Innovate Carolina 2013: Bridging the Gap between Ideas and Execution

    By: Allison LeMay on Jul 16, 2013

    Innovate Carolina 2013For the fourth year running, the Carolinas chapter of the PDMA held its annual conference on April 12th. Innovate Carolina 2013, kindly hosted by North Carolina A&T State University, turned out to be an exciting event for more reasons than anticipated!

    The full day program itself shouted excitement, starting at 8:45AM with a keynote by Chris Trimble, author of The Other Side of Innovation, and ending at 4:14PM after a combination of practitioners' and expert talks as well as networking. But it's the report of a gunman on campus, 30 minutes into the conference, which created the most excitement and media coverage.

    With the high security alert, authorities at NC A&T had conference attendees, as well as thousands of faculty, staff, students, evacuate buildings as police swept the campus. Within minutes, the media were on the scene.

    Yet, thanks to resilient and creative chapter leaders and speakers, the PDMA conference rolled on, keeping almost all attendees and sponsors.

    A large group quarantined on the concourse of the university's stadium was divided into two smaller groups. One group, hosted in the coaches' office, was quickly taken by Scott Edgett's presentation on Stage-Gate, leading to a highly interactive exchange. Meanwhile, with another group gathered in front of the women's restroom, Jeff Grant of InVue Security Products served as a model of adaptability, preparedness and quick-thinking. Lacking a podium, he turned a trashcan up-side down, fashioning it into a de-facto lectern for his laptop-based presentation. 

    The conference finally resumed in its initial facility at mid-day. Eric Tomlinson, Chief Innovation Officer at Wake Forest Baptist and President, Piedmont Triad Research Park, kicked off the afternoon with a talk about the initiatives under way to build the Next Hub for Life Sciences and High-Tech Innovation in NC.

    In the afternoon track sessions, Dr. Pamela Henderson , author of  Killing Ideas, gave a stellar talk that helped to round out the day, keying in on the nexus of product development, the convergence of design and engineering with marketing and branding.

    While, in the end, it was all “much ado about nothing” as the alleged gunman turned out to be an individual with an umbrella, as opposed to a rifle, this is a conference attendees will remember not only for its program, but also the camaraderie born out of these unique circumstances and team improvisation!

    Released: July 16, 2013, 11:14 am
    Keywords: PDMA News

    Claire-Juliette Beale, 68325 Innovate Carolina 2013: Bridging the Gap between Ideas and Execution
    By: Claire-Juliette Beale, 68325 | Posted: July 18, 2013, 8:14 am

    Quite amazingly, despite all the event challenges, 97% of attendees who completed the feedback form viewed the event as Very Valuable to Valuable. While there's the chance of bias this is very much in line with previous chapter conferences, kudoos are due to Innovate Carolina attendees who were not just ready to talk and listen, they were ready to experiment!

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