Though the attendance at 410 had dropped from last year, the spirit at the conference was high—one of innovation and raising the bar.
A few examples:
*IACC kicked off its new Innovation Center, where attendees chose best practices in F&B, training, and sales & marketing from among many entrants. These entries were on display for participants, and will be part of the IACC Web site, www.iacconline.org
*The organization also made a little history by doing the first-ever remote broadcast of "Invent the Future" for the Internet radio show, VoiceAmerica.com, right at the meeting.
* At the final evening's banquet, IACC members awarded John Potterton, CMP, director of business development of Conference Center Concepts in Chicago with what has become perhaps the industry's most honored award: The Mel Hosansky Award, named after the long-time editor. Another respected meeting industry leader, Joan Eisenstodt, president, Eisenstodt, won IACC's coveted Pyramid Award.
*Inverness broke new ground in conference amenities by setting up a "trading post" in a meeting room, where attendees could go to choose from a selection of gifts, from coffee table books to stuffed moose for the kids.
* Jim Bergquist, founder, BizFutures Consulting Company, Seattle, spoke about the philosophy of the now world-famous Pike Place Fish Market, which spawned the book and video Fish! Bergquist was the consultant to Pike Place owner John Yokoyama.