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WTCA Meridian November 2018 Feature: Member Seminar 2018

Partners in Progress

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The business world is changing by the minute – large sums of money are moved in mere seconds at the touch of a smartphone, and the majority of daily business tasks are all done behind a screen.But one thing remains true: the value that face-to-face interaction still boasts cannot be surpassed by the agility of technology. An overwhelming number of business leaders still find in-person meetings and events preferable to digital interaction, as they feel that it leads to deeper bonds with clients, customers, and consumers. The point of good business – and, more importantly, strong leadership – is not simply to accomplish as many tasks as possible, but to create lasting connections with your stakeholders.

As an Association with more than 300 Members spanning nearly 100 countries and regions, it can prove to be difficult at times to get all of us in the same room .But our network has never been known to back down from a challenge, so in addition to all-important regional meetings, WTCA strives to create two of the most seamless, engaging, and interactive events for our Membership twice a year: the WTCA General Assembly and the WTCA Member Seminar.

While the General Assembly is our premiere global meeting, the WTCA Member Seminar is a platform for all of you to showcase your World Trade Centers and expertise, exchange innovative ideas with other business leaders, expand your network, and – not to be forgotten – connect with old friends! The event also serves the all-important task of welcoming new Members and new staff at existing WTCs to the community. That is why multiple interactive workshops ranging from moderated Global Best Practices and Member Advisory Council Planning Sessions, to media training and digital platform orientation, all sit at the heart of each year’s Member Seminar.

The breadth of expertise and knowledge within our network is incredible, but it also always proves beneficial to get an “outsider’s perspective.” This is why we featured experts like Brian Stelter (Senior Media Correspondent and Host of “Reliable Sources” at CNN) and Andrew Heyward (Visiting Scholar at the MIT Media Lab and former President of CBS News) to dive into the current state of media. While their session titled, “The Fourth Estate in the New Normal, and Why Media Matters,” had a US-tilt, the shifting sands of media are a worldwide phenomenon.

We also welcomed a global panel of experts consisting of your fellow Members, along with some very special guests from their communities, to foster a dialogue on global-local collaboration stemming from our recently launched WTCA Trade & Investment Report. The panel stressed the impact that your WTCs have on their local markets, causing a ripple effect that reaches a global
scale. Many thanks again to our panel participants (pictured left to right on front cover) Moderator Claire Casey, Managing Director, FP Analytics; Betsy Cohen, Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project at World Trade Center St. Louis; Molly Hyland, Senior Vice President, Community Relations & Government Relations, Commerce Bank; Mariette Mulaire, President and CEO, World Trade Centre Winnipeg; Loren Remillard, President & CEO, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce; Evert Jan Schouwstra, Managing Director, World Trade Center Leeuwarden; and the Honorable Klaas Kielstra, Vice Governor, Province of Friesland, the Netherlands.

Workshops and keynotes are all edifying moments, but we cannot forget about the importance of social events. From private exhibits at the Museum of Arts and Design and the exclusive Crossing Art Gallery, to receptions and cocktail hours offering breathtaking views of New York City, we all need time to unwind and catch up after action-packed schedules. “Down time” can be priceless
for building bonds that turn into valuable business relationships.

But, as always, we are looking for ways to enhance our events and programming to best meet your needs. What did you like? Where can we grow? What would you like to see in the future? We strongly encourage you to reach out to the team at HQ at events@wtca.org, and send us your thoughts. It is your feedback that lays the foundation for our work – after all, we are all partners in progress.