On Thursday February 22, David, Allie and I headed to the first annual Knowledge Exchange Boston trade show at The Grand. This event is specifically for people in the corporate events and meeting planning industry. Our partner Lauren Owens Lambert met us there to help create a highlights video of the conference. David captured photos in his eyecatching visual storytelling style. Allie managed our booth while I took in the event and chatted with people for our blog.
The Knowledge Exchange Boston trade show is the brilliant concept of Joseph Lara and co-founders John Williams and Richard Williams. Their vision is small scale trade show in a fun atmosphere to allow for more time to learn and network with other industry professionals. The agenda included talks by Joseph Lara and John Williams. These talks were followed by presentations by six suppliers. This was followed by open time to check out the trade show and network over food and drinks.
The Grand is a beautiful event venue that takes you back to another time. The elegant space is primarily a nightclub, but it is also hosts private events. The Grand’s sophisticated setting was ideal for the Knowledge Exchange Boston trade show.
After vendors set up for the trade show, the doors opened to the event and meeting planners. Guests were greeted by a “living” red carpet courtesy of TEN31 Productions. Half a dozen industry people gave impactful 10 minute presentations on their services.
The Knowledge Exchange Boston Speakers
The speaker series began with Fastlane Productions, an outstanding audio, lighting and production company with headquarters in Billerica, MA. They gave a hip audio/visual presentation of their work. Fastlane’s clients include numerous festivals, corporate events, the entertainment industry and even a political campaign.
The presenter from Royal Caribbean informed us about their corporate cruises, which have meeting rooms and quite an array of team building events and plenty of rooms for guests. Who wouldn’t want to attend a 3-5 day meeting on board one of their ships?
Geo Events Group, a full service event planning, design and production company gave us a glimpse of what they do with a video from one of their high end event parties.
Christopher Siravo from Discover Newport had a Q&A and gave away a bottle of champagne to a lucky winner. Then he showed us a beautiful video which included many of varied attractions Newport has to offer for meetings and events.
Ed Buzzanco from Triumph Hotels gave a peek into their six uniquely stunning New York City hotels. Each hotel is conveniently located in Midtown and Lower Manhattan and are perfect for meetings and events.
Finally, Pat Tracey from Universal Orlando wrapped up the speaker series with all the info on hosting corporate events at the theme park. What a fun place for meeting and team building events.
The Knowledge Exchange Boston Trade Show
After the speakers, the open trade show began. The sound and smell of steak sizzling filled the air as Smith and Wollensky prepared their delicious samples of steak on a crostini topped with a mild horseradish sauce.
A steady stream of people gathered and lingered around Rita’s Catering. Rita’s provided wonderful coffees and set out delicious, fresh baked pastries by the large bank of windows. This was a perfect spot for networking.
Sandy Smith from Party Rentals Ltd. is a delight to speak with. We recognized each other from the MPINE Winter Wonderland Social at Fenway Park. It was great to see her again and to see her tableware products.
I had the opportunity to speak with Chris Vander Rhodes from Boda Borg. Boda Borg is a very cool team building event company. The concept is to learn to rely on your team members to help solve your quest. In the process you will fail, but you will learn to solve your challenges as a group to succeed.
We were entertained by magician Peter Magic O’Malley who had several tricks up his sleeve. He left us smiling and wondering how he did it.
I had a moment to speak with Jackie Leffel from Carey Meetings & Event Services. I learned a bit about Carey’s chauffeured services to help transport people traveling for meetings.
We shared space with some reps from Lucky Strike Social. I was told by Jennifer Hayward that Lucky Strike is located near Fenway Park and is part of Jillian’s entertainment complex. There is something enjoyable for everyone in this entertainment hotspot. Jillian’s and Lucky Strike Lanes offers bowling, billiard tables, arcade games and even the Cheeky Monkey craft brewed beers with fusion food on the menu.
This is just a sampling of the meeting planners and suppliers who participated in this highly successful event.
Knowledge Exchange Boston was an excellent event for anyone involved in the corporate meeting industry to be a part of. It was exciting to learn about the other vendors in the industry at the trade show. The Grand is a classy venue which was fun to check out. Though the snow may have kept some of the planners away, there was a good turnout. Attendees felt that they made quality connections, learned something new, and had a great time in the process. We look forward to the next event!
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By Elyssa Conley