CLC Forum: A Look at the Future of Meetings The Convention Liaison Council brought together 200 industry leaders with some of the country's best-known personalities on the social, political, and economic fronts to talk about the meeting industry's future at the first CLC Forum, held in New York City on November 5.

Fashioned as a sort of town meeting, three keynoters--futurist and author John Naisbitt, political analyst George Stephanopoulos, and CNN financial commentator Stuart Varney--kicked off their respective topics with general overviews that were subsequently put into a meetings industry context by three panels of industry executives.

In a welcome address, Darryl Hartley-Leonard, former president and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, who resurfaced from semi-retirement last year to lead PGI, an event and communications agency, set the tone for the Forum by quoting a recent Harvard Business Review article that says we're entering the "experience economy," one in which people will go to meetings and events that give them an experience they can't get from their computers.

That theme became the focus of the day as speakers reiterated that technology has already begun to replace some types of meetings and will continue to do so. But the need for face-to-face experiences will only become more acute, said Naisbitt.