March has left us behind, and with it so has the Boston CIO Forum! Held on March 21 at the Westin Waltham Boston, this first forum has inspired us to keep on pushing to make great events. If the first event of the season sets the tone for the other upcoming events, then we can be satisfied. The Boston CIO Forum was an incredible success, not only from our perspective but also from the perspective of everyone involved.
This was our first time executing our kickoff dinner the night before the conference, and everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves. We are looking forward to more dinners at our events, and hosted by us elsewhere, in the future. We also tried a new “passport contest”. We wanted to fully satisfy every vendor involved, and encourage our attendees to visit everyone. Therefore we implemented a vendor passport into our guide booklets, so that each attendee had to visit each vendor booth and receive a stamp. Then, once an attendee got every stamp, they were able to turn the page in to us and be entered into a random drawing! We were glad to see a positive response to this, and plenty of people turning in pages full of stamps.
Our audience was intimate, and those in attendance were extremely interactive and excited to be there. We care more about quality than quantity, so we were overjoyed to see our attendees networking with each other and with our vendors. We heard from our vendors and sponsors that they had a great experience and were excited to work with us in the future.
We decided to try something new with this season and how we organize our speaking sessions. We opted to deviate from our normal-length sessions and experiment with a shorter length. Overall, this was well-received, as it allowed for a greater number of sessions, and for those sessions to be more concentrated. A common problem with hour-long presentations is that there can be too much fluff just to fill time. Constraining speakers to a lower amount of time allows them to cut the fat, and give us the leanest and most focused presentation possible. This new format was a hit, and we are looking forward to implementing it more in the future.
The Boston SIM Chapter held a special session for SIM Women. They were given a chance to promote their partnership with YearUp, and were able to award a scholarship, the recipient of which have a heartfelt speech about her experience. We were happy to donate a sum of $10,000 to the Boston SIM chapter for all of their efforts and giveback.