It’s less than a month away from what has unofficially become known as Colorado Meetings Week. A wide variety of industry professionals from around the state—and now even from across the nation—will be heading to Denver for the 12th annual Colorado Meetings + Events Best of 2018 readers’ choice awards and Hall of Fame induction on March 12 at Denver Place and the 18th annual Meetings Industry Council of Colorado Educational Conference & Trade Show on March 13-14 at Colorado Convention Center.
Why attend? The three days of networking, celebrating and learning are well worth the time, which is why we’ve seen both events grow significantly in attendance over a decade-plus of partnering to make sure they fall over three consecutive days. It’s also a matter of shaking it up a bit each year to showcase the latest in the meetings and events world and to both gatherings interesting and relevant. Here are a few highlights for 2018.
Colorado Meetings + Events Best of 2018
Colorado Meetings + Events aims to make our annual awards celebration a new experience every year. Part of that approach is spotlighting new venues or utilizing existing locations in a different way. Last year, we were at the brand new Hangar at Stanley in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, and 2018 marks a first for us: showcasing how a commercial building can transition into worthy-of-consideration event space.
Representing Denver Place, Eileen Moore reached out to us several months ago with the idea of using the building’s two-story foyer. Two of our event partners, Scott Bradshaw at Event Rents and Doug Lane at Fastlane Productions, toured the space and gave it the thumbs up, and we were off and running. Denver Place is basically three towers that surround a grand foyer in the middle, which is where COM+E Best of 2018 will be staged with lots of great entertainment, décor, food and beverage to highlight the true purpose: recognizing standout planners, suppliers and the latest class of Hall of Fame inductees. See the finalists here.
“This is a super unique venue, a great place for people to connect,” confirms Kelsey Copeland, event manager for Tiger Oak Media, parent company of Colorado Meetings + Events. “It is a blank canvas, and we are working ultra violet, the Pantone color of the year, into the décor with Max/Livie.”
In her first year planning the Colorado celebration, Copeland observes that there is “a lot of collaboration happening between event partners, which is fun to see.” She notes that two highlights are a variety of caterers teaming up to showcase some of their favorite creations, such as a cupcake installation by Yours Truly Cupcake and handcrafted ice cream sandwiches by peteybird. Yum!
Colorado-based Daddyblue is on tap to provide the tunes, and I won’t spoil any other surprises. Register now as COM+E Best of 2018 sells out with approximately 500 attendees annually!
MIC of Colorado Education Conference & Trade Show
MIC of Colorado, a coalition of 13 professional organizations related to the meetings and events industry, also represents collaboration at its finest. Instead of each organization creating individual conferences, everyone assembles for one big gathering every March.
I love how MIC also tries new things and creates a dynamite schedule of programming, which has resulted in attendance growing to an impressive 1,200+ in 2017. New for this year is nearly a full day of planner-only programming on March 13, before the conference kicks off for everyone at 4:30 p.m. with keynote speaker and MIC Conference emcee Christine Cashen, CSP, CPAE followed by an opening reception. The new part for planners is a pre-conference risk management training session add-on in the morning.
Also on the “new” radar is a Mindfulness Center to educate, connect, and inspire meeting industry professionals to integrate mindfulness into their personal lives and meetings and events.
“Designing Your Conference” for the 21st Century by Mike Walsh and “Bringing Amazon Survival Skills to Business” by Yossi Ginsberg round out the keynotes, and three timeframes for breakout sessions sprinkled throughout the day as well as a trade show packed with great destinations, properties and suppliers.
Need I say more? Make plans to attend Colorado Meetings Week in 2018.