Group: RIMS—the Risk Management Society
Event: 2017 RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition
Date: April 23-26, 2018
Aerialists hung from the rafters pouring Champagne. Electronic violinists meandered through the crowd on stilts. Benjamin Franklin looked on from his elevated perch inside the museum that bears his name.
This was no average cocktail party. It was the opening event for the 2017 RIMS Conference and Exhibition in Philadelphia.
These ideas were born nearly a year prior as the Philadelphia CVB assisted RIMS in hosting its INsite Tour, a two-and-half-day-long scouting trip for RIMS meeting planners and their major exhibitors.
During the INsite Tour, the team at the Philadelphia CVB helped participants to concept and develop creative and experiential events throughout the city. And while site visits are standard among the industry, the way that RIMS engages not only its own internal meeting planners, but a far-reaching network of planners from participating exhibitors and vendors, stands as a best-in-class practice. On many levels, RIMS stands as a prime of example of an organization that pushes the boundaries around the meeting attendee experience and encourages their partners and exhibitors to do the same.
“Risk Revolution” was the theme of the 2017 RIMS conference and was directly inspired by Philadelphia’s role as a revolutionary city that served to disrupt the status quo. And disruption was the name of the game at the 2017 RIMS convention, as event organizers drew additional inspiration from Benjamin Franklin—Philadelphia’s original “disrupter”—as they were challenged to rethink the standard event. This led to some of the most creative and interesting attendee experiences in the meetings and conventions world.
Not only did RIMS have aerialists during its opening event, but they carried that theme through to their registration area in the Pennsylvania Convention Center as well.
Through the INsite tour, event planners uncovered opportunities to think creatively in partnership with RIMS. This has resulted in many RIMS-affiliated events animating public spaces and leveraging iconic locations to engage attendees and wow them at every turn.
Here in Philadelphia, that manifested in event planners drawing inspiration from our destination, like flowery stiltwalkers greeting attendees at an event in Kimmel Center (a nod to Philadelphia’s botanical history), Philadelphia’s famed folk music troupes, the Mummers, playing at an event at the Fillmore, and much more. Continuing their focus inside the convention center, RIMS also took inspiration from its INsite Tour as well.
While visiting the city, event organizers happened to be in town on the same day as the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s annual Lemonade Stand Day, its single largest one-day fundraiser. Alex’s is based in the Philadelphia region and nearly every city block had a lemonade stand raising funds to fight childhood cancer.
Inspired by what they saw, RIMS decided they’d do the same and use their conference as an opportunity to give back. Lemonade stands popped up inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center during the 2017 RIMS conference and attendees also had a chance to assemble “sibling packets” for the foundation, providing yet another engagement activity for participants.
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