When the Impossible Becomes Possible

mc whyvancouver

Did you ever wonder if you would see the day that your meeting or event would come off without a complaint?

After more than twenty-three years and one hundred meetings in the not-for-profit medical association world the possible happened. Not a complaint at our Annual Meeting over five days. How is that possible? Well when the "stars align" and you have a great city, phenomenal venue, wonderful hotels, top notch customer service, a warm inviting spirit of the people in the city, the snow capped mountains, glistening water with departing and arriving sea planes, great programming and staff, it is very possible.

That's what happened in Vancouver, October 30 - November 4, 2010 at CHEST 2010, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. As I covered the halls of the convention center, entered the meeting rooms and walked between our hotels, I could not believe the aura of happiness that was evident. Of course I didn't believe it. There had to be something underground that hadn't surfaced yet. Someone on my Board had to be unhappy about something. Surely some unhappy attendee would have had some "constructive comments" for one of my leadership, staff or me. I asked, prodded, pleaded for any of my leadership or staff to give me the complaints that were festering underground and were waiting to surface like a volcanic eruption.

I don't want to sound like I was disappointed that I didn't hear any complaints. You know you can always improve and strive for that perfect meeting. You need those strong comments, feelings and complaints to work towards getting it right. We converted to a paperless meeting. Provided advanced technology solutions including social media. Tried to correct all the issues from the previous year's meeting. We didn't play it safe. We never do. We work toward being innovative and provide something new for our attendees at every meeting. But we heard nothing.

How fortunate was I that this was my first meeting as the EVP & CEO of this organization. Well let's give credit where credit is do. Thank you to Tourism Vancouver, the Vancouver Convention Center, the hotels, restaurants, tour companies, their staff and the best hosts in the world, the people of Vancouver. Of course you need to complete the circle of success by thanking our supportive leadership, tremendous staff, quality faculty and loyal members and attendees.

What a team!

We will never forget CHEST 2010 and Vancouver.

Paul Markowski
Executive Vice President & CEO
American College of Chest Physicians