Event Solutions Idea Factory
February 27-March 2, 2011; Las Vegas, NV
By Kelly Wynn
This year’s Event Solutions Idea Factory was packed with numerous opportunities for practical education, developing partner relationships and networking; it certainly delivered on its name. The Conference was hosted from February 27-March 2, 2011 alongside the annual conference for catering professionals, Catersource, at Las Vegas City Center’s newest luxury property, The Cosmopolitan. It provided an outlet for new and cutting-edge ideas, a sanctuary of learning integrated with technology, practical education and behind-the-scenes access for event professionals from all divisions of the industry.
Renowned event producer, designer and author Preston Bailey and celebrity wedding planner, author and TV host David Tutera flanked the opening and closing of the conference, respectively, with keynotes on their career highlights and pitfalls. Bailey spoke candidly yet humorously about business dos and don’ts; emphasizing branding and transformation as essential characteristics for building a business that maintains clients and withstands industry challenges. Tuterra’s talk centered on using the power of the word “yes” to embrace challenges as well as the importance of building a brand, forecasting and trendsetting. Both presentations welcomed crowds that the venue could barely accommodate. Guests were eager to ask them questions, absorb every nugget of insight and guidance offered and did not hesitate to “ooh” and “ahh” at their luxuriously glamorous portfolios and unparalleled accomplishments.
Conference Sessions included a focus on design, business management and production. MGM’s Executive Director of Event Design, King Dahl, Total Entertainment’s President of Special Events, Michael Cerbelli and The Business of Being Creative’s President, Sean Low were among the industry’s top professionals who presented on their strategies for building successful businesses and brands.
In addition to opportunities to attend sessions, a networking or culinary exhibition luncheon and/or the annual Spotlight Awards, conference guests were able to rotate between three stages in the Xperience Room. Each stage featured a series of intimate, hands-on sessions including demos on specific topics ranging from creative hors d’oeuvres, audiovisual and floral design to fundraising, social media and green events. Those in need of a retreat for intimate conversation, a place to make connections or tools for professional development and assessment visited the Attendee Lounge, equipped with a wealth of industry resources and design inspiration.
As an added bonus of hands-on education, groups of attendees were provided with behind-the-scenes tours of the inner-workings of local hotel properties. These tours included an exclusive view of the event departments, showrooms and warehouses for the MGM Grand, Rio and The Cosmopolitan. The conference concluded with the opening of the Expo floor. Outfitted with demos, competitions and exhibitor samples, the tradeshow mirrored the conference in serving as a vehicle for planners, suppliers and producers to learn about the industry’s newest trends and make connections with their counterparts.
Next year’s conference will be held in Las Vegas from February 26-29, 2012 at Caesars Palace. For more information, visit the Event Solutions Idea Factory website.