PCMA 2012 Global Corporate Summit Launches in Scotland
By Michelle Russell T
hey have an often-heard say- ing in Scotland: to “look after” someone. Far from just a quaint
expression, it’s the way hospitality is practiced in this strikingly beautiful country. Participants in PCMA’s inau- gural Global Corporate Summit, held July 22–26 in three Scottish destina- tions, felt very much looked after by our hosts: the Scottish Exhibition + Confer- ence Centre (SECC) and VisitScotland. Not only did they provide a productive environment for the summit, they gave us a taste of why Scotland — a center of the Enlightenment — is an ideal setting to inspire groups.
POWERHOUSE PARTICIPANTS While the summit sought to advance knowledge of a somewhat narrower scope than during the Age of Reason, our intimate group of about 25 par- ticipants had an impressive sphere of influence — high-level corporate
meeting professionals from Australia, the U.K., Germany, Brazil, Belgium, and the United States, representing such powerhouses as IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, McDonald’s, Nike, and Oracle, who gathered to work out the best ways to achieve their organizations’ strategic objectives through events. The summit was hosted by the
SECC in Glasgow — the U.K.’s largest venue for exhibitions and conferences of 10,000-plus attendees, which will expand even more next year with the debut of the 12,000-seat Hydro Arena. The SECC’s attentive staff made sure our small group felt every bit as impor- tant as their largest convention client. The program got off to an energetic
start Monday morning with The Medici Effect’s Frans Johansson, who spoke of how diversity in disciplines and cultures leads to increased innovation. He then guided the group in exercises that used unrelated concepts as a
springboard for inventive ideas for events. The dynamic morning session set the stage for two days of collabora- tion on three areas critical to corporate meeting professionals: strategic meet- ings management programs (SMMP), event technology, and outsourcing. During an SMMP Deep Dive, partici-
pants shared their challenges and suc- cesses in getting management buy-in, measuring event spend, ensuring the right mix of logistics and strategy, and communicating goals and expected out- comes. A discussion on how to integrate rapidly adopted social-media tools into events was a natural segue into the technology session. With real-case examples as the focus
of the Event-Tech Quick Share part of the program, each planner had 30 seconds to explain how a particular tech- nology was used at an event and its cost. Recommendations ranged from tech- nologies such as telepresence, costing
Talking Heads U.K.-based Samantha Coates, global head of events for Thomson Reuters, confers with U.S.-based Phil Cavanagh, vice president of global events for Monster Worldwide Inc., during the summit’s interactive exercises, led by Frans Johansson (above right).