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IACC Blog

IACC’s Americas Knowledge Exchange Hits High Notes in the Carolinas!

The 42nd edition of the IACC Americas annual members conference took place this week at JB Duke Hotel, Durham, North Carolina, with 200 IACC members and industry friends attending over the 3 days.

Attendee Lauren Scharfing, Director of Conference Services, Capital One commented after the event “It’s been great to see familiar faces and meet new people and hear what the next generation expects from us. I have learned new ways to engage with our team and with our clients.”

The IACC community welcomed new members, with record first-time attendees experiencing the value of investing in creative innovation and leadership. IACC Americas President Susan Liston spoke of the importance of investing in our venue leadership now, to create the high-performing teams we need at our meeting venues.

The tone for the event was set by opening keynote speaker Dr. Amy Climer, who tackled the art of establishing creativity in teams.

A number of industry giants delivered a variety of workshops and intimate discussion groups, which included Jessie States of MPI, John Brich of Searchwide Global, Tracy Stuckrath of Thrive Meetings, Charlie Garrison of Garrison Bros Bourbon, Christian Savelli of Oxford Economics and Stacey Geyer of Master Connection Associates. A record number of attendees arrived in Durham for the pre-conference Edu Monday program, participating in the regional study tour and the first-time attendees event.

“The energy around the knowledge exchange was fantastic and I have been impressed by the high quality suppliers who have brought new products that can really help us deliver better meeting experiences.

– Greg Stafford, General Manager at Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

This IACC event directly involved students from North Carolina State University who served as volunteers and ran a breakout session.

Attendees were also treated to an exceptional mystery culinary tour of leading local suppliers and premises who each had their unique story to tell! 

The knowledge exchange came at a critical time when our members are stepping up and investing in their leaders today and future leaders. I believe that IACC provides an important platform for these leaders to grow and build their professional network and to learn from their peers.

– Mark Cooper, IACC CEO

The Awards Evening at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham was a destination-rich event that left delegates thoroughly impressed. Among the highlights of the night was the recognition of Jessie States, a standout member of Meeting Professionals International, who was honored with the prestigious 2023 Award of Excellence. This award celebrated her exceptional contributions to IACC’s education and research programs, cementing her status as a true industry leader.

IACC Americas 2023 Knowledge Exchange

See more conference photos on IACC’s Flikr Album here.

Brian Stapleton of Stapleton Hospitality Solutions was awarded the IACC Pyramid Award and IACC acknowledged the long and deep contributions to IACC’s board and projects such as establishing host venue standards for the Copper Skillet competition.

Susan Liston, IACC Americas President and past Board Member and Mel Hosansky Award Winner Paul Dolce presented TJ Fimmano, General Manager of FLIK Hospitality with the Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service. TJ commented

It is hard to believe that I sit alongside the previous industry titans who have been recognized at this level and I am truly grateful to the IACC community. I encourage everyone in this special group to put as much as you can into IACC and you will receive it back multiple times over!

JB Duke and Washington Duke Inn put on an evening of regional culinary delights and the Bluegrass band set the scene for an evening of celebration.

And we learned that IACC Americas Knowledge Exchange is heading to New Jersey in spring 2024 to experience Verizon’s The Ridge! Save the date: April 18-20 2024.

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