Exploring the potential of events to promote cultural shifts

16 October 2023

Las Vegas, Nevada, Monday 16 October - The potential of events to promote positive cultural shifts resonated loud and clear in many of the education sessions at IMEX America’s Smart Monday, powered by MPI today. This dedicated day of learning gave buyers and suppliers alike the chance to immerse themselves in the latest thinking and to have in-depth discussions before the show opens tomorrow.

In We all belong: creating an accessible world, Google’s Inclusive Knowledge Lead, Gokul Krishnan, shared where his interest in designing inclusive experiences came from. While working at Stanford Children’s Hospital he met Brandon, a young patient with terminal cancer. Brandon was bored and challenged Gokul to help him. He designed a ‘mystery box’ for Brandon who then spent 10 hours absorbed in engineering a night light for patients and nursing staff, explaining “in those 10 hours I forgot I was in hospital.” This gave Gokul a fresh perspective on the power of carefully designed experiences to help people feel included, and to provide hope and healing. “Inclusion is a mindset, and this is what we all need in our lives and in our workplaces,” he said.  

Natalie Fulgencio-Turner, Director Creative Strategy, Storycraft Lab, explained that as a young Afro-Caribbean woman working in the arts she’d frequently look around the room and ask herself ‘do I belong here?’ She said: “There weren’t many who looked or sounded like me so I started asking myself who else can I bring along, and will they feel they belong here too? I invite you all to do the same. Ahead of your next event ask yourself who isn’t in the room, and why. Then be sure to invite them. And remember this is a long journey, and it needs to be fun!” 

Designing inclusive environments - panel session at Smart Monday Download here

Smart Monday, powered by MPI.

AI job enhancement

AI can also be used to create a personalized experience, explained Heather Munnell, Director, Client Experience at VDA. During her session Exploring the untapped potential of AI in the events industry, she shared many ways meeting planners can use AI to help enhance their jobs.

“The key is to take on AI as a tool that helps facilitate your business model - it’s about working smarter not harder. There are several solutions – including free options – which, when used correctly, can really enhance our work and help us solve problems. For instance, you can ask ChatGPT to provide a list of 10 venues in a city and use this as your starting point for further research.”

Alison Jayne, Trademark Event Productions, who attended the session agrees: “I think AI is going to impact our industry in many ways - not all that we know of yet. It’ll continue to change and evolve - it’s certainly going to change the way we do our site selection and source content.”

IMEX America takes place October 17 – 19 at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.


Notes to editors:

IMEX America 2023 takes place at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, and opens with Smart Monday, powered by MPI on Monday October 16, followed by the three-day trade show October 17 -19. www.imexamerica.com

 The latest news and high-res photos: https://imexamerica.com/press-and-media 

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 For interviews, press events and other enquiries contact the PR team: [email protected] or head to the on-site Press Center, sponsored by Arizona, open from 0900 each day of the show. 

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