We’ve been looking forward to Connect Marketplace 2016 all year, and now it’s finally here! We’re offering you a very warm welcome to the city of Grapevine, Texas, the gracious host of this year’s event. As you may have noticed, things are looking a little different this year—and by different, we mean bigger and better than ever. Are you ready?
Tomorrow morning, Thursday, Aug. 25, we’ll kick things off at 11:00 a.m. with Regiception at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. Come by to grab your badge, bag and a copy of the latest issue of Connect Corporate magazine, then stay a while to network. If you’re at one of the other host hotels (Embassy Suites, Great Wolf Lodge, Hyatt Regency DFW or Hilton DFW Lakes), you can catch a quick and easy shuttle to the Gaylord, where the Connect staff will be eager to assist you. Shuttles will be running continuously from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
If you’re a first-time attendee and need a little extra help navigating the schedule, locate a Connect staffer (you’ll recognize us by our royal blue polos and cardigan sweaters!), and we’ll be happy to chat. And don’t forget to download the app: It will provide answers to many of your questions (search “Connect Meetings” in the app store).
Planners, if you wish to take part in a CSR project to benefit Stop Hunger Now to kick off the show by giving back, catch a shuttle to Hyatt Regency DFW and head to Aviator Ballroom B, where we’ll also be serving lunch.
If you’ve registered for the preconference workshop, “Tech Design Challenge,” grab lunch at the preconference luncheon (planners only) at Glass Cactus at the Gaylord, then settle in for a three-hour, high-energy workshop led by Crystal Washington and Jim Spellos. Suppliers are also welcome to attend this workshop.
Any Connect Marketplace veteran will tell you, you can’t miss Thursday’s opening reception. Beginning at 6:00 p.m., stroll through the Gaylord’s three atriums to experience authentic Texas cuisine and sip cocktails while catching up with old friends—and making plenty of new ones. The dress code is business casual, though we don’t discourage breaking out your cowboy/cowgirl boots. You are in Texas, after all!
If you’re still up for more, planners, the Yellow Rose Ballroom at the Gaylord will host the After Hours event on Thursday night (remember to bring your ticket, found inside your name badge). This event is invitation-only from 9:00 to 9:45 p.m., but any supplier attendees are welcome from 9:45 to 11:00 p.m.
We recommend getting a solid night’s sleep on Thursday night, as you’ll want to be up and at ’em Friday morning for an 8:00 a.m. breakfast and a rousing keynote by dynamic speaker Karen McCullough. There you can see Connect Corporate’s 40 Under 40 presented their awards.
Follow along with us for the next three days on social media using the hashtag #ConnectMP, and also be sure to follow us on Twitter (@_connectcorp), Snapchat (connectmeetings), Instagram (@connectcorporate) and Facebook.