussions.
The headquarters hotel, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, received high marks from attendees, who marveled at the high-tech sophistication that was almost everywhere you looked, from lobby pillars to elevators to touch-screen reader boards.
Special evening events included a Sunday welcome reception on the pool deck followed by a fund-raising event for the SEARCH Foundation, an industry organization devoted to assisting planners going through tough times. The Art of the Bar teamed three celebrity planners/designers with mixologists from three of the Cosmopolitan’s lounges. Participants who purchased tickets were treated at each bar to a signature drink created by the teams. The event raised more than $6,000 for the Foundation.
Monday evening, the action moved over to MEET Las Vegas for the Spotlight Awards. Produced by Florida-based conceptBAIT, the event was themed Harmonia, and featured performances by the New Century Dance Company and Liquid Blue.
The traditional Tuesday night party was held at the Cosmopolitan’s Marquee nightclub, a high-tech extravaganza of lighting, video and music. The pool deck that adjoins the Marquee was dressed out for the crowd; one of the pools was actually emptied of water then filled with a sumptuous buffet of gourmet cuisine. (To find out more, look for the April/May issue of Event Solutions, coming soon to your mailbox.)
The Expo floor saw its share of the action as well. The i-STAGE kept buzzing with demonstrations, presentations and even competitions throughout the two days of the Expo, while attendees wandered through more than 900 booths discovering new products and tools to make their jobs easier. Co-located with Catersource, the expo floor was a delicious mix of food, event décor, technology tools and tablescapes.
If you missed Idea Factory this year, never fear. Just mark your calendar now for next year – Feb. 26 -29, 2012 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.